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High EQD Platinum Pro or really-high EQD Platinum?

High EQD Platinum Pro or really-high EQD Platinum?

Old Oct 5, 18, 10:22 pm
  #1  
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High EQD Platinum Pro or really-high EQD Platinum?

Iím in a bit of a quandary: Iíll be about 12-13K EQM shy of Plat Pro with planned travel through end of year. I can construct an itinerary and spend about $1K for a domestic paid F MR to make Plat Pro. The choice is to end up as either Plat or Plat Pro with EXP-level EQD.

Iíve had a look at the wiki on the differences and come away feeling itís probably not worth it. Iím based at DCA and my travel is almost all domestic and mostly personal; for the past year-plus, if paid F is double or less than coach on personal travel I book it (this and $6K in EQD from my Aviator card are what drive the high EQD). The big differences I see are SDFC and free domestic upgrades (if they clear). SDFC is nice, but often means a downgrade. I have a lot of unused stickers, and $1K would buy far more than I can likely use especially since just buying F seems it might be a better strategy than hoping to upgrade free as a Plat Pro.

My head says itís not worth it, but...
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Old Oct 6, 18, 1:29 am
  #2  
 
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Thereís another thread here discussing the reduced likelihood of upgrades, sticker or otherwise, asking whether that is due to increased number of higher level ffs. The consensus seemed to be that there are two factors. Expanded availability of cheap up fare (and use of same by the likes of you and I), along with the concentration of higher level ffs, on certain segments. You know best how the segments you travel load, and only you can decide if itís worth your money. Iíll be interested in others responses.

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Old Oct 6, 18, 4:08 am
  #3  
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Given that the OP usually buys F Iím not sure what PLT PRO would do. Now if the OP rather try to upgrade more then yes it might be worth it. With PLT the OP would still get lounge access on International.
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Old Oct 6, 18, 5:01 am
  #4  
 
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Originally Posted by newyorkgeorge View Post
Given that the OP usually buys F Iím not sure what PLT PRO would do. Now if the OP rather try to upgrade more then yes it might be worth it. With PLT the OP would still get lounge access on International.
And with the systemwide downgrades of the Flagship lounges, the difference might indeed be nonexistent.
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Old Oct 6, 18, 6:44 am
  #5  
 
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I'm pretty much in the same boat as you (same city too) - will finish the year with about 66,000 EQMs and about 11,000 EQD. My flying and purchase patterns are usually intra-east coast, some ORD trips, or transcons. If I have a long transcon (LAX or SFO type) I usually will book F for at least 1/2 of the trip and book well in advance so as to minimize fare expense except when I'm travelling with family when I book coach for that. For intra east routes (routes like PVD, CHS, MSY), I almost always book coach and wait for the upgrade. For those trips like MIA or OKC or where I build a segment in via LGA or PHL for extra miles, I'll usually book coach as well.

My EQM and EQD is pretty much the same as last year - maybe a bit less on EQM this year as I had a lengthy Europe trip this year but had two more transcons last year.

Im about 60% on upgrades. Where I miss, I have two miss scenarios: #1 miss by a lot (#11 on the UG list) especially on flights to/from MIA or DFW or #2 just miss (#1 or #2 on the UG list). That I miss by a ton is something I don't worry about or care about especially as I've seen some of these flights actually have Group 2 boarders. Where I miss by a little, I imagine I miss and would have made had I been Plat Pro.

Is it worth the three extra segments to be upgraded only through having to spend an extra $8,00 to $1,000 of my own money on mileage runs (plus two whole days of travel) for those upgrade options (plus the other Plat Pro bennies)? I'm leaning on .... not really. As it stands, I already get the free bag, the MCE seats, the one free drink, and an absurdly low flying earn rate.

If the difference was between Plat Pro and EXP, then I think the calculus changes a lot. There I would probably say - yes.

Last edited by IADCAflyer; Oct 6, 18 at 6:53 am
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Old Oct 6, 18, 7:38 am
  #6  
 
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When does the perk "Complimentary auto-requested upgrades* where "*" denotes: *Benefit may not be available on all flights. come into play?

Just curious about this perks as it applies to all elite levels. Is it suppose to mean that if an upgrade isn't available, then it won't be an option? no-brainer. Or is it suppose to mean that upgrades are available but not complimentary at AA's discretions.
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Old Oct 6, 18, 8:00 am
  #7  
 
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Originally Posted by Zacnlinc View Post
When does the perk "Complimentary auto-requested upgrades* where "*" denotes: *Benefit may not be available on all flights. come into play?

Just curious about this perks as it applies to all elite levels. Is it suppose to mean that if an upgrade isn't available, then it won't be an option? no-brainer. Or is it suppose to mean that upgrades are available but not complimentary at AA's discretions.
1.Flights that dont have J/F (E14x or CR2)
2. International flights that require SWU or miles + copay
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Old Oct 6, 18, 8:26 am
  #8  
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Re: IADCAflyer and newyorkgeorge, these are exactly the points that pushed me to ask...thought maybe I was missing something that would make it an easy choice.

