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AA elites based in rival airline hubs

AA elites based in rival airline hubs

Old May 27, 18, 6:09 pm
  #1  
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AA elites based in rival airline hubs

I am curious about the experiences of any of you who are based on rival airlines hubs and have still maintained your AA elite status as one of your primary FFP status. What are some of the perks of this, or disadvantages?

1. For example, do you get much cheaper fares, when AA attacks their rivals for departures out of the hubs? Or is it the opposite, usually higher priced fares most of the time?

2. Do you clear upgrades more frequently, flying between non-hub to non-hub (e.g., DTW-LGA) or non hub to hub (e.g., DTW-ORD)?

The obvious inconvenience would be the extra connection to a hub, most of the time, and the reduced recovery from IRROPS, but my travel is mostly personal, not work related.

Any experiences from anyone doing this from DTW, specifically?
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Old May 27, 18, 6:51 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: NYC
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Originally Posted by nk15 View Post
...Do you clear upgrades more frequently, flying between non-hub to non-hub (e.g., DTW-LGA) or non hub to hub (e.g., DTW-ORD)?
I fly almost exclusively between hubs, so am not your audience...but wanted to point out that LGA is an AA hub.
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Old May 27, 18, 9:42 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
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Originally Posted by nk15 View Post
2. Do you clear upgrades more frequently, flying between non-hub to non-hub (e.g., DTW-LGA) or non hub to hub (e.g., DTW-ORD)?
I think non-hub to hub upgrades were better in years past, but as a non hub PPro the last year has been brutal for upgrades on connections ex-DFW. An upgrade list over 50 with a dozen EXPs no longer surprises me.
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Old May 27, 18, 10:41 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Beantown! (BOS)
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When I lived at Houston I was IAH based EXP for two years.

1. I do not think I always got cheaper fare. It was give and take, some time CO/UA had cheaper fare which got me faster because of non-stop to the destination. Then I still remember one of the business trip where I had to go to MSP. I saved company +$500 by flying AA IAH-DFW-LGA-MSP than flying CO/UA non-stop IAH-MSP.

2. No, non-hub city did not provide any better upgrade opportunity, Actually DFW-IAH was very elite heavy route with international passenger connecting at DFW heading to the Energy capital of the U.S. I do remember the first flight of the year where I did not get an upgrade was IAH-DFW.

By based out of non-hub city I found that agents went out of their way to accommodate my situation. On one of the trip DFW was all messed up due to heavy weather in the area. I got an e-mail notice that my IAH-DFW flight out of 11 a.m. was cancelled and rebooked onto afternoon flight. That did not work for me, getting on 9 a.m. flight would have worked but trying to call AA was long wait due to massive cancellation/delay at DFW. I just headed out to the airport, got in time for 9 a.m. flight. I asked an agent at check-in/ticketing for 9 a.m. flight even though I was rebooked on an afternoon flight. The agent first told me 9 a.m. flight was booked solid and it was even oversold. After looking up my reservation the agent said let me talk to revenue management to see if they will force you into 9 a.m. flight because you are EXP. After little bit of wait and doing some typing, the agent printed out a boarding pass for first class. Not just I was confirmed on oversold flight, but gave me an upgrade. I thought that would never happened at DFW or ORD..
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Old May 27, 18, 10:47 pm
  #5  
 
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I'm a 200,000 mile a year EXP and live in a non-AA hub city so I'm always flying to LAX, DFW, ORD, PHX, etc. Sometimes AA is a little cheaper but they're never a price leader. However, many of the AA staff at the airport recognize me and greet me by name. My upgrades almost always clear. It's also easier sometimes getting in and out. The hub airline doesn't start its bank until 830/900 and finishes its last bank at 10. So ... I can actually fly out earlier and fly home later on AA which probably saves a few overnights over the year.
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Old May 27, 18, 10:48 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
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I am currently Houston based and am EXP. Regarding fare, it is hit or miss. I would say on average AA is cheaper than the UA nonstop.

for me, the choice came down to two things - 1. I hate everything about United. 2. AA flies out of both airports, which is convenient depending on whether I need to be on either side of town.
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Old May 28, 18, 1:42 am
  #7  
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I realize this doesn't quite answer the question, but I went the other way, and went from AA EXP to DL PLT when the EQD upgrade priority was announced. [I dropped to DL:Gold this year due to an illness in 4Q17.] My upgrade percentages on DL are fantastic on CR9/E175s, especially to NYC/SLC, horrible to/from MSP or to ATL, but decent on the late night ATL-ORD/MDW flights.

