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[Speculation] Alaska Mileage Plan Future?

[Speculation] Alaska Mileage Plan Future?

Old Jul 26, 22, 4:01 pm
  #31  
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
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Originally Posted by TRAVEL4SCUBA View Post
Well, they are exactly that, confirmed. By the time the window opens, there may be no seats left. If I am flying 6.5 hours to Hawaii or Costa Rica would rather be confirmed than "hope" seats are available.I am seeing almost every flight going out of LAX and SAN with first FULL. long before the window opens. So if the opportunity arises, I grab them.
In my experience U is not available in advance on those flights. AS (and every airline, really) is able to predict loads with reasonable accuracy. They make U available when they don't think they will be able to sell the first class ticket. Which means that when the window opens, upgrades are going to be complimentary if your status is high enough. Which means that your upfare was just money down the drain.

Of course this is not 100% but then again neither is your confirmed upgrade.
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Old Jul 26, 22, 6:36 pm
  #32  
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Originally Posted by VegasGambler View Post
In my experience U is not available in advance on those flights. AS (and every airline, really) is able to predict loads with reasonable accuracy. They make U available when they don't think they will be able to sell the first class ticket. Which means that when the window opens, upgrades are going to be complimentary if your status is high enough. Which means that your upfare was just money down the drain.

Of course this is not 100% but then again neither is your confirmed upgrade.
In the last 12 months I have booked SAN - KON using U space and just booked LAX to OGG using U space. Prior to lockdowns I also used U space to book SAN to KON and SAN to JFK. I can be flexible so they seem to work for me. As I stated in previous post, 2 round trip[ tickets confirmed first from LAX to OGG in Sept for low $600 with companion fare. Essentially 300 bucks per ticket for confirmed first .... seems like a great deal to me !

I have NEVER found space on SAN to Lihue.
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Old Jul 26, 22, 6:58 pm
  #33  
 
Join Date: May 2006
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Originally Posted by eponymous_coward View Post
Also, theres a shoe to drop for AA, a change to Delta-style elimination of award charts. Sure, youre earning EP but you might not enjoy paying 250,000 for one way flights in business class to Europe.
That already happened for awards on AA metal. Sure you'll find the regular price on BA, but you're also going to pay $750 in "surcharges", which is the same as using miles at AS or BA.
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Old Jul 26, 22, 7:17 pm
  #34  
 
Join Date: May 2012
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Originally Posted by VegasGambler View Post
In my experience U is not available in advance on those flights. AS (and every airline, really) is able to predict loads with reasonable accuracy. They make U available when they don't think they will be able to sell the first class ticket. Which means that when the window opens, upgrades are going to be complimentary if your status is high enough. Which means that your upfare was just money down the drain.

Of course this is not 100% but then again neither is your confirmed upgrade.
In my experience and on my routes (mostly HNL-West Coast), there's a lot of difference between "upgrades are going to be complimentary if your status is high enough" and "I'm going to get upgraded." GGUs and advance upgrade fares are useful for ensuring the latter. Through GGUs and advance upgrade fares, and with a bit of flexibility, AS is very often willing to sell me a confirmed first class seat, often with a companion, at a cost somewhere between the lowest available fare and the first class fare. That's worth quite a bit to me; YMMV.
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Old Jul 26, 22, 8:31 pm
  #35  
 
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Originally Posted by WrightHI View Post
In my experience and on my routes (mostly HNL-West Coast), there's a lot of difference between "upgrades are going to be complimentary if your status is high enough" and "I'm going to get upgraded." GGUs and advance upgrade fares are useful for ensuring the latter. Through GGUs and advance upgrade fares, and with a bit of flexibility, AS is very often willing to sell me a confirmed first class seat, often with a companion, at a cost somewhere between the lowest available fare and the first class fare. That's worth quite a bit to me; YMMV.
I'm sure that things have changed but I've been upgraded on all but one of my flights between Hawaii and the west coast on AS. And the one that I missed was as a MVP, I was last on the list, and everyone cleared except me. This was all pre-covid; I get that loads are higher now.