Yes, the UDU to revert to buying coach is the big draw—my sense from all I’ve read about PRO is I’d be just as well-served to stay PLT/fall back on LT GLD and just buy the lowest F fare I can find (on AA or elsewhere) whenever it meets my 2x or less cost criteria. I’m a big guy, so the upgrade is mostly about comfort—MCE is actually tolerable and the snacks and free drink just make it more so. I don’t like the uncertainty around waiting/hoping for the upgrade, so if PRO would put a big dent in that it might be worth it...but there’s a strong vibe that it it isn’t (a difference-maker or worth it for UDU).

Lounge access as PLT on international flights is a nice perk, but not one I use nearly as often as in years past; I can work around it with my AC membership, get an Amex Platinum card, join Priority Pass, pay for the day, or just do without. So, yeah, I’m even questioning the value proposition of my AC membership...

With nearly 1.4M miles in the bank I am pretty invested in AA, but my travel patterns aren’t likely to exceed PLT “naturally” for the foreseeable future.

Totally agree that a push for EXP would be a no-brainer if it were within reach. I was EXP for a number of years (but those were the good years).

Last edited by AAir_head; Oct 6, 18 at 8:33 am Reason: Clarification
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Old Oct 6, 18, 2:32 pm
  #9  
 
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Originally Posted by weero View Post
And with the systemwide downgrades of the Flagship lounges, the difference might indeed be nonexistent.
I was just in the LAX Flagship in March and it was fantastic, my new favorite I lounge that I've experienced. What sort of downgrades are you witnessing?
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Old Oct 6, 18, 3:00 pm
  #10  
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If you are comfortable buying a fair amount of domestic F and have plans to go to Europe next year, consider getting BA Silver in 2019. 600 tier points is essentially 14 domestic short F segments (the DCA-LAX counts more) and a BA coach flight to someplace with a connection each way in London. That's what I did in the first half of this year (except I did 4 short-haul BA/IB segments instead) when my AA Citi Exec card was coming up for renewal. No MQD requirement. No UDU, but MCE at ticketing and complementary Flagship/AC access on all flights. While you're qualifying, you would credit your Y tickets to AA Plat so you can still get MCE.
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Old Oct 9, 18, 8:36 pm
  #11  
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Originally Posted by ElmhurstNick View Post
If you are comfortable buying a fair amount of domestic F and have plans to go to Europe next year, consider getting BA Silver in 2019.
I hadnít ever considered BAEC; after reading up on it, it seems plausible. Not sure about orphaning 1.4M AA miles, though. Or foregoing upgrades entirely.

I searched over in BAEC forum, but didnít find anything like a ďBAEC guide for FFs based in North AmericaĒ; the program wiki is pretty informative, but something focused would be helpful. Anyone happen to know if such a thread exists?

thanks!
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Old Oct 10, 18, 7:41 am
  #12  
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The biggest advantage I found to being PPRO was not the upgrades (I'd guess I got it about 40% of the time), it was the same day flight change. I used that a lot.
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Old Oct 10, 18, 8:14 am
  #13  
 
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Originally Posted by OTD View Post
The biggest advantage I found to being PPRO was not the upgrades (I'd guess I got it about 40% of the time), it was the same day flight change. I used that a lot.
Those upgrade percentages can be even higher when flying out of non-elite heavy routes so international travel aside, it's pretty darn close to feeling like EP.
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Old Oct 10, 18, 8:57 am
  #14  
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One significant difference between Platinum and PPro is how you will be dealt with in OSO / IRIPS.

PPro can be endorsed to airlines AA has interline agreements with (JBV carriers if possible, but DL, UA domestically), whereas Platinum, the new Elite scum with Gold, only get considered for reaccommodation on other airlines if th disruption will delay them by more than five hours. IMO, thatís huge. Link.

(Iím Platinum scum for life as of next year, which does afford me oneworld benefits. But with this new policy, Iím also a free agent next year, so I can fly DL - better soft product, better support in OSO - without compunctions, if it suits my travel plans.)
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Old Oct 10, 18, 12:23 pm
  #15  
 
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AAir_head, If you're DCA-based, I would stick with AA despite the status issues because of AA's network ex-DCA. When I was DC-based a few years ago now, I flirted with DL and UA, but couldn't justify connections. Personally, I'd rather be a Plat or PPRO on a non-stop in MCE than be a Plat or Diamond with a connection.

And, like you, I'm at about $13K EQD right now, but only 78K in MQD, so I'm a bit concerned that my shuttle and ORD flights will probably require a mileage run of sorts in December again this year to maintain EXP. Second, with DL building up BOS, I've been using them more often only because of the nonstop service. My travel patterns have changed significantly to become almost exclusively domestic travel over the past two years. When AA first announced the EQD requirement, I thought that would "trim the fat", but now it seems for many (myself included), it's not the EQD but rather the EQM which presents issues for requalification.

Finally, as an EXP, I wouldn't count on upgrades or sticker utilization ex-DCA.
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