Other Programs Devalue but AA Stays the Course?

 
Old Jul 28, 01, 7:07 pm
  #1  
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Other Programs Devalue but AA Stays the Course?


What do you think? DL, CO, etc. have been reducing benefits, overall: e.g., international upgrades, etc. AA seems to maintain a high level program in more respects, and is on the move with AolAadvantage, etc....even adding benefits. Do you think?

Certainly there are points for improvements, but when it comes to the best valued domestic 48 award ticket (stopover, no Sat. stay, etc), international upgrades, international award travel, systemwide upgrade for top tier flyers, MRTC (outside of AAdvantage), etc...looking better and better, AA.

Speaking largely as a CO flyer, I save my AA miles religiously--some great value here.

So where do you think AAdvantage is moving relative to other programs?

JL2
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Old Jul 28, 01, 7:19 pm
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Well, there are always some differences between programs. As an example, the UA R/T Europe award in coach is 50K year round, whereas AA has an off-peak option for 40K, but the peak award requires 60K. Also, still speaking of Europe, AA requires 90K for Biz class, whereas most other airlines offer this award at 80K. DL econ to Hawai'i is 30K, AA is 35K, etc. etc. You get my drift. As far as devaluation goes, there has been a very significant example of that when, at the beginning of the year, AA discountinued the fabulous VIP2's (no capacity-control systemwide upgrades) and introduced their inferior, capacity-controlled substitute, the VIPOW. However, even with these comparisons, I agree with you that AAdvantage is a great program, and I hope it will continue as good as it is now, or even improve (sure, there are areas where there could be improvement, e.g., the expedite fees for e-tix or upgrades).
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Old Jul 28, 01, 9:43 pm
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Honu --

AA is miles-wise the most expensive program overall among the US carrires. Domestic UG on UA is 20k RT, while AA wants 30k.

However, as far as I know, AA is the only carrier to *add* a benefit in the last year. They made domestic Y/B fares a comp-upgrade for EXP's. Of course, that just helps make up for the lack of the UA HK49 certs.
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Old Jul 29, 01, 12:26 am
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honu:

Had totally forgotten about the VIP2 devaluation. Yep. That mitigates my theory a bit.

JL2
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Old Jul 29, 01, 1:35 am
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So for the people who have used VIP2's vs VIPOW's. For international travel, what is the percentage difference of receiving upgrades between the two?

Is it 100% vs. 50% now or what?

Also, is there any way to upgrade to first on a purchased coach ticket or do you have to cash in miles for the whole thing or purchase a business class ticket? Alfred--
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Old Jul 29, 01, 7:24 pm
  #6  
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I'm close to a 100 percent success rate on VIPOWs. (I think there was one flight where the upgrade didn't clear.) I've often been waitlisted until the last minute, though.

If you mean upgrading from coach to first on a three-class aircraft, there's no such award or certificate. It happened to me once: VIPOW from coach to business, followed by an operational upgrade to first because the flight was oversold and they rolled people all the way forward. Other than that, which is rare and hard to plan for, it's $$ (or their equivalent in other currencies), and lots of them.
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