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AirPass Prepaid Travel (née AAirpass, not Lifetime Airpass) Master Thread

Old Dec 1, 2015, 8:52 am
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Last edit by: Shawn02139
American Airlines AirPass PrePaid Travel

NOTE: The program is Airpass; no longer named "AAirpass"
Link to AirPass front page

Link to aa.com AirPass contact and links page.

Prepaid, Unrestricted Air Travel at a Fixed Rate

As an AirPass member, you won’t have to search for fares or pay extra for last-minute trips. Your airfare is pre-paid at a fixed rate and your account is ready when you need to travel to any of the more than 350 destinations in the combined American Airlines and US Airways network.
AirPass offers significant savings on fares (as well as guaranteed last seat availability) for flyers who know they will fly a lot but find themselves buying expensive last minute walk-up level fares.

AirPass, depending on level of purchase, includes status and may include up to Executive Platinum status and Admirals Club membership, or even Concierge Key, which includes both.

AirPass members get a courtesy drink and a snack if they're traveling in Coach, much as Executive Platinums do; unlike Executive Platinums, their traveling companion does also.

14 Jan 2016 jmappleby said: "...they take credit via wire transfer at $10k (Gold), $20k (Platinum), $30k (EP). Concierge Key is available for $50k individual spend or $75k team spend."
AirPass can be for different classes of service, and except for "PlanAAhead Economy", book into Y, J or F classes (and in 2016 will earn AA Elite Qualifying Miles at Y, J or F levels) and for Economy AirPass flyers offers "instant upgrade" fares that book into A for First or D for Business. These may not be available on all routes, however, and the legal routes may change during your contract.

Contact AirPass

AirPass Customer Service
800-433-6355
817-931-9029 - Fax

Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 5 p.m. (CT)

Send us a letter
FedEX / UPS / Overnight mail
American Airlines
AirPass Customer Service
4255 Amon Carter Blvd.
MD 4106
Fort Worth, TX 76155

U.S mail
American Airlines, Inc.
AirPass Customer Service
P.O. Box 619616
MD 4106
DFW Airport, TX 75261-9616
You can get indicative pricing here: https://airpass.aa.com/vt-customer/c...ervations.html
The best deal seems to be the -UP fares, where you pay the standard economy, but book a confirmed seat into business
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AirPass Prepaid Travel (née AAirpass, not Lifetime Airpass) Master Thread

Old Apr 29, 2021, 11:35 am
  #721  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Live: IWI; Work: DCA/Everywhere; Play: LAS/SJU/MLE
Programs: AA EXP, DL PM, Hyatt Glob, Marriott Ambassador/LTP, Nat'l Exec Elite, LEYE Gold
Posts: 6,709
Originally Posted by metallo
Airpass funds can only be used to cover Airpass fares (rather than the publicly available fares at AA.com). You can also use the funds to purchase Five Star service. Unfortunately, you cannot just find any fare at AA.com and apply your Airpass funds to it.

When an Airpass member logs into his/her AA account, next to the "redeem miles" checkbox, there is a second checkbox that says "Airpass." If you click that box and search, it will display links to available Airpass fares for the flight, which are completely separate from the normal fares on AA.com and can vary even amongst Airpass members, based on the rates in their individual contracts.
Ah, that's too bad.
platbrownguy is offline  
Old May 28, 2021, 7:13 am
  #722  
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Join Date: Sep 2019
Programs: AA: CK
Posts: 2,230
Your Airpass account will be charged immediately.

What's with this? Up until today, bookings were charged when flown. This is new. I'm assuming the tickets are still 100% refundable, flexible?

I also noted that it ticketed immediately.

I feel like this is a mid-contract violation of some sort?

But it's nice to see the price actually...
BlooJoo is offline  
Old May 28, 2021, 10:06 am
  #723  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: STL/ORD/MCI/SAN
Programs: AA CK MM, AC SE100K, BA Gold, UA 1K, DL Plat, Hyatt Globalist, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Platinum
Posts: 1,990
Originally Posted by BlooJoo
Your Airpass account will be charged immediately.

