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MileSAAver / SAAver award reduction / scarcity discussion

Old Jan 25, 2014, 3:56 pm
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Be sure to check the lengthy http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/ameri...elections.html and oneworld and Other Airline (Partner) Awards info, rules 2014 on threads, as many members have posted questions - and useful answers - there. See the wiki posts for informative summaries.

Also be aware - AA have reduced capacity and apparently chosen to make MileSAAver flights significantly less available during predicted periods of high demand and high demand flights, undoubtedly keeping seats available for those willing to pay higher fares and use the new tiered AAnytime awards.

Older posts as of 1 Jan 2015 and later may be found in thd archived thread ARCHIVE: MileSAAver / SAAver award reduction discussion post 2015 AAdvantage merger

Older posts may dating from Aug 2011 through the AAdvantage program merger January 2015 be found in the archived thread here.

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MileSAAver / SAAver award reduction / scarcity discussion

Old Feb 3, 2017, 3:54 pm
  #166  
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Programs: WN, AA, UA, DL
Posts: 1,313
Originally Posted by enviroian
Do you think the lack and devaluation of saver award space on AA metal will eventually have an effect on it's bottom line IE losing customers? Does AA realize or care that their redemption chances are well below Delta and United?

What will it take, if anything to get AA to start opening up the saver seats more?
No, because for the vast majority of customers, there's no alternative option that's glaringly better. Oligopoly power at its "finest". They each have their pros and cons. Not sure why you say Delta has better redemption chances. Their demand-based pricing with no reward charts mean very few true "saver" awards, and usually the routings for them are ridiculous. UA the best to me, but their main advantage is with Y awards. I don't find J super plentiful. It's certainly not good enough to change carriers, if everything else was equal.
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Old Feb 3, 2017, 4:12 pm
  #167  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: SF Bay Area
Programs: AA LT PLT 3 MM+, BA (very) Blue, CO nobody
Posts: 2,640
Originally Posted by hotturnip
No.
See my earlier post on the previous page. It's true that this problem is several years old. So is the merger.
+1
Especially when counting the bankruptcy stage before merger - that makes it several years old.
Prior to that AA was excellent for redemptions.
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Old Feb 3, 2017, 4:14 pm
  #168  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
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Programs: AA LT PLT 3 MM+, BA (very) Blue, CO nobody
Posts: 2,640
Originally Posted by FlyerBeek
To be fair, though, US wasn't this bad either in terms of award availability and this issue has been trending downwards since even before the merger. As much as folks want to - myself included - you can't blame everything on Discount Douggie.

-FlyerBeek
You may not want to hold Discount Douggie responsible for this mess - I do.
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Old Feb 3, 2017, 4:24 pm
  #169  
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Originally Posted by FlyerBeek
To be fair, though, US wasn't this bad either in terms of award availability and this issue has been trending downwards since even before the merger.
You're 100% correct, biggest reduction (by far) was well before the merger:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/22398323-post432.html
Absolutely agree-- this rather noticeable-- and unmistakeable-- tightening in milesAAver availability has been with us for over 2 years at this point and was put into place at such time the merger with US was "merely a twinkle in eye..."

It's very real, and well documented-- but most certainly not new and not remotely merger-related.
Started beginning 2012 when there was an actual, confirmed-by-me at the highest levels, intentional change.

Could be argued it's gotten worse and worse, but the actual internal policy change was in 2012 and that was the year of the big, beginning-of-the-end, change.
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Old Feb 3, 2017, 4:40 pm
  #170  
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: DCA/IAD/WAS
Programs: MAR AMB, WOH Explorist, AA EXP, UA 2P
Posts: 2,129
Originally Posted by JonNYC
Could be argued it's gotten worse and worse, but the actual internal policy change was in 2012 and that was the year of the big, beginning-of-the-end, change.
Does this mean that this is just the way it is now for AA saver redemptions - feast (on the rare occasion someone flips a switch) or famine (95%+ of the time)? Any thoughts on whether this is expected to be the new normal as far as the eye can see? It just seems so odd of a decision to force your own members to partners to use their miles at a decent rate.
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Old Feb 3, 2017, 5:05 pm
  #171  
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Originally Posted by iadisgreat
Does this mean that this is just the way it is now for AA saver redemptions - feast (on the rare occasion someone flips a switch) or famine (95%+ of the time)? Any thoughts on whether this is expected to be the new normal as far as the eye can see? It just seems so odd of a decision to force your own members to partners to use their miles at a decent rate.
Fair question and not one I can answer with any authority-- that is to say I can predict the -past- with absolute accuracy, , but as to what the ghost of AAdvantage future may be-- I shudder to think, but tend to personally *assume* it will improve or, more likely, not get noticeably worse.

