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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 Apr 19, 2017, 1:47 pm
  #811  
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Originally Posted by fanger
What's a business saver?
A benefit AA used to offer some time ago....
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Old Apr 19, 2017, 1:57 pm
  #812  
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Originally Posted by bse118
Our seemingly now daily thread on this topic...

Being discussed thoroughly here:http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/ameri...iscussion.html
Thank you for the "Alert a Modertor" notification. We will now merge with the existing thread discussing award scarcity. /Moderator
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Old Apr 19, 2017, 2:34 pm
  #813  
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Originally Posted by enviroian
A benefit AA used to offer some time ago....
Ha! Not bad!
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Old Apr 19, 2017, 3:56 pm
  #814  
 
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Originally Posted by JonNYC
I can tell you factually, from AA's P.O.V.-- at the absolute highest level-- they've seen it that way, officially, for many years.
I guess not a surprise, but the highest level should probably let the marketing team know since it seems they've spent almost all their money advertising the saver levels.
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Old Apr 19, 2017, 7:08 pm
  #815  
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Originally Posted by oysterhead43
Pretty soon, we won't see Anytime as Double Price.

We'll see sAAver as Half Price.
Actually, that may not happen.

Simply because it's no longer double / half. It's a varying ratio now that there are something like two and a half levels of AAnytime, with AAnytime often much more than double of SAAver.

That's because while they can control SAAver via availability, they can't do that with AAnytime, so the only way they can control it is with price (in miles). And thus in cases where AAnytime was starting to get "too appealing" (from AA's perspective), they raised the price of it to limit demand.
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Old Apr 19, 2017, 9:32 pm
  #816  
 
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On DFW-MCO last night, the lead FA was reading the Barclay Aviator promo/benefits advertisement. As I was walking to the lav, he read, "these bonus miles will send you to destinations in the US, Mexico, the Caribbean, and even Europe." I quietly said, "If they ever open award space," which caused him to smile and pause, with a little snicker, before continuing the announcement.

Last edited by giants_fan; Apr 19, 2017 at 10:24 pm Reason: Fixed some ineffective wording due to sleepiness
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Old Apr 19, 2017, 11:22 pm
  #817  
 
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A disgrace

I have both AA and UA miles, but there is no question in my mind which have more value now that the chokehold has been applied. Attached is the award calendar generated when I ask for a saver award (12.5k mi) from ANY New York airport to ANY L.A. area airport in mid-May, with ANY routing -- nonstop, via DFW, ORD, PHX, PHL, CLT -- any.

You're all familiar with the AA chart. On the UA chart, a line means availability in economy saver, a line of dots means availability in first saver. This is before Memorial Day, and there is no holiday mid-month.

The UA chart shows availability on 17 days in May. On AA, there is not one saver seat after May 3. (Not shown: there is also not one seat on May 1.)

When I go to use miles, I find that AA offers me absolutely nothing on a very common route, with lots of route options, at a very routine time. I have flown both airlines a lot -- guess which one I'm now using for most of my paid flying, much of which is intl C/F?

I'm GS on UA, and if I moved even half my flying to AA, I'd be CK. But then how would I send my son to LA, or bring my folks to NY?
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Old Apr 19, 2017, 11:25 pm
  #818  
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Originally Posted by AlreadyThere
...
I'm GS on UA, and if I moved even half my flying to AA, I'd be CK. But then how would I send my son to LA, or bring my folks to NY?
I can't see anyone making the argument to even consider it.
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Old Apr 20, 2017, 8:25 am
  #819  
 
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Originally Posted by AlreadyThere
I have both AA and UA miles, but there is no question in my mind which have more value now that the chokehold has been applied ...
When I go to use miles, I find that AA offers me absolutely nothing on a very common route, with lots of route options, at a very routine time. I have flown both airlines a lot -- guess which one I'm now using for most of my paid flying, much of which is intl C/F?

I'm GS on UA, and if I moved even half my flying to AA, I'd be CK. But then how would I send my son to LA, or bring my folks to NY?
I choose what I fly based on what is the best solution for my travel needs and then look at the frequent flyer program options.

The devaluation of AAdvantage is real but I am still flying AA/OneWorld as they offer the best hard product for my almost monthly international trips in business class. Until United gets its international fleet updated with an all aisle access business class it is not competitive. I'm not willing to fly an inferior product 10+ times a year to get a few "free" flights for me and my family. Delta is also an option but AA fits my needs better.
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Old Apr 20, 2017, 9:21 am
  #820  
 
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Originally Posted by DevilDawg1960
I choose what I fly based on what is the best solution for my travel needs and then look at the frequent flyer program options.

