Tiptoeing to the Aadvantage exit yet?

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Old Nov 19, 18, 7:20 pm
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Tiptoeing to the Aadvantage exit yet?

Some years ago, a consultant speaking of specialty stores said something like, "You have to do a lot to piss off your brand loyalists, but once you do, you don't get them back." Granted, AA would be delighted if a large fraction of its low-rent EXPs went away--better to have a dozen occasional fliers than one or two entitled loafers. More accurately, I suspect that AA is consciously nudging its cheapo EXPs into spending more money. Will it succeed? On a scale of 1 to 10, how close are you to walking? Right now, I'd call myself a 6, which suggests, sorry to say, that AA is managing my upgrade transition masterfully. Five years ago I would have said there wasn't a prayer that I'd buy business class. Now I often do. Will I continue to do so once the company zaps SWU's for good? We're just about there, aren't we? Clearing at the gate? Gimme a break, or, as Obi-Wan Kenobi said elegantly, "Break me a f...ing give."
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Old Nov 19, 18, 8:02 pm
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I don't think comparing airlines to specialty stores is valid. For starters one's choice of airlines is rather limited in general and depending upon where one lives/travels to in many cases you have even fewer options, with speciality stores/items you have The Internet as a pretty big option for finding goods. I think the airlines have consolidated enough that sufficient numbers of flyers are left with no good recourse when it comes firing their airline. Are there some people in DFW for example who will fly DFW-IAH-XXX-IAD-DFW every week just avoid AA because they are mad...I'm sure there are; it is a meaningful number of frequent flyers? I would surmise its not. My home airports have multiple carriers and this year I ended up with $6300 MQDs on Delta that would have probably gone to AA in the past due to DL having better equipment/schedule on the flights I needed (still barely only made Silver) and as I have the ability to just book F I booked what was best vs brand loyalty but I still made sure I re-qualified for EXP as I find the OWE benefits/carriers/routes valuable. If DL had proper Intl-F, was in OW not ST, could book partner F, didn't have the SkyPeso I'd fly them much more. Put another way, I found most of my flying experience on DL (both on the ground and in the air) this year superior to my experience on AA but even with all the changes AA still has a better program and thus while I will continue to give DL business when it makes sense the shortcomings of their FF program, based on my preferences anyways, means that AA/OW still wins the lion share of my business.
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Old Nov 19, 18, 9:58 pm
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Originally Posted by JuanTT View Post
Some years ago, a consultant speaking of specialty stores said something like, "You have to do a lot to piss off your brand loyalists, but once you do, you don't get them back." Granted, AA would be delighted if a large fraction of its low-rent EXPs went away--better to have a dozen occasional fliers than one or two entitled loafers. More accurately, I suspect that AA is consciously nudging its cheapo EXPs into spending more money. Will it succeed? On a scale of 1 to 10, how close are you to walking? Right now, I'd call myself a 6, which suggests, sorry to say, that AA is managing my upgrade transition masterfully. Five years ago I would have said there wasn't a prayer that I'd buy business class. Now I often do. Will I continue to do so once the company zaps SWU's for good? We're just about there, aren't we? Clearing at the gate? Gimme a break, or, as Obi-Wan Kenobi said elegantly, "Break me a f...ing give."
I have lifetime PLT status. Until they get rid of the current PLT perks (2 bags, MCE, lounge access for int't, more RDMs, group 3 boarding, priority check in), I am still flying them. I am not much of a drinker, but I found out that if I am in MCE and ask for rum and coke, I get a can of coke and 2 bottles of rum. Of course, my sampling size is small. DFW-FLL (738) and MIA-DFW (772) recently for a cruise, but I am rarely given a full can of coke on domestic flights when I ask for a Coke. So, apparently, if I want them to give me a can of Coke, I should order rum and Coke and not only get the whole can, but 2 bottles of rum to give away.
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Old Nov 19, 18, 10:57 pm
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I would have stayed exclusively with AA, but their removing non-stops between JFK and ZRH and other intl locales was the "clincher"; via my EXP status I should be able to complete a DL PLT challenge...maybe even make DM.
PS: I'm a leisure traveler, so I don't have to go anywhere, but when I do go I want the least hassles, like connecting in LHR and/or PHL.
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Old Nov 20, 18, 4:05 am
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Loyalty to AA and most airlines is completely pointless in my opinion. I left AA 18 months ago. Fly anyone and everyone now. Just had a great experience on Southwest. Donít miss status with AA at all. EXP had become much less than it was and the management team is completely disconnected from reality. Southwest blew me away with their customer service and attitude versus AA. Been a while since I had flown them.

I guess they all probably suck so I just shop on price and hard product. Iím sure AA doesnít miss my spend of 35k, I know if I were them I would not miss it. Iím not a corporate account so pretty low value to them. I donít miss them, they donít miss me, so I guess everyone is happy😁.

Cheers,
Mark
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Old Nov 20, 18, 4:46 am
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Originally Posted by JuanTT View Post

<snip>

Gimme a break, or, as Obi-Wan Kenobi said elegantly, "Break me a f...ing give."
I believe that was Master Yoda, in the original un-edited version of, "The Empire Strikes Back", which was called, " I'm Gonna Kill That Jedi Fool!"