What's with this? Up until today, bookings were charged when flown. This is new. I'm assuming the tickets are still 100% refundable, flexible?

I also noted that it ticketed immediately.

I feel like this is a mid-contract violation of some sort?

But it's nice to see the price actually...
Did you recently renew your Airpass contract?

Late last year (I believe around September), Airpass apparently began switching to a "NextGen" Airpass, which changes the rules significantly. Those rules are also NOT reflected in my 2021 contract. I agree it's odd that AA would just so blatantly go against written contract terms.

The biggest changes I see so far are:

1) Ticketing and debiting of funds from the account are instant (refunds are not, however, instant, and I found the refund process -exceptionally- frustrating -- trips would show refunded on the Prefunds site, but the funds never went back to my UATP card).
2) Instrument upgrades like SWUs are no longer allowed.
3) If you fly with a companion, your AAdvantage number is no longer applied to their reservation (they use their own number), so rather than the Airpass member earning companion miles, the companion now earns their own.

There may be other changes I haven't noticed, but the NextGen Airpass is the new product and, per the Airpass reps, everyone will eventually be converted to it as contracts are renewed. This press release is the only publicly available document I can find from AA that references any change to Airpass, but it seems like it's essentially talking about the NextGen product. The phone reps have a whole file about it that tells them what they should and shouldn't do now with Airpass bookings, but some of them seem to be very confused and not fully in the loop about these changes.
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metallo is offline  
Old May 28, 2021, 1:29 pm
  #724  
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Join Date: Sep 2019
Programs: AA: CK
Posts: 2,230
Originally Posted by metallo
Did you recently renew your Airpass contract?

Late last year (I believe around September), Airpass apparently began switching to a "NextGen" Airpass, which changes the rules significantly. Those rules are also NOT reflected in my 2021 contract. I agree it's odd that AA would just so blatantly go against written contract terms.

The biggest changes I see so far are:

1) Ticketing and debiting of funds from the account are instant (refunds are not, however, instant, and I found the refund process -exceptionally- frustrating -- trips would show refunded on the Prefunds site, but the funds never went back to my UATP card).
2) Instrument upgrades like SWUs are no longer allowed.
3) If you fly with a companion, your AAdvantage number is no longer applied to their reservation (they use their own number), so rather than the Airpass member earning companion miles, the companion now earns their own.

There may be other changes I haven't noticed, but the NextGen Airpass is the new product and, per the Airpass reps, everyone will eventually be converted to it as contracts are renewed. This press release is the only publicly available document I can find from AA that references any change to Airpass, but it seems like it's essentially talking about the NextGen product. The phone reps have a whole file about it that tells them what they should and shouldn't do now with Airpass bookings, but some of them seem to be very confused and not fully in the loop about these changes.
No, I did not recently renew, and I've only been loaded onto NextGen Airpass as of today. This sounds very frustrating. I'm going to reach out to my rep to ask to be removed from it (although they'll probably say no).
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BlooJoo is offline  
Old May 28, 2021, 1:39 pm
  #725  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: ORD
Programs: AA ExPlat (2MM), Marriott LT Titanium
Posts: 291
Originally Posted by BlooJoo
Your Airpass account will be charged immediately.

What's with this? Up until today, bookings were charged when flown. This is new. I'm assuming the tickets are still 100% refundable, flexible?

I also noted that it ticketed immediately.

I feel like this is a mid-contract violation of some sort?

But it's nice to see the price actually...
Received this email on Tuesday, followed by an email invitation to register for the new "contract management website":

Your AirPass membership is getting a major upgrade including additional carriers to the program, adding seamless travel journey benefits and launching an enhanced account management platform at airpass.com.

On Wednesday, May 26th you will receive an email to complete registration for the enhanced AirPass account management platform. Simply follow the instructions in the email to complete registration and set a password for your AirPass account.

Here's what to expect:

Online account management

All contract details, account balance, members and six years of account statement history will be automatically available within your account.

