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What are downsides to using AS miles for American Airlines flight?

What are downsides to using AS miles for American Airlines flight?

Old Dec 3, 19, 11:00 pm
  #1  
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What are downsides to using AS miles for American Airlines flight?

What are the considerations when on the AS site and choosing between AS and AA flights?

For example, JFK-LAX one way. Options include AA flights for 12.5K miles + $19 or AS flights for 20K miles +$6. Both flights are non-stop and the the times are equivalent to me.

Besides saving 7.5k miles and spending $13 more dollars, what else does a coach passenger with AS MVP expect when using miles on the AA flight:
1. No upgrade possibility?
2. Free luggage is AS allowance or AA allowance?
3. Boarding is in what AA group?
4. other?

As a point of reference, the cash price for the AS flight is showing at $99 . I know many would suggest paying the $99 but THE question here is what does someone lose/gain by choosing the AA award flight?

Thank you.
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Old Dec 3, 19, 11:22 pm
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While not pertaining to your exact question, I would say that one advantage of AA is flagship business for 25K miles (if available on your date)
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Old Dec 3, 19, 11:23 pm
  #3  
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Originally Posted by PaperGlider View Post
what else does a coach passenger with AS MVP expect when using miles on the AA flight:
1. No upgrade possibility?
2. Free luggage is AS allowance or AA allowance?
3. Boarding is in what AA group?
4. other?
You'll get nothing* and you'll like it? There hasn't been AA/AS elite reciprocity for almost two years, so nobody at AA cares that you have an AS shiny DYKWIA card. So basically you'll board with the peons, you get "I'm a nobody" allowances for luggage, etc.

AS and AA Partnership Changes (Effective 1 January 2018)

*other than a seat in the back of the plane (unless you pay cash for the extra legroom or preferred seats, which seems kinda dumb if you're really talking about spending 12,500 miles to save $90ish)
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Last edited by eponymous_coward; Dec 3, 19 at 11:30 pm
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Old Dec 4, 19, 12:28 am
  #4  
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Originally Posted by eponymous_coward View Post
You'll get nothing* and you'll like it? There hasn't been AA/AS elite reciprocity for almost two years, so nobody at AA cares that you have an AS shiny DYKWIA card. So basically you'll board with the peons, you get "I'm a nobody" allowances for luggage, etc.

AS and AA Partnership Changes (Effective 1 January 2018)

*other than a seat in the back of the plane (unless you pay cash for the extra legroom or preferred seats, which seems kinda dumb if you're really talking about spending 12,500 miles to save $90ish)

No reason given for your edit. I'll suppose you edited your reply to make it less helpful and more harsh?
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Old Dec 4, 19, 12:41 am
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Originally Posted by eponymous_coward View Post
You'll get nothing and you'll like it?
Hey, what about salty FAs, non-existent customer service, and a mechanical delay? That's something alright...
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Old Dec 4, 19, 6:57 am
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Consistent biscoff delivery and new boarding music
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Old Dec 4, 19, 8:26 am
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Originally Posted by lalala View Post
Consistent biscoff delivery and new boarding music
Hey don't knock the biscoff. I bought a packet of them last week at the grocery store and right now, it's the only good thing I've got going in my life.
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Old Dec 4, 19, 8:27 am
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Originally Posted by PaperGlider View Post
what else does a coach passenger with AS MVP expect when using miles on the AA flight:
Originally Posted by PaperGlider View Post
No reason given for your edit. I'll suppose you edited your reply to make it less helpful and more harsh?
What exactly did you want to be told? You don't realize ANY benefits of AS status flying on AA because there is no status reciprocity. AA doesn't care about your AS status any more than they would care about DL or UA status, when it comes to your AS award ticket on AA. If being told "nobody cares at this particular company about this particular shiny card, and you get nothing" is harsh... uh, OK. Sorry for being harsh.

Originally Posted by DrAlex View Post
Hey, what about salty FAs, non-existent customer service, and a mechanical delay? That's something alright...
I haven't particularly noticed salty FAs on AA- in fact they seemed either very personable or just not noticeable at all. But apparently I'm "salty" too if we go by what I've quoted above, so maybe I don't notice it.

