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Should I focus on moving to a new airline mileage program?

Should I focus on moving to a new airline mileage program?

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Old Jun 25, 19, 11:18 pm
  #16  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: SFO
Programs: BART Platinum, AS MVPG 75K
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Originally Posted by sudobuntu View Post
I extrapolated "unless you live in SEA, the network is not one of them" to imply that the connection options from non-SEA airports are not good. But true, you did not explicitly say that.
I'm not at all saying AS is superior than the other airlines at LAX/SFO/SAN, etc, I'm just saying it's viable competitor. When available North America routes are within +/-5 of AS, I think that's good competition.
Sure. But the original question was what CA cities “offers better nonstop, connections [sic] on another carrier [than AS]?” My claim is that in virtually all major CA cities there is another carrier that offers a better combination of nonstop and connecting flights than AS, as long as “better” implies some combination of more destinations, shorter flight times, and more frequencies.
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Old Jun 26, 19, 12:15 am
  #17  
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Join Date: Jun 2007
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Thanks for all your insights, thoughts and suggestions... this has been helpful to read and will help me figure out what to do. As for the California airport I'm based closest too - I only saw it mentioned once - SMF. Being that I'm close to the airport, getting to/from/into/out of SMF is very easy. That being said, when I tend to fly short hops, it's usually WN. And since most transcon or international flights connect somewhere and are often priced significantly higher than other CA airports, I'm more apt to shop around. To keep status with AS, I'll often times make my way to a Bay Area airport or LAX (with planning, I can get a cheap flight to LAX on WN) that has more flight options, cheaper prices, availability. BA allows me to hop a flight to Hawaii on AS metal, leveraging status for a competitive price; and LAX and SFO give me more direct options such as BA to Europe.

The real rub, and what caused me to post and get me thinking again about the status are some excellent fairs to Europe on non-AS partners like Delta or Virgin as low as $400 rt. To keep true to the AS plan, options to fly a partner, you end up paying a premium for just 50% miles. And I've just been asking myself, psychologically am I hanging on to the MVP program at the expense of saving money.

Thanks again for all the comments.
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Old Jun 26, 19, 12:58 am
  #18  
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: SIN
Programs: AA Plat, AS MVPG, SQ *G
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Originally Posted by CSquared View Post
The real rub, and what caused me to post and get me thinking again about the status are some excellent fairs to Europe on non-AS partners like Delta or Virgin as low as $400 rt. To keep true to the AS plan, options to fly a partner, you end up paying a premium for just 50% miles. And I've just been asking myself, psychologically am I hanging on to the MVP program at the expense of saving money.
It may be easier to find a resolution and be at peace with it if you reframed the question as are there good reasons why you should not shift to DL. VS runs to Europe and AM discount J runs to Central America are a compelling medium term strategy. And perhaps most importantly, you would enjoy decent frequencies to DL hubs for 1 stops without being a hub captive in DL territory.
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Old Jun 26, 19, 9:05 am
  #19  
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Programs: Alaska MVP Gold 7K, MARRIOTT PLAT PREMIER WITH AMBASSADOR
Posts: 94
I understand the frustration having lived in Woodland only 11 min from your airport too but Id say if you're that close to SFO it's worth the 90 min drive to keep status but thats me.
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Old Jun 26, 19, 10:10 am
  #20  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Programs: B6 Mosaic, SPG LT Platinum, UA SIlver, VX eleVAte Gold (RIP)
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It is rarely worth inconveniencing yourself for every trip to get the lowest level status on any airline. Pick the flights that are the most cost effective and convenient and you may well find that the benefits you were getting are more than made up for by the cost/convenience of just taking the best option for each trip. As was mentioned, getting a credit card gets most low level benefits you would lose and not having to add several hours to each trip getting to/from the airport would far outweigh any of the benefits you would get as just an MVP on Alaska.
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Old Jun 26, 19, 10:33 am
  #21  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: SEA
Programs: AS MVP , Delta Gold Medallion, "Credit Card" status for various hotels
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Originally Posted by sfozrhfco View Post
It is rarely worth inconveniencing yourself for every trip to get the lowest level status on any airline. Pick the flights that are the most cost effective and convenient and you may well find that the benefits you were getting are more than made up for by the cost/convenience of just taking the best option for each trip. As was mentioned, getting a credit card gets most low level benefits you would lose and not having to add several hours to each trip getting to/from the airport would far outweigh any of the benefits you would get as just an MVP on Alaska.
I’d agree with this sentiment. “Free agent” is often underrated on flyertalk, and low level status is often not worth extra cost, time, and inconvenience.

