Thinking of Switching to AA

 
Old Mar 27, 02, 6:38 pm
  #1  
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Thinking of Switching to AA

I am a CO Gold (equivalent to AA Plat) and I a considering jumping to AA. Thus, I have a few questions:

This business of 3-class airplains being sold as 2-class planes on the EWR-LAX route sounds great! Can you reserve a J seat at the time of ticketing, and if so, is this usually difficult to do? Also, are these seats held for elites?

Do they always insist that you take the Plat Challenge, or can they be convinced to comp simply based on your status on another airline? Also, if I were to enroll in the Plat Challenge as someone with the equivalent level on CO, would they give me elite treatment during the time I was completing the challenge?

I have heard only good things about the international upgrade policies. Do they have any hidden disadvantages? I know that even the most discounted published fares are upgrade-eligible. Are they generally available, and if not, can you wait-list for them?

Finally, how does the partnership with BA work? I know you can't get credit on BA transatlantics, but do they have codeshares on BA from LHR to other European destinations? If so, are these only destinations to which AA doesn't fly itself?

With MRTC, what is the seat pitch?

Thanks a whole lot for help regarding any of my questions. Also, if there's anything else you might advise someone who's thinking of switching to AA, don't hesitate to mention it.
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Old Mar 27, 02, 9:04 pm
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with regard to your inquiry regarding getting comped to Platinum - I am a UA Premier Executive (which means zero on UA) (another topic). I tried going through Advantage and all I got was their Fold level @ 25%. I called AA customer relations and explained what i was after and was put on hold. A young lady pcked up the line from Advantage and comped me Plat on the spot. All in the tone and attitude I guess.
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Old Mar 28, 02, 1:04 am
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All BA flights except those to North America earn status miles on AA as part of OW alliance. MRTC is an extra inch to two inches in pitch.

If they force you to take challenge you don't get elite benefits until you succeed in the challenge

Cannot comment on three class sold as two or upgrades (the word upgrade is not in my dictionary) although with the latter I rarely read about upgrade failures on this board.

Do please come over to AA. My experience is that you will not regret it.
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Old Mar 28, 02, 8:51 am
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I travel a 3 class plane sold as 2 classes on the ORD-SFO route every week. I purchase my ticket one week in advance and never have any trouble reserving one of the "enhanced" coach seats at the time of purchasing my ticket. It is my understanding that these seats are held for gold/plat/exp passengers only. I can't speak for the EWR-LAX route, but I suggest you just check the seat map on the web 10 days out, 5 days out, and 3 days out. Do this for one or two weeks and you'll get a good feel for the availability at each point in tim.
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Old Mar 28, 02, 9:16 am
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Of the 3 daily EWR-LAX flights, only the first one out (AA43 at 8:15AM) is the 3 class 767 sold as 2. The other two flights are 2 class 757's. The "J" seats on the AM flight can be pre-reserved by elites. If there are any left at check in I don't think it would be a problem to nab one.

Flip
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Old Mar 28, 02, 9:42 am
  #6  
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Kovich:
All BA flights except those to North America earn status miles on AA as part of OW alliance. MRTC is an extra inch to two inches in pitch.

[snip]

Do please come over to AA. My experience is that you will not regret it.
</font>
Actually, it's more like another three on average. The exact amount varies because they couldn't take out fractions of a row or move the exit doors.

I agree totally with the last part.
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Old Mar 28, 02, 9:47 am
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Is there an LAX-ORD or LAX-BOS or LAX-JFK that has the 3-class sold as 2?

BTW, the AA Intl upgrade system really sucks for Platinum members who book less than 3 weeks before the flight. You have to pay $50 to $75 for each upgrade since they classify that as "last-minute". I don't know any other airline that has that fee. United certainly doesn't.
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Old Mar 28, 02, 10:13 am
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">
BTW, the AA Intl upgrade system really sucks for Platinum members who book less than 3 weeks before the flight. You have to pay $50 to $75 for each upgrade since they classify that as "last-minute". I don't know any other airline that has that fee. United certainly doesn't.[/B]</font>
While I agree that expedite fees are anachronistic in the computer age, the way around this (I think) is to claim upgrade certificates in advance, assuming that you're going to use them within a year. Even if you don't, I believe that the redeposit fee is $50, right? A bit of a hassle, I know, but a "legal" way around the fee, I think?