The times I've called into AA for various things it all get resolved pretty quickly, even calling into the "I'm the general public, not an elite" line. Their delay percentage speaks for itself I guess.
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Last edited by eponymous_coward; Dec 4, 19 at 8:52 am
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Old Dec 4, 19, 8:54 am
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Originally Posted by eponymous_coward View Post
What exactly did you want to be told? You don't realize ANY benefits of AS status flying on AA because there is no status reciprocity. Zero. Nil. Nada. Nothing. Negative.



I haven't particularly noticed salty FAs on AA- in fact they seemed either very personable or just not noticeable at all. The times I've called into AA things get resolved pretty quickly, even calling into the "I'm the general public, not an elite" line. Their delay percentage speaks for itself I guess.
Happy you have had good experiences. I am with DrAlex on this one. It has been pretty evident that some FAs on the flights I have taken, "hate their job, maybe life too." Salty would be kind! Biligerant would be more suitable and rude is ever prevalent. Yes, some decent FAs out there but not the norm in my experience. Oh yes! I won't forget the FA on a flight from MAD-MIA who was shouting at a Spanish passenger to speak English.

As far as customer service, they are happy to "resolve" issues by creating more. One AA initiated schedule change resulted in 5 calls, the last to a supervisor when they wanted $1000 to reinstate two tickets they screwed up themselves. Still ended up paying $298 to save the trip despite it was their error.

James
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Old Dec 4, 19, 9:30 am
  #10  
 
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You will be fine on AA. Save the miles and just go with them. The coach cabin on the A321s they use from JFK to LAX only have 12 rows of coach on AA and so you have a lot less people to deal with on the plane. AA has far more options from NYC to LAX in the event of IRROPs as well. This is a domestic coach flight we are taking about so it is not like you are going to miss out on your chauffeur pick up and five star restaurant food with white glove service.
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Old Dec 4, 19, 11:01 am
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Originally Posted by PaperGlider View Post

What are the considerations when on the AS site and choosing between AS and AA flights? ...

... THE question here is what does someone lose/gain by choosing the AA award flight?

Thank you.
So far, on AA instead of AS:
1. -No upgrade possibility.
2. ?Free luggage is AS allowance or AA allowance? Not sure.
3. ?Boarding is in what AA group? Not sure.
4. -Salty Flight Attendants.
5. +Bischoff
6. +Many alternate routes on AA if irregular operations.
7. +Guaranteed AA First with just 25K miles (and presumably the AA F lounge)
8. + smaller plane on AA so fewer people.
9. ?

I think a chart would be better way to portray this but for now a list is easy.

Last edited by PaperGlider; Dec 4, 19 at 11:04 am Reason: added #8
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Old Dec 4, 19, 11:58 am
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Originally Posted by PaperGlider View Post
So far, on AA instead of AS:
1. -No upgrade possibility.
2. ?Free luggage is AS allowance or AA allowance? Not sure.
3. ?Boarding is in what AA group? Not sure.
4. -Salty Flight Attendants.
5. +Bischoff
6. +Many alternate routes on AA if irregular operations.
7. +Guaranteed AA First with just 25K miles (and presumably the AA F lounge)
8. + smaller plane on AA so fewer people.
9. ?

I think a chart would be better way to portray this but for now a list is easy.
I mean, you're looking at three options: $99 cash for an AS flight, 20k miles for an AS flight (ie AS isn't making the flight available at the Saver award level, which seems crazy when it sells for $99, but that's 2019 award availability), or 12.5k miles for an AA flight. On AA, you have no status benefits (so no waived checked bag fees, limited no-fee seat selection, board with one of the later boarding groups though not the basic economy group); on AS, you have status benefits (including waived checked bags and preferred seating). It's just different ways of paying for a flight. If $99 is worth more to you than 12.5k AS miles, pay the 12.5k AS miles (though $0.007/mile -- really $0.006 when you factor in the $19 in fees -- is a pretty crummy return without even factoring in the ≈3900 miles you'd earn by paying for the AS flight as an MVP; you can do just as well ordering magazine subscriptions). If you care about whatever the chance is of an upgrade to domestic F seating on AS, that's a plus. And there are lots of other places to compare the AA and AS coach products (AS offers cookies too).

