Rate American AAdvantage

 
Old Nov 20, 09, 3:52 pm
  #31  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Duluth, GA
Programs: AAdvantage PLT, AA 2MM, Marriott Gold
Posts: 2,268
Originally Posted by dw210 View Post
B+ I wish PLT could upgrade TATL or TPAC without using miles.
PLT can upgrade TATL and TPAC w/o miles using SWU's earned at 2MM, 3MM, etc.
benzguy80 is offline  
Old Nov 20, 09, 7:08 pm
  #32  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: NY
Programs: AA Plat 1MM, IC RA, HH Gold
Posts: 2,780
B+

Pros: Definitely the best program among US airlines, especially in controlling free upgrades (limited to EXP), amount of available seats for upgrades and allowing upgrades from virtually all fare classes; never had issues redeeming miles; 100% bonus miles for Platinums; all miles count towards MM status.

Cons: Upgrade co-pays; inability to book mileage upgrades online; inability to view award availability on partner airlines; paid cash upgrades at the airport which diminish the Business Class/First Class experience; elimination of stop-overs on award tickets.
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Old Nov 20, 09, 7:38 pm
  #33  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: MSY; 2-time FT Fantasy Football Champ, now in recovery.
Programs: AA lifetime GLD; UA Silver; Marriott LTTE; IHG Plat,
Posts: 13,486
My view, as a GLD who mostly flies domestic.

Pluses:
- Award availability is very good.
- Losing the stopover hurts, but overall, I like the change to the one-way award system.
- "Soft" benefits even at GLD level are useful (reserve exit row in advance for free; group 1 boarding; priority on standby).

Minuses:
- Expedite fees for <21 day booking. (a big pet peeve of mine)
- Upgrade award copays.

Overall grade: B+
swag is offline  
Old Nov 21, 09, 8:00 pm
  #34  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: SWO
Programs: AA 2MM LTP;Marriott Platinum
Posts: 174
A-

Pros:
100% mileage bonus for Plat/EXP
eVIP now usable on all fare classes!!
Flagship Lounge access on international flights
Customer Service (EXP line/AAngels)
Excellent domestic upgrade chances for EXP (90%+)
Free drinks/snacks for EXP on AE/mainline coach
Lifetime elite status possibilities
No checked luggage fee

Cons:
Can't book partner awards online
Can't book OneWorld awards online
No longer allow international stopovers on awards
Poor implementation of free drinks/snacks on mainline domestic (better on AE)
No FL in DFW
TATL flights switching to 757L means much less chance for upgrades and a much worse experience if left sitting in coach
TULOKCICT is offline  
Old Nov 21, 09, 10:07 pm
  #35  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Chicago
Programs: AA Exp/1M, Hilton Diamond, Starwood Pre Plat
Posts: 146
B plus. It wouldnt take much for them to be over the top, but the part that really needs to improve is the oneworld part, and I dont know if that is possible.
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Old Nov 21, 09, 11:18 pm
  #36  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Programs: AA EXP 2.5MM National EE
Posts: 298
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows 98; PalmSource/Palm-D060; Blazer/4.5) 16;320x320)

I give the program A-
There are many pluses being EXP and feeling that someone will always help me when something goes wrong. It makes my travel more bearable.
I wish they would change two things. 1) Allow some of my benefits to apply to my immediate family traveling without me. For example bag fees, UM fees and priority check in among others. When my kids fly without me they just fly whatever is cheaper! I actually feel bad sometimes when I walk by the AA counter. Almost like I'm cheating!
2) I wish we could upgrade an award ticket! I know I could use more miles but why can't I use a VIP or stickers? As EXP I don't mind waiting to see if my UG would clear.

Last edited by hotdogs; Nov 22, 09 at 2:21 am
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Old Nov 22, 09, 12:04 am
  #37  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: SFO/SJC/SQL
Posts: 1,412
A-

AAdvantage really rewards loyalty to AA.
WChou is offline  
Old Nov 22, 09, 4:41 am
  #38  
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Palm Beach/Hungary 3.9MM AA EXP, UA GOLD 1MM, DL PLT, MARR LIFE PLT
Posts: 237
B+

While I consider Gold and Platinum Status a bit lacking given co pays and paid upgrades, Executive Platinum is hands down the best top tier of any airline.

Pros
1. EVIPS for Exec Plat. (Hands down the best perk of a US airline)
2. Unlimited domestic upgrades for free for Exec Plat.
3. Enhanced award availability for Executive Platinum
4. Million Miler qualification based on miles earned v. flown
5. OneWorld award options

Cons
1. Co-pays are high for upgrades (Which is why I grade B+, not A-)
2. Gold and Platinum pay to upgrade
3. Extreme difficulty with premium cabin awards on Qantas/Cathay Pacific
4. Abundance of regional jets and 757's on long hauls discounts value of Gold, Platinum and Executive Platinum for upgrades and seating comfort.
5. No lifetime Executive Platinum
jm0754 is offline  
Old Nov 22, 09, 11:06 am
  #39  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: New York City
Programs: American Airlines EXP 1.99 MM, Marriott Plat Premier, HH Diamond, IHG Plat Ambassador, UA 1K
Posts: 231
A-

A-

I like the program and the removal of restrictions on EVIPs will hopefully work out in my favor... The only issue that I really have is the creation of a lot more EXPs due to 6 months of Double EQM.. leaving me with over 150k EQM...

