rumor : new upgrade co-payment effective 01dec04

 
Old Oct 5, 04, 11:31 am
  #61  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
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On a personal level, this really sucks. Although I have enjoyed using miles to upgrade Transatlantic, it's not worth $250 on TOP of miles for me to do it. I'd rather keep that $250 to spend at my destination.

On a big picture level, I agree that AA is slowly carving away all of the features (MRTC, upgrades) that differentiate AA and Aadvantage from other airlines and FF programs. While no one feature may be the deciding factor for ALL flyers, at this rate, they're managing to eliminate one deciding factor after another....
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Old Oct 5, 04, 11:39 am
  #62  
 
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Wow! If you had to purchase a higher discount economy fare (say H) but lower than Y or B, you'd be better off flying UA then. It's 5000 additional miles, but no $$ and better seats... this is a scary thought...

AA should have definitely allowed higher discount Y fares to qualify for miles-only upgrade. Then it would have matched most of the competition. Is this the stingiest upgrade policy among the majors now?
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Old Oct 5, 04, 11:46 am
  #63  
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Originally Posted by honu
Wow! If you had to purchase a higher discount economy fare (say H) but lower than Y or B, you'd be better off flying UA then. It's 5000 additional miles, but no $$ and better seats... this is a scary thought...

AA should have definitely allowed higher discount Y fares to qualify for miles-only upgrade. Then it would have matched most of the competition. Is this the stingiest upgrade policy among the majors now?
No, CO is still far, far worse, for many reasons. BUT, CO's BusinessFirst seat/cabin is also much, much better than AA's J-seat-- which I'm pretty much just gonna' go ahead and assume AA will be changing very soon as part of this whole process-- they really have to if they are to remain competitive.

I would also echo the thought that it's nuts for the $250 each-way surcharge to apply to the more expensive "discount" fares. It doesn't make any sense for it to be $500 r/t + 50,000 miles on the higher fares.
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Old Oct 5, 04, 11:47 am
  #64  
 
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As much as I am disappointed in this, it was coming. AA's program was too liberal compared to the other programs in this respect.

I probably wouldn't mind paying the extra fees if AA's cabins were up to snuff. Give me new lie-flat seats, full AVOD, good plentiful food and quality wine, and great non-surly FA's (gee, this is starting to sound like CX..) and I'd probably pay the fee. I'll now avoid it as much as possible. Argh. Or, maybe this is the kick in the butt that I need to go back to EXP again.
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Old Oct 5, 04, 11:47 am
  #65  
 
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Originally Posted by MikeFly
The desk said yes. The USD 250 is one way required for all fares except Y&B did not ask about discounted J.
Holly smokes. So this past summer I went to Europe and paid like $1000 for coach... and now I'd have to pay another $500 on top of that and 30k miles to upgrade? Crap! They should've increased the number of miles required instead.

I'm not really surprised to see this move. I just think it's dumb customer relations. So, are there ANY good FF programs left in the USA?
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Old Oct 5, 04, 11:48 am
  #66  
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kickback.. call it what you want

As posted by Chicagorich: If you buy a $60,000 new car, does the dealer have to give you a cheap used car from his lot for the kid to keep your business? No but I would expect a free (example here) CD player, mats, automatic tranny etc.. depends on the demand for the car as to what I would negotiate

This change should not surprise anyone. Just look at AA's income statements for the last few years. Surprise No, but that doesn't mean I can't look elsewhere for a better deal - like If the local hardware store changes their return policy say... due to bad financials.. I can just go elsewhere to find a better deal too bad for the original hardware store, they took the risk of changing policy and it cost them my business

Would it be better to have no options for upgrades? No however there are probably more equitable options that would make this better for the customer and AA

If this is the case, i'd say a vast majority of Biz travelers are unethical then, as most of us use our miles (and status) earned in any class for personal use. As for the kickback, call it what you want.. air travel in any class is a freakin commodity.. if carrier A (or should I say AA) doesn't do it for me or you.. then go to carrier b.. same thing for roughly the same price.. I can choose among any US based carrier for my int'l travel. I am authorized to fly J for that travel. I have "CHOSEN" AA based on the value that it offers me and the company.. however by changing the rules, the value may not be the same for me.. I can go over to UA (IAD based here) without a problem, get the same thing for the same fare and the company paying the ticket gets the same value roughly.. Airline status earned is for all travel.. leisure business etc.. and if one of those is (leisure or biz) devalued, then they both are devalued in my opinion and I will go find the one that gives me the best overall value for biz and leisure travel at no additional cost (maybe a savings, maybe an incremental cost increase that would be difficult to quantify) to the company on biz travel.. Not am ethical problem for me

Originally Posted by Spyder
I'd assert that it's unethical to charge in 6K for your 'business' flights only to earn a perq to use personally. Essentially you're demanding a kickback from AA to get your business.

If on the other hand you fly for 'business' in J because it's the best value for the money, I doubt very much that you'll be taking your travel elsewhere.

