American vs. Delta

Old Dec 28, 2017, 3:00 pm
  #16  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: NYC
Posts: 27,108
Originally Posted by LPC3369
@knit-in, @FlyingFrZ: for my work trips (which is all of them but one or two per year), I have to use the company-provided corporate card (an HSBC MasterCard). Too bad, I'd love one of these cards. :-(
You don't have to buy the ticket with the affinity credit cards to get the benefit. Your frequent flyer account is flagged as a cardholder, and you get the benefits regardless of method of payment.
ijgordon is offline  
Old Dec 28, 2017, 3:31 pm
  #17  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: VPS
Programs: IHG Diamond, Delta PM, Hilton Gold, Accor Gold, Marriott Silver
Posts: 7,131
I don't know about the AA card, but you do get the travel benefits (boarding, bags) of any Amex Delta Gold or Platinum Skymiles card attached to your FF account with them for all flights as long as the card is active, even when you pay by a different means.
beachmouse is offline  
Old Dec 28, 2017, 3:33 pm
  #18  
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Southern Cali
Programs: AA ExPlat, Marriott Titanium, HH Diamond
Posts: 2,012
Originally Posted by ijgordon
You don't have to buy the ticket with the affinity credit cards to get the benefit. Your frequent flyer account is flagged as a cardholder, and you get the benefits regardless of method of payment.
Yes exactly, you don't need to use the Citi card to pay for the trip to enjoy the benefits since its linked to your AA number. You can even look into the Barclays AA cards over the Citi cards if that is what you prefer
FlyingFrZ is online now  
Old Dec 28, 2017, 4:01 pm
  #19  
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: New York, New York
Programs: AA Gold, Alaska MVP; Free Agent Super Duper Diamond Treasure Chest ;)
Posts: 4,682
Originally Posted by LPC3369
@knit-in, @FlyingFrZ: for my work trips (which is all of them but one or two per year), I have to use the company-provided corporate card (an HSBC MasterCard). Too bad, I'd love one of these cards. :-(
Originally Posted by ijgordon
You don't have to buy the ticket with the affinity credit cards to get the benefit. Your frequent flyer account is flagged as a cardholder, and you get the benefits regardless of method of payment.
As stated, you dont need to use the credit card for your trip. Your AAdvantage number will be attached to your credit card.


Originally Posted by FlyingFrZ
Yes exactly, you don't need to use the Citi card to pay for the trip to enjoy the benefits since its linked to your AA number. You can even look into the Barclays AA cards over the Citi cards if that is what you prefer
With both the AA and the Barclays card, you could also start your AAdvantage membership with a healthy 110-120k bonus miles.
knit-in is offline  
Old Dec 28, 2017, 4:01 pm
  #20  
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Nashville,TN
Programs: AA Gold Elite
Posts: 594
If you are willing and able to get the AA Executive World Elite Mastercard that also gives you Admirals Club access even when you are flying on other airlines. I have done this when flying on both Southwest and Delta out of my home airport.
sweetsleep is online now  
Old Dec 28, 2017, 4:06 pm
  #21  
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: New York, New York
Programs: AA Gold, Alaska MVP; Free Agent Super Duper Diamond Treasure Chest ;)
Posts: 4,682
Originally Posted by FlyingFrZ
The $95 a year AA Citi Platinum Card also gives priority benefits and a free bag. I would definitely recommend OP look into a co-branded card from either AA or Delta since the free bag and priority access are at the top of their list.

If the frequent flyer program isn't that important to you, I would choose whichever airline provides the best average connection times and price.
Not sure if priority check-in is included with the basic ($95 a year) AA Platinum from Citi. Zone 4 Priority Boarding, yes. But not Priority Check-in.
knit-in is offline  
Old Dec 28, 2017, 4:21 pm
  #22  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: home = LAX
Posts: 25,921
Originally Posted by LPC3369
GSP is my home airport. Priority lane/access is my first priority. Then free checked bags. Then award tickets. Interesting note about the free checked bags: they help me justify a Delta flight when AA is cheaper, as I can say "I'd be paying $xx more for my bags on AA" (and I'm not using that as a lame excuse, I often do need to check a bag - or even two sometimes ).
Where I fly to in the US varies a lot: Texas (SAT, IAH, HOU, ELP - AA has definitely an advantage for Texas), PDX, DEN, COS, MSA, EUG, MCO, SMF... and more to come. Only one flight per year across the pond to Europe (usually to LYS).
beachmouse mentioned the hub's, that's a good point: with DL, I go through ATL (almost all the time), DTW, SLC, and LAX. LAX kind of sucks (but it's an AA hub too anyway), but the other ones work rather well compared to most AA HUBs. @wetrat0: surprisingly, for my routes, DL and AA actually offer some similar schedules and connections. But going back to the hub's, I'd much rather fly through ATL, DTW, and SLC than through CLT and ORD.
When I look at my frequent-flyer colleagues, those flying Delta seem to experience trouble less often than those flying AA.
First of all, maybe it's less common in France than here, but you may want to look into packing techniques that allow you to fly many of your trips carry-on only (in European terms, cabin baggage only). That means you don't have check in physically at all (you go straight to the security line) and don't have to pay any bag fees, with any airline. So the only priority lane you need to worry about is the one for boarding at the gate.

If not that: The "regular" Citi AA card ($95 annual fee, typically waived the first year) gives you one free checked bag on domestic flights and priority boarding (if you don't have status), whether or not you use the card to make the booking. With some other airlines you may need to use the card to book to get airport benefits, I don't know, but with AA you just have to have the card on file for at least a week or so, and then it's linked to your AA account, and you don't need to book with the card to get the card's airport benefits, you just need to have the booking be linked to your AA account.

As to the award tickets, both AA and DL suck for that, in different ways. AA doesn't make saver awards available on its own metal very much, while DL has no official award chart, so you need an unpredictable number of miles for any trip (and most of the time way more miles than you'd like to use). So in a sense you could say that DL is roughly as bad about saver awards as AA, except that DL doesn't have saver awards per se. (It's UA, who you didn't mention at all, which has teh best award redemption, but many people feel UA has the worst service in the air.) With AA (and perhaps also DL?), the best award availability tends to be with some of their foreign airline partners, meaning it's only suitable for international flights. But getting award connections to someplace like GSP on the same ticket might be tricky, and I none of those international partners fly there. In fact, even though CLT is only 88 miles away and an AA hub, the only international airlines that currently seem to serve CLT are UA partners like LH! So I'm not sure if driving to someplace with international AA or DL partners is practical from GSP.

EDITED TO ADD: Oh, I forgot that US Airways, whose hub CLT used to be before the merger with AA, was in Star Alliance before the merger. So that's probably why the only international airlines at CLT are in Star Alliance, rather than any in AA's oneworld alliance or DL's SkyTeam alliance.

Last edited by sdsearch; Dec 28, 2017 at 5:08 pm Reason: added last paragraph
sdsearch is offline  
Old Dec 28, 2017, 4:39 pm
  #23  
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Southern Cali
Programs: AA ExPlat, Marriott Titanium, HH Diamond
Posts: 2,012
Originally Posted by knit-in
Not sure if priority check-in is included with the basic ($95 a year) AA Platinum from Citi. Zone 4 Priority Boarding, yes. But not Priority Check-in.
Interesting I believe you might be correct. While it is a listed benefit with the Executive card, it's not with the Platinum.

I started with the Executive and then earned status so i never noticed.
FlyingFrZ is online now  
Old Dec 28, 2017, 4:49 pm
  #24  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: VPS
Programs: IHG Diamond, Delta PM, Hilton Gold, Accor Gold, Marriott Silver
Posts: 7,131
As another 'spoke' airport person, I'll note that what often screws up saver award availability across the board with the legacies is that first hop to the hub rather than the long haul flight, especially if you're looking for more than one award ticket on the booking. I often have better luck with the dread Sky Peso for cheap award flights than I do with United- unless you're like Unobtanium Elite, there are only so many award seats that will ever open up on an United Express Embraer 135 compared to the mainline 717s and Mad Dogs Delta uses for most local flights.

Upside for AA southeast transatlantic flights- very cheap outside of peak summer season if you can match your schedule to availability
Downside for AA southeast transatlantic flights- may have to work around BA partner flights with excessive fees on award tickets

Upside for Delta southeast transatlantic flights- good coverage of European cities out of ATL, and while they don't have AA's off season discount, I've had far better luck at finding 60K economy rt award tickets than the Sky Peso reputation suggests
Downside southeast transatlantic flights- if you can't plan a couple months ahead, the sky is the limit on award ticket pricing
beachmouse is offline  
Old Dec 28, 2017, 6:07 pm
  #25  
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: CA
Posts: 302
If you're Delta Platinum, you'd most likely be American Platinum Pro, not Platinum. Biggest difference (aside from mileage bonus and upgrade priority) between AA Plat and Plat Pro is complimentary upgrades for PPro, no need for 500 mile upgrades (unlike Platinum). Delta Platinum gets you RUC (similar to AA''s SWU but domestic only) which just puts you at the top of the upgrade list. Delta doesn't publish C fares like AA does on expertflyer so it's pretty difficult to book a flight where you can confirm RUC prior to booking.

Citi Exec Plat card gets you Admiral's Club access (including authorized users with some caveats) and access to priority check-in and better priority boarding, group 4 same as AA Gold. The Citi World Plat gets you just priority boarding (group 5). Both cards give you checked bags and access to reduced mileage awards, which can be beneficial for OP since he flies out of a small airport like GSP. Only Citi's World Plat or Barclay's Red Aviator card gets you the 10% mileage rebate on award flights. Delta AMEX Gold gets you similar benefits to Citi's AA Plat card. You do get discounted access to the Sky Club ($29 vs $59 for AA's one day access). Delta's AMEX cards have more choices for earning MQM's.

Delta also offers discounted CLEAR membership. This has been helpful in my experience, probably not much help out of GSP though

While European carriers have similar size restrictions as US carriers for carry-on baggage, some European carriers have weight allowances that's nearly half the US's, which is why I'll always carry a jacket with mass pockets if I run the risk of having a carry-on that's a little "heavy." And yes, if you put in a laptop with a few extra batteries, you can easily exceed 28 lbs for your carry on.

If you can get AA Plat Pro with just business travel, I'd go for EXP by adding a personal international J/F flight.
caburrito is offline  
Old Dec 28, 2017, 8:32 pm
  #26  
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 1,484
The value of AA comes from attaining high enough status level to get free upgrades, which come at much higher rate than DL's program thanks to their FCM.

Also internationally, OneWorld and Skyteam each have their advantages. Sounds like sky team would fit you better internationally. Although if you live in a city with BA flight to LHR, then LYS is just one stop away. I really prefer what OneWorld has to offer over Skyteam. But that's me,

Domestically, DL is probably better than AA, but I personally think DL gets overrated too much on these forums. I'd take B6 over them any day of the week.
tphuang is offline  
Old Dec 29, 2017, 10:23 am
  #27  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: FRA/SXB
Programs: FB Gold
Posts: 1,817
Originally Posted by LPC3369
GSP is my home airport. Priority lane/access is my first priority. Then free checked bags. Then award tickets. Interesting note about the free checked bags: they help me justify a Delta flight when AA is cheaper, as I can say "I'd be paying $xx more for my bags on AA" (and I'm not using that as a lame excuse, I often do need to check a bag - or even two sometimes ).
Where I fly to in the US varies a lot: Texas (SAT, IAH, HOU, ELP - AA has definitely an advantage for Texas), PDX, DEN, COS, MSA, EUG, MCO, SMF... and more to come. Only one flight per year across the pond to Europe (usually to LYS).
beachmouse mentioned the hub's, that's a good point: with DL, I go through ATL (almost all the time), DTW, SLC, and LAX. LAX kind of sucks (but it's an AA hub too anyway), but the other ones work rather well compared to most AA HUBs. @wetrat0: surprisingly, for my routes, DL and AA actually offer some similar schedules and connections. But going back to the hub's, I'd much rather fly through ATL, DTW, and SLC than through CLT and ORD.
When I look at my frequent-flyer colleagues, those flying Delta seem to experience trouble less often than those flying AA.
Just my 2 cents when I used to live in the Greenville area......I always just drove to CLT. Faster and saves a connection. Even now, I still drive to CLT instead of flying out of AVL. I actually like CLT as an airport (for US standards), even if the fares are too high.

I don't like flying DL via ATL as it seems like I get snagged up trying to make short connections there as there's an automated train that I often have to take to get between terminals. And often the incoming aircraft has to wait a long while before it can park at the gate- my mother missed a connection once because of this. Just too hectic for my preferences.
mlin32 is offline  
Old Dec 29, 2017, 12:11 pm
  #28  
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: PBI/FLL/MIA
Programs: DL DM/2MM, MR Ambassador, National EE
Posts: 1,614
AA ExP / DL DM here... I fly whichever gives me the best combo of value and schedule and buy paid F every week so getting to the top tier of both programs is pretty easy although it's easier to make ExP.

I give the overall edge to DL although it's close. The DM phone line is a little better (those people will bend over backwards for me) and the SDC ability on paid F (G, A, P, F) on DL is one of the best benefits there is IMO... if there is even one F seat left on a flight I can grab it, even if I'm on a deep discount F (G fare) ticket. I think that DL's Sky Clubs are nicer with better comp food and the comp booze is way better... Stoli vodka vs. Wolfschmidt in the AC for example. And even though I'm not fan of ATL I'd rather connect there than CLT.

I think AA has more newer aircraft these days although that changes daily as both airlines add new planes. J on an updated AA aircraft pretty much equals Delta One IMO and AA's true, 3-class F blows anything DL has to offer away for international travel. And if there's one thing I absolutely LOVE about AA it's the boarding process, there seems to be far fewer "gate lice" on AA flights overall.

At the end of the day there's not a huge difference IMO which is why I fly both. If one had a big advantage I'd park 100% of my biz there!
krlcomm is offline  
Old Dec 29, 2017, 2:40 pm
  #29  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: San Jose, CA USA
Posts: 1,782
Originally Posted by krlcomm
AA ExP / DL DM here... I fly whichever gives me the best combo of value and schedule and buy paid F every week so getting to the top tier of both programs is pretty easy although it's easier to make ExP.

I give the overall edge to DL although it's close. The DM phone line is a little better (those people will bend over backwards for me) and the SDC ability on paid F (G, A, P, F) on DL is one of the best benefits there is IMO... if there is even one F seat left on a flight I can grab it, even if I'm on a deep discount F (G fare) ticket. I think that DL's Sky Clubs are nicer with better comp food and the comp booze is way better... Stoli vodka vs. Wolfschmidt in the AC for example. And even though I'm not fan of ATL I'd rather connect there than CLT.

I think AA has more newer aircraft these days although that changes daily as both airlines add new planes. J on an updated AA aircraft pretty much equals Delta One IMO and AA's true, 3-class F blows anything DL has to offer away for international travel. And if there's one thing I absolutely LOVE about AA it's the boarding process, there seems to be far fewer "gate lice" on AA flights overall.

At the end of the day there's not a huge difference IMO which is why I fly both. If one had a big advantage I'd park 100% of my biz there!
My 2c: Wife and I both fly a ton, almost all for leisure, and on our dime. We are both retirement age, but still work for the satisfaction, mostly going around the country stalking our children and spoiling our grandchildren. We both make EXP, DM and UA1K, every year, including the spend, usually paying full fare.

So: Agree Delta is the best operationally. For cancellations, they are clear winner. UA, perennially, the worst. AA not far from DL. Lounges; Yes, DL>AA>UA.
For food on board: AA>UA>DL. DL can serve some pretty miserable food, and one wonders who hired the chef
Planes: Give it to AA, which is always trying to modernize. My rank: AA>UA>DL. Sorry, Ed, too many big atheletes sitting in row 1 on the DC9's leaning into my lap for long flights. The DC9's may make money for DL, but they are miserable to fly in F (we only fly F). And, DL's recline pitch on most of its planes are way too much. AA makes the guy ahead of you slide forward (on the 737's) and sacrifice his own space. Better.
FF program: Hands down UA. Always has been the best. AA is OK. DL the clear worst---but then that is what Ed Bastian wants. You have to accept that if you want to love DL.
Clubs and pricing: DL again. Not a huge margin over AA and UA. AA and UA are about the same. DL better because of better food and booze. They all generally compete on price fairly reliably, but it is always interesting where one may beat the other, epecially on trans-cons, by fare differences of $400-$700. So it always pays to stay on line and keep checking the deals
Telephone: If you are DM, vs EXP to UA, give it to DL, hands down. I always get someone who I think is domiciled in our USA, rather than continents away. And, most importantly, their survey they ask for at the end, is simple and a pleasure to use. UA's is pitiful---asking you to take a call back. Come on. Who's going to wait during the day for that kind of call back? I give the DL operators a "5" almost every time. UA would never be able to find out.
A few years ago, wife and I were 400,000 mi shy of lifetime 3mm on UA, but we said, screw it, we couldn't take it anymore. The airline was in shambles, in almost every phase. So we have built our DL up to 1.5 lifetimes each. As for AA, I'm pushing 8mm lifetime and still have lifetime AAirpass, which comes in handy, except when AA doesn't go non-stop where I want to go (a big thing). We were in glory when AA put a hub in our back yard at SJC in the 90's. But, alas, they abandoned us and we are where we are. Non-stops and good service will always be key factors in picking flights.
Mileage promos: Those went away when the US govt allowed airlines to go into a Big 3 oligopoly. That used to be the most fun of FlyerTalk: posters exchanging ditties on how to beat the system---somethings Americans love to do. Again, alas, those fun days are over. Don't do FT as much as I used to. Wife says I post too much anyway, and don't have a life. But, hey, I'm still well under 2000 posts over ,17 yrs, and I see some folks with 30,40, and 50K posts. No judgment on that, just that's a helluva lot of posts.
MichaelKade likes this.
FullFare is offline  
Old Dec 29, 2017, 3:39 pm
  #30  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: VPS
Programs: IHG Diamond, Delta PM, Hilton Gold, Accor Gold, Marriott Silver
Posts: 7,131
I do think that plane quality is another one of those things that depend on where you are in the route network, and how likely you are to soar with the Eagle compared to mainline service. I've ended up booking the spousal unit onto American multiple times this year for non-business purposes because they're typically the significantly cheaper option with three days notice, and always get complaints from him about how 'hoopty' their regional jets are. (Me: if you want a booking that's not totally based on price, give me seven days for the advance purchase discounts that tend to really level ticket costs from Podunk Field)
beachmouse is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

This site is owned, operated, and maintained by MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Designated trademarks are the property of their respective owners.