The addition of BE was the icing on the cake for me - I decided not to pursue status anymore. My MVP status will expire at the end of the year. I’ve been booking flights on price and schedule only. Things are going just fine and I’m saving money while still flying on my preferred schedule.

Since I made this change, I’ve only booked AS twice and both were using a companion fare. In every other case, the competition either offered a lower price, a better schedule, or both. I’m SEA based.

So - I think giving up status is the way to go.
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Old Jun 26, 19, 11:03 am
  #22  
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
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I think that the free agent decision really comes down to whether you are willing to give up free E+ seats. Paying for them every time can really add up.
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Old Jun 26, 19, 11:35 am
  #23  
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Programs: IHG Platinum Elite, AS MVP Gold 75K, HHonors Gold, SPG Gold
Posts: 210
One other things about free agency--the average person on FT knows more than the average flyer, which means that the experience (when to ask for seats, when to book, what time to arrive at the airport if lounge access is not a given) is much smoother. I mean, we love status (I'm a 75K and I love my experience with Alaska, personally), but there is always that question of value.
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Old Jun 26, 19, 3:06 pm
  #24  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: SEA
Programs: AS MVP , Delta Gold Medallion, "Credit Card" status for various hotels
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Originally Posted by VegasGambler View Post
I think that the free agent decision really comes down to whether you are willing to give up free E+ seats. Paying for them every time can really add up.
This brings up another issue - my upgrade rate to E+ as an MVP has been terrible. Then add the number of Airbus aircraft that consider exit row seating to be premium class, and the number of airbus aircraft serving SEA, I was finding that I was frequently unable to sit in a complimentary seat with extra legroom even with MVP status.

I understand this is temporary until all airbus planes are refurbished. However, it’s caused the value of MVP to be eroded further. If I were still flying enough to be MVP gold I might have stuck with it but MVP just doesn’t seem worth the extra $$ and inconvenience. YMMV.
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Old Jun 26, 19, 3:11 pm
  #25  
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
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Originally Posted by Bretmd View Post


This brings up another issue - my upgrade rate to E+ as an MVP has been terrible. Then add the number of Airbus aircraft that consider exit row seating to be premium class, and the number of airbus aircraft serving SEA, I was finding that I was frequently unable to sit in a complimentary seat with extra legroom even with MVP status.

I understand this is temporary until all airbus planes are refurbished. However, it’s caused the value of MVP to be eroded further. If I were still flying enough to be MVP gold I might have stuck with it but MVP just doesn’t seem worth the extra $$ and inconvenience. YMMV.
If you're not flying into or out of SEA or PDX this is really not an issue.

Even ex-SEA and ex-PDX I was able to get E+ every time as an MVP, although it did require some work and probably some luck (setting up seat alerts in EF, and occasionally predicting who would be upgraded and preemptively asking the gate agent if I could be moved to the seat I wanted when the person got upgraded)
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Old Jun 26, 19, 3:25 pm
  #26  
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: SAN
Programs: AS MVPG, UA Silver, DL Silver, IHG Platinum, Choice Platinum, Hyatt Discoverist, National Exec
Posts: 186
Originally Posted by CSquared View Post
The real rub, and what caused me to post and get me thinking again about the status are some excellent fairs to Europe on non-AS partners like Delta or Virgin as low as $400 rt. To keep true to the AS plan, options to fly a partner, you end up paying a premium for just 50% miles. And I've just been asking myself, psychologically am I hanging on to the MVP program at the expense of saving money.

Thanks again for all the comments.
FWIW, I've flown BA LAX-LHR-EDI-LHR-SAN for $440, in addition to LAX-LHR-CDG-ORD-LAX on AA for $370 in the past year. Options to Europe via AS partners may not be what it used to, but deals still exist.

