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American EXP vs. United 1K - comparison thoughts?

American EXP vs. United 1K - comparison thoughts?

Old Dec 27, 2013, 6:26 pm
  #31  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: CMH, sometimes AVP, formerly down the Shore
Programs: UA 1K/3MM, AA EXP/3MM, DL MM, former fan of TWA
Posts: 1,853
I am EXP and 1K, and I agree with most here who say that EXP trumps 1K.

For me, the two big UA advantages (and why I keep flying United) are:
- Award availability. I've been cashing out a lot of awards lately, and United pretty much always has something available for me. I am now burning through my more valuable UA miles while my AA miles are sitting around because it is more difficult to find available flights.
- The same-day confirmed change thing on United is wonderful. Truly wonderful.

These days, United has become totally dreadful on IRROPS, and that is the part of my 1K status that I miss the most. But I keep flying them because I can use awards and the SDC feature.
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Old Dec 27, 2013, 7:53 pm
  #32  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Programs: LT NoN REV
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Originally Posted by Seat 1F
Speaking as both a 1K and an EXP, I would say EXP trumps 1K easily. There is no real competition. EXP is a much better program.

I would add that even in the PMUA days, 1K was inferior to EXP. The 1K desk (even when there was one) has never been as good as the EXP desk.
+1

I belıeve ua has better award availability to europe than AA due to BA award restrictions.
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Old Dec 27, 2013, 9:48 pm
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Shareholder
No longer relevant after January 6th when AA fliers will have access to all the US lounges at PHL. With the limited flights AA operates from that terminal it made no sense for both BA and AA to operate separate lounges. And UA's UC there is a pretty small one.
Interestingly, as of Dec 15, signs appeared at some airports inviting elites of either airline to use the First Class ticket counter check in lines:
Originally Posted by JHark
Saw a new Priority Checkin sign at STX, which was probably deployed before Jan 7th against the rules (but no one follows the rules in St Croix anyway).

I don't know if the photo will display. If it doesn't tell me how to do it.

It says:

American (logo)

PRIORITY
Customer Assistance

First Class
Business Class
Executive Platinum
Platinum
Gold
US Airways Dividend Miles Preferred

...
Originally Posted by swag
It's reciprocal.

This was at the US ticket counter today at DFW.



AA elites can use the first class check in line here for US.
serfty is offline  
Old Dec 28, 2013, 12:30 am
  #34  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: SF BayArea
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Posts: 2,223
Good discussion/comparison going on here & it has aided my internal debate on which carrier to stick with beyond 2014. I am UA1K & AAEXP & have qualified on both airlines again for 2014. However, next year I'll probably only fly 100k paid flights & need to choose where I credit those paid trips.

Flying out of SFO, love AA's Terminal 2 & even the reduced number of non-stop flights, (compared to UA) will probably stick with AA, unless Parker really messes with the AA program. Have no complaints on AA boarding process & it's great that one can use SWU's on any fare code flight. Domestic upgrade record on AA has been excellent, while UA has gone down to about 65%. I like where AA is going with updating their fleet, & their current planes, for the most part, are clean & in good working condition. Their EXP desk is wonderful & on the ground & in the air, I like being treated politely & thanked for my business.
Seems on UA, I am frequently on an old plane, with broken seats, duct taped carpeting, very dated & mixed-bag AVOD & overall, planes are just plain tired & dirty. UA merger was not handled well & with all the successful models out there, it should have been. The fact that it is still going through merger problems at this late date does not reflect well on executive management. My negative attitude towards UA is further compounded by the recent devaluation of UA's mileage awards, & as a direct result of the latter, I am burning through my UA miles on 1st class travel for myself, family & friends in 2014.
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Old Dec 28, 2013, 10:16 am
  #35  
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: DFW - DL MM/SM, AA 5MM/CK, MR LT Titanium
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As another EXP/1K I'll chime in to agree with the general sentiment of this thread. I'm a longtime EXP but I earned 1K in the first quarter of 2012 after AA dropped its DEL-ORD service and I was able to get some very good business class fares on UA ex-BKK. It was nice enough at the time (even with the merger meltdown in March 2012) but since then I have hardly ever chosen UA over AA.