I am missing more upgrades due to the flooding of EXPs.. even on tix booked 2+ months out..
gizmodell is offline  
Old Nov 23, 09, 12:33 am
  #40  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: C6 - AKL
Programs: AA-1MM
Posts: 336
I would give it a B+...it would be in the A range except for the following:

Recognition of status by one world partners of status is very poor. This may have little to do with AA, but the lack of upgrade availability on codeshare flights through miles, etc....is really bad for those elite flyers who have relocated to non-AA markets (such as AUS/NZL/HKG).

It is the best US based program, but the partner situation needs to be dealt with because I am now moving more business to *A carriers (through BD) where upgrades are available using miles.
AKLDUBFlyer is offline  
Old Nov 23, 09, 3:37 pm
  #41  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: RNO
Programs: AA Gold
Posts: 43
Originally Posted by Gamecock View Post
A-

A+ GLD/PLT Challenge. Did a PLT Challenge in December of 08. That is a great way to enter the program with status. Never having had status before, I was amazed at how nice travel can be with the right card in your pocket!
I'm also new to having status with any airline, and I have to say I also didn't realize the benefits of having the right card. I've been able to get sticker upgrades on 3 for 3 segments that I asked for, to include my companions. The customer service over the phone and in person has been great, and the priority aaccess is a great benefit.

All in all, I'll give the program an B+ only because I don't want to easily give an A, and because I think AC access should be more integrated with the FF program, not just a "discount" on the membership fee. And the AC should have a real food and alcohol available "free" as part of the membership.
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Old Nov 23, 09, 10:33 pm
  #42  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: New York, NY (USA)
Programs: hardly any
Posts: 848
On my own dime ...

I fly on my own dime, and when & where I please. In that regard, I realize that I am unlike most posters on this thread.

My sense of it is that the AAdvantage program has deteriorated due to two serious failings: the troubling lack of partners and the recent removal of the stopover privilege from award travel.

Because of these failings, I see the AAdvantage program as worth perhaps a 'C'. A few years ago I would have said an 'A'.

Many earlier posters on different threads here at FlyerTalk have said it succinctly down through the years: the frequent flyer programs are simply bribes to accept inferior service.
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Old Nov 23, 09, 10:37 pm
  #43  
brp
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: SJC
Programs: AA EXP, BA Silver, AS 75K Gold MVP, and some hotel stuff...
Posts: 32,588
Originally Posted by JohnWM View Post
I fly on my own dime, and when & where I please. In that regard, I realize that I am unlike most posters on this thread.

My sense of it is that the AAdvantage program has deteriorated due to two serious failings: the troubling lack of partners and the recent removal of the stopover privilege from award travel.

Because of these failings, I see the AAdvantage program as worth perhaps a 'C'. A few years ago I would have said an 'A'.

Many earlier posters on different threads here at FlyerTalk have said it succinctly down through the years: the frequent flyer programs are simply bribes to accept inferior service.
Interesting take. We're purely "own dime" fliers as well and I like AA because of the availability of very easy upgrades on the cheapest fares. Also, we don't do much award travel, so are not impacted by those aspects as much.

Yeah, the airline service is not as good as it used to be, but we're willing to deal with it because they make it so easy to pay little and sit in F or J.

Cheers.
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Old Nov 25, 09, 1:17 pm
  #44  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Programs: AA EXP 2.5 MM, AA Concierge Key
Posts: 320
For discount-fare patrons I give AAdvantage an A-. For full-fare and those racking up huge BIS miles per year, I give AAdvantage a B.

For the discount-fare pax, AAdvantage is an excellent program. One can upgrade the cheapest fares (sometimes as low as double digits). What more can one ask for than a first class seat for a $95 fare and a few earned 500-mile stickers? However, for the full-fare flyer and for those flying well in excess of 100k miles a year, the program needs some work.

For those in the latter category, AA should find some way of keeping their interest. For the first time in a long time AA offered rewards for those hitting the 125k mark, but there are a lot of us out there that hit that mark before the middle of the year. What incentive is there to continue on AA that year then? The CK program is nice, but not that nice, and not guaranteed to those flying 125k a year or more. I'd suggest adding something like BA's tier point system where BA Gold members (Oneworld Emerald) can earn an access card to the Concorde Room at LHR or more upgrades once they've hit the highest status one can earn (Premier is invitation only, and quite rare). Perhaps AA could offer Flagship Lounge access to those flying 150k a year more regardless of itinerary. Or at the very least, two more eVIPs for every 75 to 100k one flies, etc.
fixedwingflyer is offline  
Old Nov 25, 09, 2:20 pm
  #45  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 104
Originally Posted by fixedwingflyer View Post
I'd suggest adding something like BA's tier point system where BA Gold members (Oneworld Emerald) can earn an access card to the Concorde Room at LHR or more upgrades once they've hit the highest status one can earn (Premier is invitation only, and quite rare). Perhaps AA could offer Flagship Lounge access to those flying 150k a year more regardless of itinerary. Or at the very least, two more eVIPs for every 75 to 100k one flies, etc.
That is a great idea. I would be nice if there were some additional thresholds and rewards for FFs. Most FFs love a challenge and it would keep them coming back. You should send that to AA.
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