AS 75k status or MVPG + AA ExPlat?

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Old May 14, 19, 3:11 pm
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AS 75k status or MVPG + AA ExPlat?

This is a serious question (ie, I'm not trolling -- I really don't know what to do here)

I currently have flights booked that will get me to about 84k EQM this year. I will definitely do a couple of other trips; 90k and therefore 75k status should be no problem.

But, Hyatt and AA announced a partnership recently, and yesterday a promo was announce. As a Hyatt Globalist, I can get Platinum status for free during a 3-month challenge period. If I earn 5k EQD and 35k EQM I during that time I will get ExPlat status. It's only on AA's JBV partners, but I can actually get there with my currently booked travel by crediting some JL and/or BA travel to AA.

Of course, if I do this, I won't get AS 75k status. I will be able to maintain Gold.

My travel next year will most likely be mostly award travel on OW partners (I should have about 1M combined miles between AA and AS by then). I will probably be able to (just barely) maintain AS gold next year, but I will most likely lose any AA status, as well as my UA Gold status. I might possibly drop down to UA silver, or I might lose status entirely.

It seems like the main advantage of 75k status is the 50k bonus miles I get upon achieving the status. Also AS earns more miles than AA, so accruing these flights on AA will probably cost me about 150k AS miles (including missing the 50k bonus). This is a lot -- enough for a first class RT to Asia. I'll pick up some extra AA miles in exchange... maybe 40-50k. Nowhere near enough to compensate for that.

I will not be flying AA much, but the EXP status gives OW Emerald. How much is OW Emerald worth when flying internationally on partner awards in F/J? If I'm in F it doesn't seem to offer much. If I'm in J (eg, a flight within Asia that doesn't have an F cabin) I get to board in the first group instead of the 2nd (this seems worthless to me). I think I get to go to the F lounge instead of the J lounge? This has some value but it's not that big of a deal. The status will give me free changes and cancellations when booking AA awards, which is a nice perk (although date changes are free anyway in most situations). Is there anything else?

I'm leaning towards crediting everything to AS because I want the RDM... am I missing anything?
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Old May 14, 19, 3:15 pm
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Based on what you've shared, I think the RDM value on AS wins. But I just wanted to chime in and suggest posting the same question over in the AA forum. There might be some OW benefits that they are quicker to identify.
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Old May 14, 19, 4:30 pm
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Also, if RDM is what you are after, the 75K Elite bonus is 125% while MVPG is 100%. Did you include that in your calculation? Complimentary upgrades will be better than MVPG/MVP. A 75K on an R fare would be upgraded before an MVP on a full Y fare from T-120 hours, A 75K has H as an additional eligible upgrade fare class and a 75K can choose any Main Cabin seat for a $0.00 charge at booking. No waiting for a PC upgrade.

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Old May 14, 19, 5:12 pm
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Originally Posted by VegasGambler View Post
If I'm in J (eg, a flight within Asia that doesn't have an F cabin) I get to board in the first group instead of the 2nd (this seems worthless to me). I think I get to go to the F lounge instead of the J lounge? This has some value but it's not that big of a deal. The status will give me free changes and cancellations when booking AA awards, which is a nice perk (although date changes are free anyway in most situations). Is there anything else?
If AA hadn't gone revenue based, I'd still be EXP today. I walked away after 17 years at that level. Don't underestimate those F lounges on international itineraries which are one of the biggest EXP/One World Emerald perks, along with arrivals lounge access with AA at LHR, no matter what the class of service. The Qantas F lounges in SYD and MEL have restaurants with table service, as do at least two of the Cathay F lounges in HKG. I'd have to make a spreadsheet sorting mileage accumulation between AS/partners and AA/One World with the fare classes you purchase to decide how much I stand to gain/lose in miles. If it's something less than 20-30K by staying with AS/partners, I'd be tempted to stay with AA/One World just for the perks. If it really is 150K, I'd stay with Alaska.

AA tends to look after EXP flyers a little better in irregular operations, but maybe that's not a consideration if you'll only be flying partners or not flying/upgrading on AA with the 4 systemwide upgrades AA EXP flyers get annually (good on any fare but capacity controlled, unlike UA where you need a minimum fare basis in economy). I've run into flight delays at both HKG and BRU and AA rerouted me on One World partners and retained my upgrade in place, something that seems unique to them. If you're getting comped status, though, I'm guessing the 4 systemwide upgrades won't appear until you qualify on your own.
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Old May 14, 19, 5:50 pm
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Originally Posted by tom911 View Post
If AA hadn't gone revenue based, I'd still be EXP today. I walked away after 17 years at that level. Don't underestimate those F lounges on international itineraries which are one of the biggest EXP/One World Emerald perks, along with arrivals lounge access with AA at LHR, no matter what the class of service. The Qantas F lounges in SYD and MEL have restaurants with table service, as do at least two of the Cathay F lounges in HKG. I'd have to make a spreadsheet sorting mileage accumulation between AS/partners and AA/One World with the fare classes you purchase to decide how much I stand to gain/lose in miles. If it's something less than 20-30K by staying with AS/partners, I'd be tempted to stay with AA/One World just for the perks. If it really is 150K, I'd stay with Alaska.

