Thinking of switching to AA - please help

 
Old Apr 6, 02, 10:15 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Jan 1999
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Thinking of switching to AA - please help

For some reason, I've never thought I may even think about flying AA. I've never flown on AA, but because I need to start planning my international trips this year, I need to pick up one carrier along with the "alliance" so I can get all the benefits of it.

I pretty much disqualified UA and Star Alliance so it's either, AA and OneWorld (hope Swiss will join them soon) or NW alone (no CO whenever possible) with KLM and partners.

I really am confused and need some clear answers please. I know you guys can help me

Let me ask about the concerns I have with AAdvantage program, all right?

1. I'm Silver on CO so I can ask for the comp to Gold right?
2. Should I take the challenge instead? Can I get comped to Gold and then enroll in Platinum challenge so I can at least get bonuses while qualifying for Plat?
3. What are the upgradable fares on AA while flying internationally?
4. Can I upgrade with miles the flights on OneWorld partners? SWISS (later on), British, and so on?
5. Have I heard right that I won't get AA miles for BA flights from US-Europe?
6. Have I asked already too much?
7. Is AA really a good choice if living in ORD and then later on in PBI/MIA area?
8. On average, are AA's fares really competitive internationally and domestically from ORD and MIA?
9. Is it quite easy to get upgraded on international flights?
10. Is the OneWorld alliance really such a good partnership of all the participating airlines?

If I could get somebody to answer some of these questions I would really appreciate that.

It will really save me a couple days of night sleep

Thanks guys. I've searched the AA board but couldn't really find exact answers to my questions. So please forgive me If I missed it.
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Old Apr 6, 02, 10:47 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
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1 & 2: You can ask for a match, but AA is unlikely to match CO, particulary at only the silver level. Sometimes they will match a level lower and enroll you in a challenge. In your case, they will probably not match and will suggest you take a challenge.
3. Virtually all fares are upgradeable. Industry discount, consolidator and bulk fares are not.
4. Generally, no. Take a look at AA's awards on aa.com to see all of the possible awards.
5. You will not get AA miles for any BA flights across the atlantic. This includes all flights from the americas to europe, not just flights from the US.
7. It depends on what makes an airline a good choice for your. From MIA and ORD, AA has many flight options.
8. Yes, I think so.
9. It depends on the flight and when you upgrade. If you plan very early, you may get upgraded, otherwise you may have to waitlist.
10. OW is not as strong as star, but one nice thing is that you get elite bonus miles on all qualifying oneworld flights.
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Old Apr 6, 02, 10:48 pm
  #3  
 
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Damian:
Let me ask about the concerns I have with AAdvantage program, all right?

1. I'm Silver on CO so I can ask for the comp to Gold right?
2. Should I take the challenge instead? Can I get comped to Gold and then enroll in Platinum challenge so I can at least get bonuses while qualifying for Plat?
3. What are the upgradable fares on AA while flying internationally?
4. Can I upgrade with miles the flights on OneWorld partners? SWISS (later on), British, and so on?
5. Have I heard right that I won't get AA miles for BA flights from US-Europe?
6. Have I asked already too much?
7. Is AA really a good choice if living in ORD and then later on in PBI/MIA area?
8. On average, are AA's fares really competitive internationally and domestically from ORD and MIA?
9. Is it quite easy to get upgraded on international flights?
10. Is the OneWorld alliance really such a good partnership of all the participating airlines?

If I could get somebody to answer some of these questions I would really appreciate that.

It will really save me a couple days of night sleep

Thanks guys. I've searched the AA board but couldn't really find exact answers to my questions. So please forgive me If I missed it.
</font>
1. Yes
2. Comp to Gold and take the Platinum challenge. Yes.
3. All fares
4. No
5. Correct
6. No
7. Yes
8. Yes
9. The million dollar question, depends on status and availability.
10. Good but not the best IMHO
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Old Apr 6, 02, 10:58 pm
  #4  
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Thank guys, that was pretty quick and impressive

I still need to think about it but sounds like a good option. Too bad I can't upgrade on OneWorld partners

I think you can upgrade only on UA's partner LH with UA miles right?

If something comes to mind I'll post it here .. Thank guys.
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Old Apr 7, 02, 1:14 am
  #5  
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It is possible to upgrade CX flights with AA miles, but you need to be flying full fare Y or J to do so.
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Old Apr 7, 02, 9:16 am
  #6  
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When I end up to flying BA across the water, I really don't mind as the BA FF program has some nice advantages (forgive me for that). For one thing you can easily combine miles in a family account to get ticket awards faster.

AA runs a classy airline! I hope that you enjoy flying with a Fort Worth company!