That said, I personally think anyone sticking around wishin' and hopin' and prayin' things will suddenly turn around, AAdvantage-wise, is, to use the vernacular, "a fool."
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Old Feb 3, 2017, 5:07 pm
  #172  
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: DCA/IAD/WAS
Programs: MAR AMB, WOH Explorist, AA EXP, UA 2P
Posts: 2,129
Originally Posted by JonNYC
Fair question and not one I can answer with any authority-- that is to say I can predict the -past- with absolute accuracy, , but as to what the ghost of AAdvantage future may be-- I shudder to think, but tend to personally *assume* it will improve or, more likely, not get noticeably worse.

That said, I personally think anyone sticking around wishin' and hopin' and prayin' things will suddenly turn around, AAdvantage-wise, is, to use the vernacular, "a fool."
I assumed you would have told us if anything good was close in on the horizon, but also figured you'd at least have some good insight to share. Thanks!

​​
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Old Feb 3, 2017, 10:23 pm
  #173  
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Originally Posted by susiesan
Not that I don't agree with the sentiment here but I did not have too much trouble getting 2 J seats to and from Europe for October to match up with a cruise.

At 330 days I was able to book AA 36 DFW-MAD to IB 2708 MAD-BCN for outbound, then IB 3249 VCE-MAD to IB 6275 MAD-ORD return for the exact dates I wanted. I was also able to get the AA flights to and from MCI that connect with the TATL flights. Maybe because of the time of year the availability was there. I used BA web site to check IB award space, called it i not AA and fed them the flight numbers I wanted.

I still plan to try to use up all remaining AA miles as soon as possible and then I'm done with Aadvantage after over 25+ years. I have already moved all credit cards to Chase and am amassing UR points. Only problem is I have 300K SPG points that I was transferring into AA for awards. I have to find another airline to use those up.
You could transfer the SPG pts to Marriott at 1 to 3 and then book the Travel Package. You will get 10% bonus when you use UA as the air portion, even get additional 20k in the Q4 2016 UA hotel to airline promotion. Amazing you do not know the arbitrage opp that the Marriott SPG merger has created.
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Old Feb 4, 2017, 10:31 am
  #174  
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
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Originally Posted by Happy
You could transfer the SPG pts to Marriott at 1 to 3 and then book the Travel Package. You will get 10% bonus when you use UA as the air portion, even get additional 20k in the Q4 2016 UA hotel to airline promotion. Amazing you do not know the arbitrage opp that the Marriott SPG merger has created.
Maybe not so amazing. I've not heard from either Marriott or SPG that such transfer is possible. Did you get a letter or email? From who?
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Old Feb 4, 2017, 10:39 am
  #175  
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Originally Posted by SpammersAreScum
Maybe not so amazing. I've not heard from either Marriott or SPG that such transfer is possible. Did you get a letter or email? From who?
Transferring points between Marriott and SPG (either direction) has been possible for several months, but you have to have accounts at both and "link" them together first. Start here on the Marriott forum side:
I don't recall Marriott or SPG notifying me by letter or email. I found about it on FT and/or saw "banner" notices about it when logging in to Marriott or SPG online. I'm not sure whether Marriott or SPG "knows" that you have an account at the other place until you link, which may be why they don't notify you by email or letter, because only a fraction of members at either program were members of both programs before the merger.

There have been other changes, like the SPG Amex earning extra points for Marriott hotel family stays, and the Chase Marriott Premier card earning extra points for SPG stays, that were never widely announced, and that I only happened to read after a while in one FT thread or another.

Last edited by sdsearch; Feb 4, 2017 at 10:48 am
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Old Feb 4, 2017, 11:28 am
  #176  
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
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Originally Posted by sdsearch
Transferring points between Marriott and SPG (either direction) has been possible for several months, but you have to have accounts at both and "link" them together first. Start here on the Marriott forum side:
I don't recall Marriott or SPG notifying me by letter or email. I found about it on FT and/or saw "banner" notices about it when logging in to Marriott or SPG online. I'm not sure whether Marriott or SPG "knows" that you have an account at the other place until you link, which may be why they don't notify you by email or letter, because only a fraction of members at either program were members of both programs before the merger.

There have been other changes, like the SPG Amex earning extra points for Marriott hotel family stays, and the Chase Marriott Premier card earning extra points for SPG stays, that were never widely announced, and that I only happened to read after a while in one FT thread or another.
I did link, as soon as they announced that was available. There's nothing obvious on the Marriott home page about transferring; I guess I'll need to dig. Thanks for the heads-up.

