Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > American Airlines | AAdvantage
Reload this Page >

Fellow United refugees what are you doing next?

Fellow United refugees what are you doing next?

Old Nov 23, 15, 4:03 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Either below the Ockham stack or below the approach to SDKY
Programs: UA 1MM/*G. AA EXP for 1 more year. Then, who knows?
Posts: 5,160
Fellow United refugees what are you doing next?

I appreciate that this is highly flammable material, but I've got to ask (and I can't see a similar thread by searching).

I was very grateful to AA for the status match from UA 1K to EXP. I stuck around and requalified repeatedly, and I have benefited immensely from these years as an EXP. I have greatly enjoyed the welcome I received from the legacy AA, and the EXP benefits (which were especially useful as a LON-based flyer), but I always had a hunch I was on borrowed time. It felt a bit like the advice I got when living in California if a big earthquake hits, stand on the threshold, and jump into the room that collapses last.

So is the party over now? I am just about to requalify as EXP for 2016. Thought I'd requalify for 2017 as well, then use my measly four 2017 SWUs, and then consider falling back on my UA lifetime Gold. But having taken a closer look at the requalification criteria, I'm not so sure anymore if I'll even requalify for 2017. I do fly more than 100,000 miles every year, but many of them will be in discount economy. I've been only too glad not to have to understand UA's requalification criteria until now, but now that AA is playing the same game, I am beginning to understand that with both UA and their partners, I will earn 100% of miles shown in most cases, whereas it's 100% on AA ticketing stock, but 50% or less with everything else. As I don't live in the US, I don't (from what I understand) have to worry about minimum spending criteria either way.

Part of the equation is also positive noises from UA's new management, yet to be materialised into much, but better coffee is a start. I have appreciated not having to buy higher fare classes in the hope of an SWU clearing, and I imagine domestic upgrades are still worse on UA, but not by as much as they used to me. Drastically increased redemption rates will now be a reality on both sides, but at least with UA, there is greater availability with more partner airlines to choose between, and no hateful BA YQ charges.

So I am just curious to hear what other UA refugees as thinking and planning to do now. I fully appreciate that the response from AA veterans will be good riddance, and don't let the aircraft door hit you on the way out. I understand that, and if I do go back to *A, there'll be one less person to compete for upgrades with.
Passmethesickbag is online now  
Old Nov 23, 15, 4:18 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: NYC
Programs: AA DULtArer
Posts: 5,525
Most of us are watching you guys scramble around, trying to find cheap ways to get up front, knowing that those days are ended. Enjoy 2016, but 2017 will bring more devals most notably:

Revenue based availability of award travel
Status and revenue based award travel rates

..at which point capitalism will have completed its mission here.
LaserSailor is offline  
Old Nov 23, 15, 4:25 pm
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Either below the Ockham stack or below the approach to SDKY
Programs: UA 1MM/*G. AA EXP for 1 more year. Then, who knows?
Posts: 5,160
Originally Posted by LaserSailor View Post
Most of us are watching you guys scramble around, trying to find cheap ways to get up front, knowing that those days are ended. Enjoy 2016, but 2017 will bring more devals most notably:

Revenue based availability of award travel
Status and revenue based award travel rates

..at which point capitalism will have completed its mission here.
I hear you, but status is rather more important to me than miles — or specifically, less waiting, better outcomes of IRROPS, and lounge access (where being OWE is still miles better than *G, although less so at LHR after L2 opened — but now significantly harder to requalify for even than 1K).
Passmethesickbag is online now  
Old Nov 23, 15, 5:09 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: DEN
Programs: AA EXP, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 1,889
Originally Posted by Passmethesickbag View Post
. I've been only too glad not to have to understand UA's requalification criteria until now, but now that AA is playing the same game...
But AA is not playing the same game. At least not as far as status qualification goes.

Former UA 1K here. No minimum spend means I will almost certainly make EXP on AA for 2017, whereas I will almost certainly not make 1K if I switch back to UA. AA EXP is better than UA Plat, ergo, with AA I stay.

(fully expect this thread to be merged into the big reaction thread)
bse118 is offline  
Old Nov 23, 15, 5:39 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: ASE
Programs: AA EXP, UA Silver, Hertz 5*, National Executive, Hyatt DSC, HHonors/SPG/Marriott Gold, IHG PLT
Posts: 2,694
Right now, as a former UA 1K, and very happy (until last week) current AA EXP, I will stay with AA for the foreseeable future. Since AA has no minimum spend requirements a la DL and UA, I think I'd have no issue, especially with the qualification criteria, maintaining EXP status. I will miss the 4 extra SWU's, but knew that 8 was too good to last. As I purchase a mixture of premium and economy class tickets, AA will remain my carrier of choice, bearing future changes.