AA tends to look after EXP flyers a little better in irregular operations, but maybe that's not a consideration if you'll only be flying partners or not flying/upgrading on AA with the 4 systemwide upgrades AA EXP flyers get annually (good on any fare but capacity controlled, unlike UA where you need a minimum fare basis in economy). I've run into flight delays at both HKG and BRU and AA rerouted me on One World partners and retained my upgrade in place, something that seems unique to them. If you're getting comped status, though, I'm guessing the 4 systemwide upgrades won't appear until you qualify on your own.
It's not comped -- it's a challenge. It's basically the same as a status match. It should be full status once I meet the $5k / 35k EQM requirement.

I have a trip coming up that I could use for this: SEA-NRT-BKK round-trip, on JL in X.

AS earnings: 19,144 EQM & 59,314 RDM (Including the double miles promo for SEA-NRT and status bonus)
AA earnings: 30,632 EQM & 35,271 RDM (including 10k bonus mile promo and status bonus) & 3829 EQD.

So this would leave me just 4400EQM and 1200 EQD short. It would also mean that I have no chance at AS 75k status, so it costs me 109,314 RDM (my 150k estimate was a bit off -- probably more like 125k after I move an AS transcon to AA in order to get the status - I'm happy to pay for business class if I can find a discount fare on a lie-flat, so I'd get the EQD as well)

Another option is to use a BA flight I have at the end of the year. I could only use the outbound (the return is in 2020, and the challenge must be started by Sep 30). It's SEA-LHR-DEL in BA, A class.
AS earning: 22,475 EQM and 49,445 RDM
AA earning: 17,980 EQM, 17,081 RDM, and 2967 EQD

(I had originally thought I could use both ways of this to qualify, before I realized the december deadline... so this is probably useless to me for this promo. The round trip would give me exactly what I need for EQM and $1000 over for EQD, if it was all this year)
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Old May 14, 19, 6:06 pm
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Grappling with the same dilemma.

This year, I had entirely abandoned AA, but, this promo is tempting enough where, at the very least, I'm going to earn Plat again, suppose. The OWE thing is a great benefit when flying using lounges, but, flying often enough in F/J makes the OWE unnecessary; and, those few times during intra Asia routes with only J, the Bus lounges, especially the Pier, is fine, especially if one's been the F lounges with some regularity. Now, if you were planning on flying coach, for whatever reason, then OWE is probably worth it over AS. The few times I had to get a fare in coach, can't imagine it without CX status; it would have sucked so much, I'd probably never do it again.

I do notice that on CX flights, the head FA (ISM or Purser) makes an effort to stop by OWEs and engage a fair amount of small talk. Not sure if you care about this, but, if you do, then OWE will definitely be worth it. I notice some folks on flights for whom this is really important.
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Old May 14, 19, 6:09 pm
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Originally Posted by Visconti View Post
Grappling with the same dilemma.

This year, I had entirely abandoned AA, but, this promo is tempting enough where, at the very least, I'm going to earn Plat again, suppose. The OWE thing is a great benefit when flying using lounges, but, flying often enough in F/J makes the OWE unnecessary; and, those few times during intra Asia routes with only J, the Bus lounges, especially the Pier, is fine, especially if one's been the F lounges with some regularity. Now, if you were planning on flying coach, for whatever reason, then OWE is probably worth it over AS. The few times I had to get a fare in coach, can't imagine it without CX status; it would have sucked so much, I'd probably never do it again.

I do notice that on CX flights, the head FA (ISM or Purser) makes an effort to stop by OWEs and engage a fair amount of small talk. Not sure if you care about this, but, if you do, then OWE will definitely be worth it. I notice some folks on flights for whom this is really important.
This is my feeling too. I will only fly econ on short domestic routes, so it's hard to find value.

I'm not really interested in talking to the purser in particular. I do think that it's nice when they come and introduce themselves, I guess, but I don't really care. I have no desire to have someone try to make me feel important (which I think is the whole point of this?) This happened to me on both JL and CX in F, award travel, no status (no FF # on the flight, even). It was nice that they said hi, I guess, but I'm not really into small talk. The JL service was excellent, of course... the FA even told me to let her know if I wanted recommendations of places to visit in Tokyo!

Back to the promo, I just don't see a way to do this without it costing me 100k+ AS RDM, and that's just too much. I'd love to make it work (I'd have three airline statuses!) but I don't see the value (other than telling people that I had three airline statuses!)
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Old May 14, 19, 6:19 pm
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Originally Posted by VegasGambler View Post
to the promo, I just don't see a way to do this without it costing me 100k+ AS RDM, and that's just too much. I'd love to make it work (I'd have three airline statuses!) but I don't see the value (other than telling people that I had three airline statuses!)
All things being equal, I'd rather use my AS/AA miles asap, which makes status less important, really. I mean with mostly F/J redemptions, the OWE status, albeit earned from a challenge, may end up primarily redundant and wasted, if you're going to be redeeming a Million miles next year.