Note: upon migration, your current primary account contact will have administrator rights to your migrated account, while all other account contacts will initially have limited (called “statement recipient”) access. The primary contact will be able to upgrade other contacts to give them edit privileges by changing account settings within the new platform once the other contacts have redeemed their invitations. You can update the primary contact on your AirPass account up to 24 hours before migration to ensure that you have the appropriate designation made.

Introducing AirPass airline partners

AirPass travel now extends to eligible flights on our airline partners including Finnair, Iberia and Japan Airlines*. Once you've completed your registration for the enhanced account management platform, your members can book AirPass flights on airline partners. Select membership benefits may only be available for travel on American, but members continue to enjoy fixed-rate fares, Admirals Club® access, free checked baggage and more when traveling on our airline partners. Stay tuned for upcoming announcements on additional airline partners.

AirPass program updates

We're continuously enhancing the AirPass program to provide members with the most elevated travel experience. The latest program updates include:

· Book AirPass travel via aa.com, the American Airlines for Business booking tool, American Airlines reservations or your travel agency

· 24/7 dedicated support via American Airlines reservations with a priority help desk to minimize wait time

· Purchase Five Star ServiceTM with AirPass funds

· Companions now earn AAdvantage miles when traveling on AirPass with a member

· Upgrade your experience with an instant cabin upgrade (when available) or a 500-mile upgrade certificate

· Beginning early 2021, enjoy a complimentary annual wi-fi subscription

Real-time fund availability

When booking AirPass travel, fares are deducted from your account at the time of booking to provide real-time fund availability. You must have funds available in your account to complete your reservation. Coming later this year, you’ll be able to add travel funds online at airpass.com.

Refunding AirPass travel

Sometimes travel plans change, and when that happens AirPass members can cancel and refund their trip without incurring a fee. For the most seamless refund experience, we strongly encourage members to cancel their trips prior to departure.

Please allow up to four business days for refunds to process for travel canceled prior to departure and up to one month for travel canceled after the scheduled departure date. For more information on the refund process, please review the AirPass Refunds resource guide.

Upcoming AirPass travel

Rest assured that your upcoming AirPass travel won’t be disrupted while your account is transitioned to the new account management platform. Previously booked reservations will be deducted from your account after departure and you’ll receive a receipt from AirPass Customer Service. For any new reservations, AirPass fares will be deducted from your account at the time of booking.

Agency bookings

If a travel agency will be booking AirPass flights on your behalf, please contact AirPass Customer Service to provide your agency's name and contact information to avoid any interruption in agency bookings.

*For customers who book using a travel agency please have the agency fill out the form

As a part of that process, we need to collect some information from you to enable you to support your customer. At your earliest convenience, can you please complete the following form foundhere.

We need this information to enable fare viewership for you so that your customer can begin booking and flying with their new AirPass account. Upon receiving the completed form from you, we will enable everything that you need price, book, and ticket AirPass.

After we’ve completed our work you will be notified via email and provided with relevant agency information.

We're here to help. For all questions regarding the AirPass program or assistance with your membership, please contact AirPass Customer Service at [email protected] or via phone at 800-433-6355.

*Eligible AirPass flights include travel flown and ticketed on American Airlines (001) ticket stock or American Airlines codeshare (AA*) flights operated by Iberia, Finnair and Japan Airlines and ticketed on American Airlines (001) ticket stock.


