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Should I even bother trying to get Lifetime Plat on AA?

Should I even bother trying to get Lifetime Plat on AA?

Old Jun 8, 16, 9:30 am
  #1  
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Should I even bother trying to get Lifetime Plat on AA?

I am only 45,000 miles away from lifetime Plat on AA (currently lifetime Gold). However, due to my circumstances (live near UA hub) I’m not sure I’ll bother even trying. 6 months ago my thought was "I'm so close... gotta get it". But now I'm trying to ignore the primitive part of my brain and actually stop to think... so what if I get it... will I even use it (other than for the 4 systemwides)?

I foresee no more business travel in my future. Leisure with a mix of domestic and international. Looking at 6 to 12 trips a year... with perhaps 3 of those being long distance international.

KEY POINT.. I Live in NJ. EWR about 35 min away, traffic rarely an issue. JFK 1:15 away, but traffic can almost always be an issue. I have done PHL a few times (to get award seats), but on a regular basis it does not work that well. So, operationally UA out of EWR is a clear winner. For my wife this is a massive plus for UA. If all other things were equal I would probably fly only UA unless going to ORD, DFW, or MIA. In the past EXP status, upgrades and systemwides were enough to drag me over to JFK. None of this is a practical reality in my future. If I lived in DFW, or many other airports, it would be a no brainer to get LT AA Plat. I do not, EWR is far better for me than JFK.

I am currently UA Lifetime Gold which means my wife also inherits this status (which will not happen on AA)

Under current rules Plat on AA is 100% vs 25% for Gold on bonus miles. Long term that adds up, but now with the new rules will drop to 60% vs 40%. Plat gets killed on this, and Gold (on percentage basis) is actually improved. I'll probably get more miles from my car rental than plat over gold.

International flight lounge access is only major perk I can see that would have any value for me (but I already get on *A), but is some free cheese really worth the bother?

My other big AA issue is that Saver (low one) Award availability is now almost non existent.

So, other than being so close (and 4 systemwides)… I am finding it difficult to find any reasons to continue going out of my way to fly AA (new premium economy might be a plus in my situation)

Is there something I’m missing that will make getting LT Plat worth not flying UA out of EWR in the future? What if I fly JAL... any advantage above lounge?

Note: 5 years ago I felt AA was a better airline than UA, but AA has been on a down trend and UA an up trend. I think Premium class on AA is still nicer than UA, but coach (where I will be more often now) is pretty grim on most of the AA fleet.

Last edited by schriste; Jun 16, 16 at 2:32 pm
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Old Jun 8, 16, 9:37 am
  #2  
 
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Originally Posted by schriste View Post
I am only 45,000 miles away from lifetime Plat on AA (currently lifetime Gold). However, due to my circumstances Iím not sure Iíll bother even trying.

I foresee no more business travel in my future, most will be leisure.

Live in NJ. EWR about 35 min away, traffic rarely an issue. JFK 1:15 away, but traffic can almost always be an issue. So, operationally UA is a clear winner. For my wife this is a massive plus for UA.

I am currently UA Lifetime Gold which means my wife also inherits this status (which will not happen on AA)

Under current rules Plat on AA is 100% vs 25% for Gold on bonus miles. Now will drop to 60% vs 40%. Plat gets killed on this, and Gold (on percentage basis) is actually improved.

International flight lounge access is only major perk I can see that would have any value for me.

My other big AA issue is that Standard Award availability is now almost non existent.

So, other than being so close (and 4 systemwides)Ö I am finding it difficult to find any reasons to continue flying AA.

Is there something Iím missing?

Note: 5 years ago I felt AA was a better airline than UA, now I consider them both about the same with UA on a plus track an AA perhaps on a minus one.

In your case, getting to 2MM is very well within reach, which is way different than me after some flying by the end of the year to 1.45MM. If I were you, it would be a no-brainer. Get the LT Sapphire, and become a free agent.

Bear in mind that in some discounted Y fares with AA, you really cannot credit them to other OneWorld partners. However, if your question about AA vs UA, then undoubtedly UA is a better option at the moment.

You can also fly OneWorld partners and avoid flying AA. I can actually just gun for 600k LT miles without setting foot in AA to become LT PLT. Whether is it worth putting all the activity in one airline where the highest LT status just got devalued is another topic.
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Old Jun 8, 16, 9:40 am
  #3  
 
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The only reason to rush it would be if you thought AA might end the MM program (but allow those with status to be "grandfathered" in). Seems unlikely to me, so in your position I'd just fly whichever airlines are most convenient and cheapest, and perhaps accrue the last 45k miles over time.
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Old Jun 8, 16, 9:43 am
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I have a lot more miles to go for Life Time PLT, but I am thinking of same thing because of this announced change of AAdvantage program.