I will, however, echo what others have mentioned in saying that it isn't worth going out of your way to hang on to MVP if you aren't at least a semi-frequent flyer. Take the cheapest, most convenient flights that fit your needs.
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Old Jun 26, 19, 3:58 pm
  #27  
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: British Columbia
Programs: AA, AS Gold 75K, BA, QF, SQ, Marriott Platinum Premiere
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Originally Posted by VegasGambler View Post
Even ex-SEA and ex-PDX I was able to get E+ every time as an MVP, although it did require some work and probably some luck (setting up seat alerts in EF, and occasionally predicting who would be upgraded and preemptively asking the gate agent if I could be moved to the seat I wanted when the person got upgraded)
Oh!, so in other words you "jumped the queue!" Brilliant! But AS please don't open U space far out so Elites can get complimentary upgrades on eligible fares and "jump the queue." You really are hilarious! In the case of SEA & PDX, do you cancel if you don't get E+? You are pretty adamant about not flying E- even in a window exit row! lol No need to reply!

James
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Old Jun 26, 19, 5:28 pm
  #28  
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 4,348
Originally Posted by Flying for Fun View Post
Oh!, so in other words you "jumped the queue!" Brilliant! But AS please don't open U space far out so Elites can get complimentary upgrades on eligible fares and "jump the queue." You really are hilarious! In the case of SEA & PDX, do you cancel if you don't get E+? You are pretty adamant about not flying E- even in a window exit row! lol No need to reply!

James
There is no queue. Gate agents do not have a premium class upgrade list because (despite what AS's emails tell you) it's not an upgrade. The best premium seats will often leave empty when 75ks (who selected the best premium seats at booking) get upgraded at the gate. Any elite is entitled to move to those seats when they become available. Again, there is no queue.

One could argue that logging in at midnight 2+ days before the flight leaves to select a premium seat before the processor moves people is jumping the queue. But it's not clear what process is followed there either.

Also, I have no qualms about jumping the queue.

Finally, I even as MVP, I always got E+, so it was never an issue.

On a related story, this past weekend I did fly E-. Middle seat too. I got to the gate LAX as the flight before mine was just finishing boarding (all groups were finished boarding and they were paging stragglers). I asked if they had and seats left and I decided to take 8E on LAX-SFO rather than sit at the gate for an hour waiting for my flight (and I had 6F on an airbus too! Best economy seat on that plane...) The flight I took was also a pmVX airbus (which definitely factored into my decision -- that extra inch of seat width is worth a lot in that spot -- I may have gone to a bar for a beer and waited had it been a 737) and also I was lucky enough to be seated beside two rather petite women so there was no shoulder-to-shoulder contact. I just had a small backpack (it was a 1-night trip) and I managed to find a spot for it in a bin across the aisle from my seat. For some reason, only water was catered for that flight, but I did get my chocolate bar (which I may have chosen anywhere) and we all had a good conversation for the short flight, and I got home an hour early.

That was actually my first time sitting in non-premium-economy on that plane, including all my VX flights.
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Old Jun 27, 19, 1:23 am
  #29  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 22
Originally Posted by VegasGambler View Post
You can get the bags and the boarding by signing up for a credit card. You can get this on every major carrier (one card per airline) and it's a lot cheaper than maintaining status.
It's only one bag with the credit card though. The two bags for MVP has saved me and friends quite a bit of money on ski trips. Paying for bags to Montana from SEA can be a huge percentage of the flight price; it's annoying.
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Old Jun 27, 19, 12:37 pm
  #30  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: San Diego, CA
Programs: AS MVPG, Hyatt EXPL, *all* the CC statuses
Posts: 63
Originally Posted by VegasGambler View Post
You can get the bags and the boarding by signing up for a credit card. You can get this on every major carrier (one card per airline) and it's a lot cheaper than maintaining status.
Actually now that I think about it, we should probably note that Alaska is on the list of airlines that do not provide early boarding for their credit cardmembers. They join Frontier, JetBlue, and Southwest (ignoring the 4x per year based on availability on the premium card).

Of those serving SMF, only United, American, Delta, and... Spirit offer consistent priority boarding for some of their credit cardmembers, so that may be something to consider, especially as OP mentioned Southwest.
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