AirPass Customer Service

www.AirPass.aa.com

800-433-6355 option 1

0800-1730 CST Monday-Friday

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cphurley is offline  
Old May 28, 2021, 1:44 pm
  #726  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: STL/ORD/MCI/SAN
Programs: AA CK MM, AC SE100K, BA Gold, UA 1K, DL Plat, Hyatt Globalist, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Platinum
Posts: 1,990
Originally Posted by BlooJoo
No, I did not recently renew, and I've only been loaded onto NextGen Airpass as of today. This sounds very frustrating. I'm going to reach out to my rep to ask to be removed from it (although they'll probably say no).
I signed a contract in early 2021, and I had quite a few discussions with Airpass reps before joining the program. Nothing about these changes was ever mentioned to me by any of the representatives, and the language in my contract seems to reflect the old Airpass system. The whole NextGen thing is sort of bizarre, to be honest, particularly for a program that has a fairly extensive/detailed contract. Most non-Airpass reservations agents aren't up to speed on the changes. When I tried to use a J to F SWU a couple of months ago, the res agent applied it, and I received an F seat assignment, but a my reservation never re-ticketed (after multiple days of waiting), and it was only when I called in about the ticketing that I was told SWUs can't be used on Airpass tickets anymore. You can get instant upgrade F for the same price as Airpass "full J" (but you can't do an instant upgrade to J and then a SWU to F anymore, I guess).

Whatever about the SWUs, though, the instant ticketing/debiting system now is actually the more frustrating part to me. The fact that I had to keep such close track of refunds, which never seem to process without manual intervention, has been exceptionally frustrating and sort of defeats the purpose of last minute/fully refundable travel. I didn't post anything here about it for quite some time, thinking it was fair to give them time to adjust to a new system, but it's continued to be a problem, and anyone considering joining/renewing Airpass deserves to be aware of it at this point.
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metallo is offline  
Old May 28, 2021, 1:50 pm
  #727  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: STL/ORD/MCI/SAN
Programs: AA CK MM, AC SE100K, BA Gold, UA 1K, DL Plat, Hyatt Globalist, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Platinum
Posts: 1,990
Originally Posted by cphurley
Received this email on Tuesday, followed by an email invitation to register for the new "contract management website":

Your AirPass membership is getting a major upgrade including additional carriers to the program, adding seamless travel journey benefits and launching an enhanced account management platform at airpass.com.

On Wednesday, May 26th you will receive an email to complete registration for the enhanced AirPass account management platform. Simply follow the instructions in the email to complete registration and set a password for your AirPass account.

Here's what to expect:

Online account management

All contract details, account balance, members and six years of account statement history will be automatically available within your account.

Note: upon migration, your current primary account contact will have administrator rights to your migrated account, while all other account contacts will initially have limited (called “statement recipient”) access. The primary contact will be able to upgrade other contacts to give them edit privileges by changing account settings within the new platform once the other contacts have redeemed their invitations. You can update the primary contact on your AirPass account up to 24 hours before migration to ensure that you have the appropriate designation made.

Introducing AirPass airline partners

AirPass travel now extends to eligible flights on our airline partners including Finnair, Iberia and Japan Airlines*. Once you've completed your registration for the enhanced account management platform, your members can book AirPass flights on airline partners. Select membership benefits may only be available for travel on American, but members continue to enjoy fixed-rate fares, Admirals Club® access, free checked baggage and more when traveling on our airline partners. Stay tuned for upcoming announcements on additional airline partners.

AirPass program updates

We're continuously enhancing the AirPass program to provide members with the most elevated travel experience. The latest program updates include:

· Book AirPass travel via aa.com, the American Airlines for Business booking tool, American Airlines reservations or your travel agency

· 24/7 dedicated support via American Airlines reservations with a priority help desk to minimize wait time

· Purchase Five Star ServiceTM with AirPass funds

· Companions now earn AAdvantage miles when traveling on AirPass with a member

· Upgrade your experience with an instant cabin upgrade (when available) or a 500-mile upgrade certificate

· Beginning early 2021, enjoy a complimentary annual wi-fi subscription

Real-time fund availability

When booking AirPass travel, fares are deducted from your account at the time of booking to provide real-time fund availability. You must have funds available in your account to complete your reservation. Coming later this year, you’ll be able to add travel funds online at airpass.com.

Refunding AirPass travel

Sometimes travel plans change, and when that happens AirPass members can cancel and refund their trip without incurring a fee. For the most seamless refund experience, we strongly encourage members to cancel their trips prior to departure.

Please allow up to four business days for refunds to process for travel canceled prior to departure and up to one month for travel canceled after the scheduled departure date. For more information on the refund process, please review the AirPass Refunds resource guide.