My travel is almost all long haul premium to Asia, so my main concern is the ability to upgrade to F. The inbility to use GPUs on any fare, sketchy upgrade availability, and smaller F cabins on the UA 777s are the main reasons why I don't fly UA very often. I always thought that the boarding process on UA was a bit of a free for all but I think that they have changed that for the better.

Like many other AA fliers, I'm concerned about the direction that management is taking the airline. There's no guarantee that we won't see a replay of the UA/CO fiasco in the coming months, and AA's abandoning of F on the majority of its international routes is a big negative as well. But for now, EXP wins hands down over 1K, at least for this flyer.

Happy New Year everyone.
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Old Dec 28, 2013, 2:58 pm
  #36  
 
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Back to the original questions - AA EXP or UA 1K. Definitely AA EXP is better (I am both).

As pointed out UA 1K is the 2nd tier on UA - GS is the first tier.
AA CK just gives you EXP with same priorities as regular EXP - so AA EXP is really the top tier.

CK gives you - free membership in AC, Flagship Checkin at the few Hub airports that have it, and special tracking if flight irregularities. CK's get rebooked first when a flight gets cancelled - CK get called first. If late arrival - met at gate and they call the connecting gate. Other than the ground related stuff, CK = EXP for everything else.
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Old Dec 29, 2013, 1:05 am
  #37  
 
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Not even close. EXP is marginally better than US CP, but both are far superior to 1K. I'd say my upgrade rate was <40% as a 1K and it was pretty common for me to be offered a buy up when I was on the waitlist. The lack of internet on UA is a real deal breaker for me. The borderline useless SWUs don't do UA any favors either.

US had the worst award availability - and no one way awards. I didn't see an appreciable difference between UA and AA in this regard.
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Old Dec 29, 2013, 9:19 am
  #38  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Midwest
Programs: UA GS, UA 1.6MM, AA LT PLT, AA 2.6MM, Intercontinental Royal Ambassador
Posts: 837
Originally Posted by cova
Back to the original questions - AA EXP or UA 1K. Definitely AA EXP is better (I am both).

As pointed out UA 1K is the 2nd tier on UA - GS is the first tier.
AA CK just gives you EXP with same priorities as regular EXP - so AA EXP is really the top tier.

CK gives you - free membership in AC, Flagship Checkin at the few Hub airports that have it, and special tracking if flight irregularities. CK's get rebooked first when a flight gets cancelled - CK get called first. If late arrival - met at gate and they call the connecting gate. Other than the ground related stuff, CK = EXP for everything else.
Which is why UA GS > AA CK (I am both). If AA takes CK and makes it a separate tier which I think it will (AA now publicizes the plan and tags actually spell out "Concierge Key" so it's headed that way IMHO), I will be fully dedicated to AA.

But as I pointed out earlier in this thread, AA EXP upgrades work best for those who book early. For late bookers, UA GS is much, much better. It sounds like late 1K bookers don't get upgraded as much so EXP beats 1K, but GS definitely beats CK.
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Old Dec 29, 2013, 10:47 am
  #39  
wjj
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
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Originally Posted by cova
Back to the original questions - AA EXP or UA 1K. Definitely AA EXP is better (I am both).

As pointed out UA 1K is the 2nd tier on UA - GS is the first tier.
AA CK just gives you EXP with same priorities as regular EXP - so AA EXP is really the top tier.

CK gives you - free membership in AC, Flagship Checkin at the few Hub airports that have it, and special tracking if flight irregularities. CK's get rebooked first when a flight gets cancelled - CK get called first. If late arrival - met at gate and they call the connecting gate. Other than the ground related stuff, CK = EXP for everything else.
CK also waives the fee when using miles to upgrade - something that is not available to EXP. Also, there is additional availability of awards to CK, even if not widely publicized. And, as has been pointed out by others, the CK phone assistance is amazing.

