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Long-time EXPs: Are you flying AA less because of DEQM & UA status giveaways?

View Poll Results: AA EXPs: flying AA more, less or the same because of DEQM and UA status giveaways?
I'm flying AA about the same
43
55.13%
I'm flying AA less but more on AA or oneworld partners
5
6.41%
I'm flying AA less but more on non-partner airlines / alliances
3
3.85%
I'm flying AA itself more this year
15
19.23%
I'm flying less this year overall
12
15.38%
Voters: 78. You may not vote on this poll

Long-time EXPs: Are you flying AA less because of DEQM & UA status giveaways?

 
Old Jul 4, 12, 10:57 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Oct 2002
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Long-time EXPs: Are you flying AA less because of DEQM & UA status giveaways?

I've been EXP since 2004 and this year I'll requalify w/ 100k EQM on the dot and perhaps 55k EQP - the lowest ever. Part of it has to do with the DBEQM promos - I racked up about 45k EQM in January, and then gained 4k EQM I wasn't even expecting (and wouldn't have missed) from BOS-DFW flights.

In previous years I would have flown up to 120 EQM and up to 110k EQP. However this year I'm not inclined to fly any more than the 100k EQM necessary to requalify because:

1) It seems upgrades are harder to come by
2) While it may make good business sense to AA to give away status to UA flyers, I'm kind of annoyed and feel my loyalty is less valued
3) If AA were to allow EQM to garner extra EVIPs/miles I might be tempted to fly them more
4) Service can be quite variable, and I'd rather sit out any labor issues
5) Rather than flying on revenue, I'm burning down about 400k of my 700k miles given bankruptcy and questions about mergers, etc...

So what does this mean to AA? Well maybe instead of going to LAX or the Caribbean for the weekend I'll stay on the East Coast. I'd estimate maybe this decrease in discretionary flying on my part will cost AA $3-4k in revenue. On an individual level this won't impact AA's finances, but I am wondering to what extent this might reflect changes other long-time EXPs are making to their flying patterns this year.

The upside for me is that I've got 5 expiring 2012 EVIPs to blow between 1/1/13-2/28/13 for that requalifying year.
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Old Jul 4, 12, 11:16 pm
  #2  
brp
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I'm flying AA because we're 100% on upgrades the past two years and I couldn't give a damn about DEQM promotions, UA giveaways or the myriad other whiny reasons that have come up in the past few months, including this repetitive thread. That's why.

Cheers.
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Old Jul 4, 12, 11:24 pm
  #3  
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Originally Posted by Allusha View Post
On an individual level this won't impact AA's finances, but I am wondering to what extent this might reflect changes other long-time EXPs are making to their flying patterns this year.
As an 11 year EXP I'm not reducing any travel on AA, and, in fact, I'm increasing AA travel this year. I generally don't do a lot of paid travel in the summer, though I do have award tickets coming up to the Olympics. The bulk of my paid travel falls January-May and September-December when fares are more to my liking.

I've walked away entirely from UA after they devalued 1MM, and I expect to hit around 200K EQM on AA before the year is out. Those miles that would have gone to UA are now being moved to AA. I'd guess about 50K of that 200K will come from DEQM as I did requalify on February 1 (earliest I've requalified before was May). I'm already past 150K.

I haven't seen the lack of upgrades you have. Cleared another 4 to/from Omaha in the last two weeks, including getting the last F seat yesterday at noon DFW-SFO (flight was F2 last I checked and F1 morning of departure). I was #1 on the list. I might do better clearing as I can book a few weeks out.

Just haven't seen a reason to decrease my flying at this point.

I did have 800K in account with UA when they filed for bankruptcy in 2002 and went into accelerated burning mode then (flew relatives to Maui and Australia and I burned double miles for a domestic award). I was scared back then of how UA would be impacted, but with 10 years behind their filing I know not to be worried about AA miles. There actually seems to be some positive movement on the labor front in the last week (pilots voting, flight attendants going back to the table), that the labor issues could be resolved in a few weeks.
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Old Jul 4, 12, 11:26 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: ORD
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Folks always complain when promotions are run, an usually actually makes little material difference beyond a few months. AA was is in BK and lost customers from that and saw UA's integration issues. In the end it probably about balances out.


In the end, the folks who bring in the money that matter will choose based on corporate contracts, schedule, and frequency in a given market more then anything. That has not changed and wont.
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Old Jul 4, 12, 11:41 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
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Am I traveling less because of a perceived devaluation of EXP? No. That would be silly.

Do I perceive a devaluation of EXP? Not really. Upgrades are about the same. A few missed so far this year, but they were all the usual suspects (2 DFW-AUS on busy evenings and one DFW-SFO). I am waitlisted for C upgrades for self and spouse to Europe in early September. If those fail I might start thinking EXP is not so hot. But so far, the EXP line still answers quickly and the service remains good. "Expanded" award availability for EXPs seems to be a myth, but I have never experienced otherwise.

However, with trips already booked I have requalified for EXP this year, so I am opting to divert some remaining 2012 travel to DL to requalify for Platinum, at least when the price is similar and the route makes sense (not AUS-DFW, for example). I do prefer AA's F service.