I've never been EX Plat, and, like any novelty, may be fun just to have it for a year? But, at the cost of a RT F Asia flight.
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Old May 14, 19, 6:53 pm
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SWUs could make it worth it

AA SWUs >>> AS GGUs
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Old May 14, 19, 6:58 pm
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Originally Posted by TheDudeAbides View Post
AA SWUs >>> AS GGUs
Oh yeah definitely. AS GGUs are basically worthless to me.

But those SWUs still require revenue travel to have any real value. I may not take an international revenue flight all year next year.
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Old May 14, 19, 7:07 pm
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Originally Posted by Visconti View Post
I've never been EX Plat, and, like any novelty, may be fun just to have it for a year? But, at the cost of a RT F Asia flight.
If you're not going to fly AA, though, to use systemwide upgrades on AA international (are they included with the AA challenge?) and free comped domestic upgrades (plus a snack and drink if you end up in coach), as well as the Flagship Lounges (those are different than the Admirals Clubs), I don't think I'd bother. Most of the EXP benefits AA offers are when you're flying AA.
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Old May 14, 19, 8:31 pm
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Originally Posted by VegasGambler View Post
But those SWUs still require revenue travel to have any real value. I may not take an international revenue flight all year next year.
If that's the case, then I don't see why AA EXP is going to give you much in preference to having over 100k more AS RDM. Yeah, it could mean you could go onto routes like DFW-HKG in 2020 and likely go Y->J for pretty cheap (or even use some cheapish AA J fares to go J->F and bank some miles), but if you're going to spend miles like they're going out of style in 2020, just spend the extra for F and get the OW F lounge anyway...
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Old May 15, 19, 2:30 am
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Originally Posted by Visconti View Post
Grappling with the same dilemma.
This year, I had entirely abandoned AA, but, this promo is tempting enough where, at the very least, I'm going to earn Plat again, suppose. The OWE thing is a great benefit when flying using lounges, but, flying often enough in F/J makes the OWE unnecessary; and, those few times during intra Asia routes with only J, the Bus lounges, especially the Pier, is fine, especially if one's been the F lounges with some regularity. Now, if you were planning on flying coach, for whatever reason, then OWE is probably worth it over AS. The few times I had to get a fare in coach, can't imagine it without CX status; it would have sucked so much, I'd probably never do it again.
I do notice that on CX flights, the head FA (ISM or Purser) makes an effort to stop by OWEs and engage a fair amount of small talk. Not sure if you care about this, but, if you do, then OWE will definitely be worth it. I notice some folks on flights for whom this is really important.
I'm still AA EXP (this will be the last year,) and I'm finding the FC lounges to not really be worth the added cost to maintain that status. I'm LT PLT on AA, so with that I get lounge access anyway though not FC Wing/QF/Sakura etc. Especially disappointing has been the CX HKG FC lounges as the food has slipped to where I almost prefer the Bridge or Noodle Bars anyway. The LAX QF FC is still good for those early morning AA LAX-HKG flights. But, AA did improve the FL food offering just enough to make it work. The SWU's are nice and I'm able to use them as, being retired, I'm a midweek flyer and can select the flights with the best opportunities for UPG. However, only 4 SWU's at 100k EQM's so weigh the cost of a miles+cash UPG (seems Parker wants to monetize his UPG seats so I've seen them jump EXP's,) versus having to hit the spend requirements and then having to fly AA metal to use them. I'm preferring OW partners in premium cabin anyway, so I don't see the point of EXP starting next year. And the extra AS miles at the top elite level make a big difference especially with the better burn rate on the flights I would be using the AS miles for anyway. And AA's CS has really slipped, so I'm never counting on getting problems handled without a lot of effort.
I may miss the chats with the CX FA who usually brings an extra bottle of Evian, but I'll manage somehow.
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Old May 15, 19, 6:30 am
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I have had AS MVP Gold + ExP in the past, as well as MVP 75k + EXP. IMO the EXP benefits weren't good enough for me - the F lounges are indeed amazing for CX/QF, but Alaska miles and availability were much better in general. I prioritize miles for APAC travel, where AS shines. If you mainly travel in F/J, then status doesn't have much value imo.
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Old May 15, 19, 9:46 am
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The RDMs have tangible value (and calculate the better redemption rates on AS, plus stopover value if you can use it).

The lounges and such have more intrinsic value. Are you seriously going to scoff at a business lounge and say no, I'd rather pay a few hundred bucks for a nice lunch at some restaurant in the airport because this business lounge is inadequate? No. Yes, the F lounges are nicer, but for an hour between flights?

The real value form EXP is in the SWUs. If you can buy some cheap Y's and upgrade them to J (vs buying J outright), that's tangible savings. You can weigh your chance of finding usable upgrade space, on route(s) AA flies that you want to use, and your likelihood of doing that (which sounds low based on your redemption targets) and the value of the AA miles earned vs. the AS miles earned against the savings on doing that.
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