Best strategy to transition from AS to AA

 
Old Dec 4, 13, 10:28 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: SNA
Posts: 402
Best strategy to transition from AS to AA

For historical reasons, all of my miles are on AS right now, and I have MVP (AA Gold rough equivalent) status with them. However, the vast majority of my flying these days is with AA, since my destinations have changed. With my AS MVP, I get access to MCE seats, free bags, etc., so it's not too bad. However, next year I'd like to switch to Aadvantage. The conundrum I face is that the moment I switch to my newly-minted (not yet even created) AAdvantage number, I effectively lose my status and have to re-earn it from scratch.

I've heard that AA doesn't do status matches. I have read about Challenges, and I may go that route, but it's not ideal for me. While I will undoubtedly fly enough next year to earn at least Gold if not Platinum, my travel is erratic and often scheduled on very short notice. Some months I might have three or four trips, and then I might go two months with none, but I don't necessarily know that very far in advance. So it's hard for me to know for sure that I'd have enough flights within a given time period. And on the occasions when the travel isn't short notice, I often get booked on fares that earn 0.5 EQP, making the challenge that much harder to complete.

Are there any strategies for softening the blow of losing status when switching programs, or do I just have to suck it up and/or figure out a way to make a Challenge work? I feel like this is a real disincentive to actually switch to Aadvantage.
Cardboard55 is offline  
Old Dec 5, 13, 12:36 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: YYZ/YTZ/YUL
Programs: BA Gold, TK Elite
Posts: 1,496
Sorry - seems like taking a challenge or not having status for a while are your only two options, short of doing a mileage run (which you would do in first/business so lack of status matters less).
TravellingSalesman is offline  
Old Dec 5, 13, 1:38 am
  #3  
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: SNA
Posts: 402
That's what I was afraid of.

My other concern is that with the uncertainty around the merger, is it stupid for me to sign up as an Aadvantage member and get one of the Citi Aadvantage credit cards (replacing my Alaska Visa) right now? If I'm going to do this, I want to make sure I get all my EQM at least going into the AA bucket from day 1 of 2014 to maximize chance for status, but I don't like the idea of committing to a program without knowing what it's going to look like.......
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Old Dec 5, 13, 6:31 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: IL
Programs: AA PLT, HYT PLT
Posts: 210
You can always call and see if they will match, costs you nothing.
mialink is offline  
Old Dec 5, 13, 1:54 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: SFO
Posts: 1,730
You can also book with AS FF #, select MCE, and then closer to departure (before checkin perhaps?) call and change to AA FF #. Chances are the MCE seat will usually go unnoticed or unchanged. I haven't tried this, though, so no clue if it will work.
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Old Dec 5, 13, 2:39 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: SEA, SFO
Programs: AA EXP, AS MVPG
Posts: 275
Originally Posted by Cardboard55 View Post
Are there any strategies for softening the blow of losing status when switching programs, or do I just have to suck it up and/or figure out a way to make a Challenge work?
Challenges can be easy -- and FAST.

We don't know your home airport, or enough about your actual flying patterns to be very specific with suggestions, but I'd suggest you sign up for the Plat challenge and fly one of these:

Originally Posted by rdrnnr View Post
+1

This by the ever-estimable CokeandTaco deserves a bump.

Routings SFO-JFK-MIA-MDE then back MDE-MIA-ORD-SFO will accrue 9495 actual BIS mi, for ALL First/Business travel, at 6.8 cpm -- less than I've paid for many seats in deep disc economy over the years!

Caution: an overnight in MDE seems unavoidable. Plan/budget accordingly.

1 of these on a Status Challenge, and you're Plat. Fly 7, and you're 300 EQPs short of EXP.
Position to/from SFO, spend ~$950 (incl the challenge fee) plus 1 hotel night in Medellin, and you can be AA Plat by the end of January. Your 14,240+ EQPs so earned will more than qualify you.

See CokeandTaco's original post for more data:
Originally Posted by CokeandTaco View Post
Samples:
AA: Jan 24-26 SFO-ORD-MIA-MDE-MIA-ORD-SFO $684ai (A,I) (8864mi ~7.7cpm)
-other routings available....
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