Upcoming AirPass travel

Rest assured that your upcoming AirPass travel won’t be disrupted while your account is transitioned to the new account management platform. Previously booked reservations will be deducted from your account after departure and you’ll receive a receipt from AirPass Customer Service. For any new reservations, AirPass fares will be deducted from your account at the time of booking.

Agency bookings

If a travel agency will be booking AirPass flights on your behalf, please contact AirPass Customer Service to provide your agency's name and contact information to avoid any interruption in agency bookings.

*For customers who book using a travel agency please have the agency fill out the form

As a part of that process, we need to collect some information from you to enable you to support your customer. At your earliest convenience, can you please complete the following form foundhere.

We need this information to enable fare viewership for you so that your customer can begin booking and flying with their new AirPass account. Upon receiving the completed form from you, we will enable everything that you need price, book, and ticket AirPass.

After we’ve completed our work you will be notified via email and provided with relevant agency information.

We're here to help. For all questions regarding the AirPass program or assistance with your membership, please contact AirPass Customer Service at [email protected] or via phone at 800-433-6355.

*Eligible AirPass flights include travel flown and ticketed on American Airlines (001) ticket stock or American Airlines codeshare (AA*) flights operated by Iberia, Finnair and Japan Airlines and ticketed on American Airlines (001) ticket stock.


AirPass Customer Service

www.AirPass.aa.com

800-433-6355 option 1

0800-1730 CST Monday-Friday


Interesting. It seems like they're moving everyone to the "NextGen" system even on existing contracts. Thanks for posting that email, as I don't think I received it.
metallo is offline  
Old May 28, 2021, 1:55 pm
  #728  
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Join Date: May 2018
Programs: AA ConciergeKey, Marriott Ambassador, Hyatt Globalist, Hilton Gold, United Silver
Posts: 63
Originally Posted by metallo
Interesting. It seems like they're moving everyone to the "NextGen" system even on existing contracts. Thanks for posting that email, as I don't think I received it.
I can confirm that they moved me to NextGen on my existing contract, and the new web interface is not great (impossible to download a statement or see detailed flight debits).
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goldtiger is offline  
Old May 28, 2021, 3:07 pm
  #729  
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Join Date: Sep 2019
Programs: AA: CK
Posts: 2,230
I did not receive this email. The ability to book on JAL and IB is appealing to me. Overall, I feel OK with the changes, but some notice would have been nice. Looks like airpass.aa.com is having issues right now, so I can't check.
BlooJoo is offline  
Old May 28, 2021, 11:57 pm
  #730  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: STL/ORD/MCI/SAN
Programs: AA CK MM, AC SE100K, BA Gold, UA 1K, DL Plat, Hyatt Globalist, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Platinum
Posts: 1,990
Originally Posted by BlooJoo
No, I did not recently renew, and I've only been loaded onto NextGen Airpass as of today. This sounds very frustrating. I'm going to reach out to my rep to ask to be removed from it (although they'll probably say no).
Would be curious to know what sort of response they give... I mean, I don't see Airpass members seriously considering litigating over these changes, but this is a large corporation unilaterally modifying terms mid-contract, when those contracts are 6 figures, in many cases, so it seems a bit odd.

I'm not sure how much other feedback we'll get, given that Airpass is a fairly small program within such a large airline as AA, but if anyone has other data points, it would be quite interesting to hear them.
metallo is offline  
Old May 29, 2021, 7:10 am
  #731  
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Join Date: Sep 2019
Programs: AA: CK
Posts: 2,230
I'm seeing the ability to book JL, IB, AY on aa.com now using Airpass now!
BlooJoo is offline  
Old May 29, 2021, 7:46 am
  #732  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: AUS
Programs: BAEC Gold, AA PPro, Hyatt Globalist, Amex Plat
Posts: 7,103
Given the JV relationship w/BA, I find it a little surprising that Iberia is included in the new program but not BA...

Anyhow, still can't make this program pencil out for myself even though I occasionally find it intriguing.

Regards
scubadu is offline  
Old May 29, 2021, 7:48 am
  #733  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Programs: AA: CK
Posts: 2,230
Originally Posted by scubadu
Given the JV relationship w/BA, I find it a little surprising that Iberia is included in the new program but not BA...

