Moving to COS this summer, thoughts on AA service ex COS?

 
Old Feb 22, 07, 11:02 am
  #1  
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Moving to COS this summer, thoughts on AA service ex COS?

As the title says, I am moving to COS this summer (from DCA). Haven't been through there in some time and would appreciate observations/advice from any who travel to/from there regularly. I realize DEN is relatively close, but I wouldn't call it a convenient drive and there is no eAAgle service COS-DEN.

A quick look at the AA schedule leaves me with the impression that it's going to be difficult to stick with AAdvantage using COS as a base. Any thoughts on that would also be appreciated, including advice on alternate FF programs (I have only minimal experience with the others as I've been satisfied with AAdvantage and made no serious effort to gain status on the others).

Thanks in advance!

cheers!

randy
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Old Feb 22, 07, 12:00 pm
  #2  
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Not sure what any of us can tell you. You can fly AA to DFW or AE to ORD from COS. So you either have to be heading east or willing to backtrack.
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Old Feb 22, 07, 1:05 pm
  #3  
 
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If you rule out driving to Denver, the choice really depends on where you fly to:

AA
5x daily to DFW (all MD80)
1x daily to ORD (CR7)

UA
13x daily to DEN (CR7s and props)
3x daily to ORD (CR7)
3x daily to LAX (CRJ)
1x Daily to SFO (CR7)

So if you mainly fly East and/or want to avoid RJs, stick with AA.

If you need to fly West often, and don't mind relatively long RJ sectors, you might want to look at UA.

If you think the regional flight to DEN would be worth it to get to a hub, also look at UA.

The UX flights west are SkyWest, not Mesa, and therefore don't have E+ or F at least according to current United.com seat maps. That would have made a difference on the RJ flights for me.

At any rate, if you don't drive to DEN, you won't be flying many non-stops on any airline, so pick your poison.

On FF programs, there are quite a few threads comparing AAdvantage to Milage Plus and others. I'd suggest searching and reading. The Wiki can also show you side by side, though it's not really a comparison just lists of features of each. A lot depends on your level. I recently switched UA to AA and so far my treatment as an AA Plat is better than ever as a UA Premier Exec, not quite as good as the best I got in the old days as a 1K. Also, I am a big, big fan of AAngels in the AC. I haven't gotten that kind of service since UA closed the 1K rooms. Since neither AA nor UA has a lounge in COS this might not matter as much.

Last edited by nomore1k; Feb 22, 07 at 1:16 pm
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Old Feb 22, 07, 1:30 pm
  #4  
 
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Originally Posted by nomore1k View Post

AA
5x daily to DFW (all MD80)
1x daily to ORD (CR7)

So if you mainly fly East and/or want to avoid RJs, stick with AA.
FWIW we generally find good availability on all the COS-DFW routes and haven't yet missed a requested upgrade (even when still PLTs).

Originally Posted by nomore1k View Post
At any rate, if you don't drive to DEN, you won't be flying many non-stops on any airline, so pick your poison.
If I were in the OP's shoes, I might choose driving to DEN in the summer but during the winter it could be a risky option. No telling when I-25 might become impassable. As the OP may already be aware, Monument Hill (the pass is north of COS, on I-25 near Castle Rock) has an elevation of about 7500 feet and can make the going slow and hazardous during and after storms.

The good news is that COS is IMO really a nice little airport. I've found the the AA agents to be friendly and efficient. And the airport personnel will even crank up the gas-insert fireplace on cold days. There are definitely worse places to wait out a weather delay than on the sofa in front of the fire at COS.
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Old Feb 22, 07, 2:01 pm
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I live in COS and fly out to Chicago just about every other week for work. I used to fly United, but have switched to AA this year to take advantage of the miles earned when I fly international (company books those on AA). ALthough options for COS-ORD are very limited, I don't mind the relatively quick flight to DFW to fly up to ORD.

With United, I enjoyed the early direct flight to ORD. The flights to ORD from COS on United have Economy+ seating and a 1st-class. I was Premier Exec on United and got my upgrade almost every time. The United flights to DEN are one-class planes, but the flight only lasts 18 minutes.

Driving to DEN from COS sucks. I live on the north side of town and it is an 83-mile drive from home to DEN... and that's with taking E-470 (about $8 in tolls). Parking is expensive at DEN, too. Short-term parking at COS is $8/day and very close in.

I guess it really depends on where you'll be flying to, but I've been happy since switching to flying AA full-time.
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Old Feb 22, 07, 4:52 pm
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Thanks!

Thanks to nomore1k, oklAAhoma, and auditd0rk for the quick and informative responses.

As oklAAhoma and auditd0rk note, the drive north is treacherous in winter (and as I recall, construction was always an issue--it was continuous and ever-changing--wonder if they've finished it after 7 years! ), not fun, and the flight on United is short ...

I'm actually now considering paying for the E+/RCC deal w/ fast track to 1P status. I guess it all depends on where in COS I settle--if on the north side, the drive may be tolerable and I can stick with AA and just work around the limited options (primarily travelling to SAT and back). At least with the AAdvantage "soft landing" (and *possible* buy-back to PLT), I don't have too much to lose by giving MileagePlus a shot ...

Again, thank you! Any other replies/opinions/observations are still welcome--I won't have to move until Jul/Aug, so there's plenty of time to explore the options.

cheers!

Last edited by AAir_head; Oct 14, 07 at 8:51 pm Reason: removed signature
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Old Feb 23, 07, 5:41 am
  #7  
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I do the COS thing from IAD often; I pretty much go via DFW. However my trips also have me continue on to LAX so what I do is fly IAD-DFW-COS-drive to DEN then do DEN-LAX.

I don't mind the DEN drive but it would all depend where you live.. if you live up near AFA then the drive might not be so bad.. but you can easily add 20 plus minutes if you live south of COS.

Weather is definitely a concern in the winter, i got lucky this trip as itwas nice warm and most of all no snow...

I'm not sure your destinations... but if its west.. then it will mean backtracking.. if its east you can do it
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Old Feb 23, 07, 8:56 am
  #8  
 
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Originally Posted by AAir_head View Post
I'm actually now considering paying for the E+/RCC deal w/ fast track to 1P status.
If you're going to go that way, try faxing a statement and your Plat card to UA and see if they'll status match straight to 1P. See the Status Match master thread in the Miles Buzz forum. Lots of folks have had luck with more iffy situations than yours. Worth a try before your Plat runs out and you have to pay UA for less than they might give you for free.
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Old Feb 23, 07, 9:36 am
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I also live in COS and can tell you AA is the way to go. If you went with UA, the Shuttle between COS and DEN tends to be cancelled quite a bit. Any winds or weather in the area and they usually will cancel the flight. Driving to DEN is just out of the question as I'm not spending 4-5 hours on a plane and then driving another 2 plus paying the tolls. Any chance of snow and Castle Rock, the city between COS and DEN tends to become a parking lot.

I've been flying AA for over 3 years out of COS and can tell you I've never had a problem with service or routing. I fly out to DCA every other week and in the summer time, its really nice with the extra flights. Winter time they cut 3 flights, but with some planning, its not an issues. I would try to avoid routing through ORD unless you have to as the AE flight is a long one at over 2 hours.

On a side note, flights between DFW and COS (and vice versa), are easy to upgrade and flt 1001 offers dinner between DFW and COS. Pretty nice since its only an 1 hour 15 mins in the air.

If you got any other questions, ask away.
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