Update: If you click on "Link Accounts" -- and why should I, since they're already linked? -- you get a page which says they're linked and provides buttons for transferring. But I see we've gone 'way OT...

Last edited by SpammersAreScum; Feb 4, 2017 at 11:35 am Reason: more info
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Old Feb 4, 2017, 10:40 pm
  #177  
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Both our Marriott and SPG accounts got more than one email on the transferability between accounts - first at the announcement on the link ability and sub quest reminders I emphasize the pural "s" emails on the ability.

Also received emails from the changes on earnings incl one from AMEX on top of the emails from both Marriott and SPG.

I think if you opt out on some communication functions you may not receive all the "notifications".

I am more amazed about some people still do not know the 2 accounts are transferable back and forth FREELY. I have not done Marriott to SPG but have done SPG to Marriott multiple times - each time the trabpnsfer is instant, immediately allows usage at the receiving end. No idea how it is shown on Marriott site but SPG site let you do the transfer on either direction. The option is listed in My Account.

Many people have taken the UA promo last year and I am sure hundreds if not thousands have transferred SPG came Jan 1st for the travel package with WN points so they can get companion pass for 2 years...

Can't believe anyone has sizable SPG pts would not know about the aeprbitrage advantage in this temporary benefit which if Marriott keeps its words we have it till end of 2017.

Now back to our regular program which is the sad state of AA Saaver award availability which I try hard to NOT put us subject to that - hence any opp to increase the bal of other more useful currencies is very much welcome than the constant harshing on the long existing and getting progressively worse AA Saaver award scarcity!

Last edited by Happy; Feb 4, 2017 at 10:47 pm
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Old Feb 4, 2017, 11:36 pm
  #178  
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: DCA/IAD/WAS
Programs: MAR AMB, WOH Explorist, AA EXP, UA 2P
Posts: 2,129
Originally Posted by Happy
Both our Marriott and SPG accounts got more than one email on the transferability between accounts - first at the announcement on the link ability and sub quest reminders I emphasize the pural "s" emails on the ability.

Also received emails from the changes on earnings incl one from AMEX on top of the emails from both Marriott and SPG.

I think if you opt out on some communication functions you may not receive all the "notifications".

I am more amazed about some people still do not know the 2 accounts are transferable back and forth FREELY. I have not done Marriott to SPG but have done SPG to Marriott multiple times - each time the trabpnsfer is instant, immediately allows usage at the receiving end. No idea how it is shown on Marriott site but SPG site let you do the transfer on either direction. The option is listed in My Account.

Many people have taken the UA promo last year and I am sure hundreds if not thousands have transferred SPG came Jan 1st for the travel package with WN points so they can get companion pass for 2 years...

Can't believe anyone has sizable SPG pts would not know about the aeprbitrage advantage in this temporary benefit which if Marriott keeps its words we have it till end of 2017.

Now back to our regular program which is the sad state of AA Saaver award availability which I try hard to NOT put us subject to that - hence any opp to increase the bal of other more useful currencies is very much welcome than the constant harshing on the long existing and getting progressively worse AA Saaver award scarcity!
I have hundreds of thousands of SPG points. I have no clue about the arbitrage opportunities of a (defunct) companion pass with an airline that I don't fly or the nights and flights nonsense. Mostly because I have no need to spend those points yet, but somehow that makes me (and others) uninformed in a way that offends you?
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Old Feb 5, 2017, 2:59 am
  #179  
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Posts: 4,440
Originally Posted by iadisgreat
I have hundreds of thousands of SPG points. I have no clue about the arbitrage opportunities of a (defunct) companion pass with an airline that I don't fly or the nights and flights nonsense. Mostly because I have no need to spend those points yet, but somehow that makes me (and others) uninformed in a way that offends you?
Just because some methods are not immediately useful to you, doesn't mean they can not be shared with enthusiasm. Btw congrats on your stash of SPG points! I don't think they are in any imminent danger. But you'll definitely get more value out of them if you start sooner rather then later.
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Old Feb 5, 2017, 5:23 am
  #180  
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: DCA/IAD/WAS
Programs: MAR AMB, WOH Explorist, AA EXP, UA 2P
Posts: 2,129
Originally Posted by MaxVO
Just because some methods are not immediately useful to you, doesn't mean they can not be shared with enthusiasm. Btw congrats on your stash of SPG points! I don't think they are in any imminent danger. But you'll definitely get more value out of them if you start sooner rather then later.
Thanks, I think. I was mostly commenting on the OP's "amazement" that someone else didn't know of some rather esoteric way to take advantage of having a few points. Believe me, I'm aware of the ways I can use ALL of mine quite fruitfully - I just don't need tricks to do it.
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