I'm curious and hopeful to see where UA goes with Oscar at the helm, but they have A LOT to improve upon before I look their direction again.
UAPremierGuy is offline  
Old Nov 23, 15, 6:15 pm
  #6  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 40,612
Originally Posted by Passmethesickbag View Post
I hear you, but status is rather more important to me than miles or specifically, less waiting, better outcomes of IRROPS, and lounge access (where being OWE is still miles better than *G, although less so at LHR after L2 opened but now significantly harder to requalify for even than 1K).
If your travel is on AA, then it will be no harder to attain status than it is now - if you have a mix of discount economy and premium travel , it will be slightly easier than before
Dave Noble is offline  
Old Nov 23, 15, 6:18 pm
  #7  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 981
i was planning to reqal for both exp and 1k, but i may change my strategy and ultimately end up back at ua. it's painful for me to say it. i've loved EXP this year (first year back thx to status match, i left AA in the mid 2000s). the planes are much better especially for international J, the domestic upgrade rates were well above 90%. i'm a mixed flyer but mostly paid international premium. this year i'll end UA with 150k EQM and AA with 125k EQM.

i HATE thinking about buying W for personal trips home which was the main reason i was going to reqal both airlines so i could use AA on personal trips with a GPU. but now that AA has gutted the award chart, and cut GPUs to 4, i might just go back to UA. the route network is much better for me. I live in China and going via Aa requires either 2 stops or a connection in DFW/ORD which is 10 hours extra. i didn't mind it before, but given the changes, it's not really worth it.

My annual spend will be $50k with approx $40-$45k being premium fares and there rest economy. perhaps if i stay 100% on UA i will make GS. it's probably on the border. this year on UA i will only have $39k but almost 100% is premium fares. AA got 2 premium tickets and the rest Y tickets. Next year they probably get zero. i will miss AA. i like them much more than UA but the new CEO seems promising and the route network is just so much better.

maybe i should just go to DL. i hear all these great thigns about them.
iflyuaaa is offline  
Old Nov 23, 15, 6:51 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: DTW/MBS/AZO
Programs: UA 1K,AA Plat, Marriott Platinum, HHonors Diamond, Starbucks Gold
Posts: 3,029
Staying @ AA for 95% of travel (might not be able to get out of work travel since I'm near a UA hub).

Flying around 9cpm as a leisure flyer, no $$$ helps me right now. I plan to fly like crazy and bulk up some miles. When the inevitable negative changes come, I will reevaluate and status match back to UA if need be.
BThumme is offline  
Old Nov 23, 15, 7:14 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: WAS, LAX
Programs: AA EXP, AS 75K
Posts: 1,286
Sticking with AA as a time-restricted hub captive, but flying ANY other non-LCC carrier whenever possible. Had a chance to fly DL on a very short, late night SDF-ATL-CLT a couple months ago in Y and was duly impressed: easy, efficient check-in and boarding, clean & modern MD-80s and MD-90s (C+ is fleetwide), renovated terminals in ATL, and the best part: the 25 minute baggage guarantee!

I may be stuck with AA, but I'll be encouraging all friends and family to fly DL from now on!

Originally Posted by LaserSailor View Post
Most of us are watching you guys scramble around, trying to find cheap ways to get up front, knowing that those days are ended.
That strikes me as a very euphemistic way of saying "us rich guys are laughing watching you guys on cheaper fares scramble."
flyingmusicianlax is offline  
Old Nov 23, 15, 11:48 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Everywhere you wanna be
Programs: AA EP | UA 1K
Posts: 1,657
Originally Posted by flyingmusicianlax View Post
Sticking with AA as a time-restricted hub captive, but flying ANY other non-LCC carrier whenever possible. Had a chance to fly DL on a very short, late night SDF-ATL-CLT a couple months ago in Y and was duly impressed: easy, efficient check-in and boarding, clean & modern MD-80s and MD-90s (C+ is fleetwide), renovated terminals in ATL, and the best part: the 25 minute baggage guarantee!

I may be stuck with AA, but I'll be encouraging all friends and family to fly DL from now on!