Also, FWIW, I would probably not pay more than $100 to upgrade to a recliner on any airline. F just isn't that good. I would rather just pay the cheap economy fare and take my chances with the comp upgrade.

I don't understand how people can honestly compare upgrading to domestic F in a recliner for a 5hr flight to upgrading to a lie-flat for an 11-14 hour flight. The two are just not in the same ballpark.
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Old Jul 26, 22, 9:58 pm
  #36  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
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I was able to use 3 GGUs on SFO-BOS-SFO-BOS back in March. The last SFO-BOS was booked 4+ months in advance with U space open at booking, but the first SFO-BOS-SFO were booked less than a month out also with U space open at booking. On the BOS-SFO sector in particular, the flight was completely full and the waitlist went down to 13, with practically nobody getting upgraded.
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Old Jul 26, 22, 10:02 pm
  #37  
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
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Originally Posted by doubleA View Post
You could just stop writing right here and know that they won't miss your BIS. Sorry.

You could say there's something out there for lifetime customer value because you'll be loyal in the future, but truth be told, you and the airline in 5 years when you're "more settled in your career" are going to do exactly what the business dictates. Today wasn't different, it's just new.
I don't disagree. The point I was trying to make is that AS is the last remaining airline where I have a shot of achieving status without being a big spender. That is, I have been making MVP Gold with ~$4500 of fare-based spend per year (factoring in travel between home and university as well as travel with family) versus the required $6000+ of every other US domestic airline for a similar status tier. (AA's loyalty points scheme is not helpful for me, even if flight spend is deemphasized, since by far the biggest expenses on my card are from flights). Once AS factors spend beyond fare class in, there is no ability for me to chase status on any airline due to spend requirements.
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Old Jul 27, 22, 10:54 am
  #38  
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: PDX, OGG or between the two
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Originally Posted by VegasGambler View Post
In my experience U is not available in advance on those flights. AS (and every airline, really) is able to predict loads with reasonable accuracy. They make U available when they don't think they will be able to sell the first class ticket. Which means that when the window opens, upgrades are going to be complimentary if your status is high enough. Which means that your upfare was just money down the drain.

Of course this is not 100% but then again neither is your confirmed upgrade.
I'm west coast to Hawaii (and back) 1-2X per month and this is my exact experience. Paying up to use a GGU is just throwing money away 90%+ of the time. In order for a fare to be upgradable, FC has to have A LOT of space really close to take-of in which case you'd get the upgrade anyway as long as you have decent status.

Loads are high right now but in watching the way the seats sell, the bulk of the people are vacationers without status. As a 100K often making pretty last-minute plans I've been at the top of every upgrade list as far back as I can remember. Meaning, any other 100K would likely be above me unless they made even later plans than me.

The only real fear is some trust fund kid and his buddies deciding last minute to fly to Hawaii and paying full fare for the remaining FC seats at the last minute. That has happened to me before but not for a while.
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Old Jul 29, 22, 8:16 am
  #39  
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Originally Posted by JetAirways77W View Post
I don't disagree. The point I was trying to make is that AS is the last remaining airline where I have a shot of achieving status without being a big spender. That is, I have been making MVP Gold with ~$4500 of fare-based spend per year (factoring in travel between home and university as well as travel with family) versus the required $6000+ of every other US domestic airline for a similar status tier. (AA's loyalty points scheme is not helpful for me, even if flight spend is deemphasized, since by far the biggest expenses on my card are from flights). Once AS factors spend beyond fare class in, there is no ability for me to chase status on any airline due to spend requirements.
I feel its just a matter of time before the rev spend is factored in. What all these airlines are chasing is profitable revenue. As someone only spending about $4,500 a year, you're not that profitable to an airline. They are focusing on their most profitable customers, kinda like me. I fly a lot of short hops in the west, very often bought at that last minute. Last year I bought about $19K in tickets on Alaska alone due to last minute purchases. I would only be a Gold based on the mileage. So who does the airline want to "reward" more ?

