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MileSAAver / SAAver award reduction / scarcity discussion

MileSAAver / SAAver award reduction / scarcity discussion

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Old Aug 1, 19, 5:48 am   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: JDiver
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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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Old Aug 21, 17, 7:47 pm
  #1441  
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Join Date: Jan 2006
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Originally Posted by anabolism View Post
I'm not sure I understand your point. You're saying AA is working to change customer's understanding of miles such that only AAnytime awards are expected? That may be the case, but it raises the question: How does AA expect to continue selling miles to banks and other large purchasers?
American Express and Delta show that offering (nearly) worthless Sky Pesos can be effective as a marketing tool. Folks don't know how worthless they are until redemption is attempted.
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Old Aug 21, 17, 9:16 pm
  #1442  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
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Originally Posted by millionmiler View Post
AA understands fully the consequences of its changes and would prefer to lose you as a customer rather than improve redemption. In that way your decision is exactly how AA wants the process to work. They still need more time to wring a set of expectations out of their customer's mentality. If that means they end up with a different set of customers then so be it. Its worth it to them.

Of course I hate it as much as anyone.
I am not sure why you think AA wants to loose someone as a customer who accumulated 600,000 AA miles (or most likely many more). It doesn't matter if these miles were accumulated by flying AA or with CCs because AA got paid for them one way or another - either directly or from Citi. If AA thought they weren't getting their money's worth from Citi, they would stop selling them miles.
Those that leave AA as customers will not be spending any more money on flying AA or paying Citi (and AA) for those miles. How is that a winning strategy for AA?
My heart is not bleeding for AA. I don't make a habit of spending my money where it is not appreciated (as a loyalty) nor where I get nothing (or very little) back in return for my business when other better options are available to me.

Last edited by Paulchili; Aug 21, 17 at 9:25 pm
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Old Aug 21, 17, 10:46 pm
  #1443  
 
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Originally Posted by anabolism View Post
I'm not sure I understand your point. You're saying AA is working to change customer's understanding of miles such that only AAnytime awards are expected? That may be the case, but it raises the question: How does AA expect to continue selling miles to banks and other large purchasers?
Because they deceive people into believing that by charging a few miles on their Citibank card that they will be able to use them. They can't. I've met two people in the last week who are low spenders but who signhed up for the Citibank card. I They were enticiced by the signup bonus and with minimal spending on the card they thought they could get a free flight to some distant place for a vacation. I've told them to cancel the card immediately. My wife has also cancelled her Citibank card as there is absolutely no way of using those miles out of SMF in business class.
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Old Aug 21, 17, 11:09 pm
  #1444  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
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Originally Posted by Paulchili View Post
I am not sure why you think AA wants to loose someone as a customer who accumulated 600,000 AA miles (or most likely many more). It doesn't matter if these miles were accumulated by flying AA or with CCs because AA got paid for them one way or another - either directly or from Citi. If AA thought they weren't getting their money's worth from Citi, they would stop selling them miles.
Those that leave AA as customers will not be spending any more money on flying AA or paying Citi (and AA) for those miles. How is that a winning strategy for AA?
My heart is not bleeding for AA. I don't make a habit of spending my money where it is not appreciated (as a loyalty) nor where I get nothing (or very little) back in return for my business when other better options are available to me.
Ultimately, AA believes that the incremental profit from reducing award availability will outweigh losses due to decreased loyalty. The only thing we can do is take our revenue elsewhere and complain loudly so that, during revenue management/award availability decisions, AA factors in higher average losses from decreased loyalty, thus tipping the scales back more in the customer's favor.

Are we loud enough? Will we be successful? Will award availability improve? Who knows (probably not), but at the very least I'm taking my business elsewhere (living in ORD and spending lots of time in SFO means United is a great alternative, especially since they've been on an upward trajectory since Jeff and crew were ousted).
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Old Aug 21, 17, 11:38 pm
  #1445  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
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I am actually coming into the thread to post that, with persistence and some luck, I managed R/T Asia in business saver (70k each) for the dates I needed. I scored two returns from NRT back in July (wife and myself), and tonight I got one outbound saver. The other ticket I'm going to just buy revenue rather than hope for even more luck. And I do have to set up a positioning flight (PHX to LAX)