It was toned down for the final release...
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Old Nov 20, 18, 4:57 am
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The OP will find lots of discussion regarding program changes here: AAdvantage Program Changes as of Jan 2019 and EXP EQD Requirement
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Old Nov 20, 18, 5:50 am
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Some small percentage of those qualified for New EXP will think that it is great and some small percentage of those who were Old EXP and will not be New EXP, will either scream that they are jumping ship and either jump ship as the case may be. The rest don't spend their lives obsessing on this stuff and travel based on factors such as price, convenience, and the like, or they travel based on whatever it is that their admin books for them.

It is also a fallacy that AA wants everyone who does not qualify for New EXP to jump ship. There is simply a limit to what AA will do for people.

Finally, while MP and SM are not the same as AA, they have similarities and both of those programs are changing over time. One can't simply jump ship in a vacuum. Or perhaps one can choose the best flights for you and not twist oneself into a pretzel for not that much in return.
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Old Nov 20, 18, 6:28 am
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Originally Posted by travelgeek1197 View Post
Loyalty to AA and most airlines is completely pointless in my opinion. I left AA 18 months ago. Fly anyone and everyone now. Just had a great experience on Southwest. Donít miss status with AA at all. EXP had become much less than it was and the management team is completely disconnected from reality. Southwest blew me away with their customer service and attitude versus AA. Been a while since I had flown them.

I guess they all probably suck so I just shop on price and hard product. Iím sure AA doesnít miss my spend of 35k, I know if I were them I would not miss it. Iím not a corporate account so pretty low value to them. I donít miss them, they donít miss me, so I guess everyone is happy😁.

Cheers,
Mark
This.
I had status on AA for years, but the changes were just too much. This year, I've had paid biz class travel on United, paid coach/PE travel on AA and BA (booked via BA), and most recently 2 paid trips on Southwest (thanks to my new A list promo status via work).

I have to say, when travelling in Y, I found Southwest to be much better than AA. Seemed more comfortable, much friendlier service, and the $8 wifi actually worked great.

The downside is that I'll end up with miles spread across a few programs, making it harder to use them, but it can be managed. Free agency is the way to go until these airlines figure out that loyalty is a two way street. For now, I'll probably shift a fair amount of domestic trips to Southwest, and then just take whatever works price/schedule wise for international or those where I want business/first.
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Old Nov 20, 18, 6:38 am
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For the business travelers its basically down to 4 airlines, 3 if one travels International. B6 captures a bit of the corporate market but even they are going the way of others. The leisure market will go with what's cheapest even when they end up spending more with fees and wedged into a 28 inch seat. The culprits? The flying public. The retail analogy is Wal Mart in which people get horrendous customer service to save maybe $10 off their shopping. The stupidity of the human race can be astounding.
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Old Nov 20, 18, 6:43 am
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Originally Posted by newyorkgeorge View Post
For the business travelers its basically down to 4 airlines, 3 if one travels International. B6 captures a bit of the corporate market but even they are going the way of others. The leisure market will go with what's cheapest even when they end up spending more with fees and wedged into a 28 inch seat. The culprits? The flying public. The retail analogy is Wal Mart in which people get horrendous customer service to save maybe $10 off their shopping. The stupidity of the human race can be astounding.
$$$ is the "king".
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Old Nov 20, 18, 6:50 am
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If AA is a specialty store, Applebee's is fine dining and Dockers = haute couture. That said, AAdvantage has zero impact on my buying / flying behavior any more. If AA has best price and schedule and I earn a driblet of miles, fine. If WN or B6 are cheaper or better timed, or if WN has a 737 where AA has only an Envoy Barbie jet, that's enough inducement to jump ship. Overseas? I choose the carrier and price, not the miles program. AA service and reliability are in themselves no incentive to buy AA.

The irony / tragedy / stupidity of AAdvantage is that it (like all loyalty schemes) is there to promote and reward marginal customer behavior changes on a mass scale. Instead it lavishes shovelfuls of miles on a select few and makes itself a non-factor with everybody else.
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Old Nov 20, 18, 6:50 am
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After over 20 years as EXP I had been slowly moving back to Delta. Thanks to rollover miles I will achieve Diamond on Delta and EXP on AA for next year. With the increased dollar requirement and the lack of rollover miles I had to choose which I will go for next year for 2020. I have chosen Delta.
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Old Nov 20, 18, 7:33 am
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Originally Posted by nrr View Post
I would have stayed exclusively with AA, but their removing non-stops between JFK and ZRH and other intl locales was the "clincher"; via my EXP status I should be able to complete a DL PLT challenge...maybe even make DM.
PS: I'm a leisure traveler, so I don't have to go anywhere, but when I do go I want the least hassles, like connecting in LHR and/or PHL.
Just FYI, if you make it via the challenge to DL PM status, still must meet the full requirements for DM. Point out cause it's a common misconception that if you make PM via challenge, 50k additional MQM is all that's needed to get to DM.

Also can now book F awards on partners (at least MU, CZ, and KE) except AF. AF doesn't even allow their own members to book AF F unless they're elite.
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Old Nov 20, 18, 7:51 am
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Let's see: 70 some segments on AA this year only 2 delays greater than 1 hour, and no missed connections; 10/10 on Y-->J SWUs/BXPs (counting upcoming flights) this year and never missed a SWU request over my career as EXP; nearly 80% success rate on domestic upgrades; lots of quality time in OneWorld F lounges, several partner J redemptions and free redeposits. And all under my company's "lowest Y fare" travel policy.

Nope, I am not going anywhere.

RDM earning rates are irrelevant - I've got more miles than I know what to do with. Just about the least important part of AAdvantage, IMO.

YMMV.
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