I think the writing is on the wall, but who knows anymore. The one thing I am certain of are the Airlines are chasing profit and keeping highest spenders in their eco system seems to be the focus.
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Old Jul 29, 22, 10:16 am
  #40  
 
Join Date: Aug 2019
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Originally Posted by WrightHI View Post
IMO now is not the time to be planning next years qualification strategy (2023 qualification for 2024 status). There are too many uncertainties. AS has announced new credit card bennies for later this year, which may be a nothingburger or may have some impact on qualification strategy.
i think I missed this, or it was so inconsequential that I forgot it. what changes are they making?
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Old Jul 29, 22, 10:29 am
  #41  
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Originally Posted by cpworld View Post
i think I missed this, or it was so inconsequential that I forgot it. what changes are they making?
no one knows

Alaska and BoA Renew Co-Brand Credit Card Agreement
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Old Jul 29, 22, 10:36 am
  #42  
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Originally Posted by skunker View Post
That already happened for awards on AA metal. Sure you'll find the regular price on BA, but you're also going to pay $750 in "surcharges", which is the same as using miles at AS or BA.
AA has more partners than BA.

Originally Posted by TRAVEL4SCUBA View Post
The one thing I am certain of are the Airlines are chasing profit and keeping highest spenders in their eco system seems to be the focus.
The thing is, are you rewarding people who would be buying your stuff anyway when you switch to being a revenue-based rewards and spending loyalty program just like everyone else, or is a loyalty program meant to incentivize marginal purchasers who will be steered to your product because of other things you offer, like a generous loyalty program?

AS is, to put it mildly, never going to win over DL/AA/UA/WN for being able to get you everywhere on their metal. They explicitly disclaim ever wanting to chase after premium markets. They're an LCC. So what's their unique value proposition, and why can't a good loyalty program that's fundamentally different from everyone else's be part of it?

Last edited by eponymous_coward; Jul 29, 22 at 10:45 am
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Old Jul 29, 22, 3:13 pm
  #43  
 
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Originally Posted by isaacchambers View Post
Find the carrier that works for your travel patterns.....i do find AS upgrades more plentiful......i love them a lot; great food and drinks....reasonably ontime these days compared to everyone else....i love the lounge over others.....

I am really curious at the "additional 100k benefits" later in 2022 for 2023 benefit year......im booked to 82k EQM right now....is it worth the push to 100k....
I'm in a similar boat. MVP 100K here. I'm at a 107K EQMs for the year with another 60k or more EQMs crediting on AS later this year. I'm based in SEA, but most of my flight are medium to long-haul (Hawaii/East Coast on AS) or to Europe/Asia in BA in paid J/F.

My problem is the minimum segments on AS marketed and operated flights. I'm at 13 segments and will probably only hit 17 AS segments this year!! So, do I do two roundtrips (with connections) to keep 100k? Or is MPV 75K enough? The only reason I want 100k is the upgrade priority on AS.... Overall, I've had great upgrade success on AS as a 100k.

I'm really not a fan of the 24 segment minimum on AS. I think that 15 should be enough for their 100k status - seriously sucks for people like me. Maybe I should just switch to BA as my FF program - then I could at least use the lounges domestically, but no more free AS upgrades.

Last edited by AinthePNW; Jul 29, 22 at 3:17 pm Reason: Quote
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Old Jul 29, 22, 4:28 pm
  #44  
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Originally Posted by AinthePNW View Post
Maybe I should just switch to BA as my FF program - then I could at least use the lounges domestically, but no more free AS upgrades.
A $350-450 value. How much do you value the upgrades you expect?
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Old Jul 29, 22, 4:42 pm
  #45  
 
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Originally Posted by notquiteaff View Post
A $350-450 value. How much do you value the upgrades you expect?
Point taken. Plus, Im already an AS Lounge member. Upgrades are probably worth a few thousand dollars per year, at a minimum. When on AS metal typically with my spouse, so two upgrades . Most of my upgrades have cleared as a 100k and Im comfortable buying Main on AS because of my prior upgrade success. I guess a (segment) mileage run is in my future, if I dont get to the 24 segments this year.
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