Moving to SFO... Bye Bye AMR :(

Old Apr 7, 07, 8:14 pm
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: ATL
Programs: AA, AGR, DL, MR, WoH, UA
Posts: 954
Originally Posted by runnerwallah View Post
Having just booked an SFO-IAH ticket, I did pass up a more expensive and longer AA flight. But I still wasn't stuck with United - I picked Continental :-)
I'd rather be "stuck" with the occasional E+ seat than with Craptinental. I used to go to Houston regularly and would much rather deal with the connection at DFW than the mess that Craptinental created at IAH.
sechs is offline  
Old Apr 17, 07, 7:55 pm
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: San Mateo, CA
Programs: AA - LFT GLD 1MM, UA - 2P, SPG - LFT Plat, Hyatt - Plat, HH - Gold, Avis - CHM
Posts: 413
i moved to the bay area about 2.5 years ago
was steady aa exp, but new job/project location forced me to use united. ended up losing exp by 20k miles and statusmatching/requalifying for prem ex. then new project was in dallas, so went back to aa exp and dropped to ua 2p. now new project in los angeles, so will be losing aa exp this year and gaining ua 1p.

since moving here, for vacations i have taken ua primarily for asia intl travel and west coast/canada/mexico, but aa for europe/caribbean.

not fun to have status instability. but, too much effort to go out of my way to stick to one carrier if the routes are not there.
wuhoo is offline  
Old Apr 18, 07, 1:55 pm
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Location: Danville, CA, USA;
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Originally Posted by RatherBeSailing View Post
Given the fact that AA does not have any nonstop/non-codeshare international departures from the Bay Area, it might be easy to dismiss it as a viable option, but I too have found flying AA out of the Bay Area to be extremely manageable:

1. Good coverage to Asia/Australia on AA partners (Cathay, JAL, & Qantas)
2. Doing a connection in ORD, JFK, or even DFW for flights to Western Europe yields decent coverage to the major cities. And I prefer to connect in the good ol' USA instead of Europe (and LHR in particular).
3. Alaska/Horizon do a great job for flying up and down the west coast.
4. AA security line waits at SFO are almost non-existent
5. I feel that there seems to be lower percentage of elites on AA than UA making upgrades easier. This is not hard fact - just a soft conclusion based on an anecdotal evidence arising from conversations with colleagues.
6. AA routinely beats out UA on pricing for my itineraries which makes the bean counters happy.
7. And of course an AC with a great staff. Size doesn't matter. Or so I've been told.

The major gaps I've found have been SFO-DEN (mentioned by the OP), SFO-PHX, and SFO-SLC. If I needed to fly any one of those routes on a regular basis, I would seriously consider switching. I would be crazy (FT MR translation: quite sane) to want to connect on those journeys.

To the OP - good luck, but you wouldn't be alone if you decided to come back to AA .
Agree 100%. IME AA is much better than UA at least at the 2P (and maybe 1P levels) for all of the reasons listed above but particularly #4 and #5. Plus:

8. I never reach an ICC at AA and the AA CSRs are uniformly pleasant and generally quite competent and efficient.
9. IME, less trouble using miles for awards on AA and its partners.
10. Paid "sticker" upgrades are cheaper on AA ($30 v. $50) and more likely to clear.
11. I rarely miss E+ because AA Gold can book exit rows (only 1P+ can do so on UA). Exit row seats almost always free up during 24-100 hr upgrade window.

I find WN generally does a better job of covering the short haul routes (alas from OAK ) with no penalty cancellation and excellent US-based CSRs. As noted above, Alaska is great too!

Believe me, having always lived near UA hubs (SFO, IAD and for a time LAX) UA would be a natural first choice. But thanks to the Gold challenge a few years ago, I discovered that AA does a far better job meeting my needs even though UA offers better frequency.

I suspect OP may reconsider his decision after he discovers that he has difficulty upgrading (due to the large # of elites @ SFO) or even getting a seat in E+ particularly when booking last minute.
Boraxo is offline  
Old Apr 18, 07, 4:16 pm
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: SF Bay Area
Programs: AA PLT-Lite. UA Recovering 1k, HH Silver
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Originally Posted by RatherBeSailing View Post
The major gaps I've found have been SFO-DEN (mentioned by the OP), SFO-PHX, and SFO-SLC. If I needed to fly any one of those routes on a regular basis, I would seriously consider switching.
I've recently switched my policy on DEN. Connecting through LAX I can get there in under 5:00. And now AA is throwing 1,000 miles my way for the trouble (1,000 miles for DFW-DEN too).

PHX and SLC both still mean via OAK on WN, fortunately those aren't frequent for me.

I sure do wish that either AA or AS would fly to PHX or SLC. I'd endure the drive to SJC and an RJ to get my AA miles on those routes, and that's saying a lot.
nomore1k is offline  
Old Apr 19, 07, 12:01 am
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 72
Originally Posted by sj-flyer View Post
As one also based in the Bay Area I find that between SFO and SJC I can stick with AA to get almost anywhere when I need to and still maintain a reasonable flight schedule (reasonable to the bean-counters, shockingly-short to the FT community).

I only wish they had not gotten rid of the SJC-NRT flight.
Amen! I also was debating switching to UA from AA, but stuck with AA since I found that with UA, upgrades out of SFO were few and far between. Too many elite 1Ks flying out of that hub. Besides, if I had to fly somewhere in the middle of the US, the choices for hubs are DEN and ORD. Not fun in the winter. And Latin America routes seem more plentiful on AA.
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