Finally, I haven't seen the labor issues manifest themselves in the front-line service, for which I am grateful. I went through the ups and downs with NW and their years of labor/bankruptcy/merger issues, and I haven't seen anything like that at AA.
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Old Jul 4, 12, 11:54 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
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I haven't noticed a reduction in upgrades so much, although more of them seem to be clearing the same day. I have noticed a significant reduction in AA metal US-Europe MilesAAver availability (including the "expanded EXP availability"), however I don't know if it's because of DEQM/UA status matching or just because of capacity reductions, more aggressive seat controls, etc. I'm guessing it's probably not all these new EXP-lites taking all the expanded EXP availability slots, but I suppose you never know.
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Old Jul 5, 12, 12:15 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
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I could care less about what the rest does or doesn't do in order to get to EXP (DEQM, status match, etc)

All my SWUs and domestic upgrades have cleared before departure date.
EXP desk is as efficient as usual.
I have redeemed ~210k miles on saver awards for travel this year on a mix of AA and OW partners for myself and relatives (some itineraries required some legwork on my part, but that's always been the case).

So far I am very satisfied with the EXP program this year.

Also, I was status-matched to UA Premier Gold (corporate match). I have yet to try the program though. LOL. Which means I have been trying to fly AA whenever possible.

So no, I am not trying to fly less AA. I have not noticed any devaluation of the EXP program.

Last edited by carlosdca; Jul 5, 12 at 12:22 am
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Old Jul 5, 12, 12:29 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Berlin
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annoyed about the status matches but otherwise 100% on upgrades, including eVIP's on the LHR-LAX route which is no easy upgrade these days.

grass is always greener, I hear nothing but complaints from my UA and DL loyalists out there....wonder if there is really better than EXP no matter the issues today
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Old Jul 5, 12, 12:47 am
  #9  
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Originally Posted by carlosdca View Post
I could care less about what the rest does or doesn't do in order to get to EXP (DEQM, status match, etc).
I am the exact opposite of you - I could not care less about what the rest does or does not do in order to get EXP (DEQM, status match, etc).

To the OP's question - no, I have not changed my behavior one iota. I will requalify again this year, and so will Mrs. gemac. Fourth year in a row for both of us. When we change, it will be because circumstances in our lives have changed, not because of what we perceive as very minor changes in the AA program.
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Old Jul 5, 12, 12:52 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
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I must be the exception to the rule. I'm *not* 100% on upgrades this year, and the ones that haven't cleared have been JFK-LAX (or LAX-JFK). And they stopped clearing right around the same time as the status match. And that's the route that I travel most.

For me, the upgrade matters most because I need the leg room. Once AA has a premium economy product in place, I'll be fine if my upgrades don't clear at 100%. Until then, better seat pitch on other airlines is almost (almost) enough to entice me to move at least some of my business to another airline after I re-qualify.
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Old Jul 5, 12, 12:52 am
  #11  
 
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Originally Posted by Allusha View Post
In previous years I would have flown up to 120 EQM and up to 110k EQP. However this year I'm not inclined to fly any more than the 100k EQM necessary to requalify because:
Funny, I see this statement made all the time by people who are grievously offended that AA hasn't offered them extra SWUs at 117.3 EQM or some such.

If you're going to take umbrage, put your money where your mouth is. "I'm going to give AA 17% less business this year" is pretty weak.
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Old Jul 5, 12, 3:41 am
  #12  
 
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Originally Posted by brp View Post
I'm flying AA because we're 100% on upgrades the past two years and I couldn't give a damn about DEQM promotions, UA giveaways or the myriad other whiny reasons that have come up in the past few months, including this repetitive thread. That's why.
+1 only make that 3 years of 100% on upgrades for me

I think my next flight from JFK to DFW will be the first one that my upgrade won't clear and that is my fault for booking onto a flight showing F1 at the time.

Why punish myself by flying on some other airline where I'm not a top tier elite?

I get the status then I use it, can't see any point in getting status then not enjoying the benefits.
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Old Jul 5, 12, 4:45 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
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Re-qual'd to EXP by Feb 3 this year---fastest ever, unquestionably due to DEQM. I only had 47k in points. Usually I'm way up past 125K points---last year got the 4 EVIP's as my elected goodie for that level. But.....there's nothing more I can get after that on AA. So, I put the brakes on AA flying and designed most travel after Feb on UA.

I'm already at 150K UA eqp's and will easily get to 200K. I can keep piling up SWU's and regionals on UA the more flying I do, and without limits such as AA has. With the places I fly, I can generally pick either UA or AA. I must say, I'd be flying AA more into the 200K+ range if there were continuing benefits past 125 eqp. But, then, I've said that one before. UA has a better benefit design for 150k+ flyers than AA, IMHO.
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Old Jul 5, 12, 5:15 am
  #14  
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No, I'm not.
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Old Jul 5, 12, 5:50 am
  #15  
 
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Not us.

Our flying pattern has not changed due to promotions, giveaways, etc. We have not seen any decline in our upgrades, the ones that have been missed where to be expected, ORD-DFW during the DEQM period. I'm not thrilled about the extra 8 SWU that UA flyers are getting (16 total) while we do our regular flying but in the end I figure it all balances out.

We've all come to AA and participated in some sort of promotion or accelerated status and have benefited from it. The key part here for all the newly minted EXP that achieved their status via DEQM early this year, or UA status match is what are they going to do the following year to maintain their status. Some of them will stay an become loyal to AA while others will jump ship due to some issue, upgrades not cleared, irrops, bk, bad attitude FA, etc. I'm sure that if DL or UA where to offer some sort of status match to AA flyers there will be some in this board that will jump at the opportunity. It all evens out.

This was indeed a great marketing campaign on AA parts to "increase" its customer base in the hope that some will stay. One chose an airline based on whether it offers the service and destination you go to often. Not because it has a pretty plane, the FA are cute, type of drinks/coffee served, etc. 6 months down the line we are going to be complaining about something else.

Did AA, UA, CO, US offered status match when DL/NW merged? I don't think so. I wonder why?
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