Plus, there's the whole issue of upgrade policies in general, and restrictions on upgradable fares ("sucks" is in the eye of the beholder). Since the original poster is switching over from CO (land of the HoKeY fare), this is one recent example:

I used an expiring CO ticket toward a ticket to Europe in May- total fare ~$578. Called to see what the upgradable fare was- &gt;$1200! So, the way I understand it was that I could pay the difference in fare and the miles to upgrade (if upgrade space was available). Or theres a new system where I could waitlist my ticket and commit to paying $300 each way if I was lucky enough to be deemed worthy of an upgrade.

Contrast that with AA- buy a ticket (even a webfare) upgrade it or waitlist and go from there. Request your certificate if you have to, or use a VIPOW. IMHO, an altogether better process.

I'll stick with AA. In fact, I'm thinking about switching the trip above over to AA!
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Old Mar 28, 02, 10:22 am
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aparsuites:

Without getting too long winded about MRTC, just remember these rules of thumb:

On AA 737s or 757s (forget about TWA's 757s for now), the seat pitch is best ahead of the overwing exits.

On AA MD-80s (forget about TWA's 80s for now), the seat pitch is best behind the overwing exits.

On AA 767s, MRTC is fairly evenly divided.

Of course, exit rows are still better.

Check out aa.com for specifics about seat pitch.

Don't get too fixated on the 767s that are sold as two class; they are really nice (and I often fly on the ORD-LAX and ORD-SFO two class 767s) but they only comprise about a dozen flights a day out of thousands.

Unless you design all your travel around them, odds are they won't always be going where you are going, when you are going. I say this to help prevent real disappointment on your part if you switch to AA expecting to sit in these J seats but find yourself more often having to upgrade on three class flights to get to the J seats.

And be forewarned: STL service still leaves a lot to be desired. Stick to the other hubs until AA makes the service identical to other AA service.


[This message has been edited by FWAAA (edited 03-28-2002).]
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Old Mar 28, 02, 10:54 am
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I agree about keeping a few international upgrade certs on hand so as to avoid paying the $75. I think it's abject nonsense to say AA's International upgrade policy "sucks" simply because of a $75 service charge.

On CO the "service charge" to upgrade a low, International fare is between $600 and $800! Think I'm exaggerating for some reason? See: http://onepass.continental.com/news.htm#bfirst

I'll pay the $75 in a pinch, thank you.
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Old Mar 28, 02, 10:54 am
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by FWAAA:
aparsuites:

Without getting too long winded about MRTC, just remember these rules of thumb:

On AA MD-80s (forget about TWA's 80s for now), the seat pitch is best behind the overwing exits.
</font>
At the cost of getting your ears blasted by the rear-engines. Watch-out.

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Old Mar 28, 02, 12:45 pm
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With regard to MRTC, the minimum seat pitch in Coach on AA is now 34". Some seats have 35" or as much as 36". The very best coach seats, IMHO, are 31ABHJ on B777-200ER's. They're mid-cabin exit row seats, just behind the wing, and have about 70" of leg room. My absolute favourites!
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Old Mar 28, 02, 12:52 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by 777Brit:
With regard to MRTC, the minimum seat pitch in Coach on AA is now 34". Some seats have 35" or as much as 36". The very best coach seats, IMHO, are 31ABHJ on B777-200ER's. They're mid-cabin exit row seats, just behind the wing, and have about 70" of leg room. My absolute favourites!</font>
I like row 31, except when the flight is fairly empty. Then it's better to find an empty row to stretch out. The armrests on these unlimited-legroom seats don't come up because they have the swing-up LCD monitors.
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Old Mar 28, 02, 1:02 pm
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I would assume the 3-class 767s sold as 2-class (which I often enjoy ORD-LAX) is not an ideal condition for AA, and it must be on their list of conditions to work out of the system as soon as they can align more appropriate equipment with demand. If it's a temporary situation, you may not want to make long-term plans around it.
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Old Mar 28, 02, 1:03 pm
  #15  
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by abigail:
At the cost of getting your ears blasted by the rear-engines. Watch-out.

</font>
Never sit back there without your BOSE noise canceling headphones.

Actually, Rows 22 and 23 (directly aft of the exits) aren't anywhere near as loud as the last couple of rows.
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