(The emphasis on the word business is added to reflect that for those of us who work for ourselves, personal and professional travel are not so neatly defined.)
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Old Oct 5, 04, 11:55 am
  #67  
 
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31 H,J
ipod mini w/noise cancelling headphones
travel pillow
picnic food a la martha
thermos of hot coffee
dvd player

hmm, this is sounding better than J

seriously, are they going to start charging us 250 USD each way to give us the joy of an operational upgrade?

lala
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Old Oct 5, 04, 12:00 pm
  #68  
 
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I changed from BA to AA years ago when BA made it impossible to belong to the EC on discount fares. I just priced a ticket for next summer to London. AA on nonstops for 662.00 or UA with a stop for 584.00. The ability to upgrade made it a no brainer to fly AA. If I am going to pay more, then use miles and pay a fee to upgrade I will probably just buy the cheaper fare.
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Old Oct 5, 04, 12:01 pm
  #69  
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Yep, they're turning it back into a commodity business. Well, it was a commodity business in 1990 when I first started flying, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised. I'm really suprised that they didn't comp EXPs on this fee.

While I reacted harshly at first, I have to give this one a lot of thought in the next week. Everybody's putting the screws on these mileage balances. For example UA folks cannot book on partners out far in advance on LH.

In high season say ORD-LHR-VIE, for example, these four choices look pretty messy for a platinum:
- Pay 90k and have an award ticket that can be redeposited for $100, earn no status miles.
- Pay $800-$1100 for nonrefundable Q fare plus $500 upgrade fee plus 50k
- Pay $2100 for a refundable B fare plus 20k, earn 18k
- Pay $2045 for a non-refundable I fare in business, earn 18k
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Old Oct 5, 04, 12:07 pm
  #70  
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I'm just disappointed in this. If AA were to only apply this to the lowest fares, G Q N S, AND they are indeed were going to revamp their J class, then it's not so bad.

But to charge this fee (if it's true) for the other coach fares while maintaining the same service is just an overall loss, and it really starts getting expensive as some others have illustrated, and for what?

Will it change my flying? Discretionary travel it very may well, since that's when I enjoy the upgrades from the cheapo fares (and not so cheapo) the most.

I could easily find myself spending more per ticket, on fewer personal trips, with foreign carriers that offer a lot better J/F cabins, than I currently do with AA.....the old quantity vs quality argument.
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Old Oct 5, 04, 12:08 pm
  #71  
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Originally Posted by lalala
31 H,J
ipod mini w/noise cancelling headphones
travel pillow
picnic food a la martha
thermos of hot coffee
dvd player

hmm, this is sounding better than J

seriously, are they going to start charging us 250 USD each way to give us the joy of an operational upgrade?

lala
Op ups will now incur an "expedited expedite fee"
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Old Oct 5, 04, 12:09 pm
  #72  
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Originally Posted by lalala
31 H,J
ipod mini w/noise cancelling headphones
travel pillow
picnic food a la martha
thermos of hot coffee
dvd player

hmm, this is sounding better than J

lala
$250 will buy a lot of picnic food, coffee and minis.

Originally Posted by TrojanHorse
Surprise No, but that doesn't mean I can't look elsewhere for a better deal - like If the local hardware store changes their return policy say... due to bad financials.. I can just go elsewhere to find a better deal too bad for the original hardware store, they took the risk of changing policy and it cost them my business
Well said!! ^

Originally Posted by chicagorich
If you buy a $60,000 new car, does the dealer have to give you a cheap used car from his lot for the kid to keep your business?
If I buy a $60,000 car by overpaying about $30,000 for a $30,000 car when other dealers are selling a real $60,000 car, then yes, I bloody well do expect a cheap used car for free and then some.
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Old Oct 5, 04, 12:13 pm
  #73  
 
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Originally Posted by TrojanHorse
Surprise No, but that doesn't mean I can't look elsewhere for a better deal - like If the local hardware store changes their return policy say... due to bad financials.. I can just go elsewhere to find a better deal too bad for the original hardware store, they took the risk of changing policy and it cost them my business[/B]

Would it be better to have no options for upgrades? No however there are probably more equitable options that would make this better for the customer and AA

That is certainly your prerogative to shop around. But as I look at the various forums here--one thing I can see is that all the programs are changing to---in effect--generate more revenue, whether people believe that or not.

An example from the UA forum today on the changes to their elite upgrades...


So it seems UA policy has changed so much that giving guidelines for elites on when their E-upgrades will clear (eg 72/48/12 hours out) seems a little disingenuous.

I think the most honest thing UA could do is send a letter to all MP members and tell them of their new unofficial/"official" policy does not honor the 72/48/100 hour policy that they publish and that you need to fight for upgrades at checkin like everyone else. What a sad turn of events in my opinion for elite MP flyers on UA.



So UA maybe just as bad as AA for elite flyers--and nobody likes CO or DL.....

I don't see the US elites complaining in their forum too much these days--perhaps you should give them a look.....

..
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Old Oct 5, 04, 12:19 pm
  #74  
 
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$250 will just about cover the cost of a Bose Noise Cancelling headset as well.
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Old Oct 5, 04, 12:22 pm
  #75  
 
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In the past, I've chosen to fly AA for several reasons, and a not-inconsiderable factor was the suite of AAdvantage benefits. A not-inconsiderable part of those was the ability to upgrade from any fare.

I've been reconsidering this choice recently, given AA's virtually non-existant international service from the Bay Area and RJ service to most local destinations (including the satellite terminal at LAX), but was going to stay with AA. AA's decision, though, really does change the equation. No upgrades (realistically, I'm not going to spend $250 out-of-pocket each way in addition to the 25k miles for AA's existing J service; my choice, I understand), inconvenient flights - where's the positive differentiation for AA?

Though I've just crossed the 1MM mark, I really can't see justifying staying with AA any longer and after an upcoming international trip in November (fortunately), which ironically will requalify me for PLT next year, will most likely switch to *A.
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