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how is Ex Plat for mostly Caribbean/Lat. Am. travel?

how is Ex Plat for mostly Caribbean/Lat. Am. travel?

Old Aug 17, 19, 6:18 pm
  #1  
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how is Ex Plat for mostly Caribbean/Lat. Am. travel?

I status-matched from AA Plat to United about three years ago when UA started making more sense for my changed travel pattern. Iím now back to flying a lot more in the Miami/Central America/Caribbean/northern South America region, where AA is obviously a lot stronger than United.

Because of my status with Hyatt, Iíve been offered a match to AA Platinum and a doable challenge to Ex Plat. that I can knock off with one trip that I was already planning to take.

If I were to do the challenge and then switch a lot of flying within the above-mentioned region back to AA from my current United/Copa, what should my expectations be as an Ex Plat? Are upgrades on flights such as MIA-PTY and JFK-SDQ to be expected? Is MIA better or worse for AA pax than it was three years ago?

Thanks for all feedback.
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Old Aug 18, 19, 1:15 pm
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My Latin America experiences have been great as EXP. I've scored both comp upgrades and SWU ones. Although my trek primarily have taken me through DFW, one recent SDQ and STI trek, MIA was my US airport and upgrades clears well before my USA-MIA legs did.
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Old Aug 18, 19, 1:46 pm
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The Flagship lounge in MIA is great. As a Plat or EXP you'll have access for many S. American flights (I don't think you get access on Caribbean flights), both coming and going (pretty decent food as well as nice shower suites). Weather is the main issue there with thunderstorms delaying many afternoon flights. Customs and immigration are much improved as of late with all the kiosks and Global Entry and the passport app although waiting for checked luggage can still be the biggest problem. Can't speak to upgrades.
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Old Aug 18, 19, 9:34 pm
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Originally Posted by eefor jfp View Post
The Flagship lounge in MIA is great. As a Plat or EXP you'll have access for many S. American flights
It's for all of South America, as well as Central America.
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Old Aug 19, 19, 9:24 am
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The OP said Caribbean and AFAIK for upgrade and lounge purposes those routes are considered domestic. I thought same for Central America other than MEX. Maybe that's changed.
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Old Aug 19, 19, 10:00 am
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Central America allows for both 500 mile upgrades and FL access.
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Old Aug 19, 19, 10:56 am
  #7  
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Originally Posted by newyorkgeorge View Post
The OP said Caribbean and AFAIK for upgrade and lounge purposes those routes are considered domestic. I thought same for Central America other than MEX. Maybe that's changed.
MEX is in North America, not Central. (Think of the countries in NAFTA). North America doesn't qualify for AA Elite based lounge access, except for MEX... Central American destinations do qualify

From AA.COM the following count for lounge access for PLT and abobe: Flights between the U.S. and:
  • Asia
  • Australia
  • Central America
  • Europe
  • Mexico City (MEX)
  • New Zealand
  • South America
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Old Aug 19, 19, 3:36 pm
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Originally Posted by newyorkgeorge View Post
The OP said Caribbean and AFAIK for upgrade and lounge purposes those routes are considered domestic. I thought same for Central America other than MEX. Maybe that's changed.
If it was changed it was changed before 2003 because since 2003 when I started flying to Central America, it's been that way. The reason is that MEX and other Mexican cities are not in Central America. Though all of Central America, Mexico, Canada and the USA and the Caribbean are in North America that isn't what AA uses to define access.

Wikipedia: "Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country in the southern portion of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States; to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; to the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and to the east by the Gulf of Mexico."
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Old Aug 19, 19, 5:11 pm
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Yea... I asked the question in a different thread, maybe it was in the DFW FLL thread, why MEX is the exception. Long Answer Short, it's viewed more as business destination that leisure. Last two recent trips to MEX I missed out on the FLL by 3 and 1 weeks. Will be there next Monday though...
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Old Aug 19, 19, 6:50 pm
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The FL is great, but you should be aware that Oneworld does not have a lot of lounges in a lot of Central American or Northern South American airports. Neither PTY nor SDQ have a lounge for AA pax. Colombia only has one in BOG.

OW lounges: https://www.oneworld.com/airport-lounges?location=

One option ion would be Priority Pass to get into the CM lounges.
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Old Aug 20, 19, 9:48 am
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Originally Posted by ricktoronto View Post
If it was changed it was changed before 2003 because since 2003 when I started flying to Central America, it's been that way. The reason is that MEX and other Mexican cities are not in Central America. Though all of Central America, Mexico, Canada and the USA and the Caribbean are in North America that isn't what AA uses to define access.