In another post, I asked about the difference between GS and 1K versus CK and EXP since I have been offered GS for 2014. I did not see any advantage of GS over CK and saw only minimal differences between GS and 1K. GS is higher up the chain on the upgrade list than 1K, but with the limited ability to use global upgrades (the biggest issue for me going from J to F on TPAC) and random PAX being able to upgrade over a GS and a 1K for a small fee, I just do not see how GS is materially better than 1K and it seems to fall far short of CK and EXP. Responses to my earlier post from UA flyers seems to confirm that. But if I am missing something, I would like to know since switching some of my premium cabin TPAC flying to UA would allow me to get to 1K to qualify through 1/2016 while still retaining EXP. I might lose CK in the process, but might be able to retain GS since it seems to be based more on cents per mile flown than anything else. And since all of my TPAC flying is in paid business or paid first, the spend needed to reach 1K is a non issue and the cents per mile flown would be pretty high.

With AA reducing ORD-NRT to 5 days a week, this is more than just looking for greener grass for me. On some trips I will be forced onto another carrier unless I want to take the chance of connecting through LAX or DFW along with a much longer trip - which is already bad enough non stop.

So if there are real differences, I would appreciate any additional insights.
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Old Dec 29, 2013, 11:25 am
  #40  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
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Originally Posted by wjj
CK also waives the fee when using miles to upgrade - something that is not available to EXP. Also, there is additional availability of awards to CK, even if not widely publicized. And, as has been pointed out by others, the CK phone assistance is amazing.

In another post, I asked about the difference between GS and 1K versus CK and EXP since I have been offered GS for 2014. I did not see any advantage of GS over CK and saw only minimal differences between GS and 1K. GS is higher up the chain on the upgrade list than 1K, but with the limited ability to use global upgrades (the biggest issue for me going from J to F on TPAC) and random PAX being able to upgrade over a GS and a 1K for a small fee, I just do not see how GS is materially better than 1K and it seems to fall far short of CK and EXP. Responses to my earlier post from UA flyers seems to confirm that. But if I am missing something, I would like to know since switching some of my premium cabin TPAC flying to UA would allow me to get to 1K to qualify through 1/2016 while still retaining EXP. I might lose CK in the process, but might be able to retain GS since it seems to be based more on cents per mile flown than anything else. And since all of my TPAC flying is in paid business or paid first, the spend needed to reach 1K is a non issue and the cents per mile flown would be pretty high.

With AA reducing ORD-NRT to 5 days a week, this is more than just looking for greener grass for me. On some trips I will be forced onto another carrier unless I want to take the chance of connecting through LAX or DFW along with a much longer trip - which is already bad enough non stop.

So if there are real differences, I would appreciate any additional insights.
I think there are real differences to be considered given your flying patterns which mirror mine. First, in three years of flying UA as a GS on TPAC routes, I have been unable to use a GPU (J to F) only twice (over 26 segments). And for those two segments, I was in J in a great seat so it wasn't a huge deal. Second, I have been upgraded domestically on 99% of my flights which is superior to my AA domestic upgrade percentage. It depends on how you book flights - late bookers fare more poorly on AA.

All that said, AA is going to have better hard product soon on all of its 777s and its route network to Asia has gotten better of late with ICN and now HKG added to NRT, PEK, and PVG.

For me, 2014 is the last straddle year as we'll be done with mergers, hopefully hear about details for the new AAdvantage program, and can make informed decisions about the best programs going forward for our particular needs.
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Old Dec 29, 2013, 8:49 pm
  #41  
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Originally Posted by dimmedlights
+1

I belıeve ua has better award availability to europe than AA due to BA award restrictions.
There are no BA award restrictions. Awards on BA cost more $$ because of the surcharge, and as a result, in fact, BA award availability is often much better than AA.

I think it comes down to Star being a bigger alliance than OneWorld (even combined with AA's non-OW partners), so there are just more options, and you can usually find something to get you there.

That said, I think the new UA award chart is going to really make premium class redemptions very difficult/expensive.
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