The devaluation of AAdvantage is real but I am still flying AA/OneWorld as they offer the best hard product for my almost monthly international trips in business class. Until United gets its international fleet updated with an all aisle access business class it is not competitive. I'm not willing to fly an inferior product 10+ times a year to get a few "free" flights for me and my family. Delta is also an option but AA fits my needs better.
Well, United is in the process of updating their fleet to the somewhat-hyped but real "Polaris" layout and service. And except in Australia and to some extent South America, the Star Alliance is as good or better everywhere else (SQ=CX, NH>JL, LH+LX>BA). So while the carriers can leapfrog each other in hard product, with this new FF plan approach AA is now zipping past DL in a race to the bottom.
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Old Apr 20, 2017, 10:29 am
  #821  
 
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Originally Posted by AlreadyThere
Well, United is in the process of updating their fleet to the somewhat-hyped but real "Polaris" layout and service. And except in Australia and to some extent South America, the Star Alliance is as good or better everywhere else (SQ=CX, NH>JL, LH+LX>BA). So while the carriers can leapfrog each other in hard product, with this new FF plan approach AA is now zipping past DL in a race to the bottom.
I agree that AA is racing to the bottom with AAdvantage - I will look at switching to United when they have Polaris seats across their fleet IF their FF program still has the better redemption.

I considered switching (with a match to 1K) this year as I've already re qualified for EXP on American but when I looked at business class configurations on the UA routes I fly decided I had to wait.

Now considering a status match on Alaskan as that would offer more redemption options.
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Old Apr 20, 2017, 12:53 pm
  #822  
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Originally Posted by DevilDawg1960
Now considering a status match on Alaskan as that would offer more redemption options.
Alaska Airlines also offers huge bonuses for purchased partner business class. (American is an exception.)

https://www.alaskaair.com/content/mi...h-airways.aspx

https://www.alaskaair.com/content/mi...y-pacific.aspx

https://www.alaskaair.com/content/mi.../emirates.aspx

Add in MVPG75K status and you're looking at 300-400% RDM earn rates for business class flights. And if you qualify for 75K you get 50k miles. (Note: this won't be given as a status match, you have to earn it butt in seat).
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Old Apr 20, 2017, 5:38 pm
  #823  
 
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Originally Posted by eponymous_coward
Alaska Airlines also offers huge bonuses for purchased partner business class. (American is an exception.)

https://www.alaskaair.com/content/mi...h-airways.aspx

https://www.alaskaair.com/content/mi...y-pacific.aspx

https://www.alaskaair.com/content/mi.../emirates.aspx

Add in MVPG75K status and you're looking at 300-400% RDM earn rates for business class flights. And if you qualify for 75K you get 50k miles. (Note: this won't be given as a status match, you have to earn it butt in seat).
This is great if you live in a market well served by Alaska metal. To the extent you actually want to book an "anytime award," however, you may be out of luck with Alaska.
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Old Apr 20, 2017, 7:22 pm
  #824  
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Originally Posted by Adelphos
This is great if you live in a market well served by Alaska metal. To the extent you actually want to book an "anytime award," however, you may be out of luck with Alaska.
Ironically, since Alaska merged with Virgin, my market is suddenly at least as well served by Alaska metal as by American metal. My last 3 domestic flights were all on Alaska, with cash money, for less than AA would have charged me for the comparable flights, and I was glad to buy them, given the lack of AA saver award seats. So AA has actually made my personal decision to walk away from them as my preferred carrier as painless as possible. After I burn my last 45K of AAdvantage miles, I don't foresee using them much more, if at all. And also, it's not surprising that I will probably end up burning those AAdvantage miles as partner awards flying Alaska metal in any case.
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Old Apr 20, 2017, 7:52 pm
  #825  
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Originally Posted by Adelphos
This is great if you live in a market well served by Alaska metal. To the extent you actually want to book an "anytime award," however, you may be out of luck with Alaska.
I would assume that someone booking longhaul J with cash every month might be willing to trade off access to AAnytime for cheap CX/JL F (MUCH cheaper than AA) and even access to EK F... but if they are primarily interested in things like OWE lounge access and booking AAnytime as an EXP/CK, sure.

Of course, if AAnytime is your jam, odd to post in the thread about no more SAAver...
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