I want to have one million Aa miles for Gold, and I will!!
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Old Apr 7, 02, 12:49 pm
  #7  
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9. In my experience you're unlikely to have the upgrade confirmed at time of booking but very likely to have it clear within the last few days before the flight. They just want to be statistically certain that nobody will show up who wants to pay for a front-cabin seat.
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Old Apr 8, 02, 12:24 am
  #8  
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Damian:
I think you can upgrade only on UA's partner LH with UA miles right?</font>
I am a UA flier ("rookie") and from what I read on the boards, you can upgrade only the very high fares on LH using UA miles. (Y,B fares). On UA, one can only upgrade YMBH fares using miles.

I am thinking of going to AA myself if UA does not get the SWU issue resolved. (there have been changes to the UA SWU--rules are different depending on who you talk to within UA--question is what is an internet fare? ) Please accept my apology for drifting off topic.

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Old Apr 8, 02, 10:32 am
  #9  
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Thanks Chemist, that's an info I was looking for too.

As for AA status comp. If they comp my status to Gold and then I enroll in the challange do I still need to fly 10'000 Q-points or just 5'000?

Normally I would have to get 10'000 but with the whole challange thing I don't really know.
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Old Apr 8, 02, 10:42 am
  #10  
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Damian:
As for AA status comp. If they comp my status to Gold and then I enroll in the challange do I still need to fly 10'000 Q-points or just 5'000?

Normally I would have to get 10'000 but with the whole challange thing I don't really know.
</font>
If they give you AA Gold-- and I wouldn't necessarily expect it from NW Silver-- but hopefully they will, you'd still need 10K Q-points to get AA Plat via challenge.

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Old Apr 8, 02, 10:59 am
  #11  
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Thanks JonNYC,

The more I think about switching to AA the more I like the idea. The only thing the I'm not sure about is coverage to Europe.

Either from ORD and then later MIA area, I have western Europe pretty much covered. Altough, a lot of my Europe visits will be to Poland (at least twice a year) and AA coverage is not very impressive. I have choices of BA (no miles), IB (30% of miles) and LOT Polish Airlines (I don't think so ).

At least I will be able to go to London and then get on a BA to WAW or better Krakow.

Except that there is no options as far as I can see. I hope SWISS will join OneWorld soon so that would be my top choice for int flying along with AA.

Any more info about SWISS? Will we be getting 100% miles and will we be able to get upgrades? Anyone?

One more thing. I just read in the paper that LOT is going to Star Alliane with LH next year. So, how is it going to happen If LOT is a part of SWISS Group and SWISS is going to OneWorld?

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Old Apr 9, 02, 10:26 am
  #12  
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Bump

I just spoke to AAdvantage Desk and one of its supervisors. They were so nice that I could't believe Well, why they wouldn't be, they are getting a new customer.

They wouldn't comp me to Gold, but offered a challange to Gold or PLT. Fly 5'000 Q-points for Gold and 10'000 for PLT within 3 months.

I asked when would that expire and she said in Feb 2003. I asked that, If I did the challange after the 16th of June would that extend my status until Feb 2004 and she said NO!

She told me that If I did the challange between October and December that would qualify me as Gold or PLT until 2004.

Is there any truth in this? Anyone? FewMiles?
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Old Apr 9, 02, 11:25 am
  #13  
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This is news to me, I'm in pretty much the same boat as you Damian.

If anyone can clarify the Plat challenge and when you enroll or start the challenge and when the status if good through it would be of great assistance.

<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Damian:
Bump

I just spoke to AAdvantage Desk and one of its supervisors. They were so nice that I could't believe Well, why they wouldn't be, they are getting a new customer.

They wouldn't comp me to Gold, but offered a challange to Gold or PLT. Fly 5'000 Q-points for Gold and 10'000 for PLT within 3 months.

I asked when would that expire and she said in Feb 2003. I asked that, If I did the challange after the 16th of June would that extend my status until Feb 2004 and she said NO!

She told me that If I did the challange between October and December that would qualify me as Gold or PLT until 2004.

Is there any truth in this? Anyone? FewMiles?
</font>
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Old Apr 9, 02, 1:21 pm
  #14  
 
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I can only add a tidbit which is slightly left of the main theme here.

I started my plat challenge Jan 1. By March 15th I had 34 segments. I called AA Customer Service on the phone (I was still showing up as gold on aa.com) she made me PLT on the spot.

That night, my tickets had PLT printed on them.

She said I was GLD through 2004 and would now be PLT through 2004 as well (she may have been assuming this because I'll hit the 60 segments for 'real' PLT qualification easy in a month or two at most).

Pakse

Now, since I'm going to end up with around 85k Qmiles and 80k Qpoints (by the end of the year) - I just need to figure out how to make EXP
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Old Apr 9, 02, 1:26 pm
  #15  
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Pakse, you are flying out of ORD right?

Are you aware of any good deals from ORD to make a Gold for "cheap" like maybe ORD-STL?

I would love to make it before I start flying internationally to get at least some bonuses

Anyway, the lady supervisor said also that I can take a Gold challange now and after I qualify I can request for a PLT challange.

I'll probably do that due to more heavy flying close to the end of the year.

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