What is relevant is this: As EXP/PPRo, as long as you leave DTW before 2pm you should be ok to PHL/CLT/DTW. You are flying against the stream. For example, tomorrow's 6am DTW-PHL is still only filled to 3/11 on an E90. Granted it's the day after the holiday, but next Sunday go check next Monday's flight and you'll get a good feel for it. ORD will be a problem because AA is almost all CR7 which means that IRROPS and lousy ORD gates play a larger role. Plus there are so many segment fliers on ORD-DTW that there will be a lot of competition in both directions on both routes.
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Old May 28, 18, 6:27 am
  #8  
 
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Originally Posted by DMPHL View Post
I fly almost exclusively between hubs, so am not your audience...but wanted to point out that LGA is an AA hub.
LGA is a pretty weak AA hub. Ive been upgraded as a Gold pretty easily (meaning F seats go out empty) on business routes out of LGA

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Old May 28, 18, 6:54 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: San Francisco
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I'm based in United country and, like @Antarius, I hate everything about United. It's my counter-culture nature and vibe that's part of being a San Franciscan that we carry like badges of honor.

To my surprise though, I've been able to "easily" maintain EXP status. Sure, I get to see LAX and DFW more than I care to visit them just to get to most of my destinations, but it's been ok. And with the non-hub to non-hub flight I most often take, SFO-PHL, I'm securing the upgrade when I travel non peak for sure. Peak times, I tend to be no lower than #5-7 on the upgrade list. Just wished AA served LHR and HKG with their metal on a non-stops from SFO to those two spots. They are my frequently visited places non-USA lately. BA and CX do a fine job covering that gap when I really want the nonstop though.

As far are AA staff treatment, AC members at SFO know me by name. They're always nice and smiling. I've thanked over and over for the little tips/suggestions they offer too.
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Old May 28, 18, 7:06 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
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EWR-based, sometimes venture through LGA/JFK. Don't like the trend of AA moving TALT from JFK, but hate UA more like the above.

Not sure about EWR fares since most of my domestic trips are for business. The upgrade is almost guaranteed T-24 at EWR, unless it involves DFW. Not a big fan of domestic F (PEY in essence) so personally don't value it too much, except JFK-LAX/SFO.

CX covers my TPAC needs, while AA JFK usually covers my LAX, SFO, LAS and some European leisure destinations. Occasionally BA is ok from EWR if it has decent price on PEY/WTP. If I have time to spare I would take connections through ORD, PHL or CLT. It's been inconvenient but not PITA. Overall it works well for me.
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Old May 28, 18, 7:07 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Roswell, GA
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Based in ATL, clearly a DL hub, Been EXP for about 10 years now, no problem for me, the ground staff and AC staff all know , most of the times, they will have my boarding passes printed as I walk to the check in areas,
Since most of my flights are international, making a connection is needed, (unless I want to go BA)
In terms of fare, close to what DL wants, and so far in all my flying out of ATL have never missed an upgrade. (either used SWU or already had a paid J ticket)
And out ATL means no taking the internal train transport since AA for most of its flights uses the T gates.
On another side note, had my wife (DL elite) come over to AA this year, she loves it
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Old May 28, 18, 10:16 am
  #12  
 
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Originally Posted by Zacnlinc View Post
And with the non-hub to non-hub flight I most often take, SFO-PHL
PHL is an AA hub. Virtually every AA flight begins or ends at a hub.
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Old May 28, 18, 10:36 am
  #13  
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Originally Posted by ElmhurstNick View Post
What is relevant is this: As EXP/PPRo, as long as you leave DTW before 2pm you should be ok to PHL/CLT/DTW. You are flying against the stream. For example, tomorrow's 6am DTW-PHL is still only filled to 3/11 on an E90. Granted it's the day after the holiday, but next Sunday go check next Monday's flight and you'll get a good feel for it. ORD will be a problem because AA is almost all CR7 which means that IRROPS and lousy ORD gates play a larger role. Plus there are so many segment fliers on ORD-DTW that there will be a lot of competition in both directions on both routes.
Thanks all for the input, I have indeed done the DTW-ORD flight a few times and I always clear well in advance as a low EQD EXP, and always #1 in the list for standby, but I have also seen the irrops.
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Old May 28, 18, 10:42 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
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Originally Posted by FlyingEgghead View Post
PHL is an AA hub. Virtually every AA flight begins or ends at a hub.
I should have known that!! Really!! Philly is my 2nd home and I'm an old diehard USAir fan.
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Old May 28, 18, 3:17 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
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I, too, live in UA country. I used to be an AA EXP, but slipped to PLTPRO last year. Still, my upgrade percentage as a PLTPRO is better than my upgrade percentage as a UA 1K. The service in the Admiral's Club is way better vis a vis the United Club. I do enjoy and partake in the attack fares AA offers on occasion on UA as well, though those fares are primarily now less of an attack on UA and more of an attack on Spirit. Plus, for the most part, AA's hubs are easier to connect in that most of UA's.
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