That strikes me as a very euphemistic way of saying "us rich guys are laughing watching you guys on cheaper fares scramble."
It very well might as be. Those who pay more should get more rewards (not the same rewards) as those who fly less and pay less.
Col Ronson is offline  
Old Nov 24, 15, 12:21 am
  #11  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Either below the Ockham stack or below the approach to SDKY
Programs: UA 1MM/*G. AA EXP for 1 more year. Then, who knows?
Posts: 5,160
Originally Posted by Dave Noble View Post
If your travel is on AA, then it will be no harder to attain status than it is now - if you have a mix of discount economy and premium travel , it will be slightly easier than before
Correct. If I had been based in the US, that would have been the case. Being based on the UK, I can only buy AA ticket stock when travelling in a westerly direction. Any discount fares for travelling eastwards or southwards will be 50% EQM or less. Added to that, as I'm not based in the US, spending limits do not affect me (at least not yet).

So the new program looks set to drive away discount fare EXPs, like me, who do not live in the US. I don't believe this is even intentional — it's more to do with IAG slashing earnings for their own frequent fliers, and it was really just a matter of time until this was going to be reflected on AAdvantage earnings for BA and IB flights as well. Maintaining 100% EQM on AY would have softened the blow, but that was not to be. Earning rates on QR, QF, and OW's Asian partners were always abysmal anyway.
Passmethesickbag is online now  
Old Nov 24, 15, 12:35 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Here today gone tomorrow
Programs: *G, ow Saph
Posts: 2,858
Originally Posted by Passmethesickbag View Post
Correct. If I had been based in the US, that would have been the case. Being based on the UK, I can only buy AA ticket stock when travelling in a westerly direction. Any discount fares for travelling eastwards or southwards will be 50% EQM or less. Added to that, as I'm not based in the US, spending limits do not affect me (at least not yet).

So the new program looks set to drive away discount fare EXPs, like me, who do not live in the US. I don't believe this is even intentional it's more to do with IAG slashing earnings for their own frequent fliers, and it was really just a matter of time until this was going to be reflected on AAdvantage earnings for BA and IB flights as well. Maintaining 100% EQM on AY would have softened the blow, but that was not to be. Earning rates on QR, QF, and OW's Asian partners were always abysmal anyway.
There's no question that any non-premium, international-based AA loyalists are hurt by this. It's simply not possible to be loyal to AA metal only when living overseas, and the new discount EQM earning guts the ability to acquire status. For those who are laughing at us "bottom feeding cheap elites", it's not the bottom of the barrel N and O fares that are causing the problem, it's nearly everything except full Y/B fares.

That being said, I still can't/don't trust UA operationally or loyalty-wise. If I stay loyal at all, I'm sticking with AA/oneworld.

I'm considering using 2016 to do a full analysis/experiment to compare my total costs for the oneworld experience with the equivalent experience being loyalty-agnostic. This would require me to price each itinerary both ways, including the costs of lounge access, excess baggage, buy-up to economy comfort or exit row, etc to come up with a true economic calculation of which way benefits me better. Since I average 100-150 flights a year, it may be too much work, but would be fascinating data if I can actually manage it. Anybody else want to join this experiment? (I'll publish but anonymised)
MKE-MR is offline  
Old Nov 24, 15, 1:46 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: WAS, LAX
Programs: AA EXP, AS 75K
Posts: 1,286
Originally Posted by Col Ronson View Post
It very well might as be. Those who pay more should get more rewards (not the same rewards) as those who fly less and pay less.
So, just to make sure I understand: you're saying that people who have spent less (but flown just as much, if not more) should not only earn less but also be laughed at?

Last edited by flyingmusicianlax; Nov 24, 15 at 1:52 am
flyingmusicianlax is offline  
Old Nov 24, 15, 1:50 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: WAS, LAX
Programs: AA EXP, AS 75K
Posts: 1,286
Delete.
flyingmusicianlax is offline  
Old Nov 24, 15, 7:05 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Programs: AA Exec Plat, UA 1K, SPG Plat, Marriott Gold, Hyatt Plat
Posts: 201
I'm a refugee from UA last year and requalified EXP this year. While the cuts to mileage earning/redemption are sad, they are expected.

The big thing that keeps me with AA is the upgrade percentage. While significantly less than last year at about 80% (previous year wsd 99.5%), it's still better than my abysmal 25% with UA on the same route. If AA starts selling upgrades from under me like UA does, then I'll just book the most convenient flights, and not care about status.
GeneralVeers is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: