Disadvantages of AA?

 

Old Feb 16, 09, 2:42 pm
  #1  
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Disadvantages of AA?

I'm considering AA for my FFP even though AA doesn't fly out of my home airport, but BOS is nearby.

I will be doing about 100k actual miles per year (a bit under). I'm mostly interested in free upgrades.

How is the experience on AA? Are lounges frequent? Are you allowed to use BA lounges?

When do you get your SWUs?

Do you find yourself on multiple airline alliances often when flying AA for your main leg?

What I'd really like to know is the disadvantages you have found flying AA.

Thank you!
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Old Feb 16, 09, 2:51 pm
  #2  
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Welcome to Flyertalk.

I haven't had an upgrade fail to clear on an international flight in almost seven years. My systemwides always clear.

Except when standing by for a different flight or when my flight is canceled, I haven't had a domestic upgrade fail to clear in many years.

Systemwides (electronic) are credited to your account within a few days of crossing 100k miles, 100k points or 100 segments (whichever happens first).

Lots of your questions can be answered by reading the wiki or the new user guide (at the top of the stickies).

Again, welcome.
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Old Feb 16, 09, 2:53 pm
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What I meant was when do you qualify to receive them. Say I fly 100k by September and am therefore qualified for EXP. Do I receive them then (and EXP membership) or do I wait until the new year?
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Old Feb 16, 09, 2:53 pm
  #4  
brp
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These are very open-ended questions with no simple answers. Your best bet is to read here for a while and you'll get a feel for the varying opinions on the pluses and minuses of AA as well as upgrade likelihoods.

Cheers.
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Old Feb 16, 09, 2:54 pm
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Simple answer

Aa.com

read.....evaluate.....make a decision that works for you.


Next!!
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Old Feb 16, 09, 2:57 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by GITU View Post
What I meant was when do you qualify to receive them. Say I fly 100k by September and am therefore qualified for EXP. Do I receive them then (and EXP membership) or do I wait until the new year?
If you fly 100k by September of 2009, you'll get them within a few days and they'll be valid until Feb 28, 2011.
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Old Feb 16, 09, 3:00 pm
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Originally Posted by FWAAA View Post
If you fly 100k by September of 2009, you'll get them within a few days and they'll be valid until Feb 28, 2011.
Thanks. AA seems more than fair which is why I wonder what the downsides are.

Thanks again.
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Old Feb 16, 09, 3:05 pm
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Originally Posted by GITU View Post
I will be doing about 100k actual miles per year (a bit under). I'm mostly interested in free upgrades.
The main disadvantage for you, if you fly just under 100k, is that you will miss out on Executive Platinum (EXP) - AA's top tier. AA's tiers are:
25K Elite-qualifying miles - Gold
50K Elite-qualifying miles - Platinum (PLT)
25K Elite-qualifying miles - Executive Platinum (EXP)

I believe some other airlines allow you to reach the top tier at 75K.

If you are EXP, you are entitled to unlimited free domestic upgrades (space-permitting). If you are PLT, you will earn four 500-mile upgrades for each 10,000 base miles you fly. You can choose to use those (space-permitting) to upgrade on domestic flights. (EXPs have priority before PLTs for upgrades)

Originally Posted by GITU View Post
How is the experience on AA? Are lounges frequent? Are you allowed to use BA lounges?
As far as the experience overall, you'll hear positives and negatives from different people, as on any airline. My experiences have been generally positive, but others may have had alternative experiences.

AA Admiral's Clubs are located in most major cities/hubs that AA services. You can see a list of their clubs here:
http://www.aa.com/aa/i18nForward.do?...sLocations.jsp

Note that you will not have access to the AC unless you buy a membership, or unless you are a Platinum (or higher) member flying internationally.

If you are Platinum (equivalent to OneWorld Ruby) or higher, you will have access to BA lounges.

Originally Posted by GITU View Post
When do you get your SWUs?
I think you are referring to upgrades that can be used on international flights. Colloquially, they are called eVIPs (of just VIPs) by AA FT members. Officially, they are known as 'Systemwide Upgrades'. EXPs get 8. PLTs do not get any.

Originally Posted by GITU View Post
Do you find yourself on multiple airline alliances often when flying AA for your main leg?
AA has a pretty solid alliance/partner codeshare system, so I don't often have to change alliances.


You will find the information in the FAQ and wiki (linked in the stickies in this forum) useful to learn some of the intricacies of the AA system.
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Old Feb 16, 09, 3:09 pm
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Okay, thank you. : )

That was a very good summary.

Just one more question, when do you get bonus miles, and how much is it? I think I read EXP is 100% but don't know if that was for another airline. I was counting on bonus miles to keep me over 100k.

Thanks again.
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Old Feb 16, 09, 3:11 pm
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Bonus miles are not elite-qualifying miles, so they will not help you earn/keep status.

The elite bonuses are:
EXP and PLT: 100% bonus
Gold: 25% bonus


Edited to add: The elite bonus does not apply to all airline partners. More details here:
http://www.aa.com/aa/pubcontent/en_U...itestatusbonus

Last edited by ty97; Feb 16, 09 at 3:14 pm Reason: ETA elite bonus exceptions and link
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Old Feb 16, 09, 3:14 pm
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Originally Posted by ty97 View Post
Bonus miles are not elite-qualifying miles, so they will not help you earn/keep status.

The elite bonuses are:
EXP and PLT: 100% bonus
Gold: 25% bonus
Oh, alright. Thanks for letting me know. Does AA ever do double EQMs or have any programme to earn more EQMs than you actually fly?
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Old Feb 16, 09, 3:17 pm
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Originally Posted by GITU View Post
Oh, alright. Thanks for letting me know. Does AA ever do double EQMs or have any programme to earn more EQMs than you actually fly?
Last year, AA had a two-month double eqm promotion on the heels of the MD-80 grounding (canceled thousands of flights over a week or so). Prior to that, AA did a double miles (qualifying and redeemable) promo for two weeks in February, 1999 on the heels of the pilots' sickout over the Reno Air purchase.

Dunno if AA will do it this year or wait until another systemwide service meltdown. Probably depends on Delta and United.
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Old Feb 16, 09, 3:23 pm
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Originally Posted by GITU View Post
Oh, alright. Thanks for letting me know. Does AA ever do double EQMs or have any programme to earn more EQMs than you actually fly?
Last year, for a couple of months or so around April, there was AADER, which gave double EQMs. There was also at least one promo, later in the year, for double EQM's between at least one city pair.

Additionally, you can qualify by EQP (Points). For some fare classes you can get more than 1 point per mile. For discounted ones, you often get only 1/2 EQP per mile earned. So, if you can get more EQP than EQM, which is why there are different ways to qualify, EQM/EQP/EQS. Elite Qualifying Segments is the newest way.
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Old Feb 16, 09, 3:26 pm
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Originally Posted by mvoight View Post
Last year, for a couple of months or so around April, there was AADER, which gave double EQMs. There was also at least one promo, later in the year, for double EQM's between at least one city pair.

Additionally, you can qualify by EQP (Points). For some fare classes you can get more than 1 point per mile. For discounted ones, you often get only 1/2 EQP per mile earned. So, if you can get more EQP than EQM, which is why there are different ways to qualify, EQM/EQP/EQS. Elite Qualifying Segments is the newest way.
Did I read this right: you can qualify for EXP by getting enough points (100k in this case)? So if I have 80k EQMs and 130k EQPs, I will get EXP for the following year?
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Old Feb 16, 09, 3:31 pm
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Welcome to FT. Overall, I have been very satisfied with AA and the availability of award seats, upgrades as GLD (from STL), and the Admirals club. I suggest you review the Challenge threads, and FT Wiki. Welcome!
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