Wikipedia: "Mexico, officially the United Mexican States, is a country in the southern portion of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States; to the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; to the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and to the east by the Gulf of Mexico."
But "Mexico is not in Central America" is not the reason. All the cities in Mexico except MEX (Mexico City) are lumped in with Central America and Caribbean as ineligible.

And, anyway, the UN considers Mexico part of Central America, for what that's worth.
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Old Aug 20, 19, 11:53 am
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I was based in Chile for a decade and had a lot of travel in the region and between the US and the areas you mention. I have had a lot of luck with complimentary upgrades MIA-PTY and BOG. MEX is spotty given the significant number of high-frequency travelers - I remember one flight which had over 90 EXPs on it, according to the FA's hand-held!

MIA offers great service for EXPs on these flights with the Flagship Lounge, and DFW has one now, as well, so you can fly from there to some of the destinations you mention.

LATAM is building out their lounges, which are very nice, in many airports so you would have access to those, plus other oneworld lounges (BOG, GUA, SDQ, SJO, UIO). The PTY Tocumen Royal Salon is definitely not royal, but it's a lounge. MEX is just a plain mess, but AA does have an AC there and also offers electric cart service to the departure gates (when the cart is working). Once you get further south you find that LATAM mostly has good facilities that are available to AA EXP, except LIM (unless things have changed very recently, the lounge situation there is miserable).

Compared to DL and UA, I think AA is a no-brainer.
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Last edited by zpaul; Aug 20, 19 at 11:59 am
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Old Aug 20, 19, 4:53 pm
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Originally Posted by zpaul View Post

LATAM is building out their lounges, which are very nice, in many airports so you would have access to those, plus other oneworld lounges (BOG, GUA, SDQ, SJO, UIO). The PTY Tocumen Royal Salon is definitely not royal, but it's a lounge. MEX is just a plain mess, but AA does have an AC there and also offers electric cart service to the departure gates (when the cart is working). Once you get further south you find that LATAM mostly has good facilities that are available to AA EXP, except LIM (unless things have changed very recently, the lounge situation there is miserable).

Compared to DL and UA, I think AA is a no-brainer.
Are you sure that AA passengers get access in PTY, GUA, SDQ, SJO, and UIO? Per the OneWorld Lounge locator website AA is not supported. They each list IB only, IB/BA or IB/LA. The only one that lists AA is BOG. I know that websites are not always necessarily correct, and I only fly MDE-MIA-USA or MDE-PTY-Mexico with an occasional connection in BOG so I don't have direct experience.

https://www.oneworld.com/airport-lounges?location=
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Old Aug 20, 19, 8:01 pm
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Originally Posted by coolcoil View Post
Are you sure that AA passengers get access in PTY, GUA, SDQ, SJO, and UIO? Per the OneWorld Lounge locator website AA is not supported. They each list IB only, IB/BA or IB/LA. The only one that lists AA is BOG. I know that websites are not always necessarily correct, and I only fly MDE-MIA-USA or MDE-PTY-Mexico with an occasional connection in BOG so I don't have direct experience.

https://www.oneworld.com/airport-lounges?location=
They donít. For the most part itís limited by airline (the lounge at GUA for example is accessible to Iberia pax but not to AA pax on business itineraries).
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Old Aug 21, 19, 7:36 am
  #15  
 
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Originally Posted by coolcoil View Post
Are you sure that AA passengers get access in PTY, GUA, SDQ, SJO, and UIO? Per the OneWorld Lounge locator website AA is not supported. They each list IB only, IB/BA or IB/LA. The only one that lists AA is BOG. I know that websites are not always necessarily correct, and I only fly MDE-MIA-USA or MDE-PTY-Mexico with an occasional connection in BOG so I don't have direct experience.

https://www.oneworld.com/airport-lounges?location=
I've never been to MDE, but I have visited all of the others using my AA membership [at least I presumed that got me in since I was flying AA, perhaps it was my QF or LATAM status (I had LATAM Platinum through a bank card), but they too, are not listed and I was always flying AA or LATAM]. I just looked at the oneworld site and I see that it says that these lounges are restricted by airline, even within oneworld, but that hasn't been my experience. Granted, it has been 12-18 months since I visited many of them.

Last edited by zpaul; Aug 21, 19 at 7:56 am
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