If it's actually 25k you want to spend for AA business (not first), that's a completely different story. But if you're spending 12.5k for AA coach, the fact that you could spend 25k for AA business doesn't seem like a plus; it's just a separate fact, as relevant as stating that oranges are good in winter.

Note that the AA plane is actually bigger (A321 vs 739 or 738, at least on the days I checked) or the same size; it's just configured with much more space taken up by premium seating (a true three-class cabin with lie-flat first and lie-flat business) and therefore a smaller coach cabin.

Last edited by ashill; Dec 4, 19 at 12:04 pm
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Old Dec 4, 19, 12:17 pm
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Originally Posted by PaperGlider View Post
2. ?Free luggage is AS allowance or AA allowance? Not sure.
Again, it's the AA allowance for "I have a coach ticket on AA and nobody cares here about my AS status". Which is typically zero, assuming your JFK-LAX itinerary and coach.

If you want free baggage on a domestic coach ticket that doesn't involve status giving you a checked bag, go fly WN. Or get the AA credit card that gives you a free bag.

Originally Posted by PaperGlider View Post
3. ?Boarding is in what AA group? Not sure.
It literally depends on your seating assignment (certain coach passengers could be in different groups, 6/7/8 depending on their seat), so nobody is going to be able to answer this before you actually cash in miles and pick a seat. It'll be "whatever's on your boarding pass". Again, no benefit applies from AS status. You might be able to goose it to 5 with the right AA affiliated credit card.

Originally Posted by PaperGlider View Post
7. +Guaranteed AA First with just 25K miles (and presumably the AA F lounge)
No. AA flies three class planes on that route. You're in business if you cash in 25 AS miles (F is not available as an AS redemption on that route), as was stated in that post. Not first. J Lounge access is the Flagship Lounge at JFK.

Originally Posted by PaperGlider View Post
8. + smaller plane on AA so fewer people.
No. It's an A321 so not a smaller plane, it's a less dense plane with just over 70 coach seats and a ton of premium seats.

You do get built in IFE at every seat, unlike AS (unless you get a pmVX plane that hasn't been reburbished to AS standard).

Originally Posted by ashill View Post
If $99 is worth more to you than 12.5k AS miles, pay the 12.5k AS miles (though $0.007/mile -- really $0.006 when you factor in the $19 in fees -- is a pretty crummy return without even factoring in the ≈3900 miles you'd earn by paying for the AS flight as an MVP; you can do just as well ordering magazine subscriptions).
Oh yeah... except that route is double RDM right now.

So you're basically forfeiting almost 19,000 AS miles (miles on a redemption + the 250% flown miles you would earn on that $99 fare) for $80 (since you have to pay $19 for partner fee and segment tax anyways), so less than half a penny (about 0.42 cents per mile). Okeydoke. If you're so hard up for cash that $80 is that important, I guess it is.
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Last edited by eponymous_coward; Dec 4, 19 at 12:32 pm
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Old Dec 4, 19, 1:54 pm
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Originally Posted by PaperGlider View Post
a point of reference, the cash price for the AS flight is showing at $99 . I know many would suggest paying the $99 but THE question here is what does someone lose/gain by choosing the AA award flight?
If you book AS - you lose $360* worth of AS miles for a $99 ticket and you gain 20k less miles in your bank.
If you book AA - you lose $225* worth of AS miles for a $99 ticket and you gain 12.5k less miles in your bank.

So the question is: Are you trying to minimize your savings or maximize your losses? That'll determine which one to pick.

*thats just going by TPG's valuation of $0.018 per mile
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Old Dec 4, 19, 1:58 pm
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Originally Posted by nearlysober View Post
*thats just going by TPG's valuation of $0.018 per mile
Which is of course only relevant if you can actually get that value. I certainly wouldn't redeem 12.5k (or 20k) miles for a $99 ticket, but that's always an individual decision. These days with AS miles, I'm afraid I'm willing to redeem at $0.015 or even a bit less, as I've been very unsuccessful in using AS (or any other) miles for flights I actually want to take. But I wouldn't go close to burning at $0.006/mile.
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