If I were in your situation, 45,000 miles to go for Life Time PLT, then I will do it. But it all depends on how many leisure travel you will do and what will be miles earned from those flights, quick LGA-DCA shuttle flights vs. round trips on NRT.
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Old Jun 8, 16, 11:01 am
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International flight lounge access is only major perk I can see that would have any value for me.
Plus guesting your wife in.

The question is: how much effort would the 45k miles require? If you've got travel to far-flung destinations planned anyway, I'd say, 'tough it out' with AA to hit that target.

If it means you have to pony up yourself for 10 flights JFK-LAX, I'd say: let it happen organically.
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Old Jun 8, 16, 11:03 am
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I'd say that close, ya'should. And I personally wouldn't advise taking too long to do it if it's practical.
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Old Jun 8, 16, 11:12 am
  #7  
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Will a LT Plat roll into Plat Pro? (Will there be a LT Plat Pro)
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Old Jun 8, 16, 11:12 am
  #8  
 
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I would definitely do it if you are that close...

Cheers.
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Old Jun 8, 16, 11:12 am
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Originally Posted by nrr View Post
Will a LT Plat roll into Plat Pro? (Will there be a LT Plat Pro)
I doubt it.

Cheers.
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Old Jun 8, 16, 11:14 am
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Originally Posted by nrr View Post
Will a LT Plat roll into Plat Pro?
Good one.
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Old Jun 8, 16, 11:15 am
  #11  
 
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Originally Posted by JonNYC View Post
I'd say that close, ya'should. And I personally wouldn't advise taking too long to do it if it's practical.
That's an intriguing statement...

And I'm with others, that close it's really a no brainer, not even sure why this requires a thread...

Regards
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Old Jun 8, 16, 11:20 am
  #12  
 
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Originally Posted by AtlanticX View Post
Plus guesting your wife in.

The question is: how much effort would the 45k miles require? If you've got travel to far-flung destinations planned anyway, I'd say, 'tough it out' with AA to hit that target.

If it means you have to pony up yourself for 10 flights JFK-LAX, I'd say: let it happen organically.
Actually this is more important than just getting access and putting guests in.

1. Never have to purchase international J to access the lounge.
2. Better protection in case of oversold, IRROPs handling, even in partner metals.
3. Shorter call times to elite desk. After I am moved back to SM with Delta, it's always asking me to leave my information and they will call back.
4. Better customer service/relations.
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Old Jun 8, 16, 11:22 am
  #13  
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Originally Posted by scubadu View Post
That's an intriguing statement...

And I'm with others, that close it's really a no brainer, not even sure why this requires a thread...

Regards
Because I might be overlooking something. If I'm not... it is not such a "no brainer"... especially as I am already lifetime Gold (50,000 mile level) with United.

Just booked 2 coach tickets yesterday to Zurich for early Sept. My options were basically Swiss, UA or AA. Fare same.

AA + gets me 8,000 closer.
AA - No advanced E+ seats, Drive to JFK at that hour really means leaving work 3 to 4 hours early, old tired 767 with no IFE in coach (still ?), My last AA 767 cancelled due to maintenance, no lounge access, 7 times miles for me only

UA + 767-400 about best coach option out there, confirmed 2-seat pair in E+, lounge access, flight time from EWR means I only have to leave work "a little early", seat back IFE, wife also gets 8 times miles.
UA - still stuck in coach, but true for all choices.

Swiss - Their seat selection process totally turned me off. Forget it.

So to get to AA life plat... I really have to go through a bunch of serious negatives. And when I get it I will have one trip in J with the systemwides... then every future AA flight looks like more negatives (although perhaps not as bad as my Zurich example).

Last edited by schriste; Jun 8, 16 at 11:30 am
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Old Jun 8, 16, 11:28 am
  #14  
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You're SO close and the benefits are so obvious that very few -here- would say "nah, not worth it."

If, OTOH, your personal circumstances/preferences dictate that it's -not- worth doing, then, don't do it.

Last edited by JonNYC; Jun 8, 16 at 11:55 am
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Old Jun 8, 16, 12:01 pm
  #15  
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Originally Posted by JonNYC View Post
You're SO close and the benefits are so obvious that very few -here- would say "nah, not worth it."

If, OTOH, your personal circumstances/preferences dictate that it's -not- worth doing, then, don't do it. Can't see how anyone can make this decision for you, really.
Well, one positive of future AA travel would be reduced rate J tickets for AA vacation trips. This option would have put me in J for much less than on UA.

Are there any other things that will tip things to AA side? That's why I'm asking. This is not an AA sucks fly UA post. I have had many good AA years as EXP, but with new rules and no business travel... I am facing a new reality.

Last edited by schriste; Jun 8, 16 at 1:22 pm
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