Anyhow, still can't make this program pencil out for myself even though I occasionally find it intriguing.

Regards
Yeah, that surprises me as well!
BlooJoo is offline  
Old May 31, 2021, 2:31 am
  #734  
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 222
I have read the writing on the wall for quite some time with regards to AA Airpass. AA is killing the program...whether intentional or not is up for debate.

The ability to book on JL or IB is a gimmick and it's only valid for travel originating and ending in North America. So if you calculate the rates its a royal rip off compared to nearly all free market bookable fares on those carriers. Basically using Airpass to book on JL or IB is just a way to overpay (especially in premium cabins) with little to no upside.

Practically all the value of Airpass is gone and it's left with just fixed HIGHER THAN MARKET RATE pricing with no real additional benefits especially since change fees are gone. Is basically now just a UATP declining balance payment card that's limited to a single carrier (AA) and worse of all it's based off of inflated rates (which remarkably continue to be increased for renewals).

Airpass used to be valuable if you (or a team of people) didn't know if they were going to be say returning on a Thursday or Friday from a business trip. The idea was you pay AA a premium for the flexibility to book both return options and then only fly the one you needed. That flexibility is now almost entirely gone as you are limited to only booking how much credit is left in your Airpass account. Then to throw salt on the wound AA takes nearly a week to refund cancelled ticket balances to your account further hindering and limiting the flexibility to book an alternate flight or date. And lastly AA offers elite status for Airpass holders upon contract signing and then takes away the ability to use elite status for upgrades and other elite benefits.

Any savvy corporate travel department or individual is much better suited to now just hire a third party travel agency to pay as you go and account for credits and not be loyal to any one carrier. Booking through an agency and using unused ticket values, particularly on AA, is seamless/instant and not subject to the week or so waiting period for Airpass refunds. Many agencies now offer virtualized and automated systems to accomplish this across multiple carriers (albeit the unused credits are not portable). AA markets and sells all the same Y, J, F, Y-UP and J-UP fares (H,D,I,R and C-THRU and A-THRU) directly to the public at rates equal to or better than Airpass bands. We have crunched the numbers up and down and right to left and you will always make out better using a third party travel agency as opposed to the next gen Airpass. Yes, there is an exception less than five percent of the time but 1 in 20 flights will not make up any meaningful savings because you will be loosing 19 out of 20 times on price.

Earlier this year AA made the unfortunate decision to accelerate their conversion of ALL Airpass accounts to the NextGen platform regardless of contract term. They were going to wait and abide by the terms of their existing Airpass customer contracts and wait until contract renewals/replacements but they threw caution to the wind and are forcefully converting all accounts this year. For those customers that have 2020 and early 2021 contracts AA is absolutely in violation of multiple contract provisions and you have the right to terminate for a refund of the remaining balance.
FleyeSkyHigh is offline  
Old May 31, 2021, 2:51 am
  #735  
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Programs: Hyatt Lifetime Globalist
Posts: 646
Originally Posted by FleyeSkyHigh
So if you calculate the rates its a royal rip off compared to nearly all free market bookable fares on those carriers. Basically using Airpass to book on JL or IB is just a way to overpay (especially in premium cabins) with little to no upside.

Practically all the value of Airpass is gone and it's left with just fixed HIGHER THAN MARKET RATE pricing with no real additional benefits especially since change fees are gone. Is basically now just a UATP declining balance payment card that's limited to a single carrier (AA) and worse of all it's based off of inflated rates (which remarkably continue to be increased for renewals).

We have crunched the numbers up and down and right to left and you will always make out better using a third party travel agency as opposed to the next gen Airpass. Yes, there is an exception less than five percent of the time but 1 in 20 flights will not make up any meaningful savings because you will be loosing 19 out of 20 times on price.
.
Last year I carefully examined and researched the program and came to exactly the same conclusions as you detailed. A giant rip-off and cash grab.
LoungeLizardHugo is offline  

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