Originally Posted by JIMCHI View Post
Because they deceive people into believing that by charging a few miles on their Citibank card that they will be able to use them. They can't. I've met two people in the last week who are low spenders but who signhed up for the Citibank card.
I agree that the cards aren't worth spending on, but they can be worth having for the baggage and priority boarding, and for the high end card, the lounge access. And a bit of Devil's Advocate on value, if you consider a 240k r/t anytime redemption as worth $3500 (an approximation of round trip business tickets that I've paid on other carriers), then it's $0.015/mi, or 1.5% cash back. Then again, by the time someone can spend enough to reach those sorts of levels, the program will probably be devalued again.
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Old Aug 21, 17, 11:57 pm
  #1446  
 
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Originally Posted by nautikal View Post
Are we loud enough?
If their analysts are doing their jobs, being "loud" won't help - they'll be looking for quantifiable changes in behavior/revenue streams. The loudest customers are often the ones who have no intention of taking their business elsewhere but are just looking for freebies.
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Old Aug 22, 17, 7:33 am
  #1447  
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This thread just reminds me how lucky I am. Can easily drive to JFK or PHL and use my miles for partner awards. To me that still represents a good value. I am about to clean out my AA account from 300k to 0 in one shot for 2 RT J tickets to Africa on QR.
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Old Aug 22, 17, 7:55 am
  #1448  
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Originally Posted by biggestbopper View Post
American Express and Delta show that offering (nearly) worthless Sky Pesos can be effective as a marketing tool. Folks don't know how worthless they are until redemption is attempted.
thats what I used to think till my last 4 recent cash-ins; 1- JFK-SAV r/t 12k 2- JFK-FLL r/t 12k, 3- HUI-HAN 1 way Biz 20k (removes all the problems with overweight bags and overweight carry-on) 4- West of the Rockies - JFK 10k 1 way
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Old Aug 22, 17, 11:29 am
  #1449  
 
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Originally Posted by rjw242 View Post
If their analysts are doing their jobs, being "loud" won't help - they'll be looking for quantifiable changes in behavior/revenue streams. The loudest customers are often the ones who have no intention of taking their business elsewhere but are just looking for freebies.
Yes, but it's hard to determine the reason why a group of customers' spend might have decreased just from the numbers. It could be a number of things—pricing, service issues, network changes, competitors improving, etc.

The more flak they receive and that's posted on social media, the better.
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Old Aug 22, 17, 2:43 pm
  #1450  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 149
Well, keep complaining. AA actually just called me in response to an email complaint I sent about the lack of award space. Said they will pass along the feedback and look into how their award space is comparable to the other carriers (I referenced a couple of the blogs that have covered this). Still probably won't change things, but it can't hurt

FWIW I was Exec Plat 2014-2016 and am Plat this year
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Old Aug 22, 17, 8:23 pm
  #1451  
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
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Originally Posted by chicago747 View Post
AA loaded the ORD-VCE flight today and it's a goldmine for space. I'me seeing 3 business saver awards and 7 "C" upgrade space for every day I checked in May and June.

edit* looks like Prague and Budapest flights show similar results
Seems there would have been more positive posts about the release. Was a huge inventory release during prime season to Europe. Finding sAAver J seats on Europe-bound redeyes is typically very tough.

I grabbed 3 U and 1 T to VCE in June. Have 10 months to convert the T to a U or I'll be sitting in the back while wife and kids sleep comfortably.

Last edited by oysterhead43; Aug 22, 17 at 8:29 pm
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Old Aug 22, 17, 8:25 pm
  #1452  
 
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deleted
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Old Aug 22, 17, 8:57 pm
  #1453  
 
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Originally Posted by oysterhead43 View Post
Seems there would have been more positive posts about the release. Was a huge inventory release during prime season to Europe. Finding sAAver J seats on Europe-bound redeyes is typically very tough.

I grabbed 3 U and 1 T to VCE in June. Have 10 months to convert the T to a U or I'll be sitting in the back while wife and kids sleep comfortably.
Unless you live in ORD, getting award seats to ORD can be a big problem.
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Old Aug 23, 17, 11:55 am
  #1454  
 
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Originally Posted by JIMCHI View Post
Unless you live in ORD, getting award seats to ORD can be a big problem.
Not my experience, from BNA. Getting flights to ORD and DFW much easier than PHL and JFK.
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Old Aug 23, 17, 2:53 pm
  #1455  
 
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Impossible to get awards from LAX to ORD or PHL in J with the lead time I need.
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