OneWorld No Longer a Fit, What Would You Do?

Old Aug 18, 19, 11:52 am
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Join Date: Jun 2010
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OneWorld No Longer a Fit, What Would You Do?

Great forum here, and I want to ask an open-ended question just to hear opinions.

I have been either a Platinum or ExecPlat with AA for the past 10 years. I'm going to hit ExecPlat again this month when I complete my next flight, and in 3 years or so I could hit the 2 million miler mark if I could stick with them. Unfortunately my work is now taking me from home (Las Vegas) to Seattle (Everett actually, right by the new PAE airport) regularly now. AA is basically terrible for all of the Pacific Northwest, and there are no good OneWorld partner options. Even if I connect in LAX or PHX, the schedules are terrible and the flights seem to always be too expensive/out of policy with my company.

I hate Alaska Airlines, but I'd hold my nose and fly them if they would grow up and join an alliance. But I see no value at all in flying them and building status in their program. I know there were rumors a while ago about them joining OneWorld, but there seems to be nothing at all more recently on that topic.

One option I could do is to status match with Delta. They fly direct from LAS to SEA, and being SkyTeam would be valuable for my global travel (although I LOVE Cathay and would be so sad to leave OneWorld for that reason).

What would you do? Fly Alaska and hope the OneWorld thing happens someday? Switch to Delta? Quit this job :-p ? Would love to hear opinions.

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Old Aug 18, 19, 12:00 pm
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I’d go delta. I’m potentially facing a similar question with expected frequent travel to pdx. Right now I need to do a layover to get from home to pdx regardless of airline but if a direct opens up odds are high it will be with delta. Aa would never pick up the route unfortunately

When that happens I’ll be delta bound

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Nuhusky is offline  
Old Aug 18, 19, 12:21 pm
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: La Jolla, Ca
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Short answer: Based on the very limited information provided in the OP, I would find some cheap MRs, make an effort to hit 2mm before making any drastic changes.

FWIW, my road warrior days ended shortly before I reached 2mm, just prior to Parker's hostile takeover of AA, did a bunch of aspirational MRs (don't believe in a "bucket list") to push me over the top - ASU, BOG, LIM.

Around the same time, AS started to increase service out of my home SAN, building a nonstop network that happens to fit my current travel patterns quite well - all Hawaiian islands, BOS, EWR, MCO, SJC, STS - to where I am able to earn MVPG for several years running.

I still end up on AA several times per year, as LT PLT is a very nice perk when it makes more sense to fly someone other than AS.

Most OW carriers have reciprocal arrangements with AS, where your lifetime sapphire status should also come in handy - regardless of if/when AS ever formally joins the alliance. AS maintains alliances with carriers beyond OW, which might also prove to be beneficial.

Not sure of your beef with AS - their first class seats are meh, I consider them tolerable for up to 5-6 hours at a time, consistent with AA narrow body first - my only AA option out of SAN. At least for now, the Mileage plan does not have a revenue requirement, has the lowest qualification thresholds, most generous when it comes to upgrades - Y+ and F.
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diver858 is offline  
Old Aug 18, 19, 12:23 pm
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OP even thou the program keeps achangin if you are that close to 2MM, Id want to lock that in. I would probably workout how much the difference is in fares bet AA and XX and ask my company if I could book AA and the company will pay what XX would want and the difference would be on my dime. Of cause you have to workout if its worthwhile, cant do anything about the lousy connections

As much as I can stand AA (or DL or UA) I will sing the praises for both AA and UA LT status (AA Plat/UA Gold) no bag fees, always getting on early so always overhead bin space etc etc
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Old Aug 18, 19, 12:25 pm
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Why do you care that much if an airline joins an alliance? A lot of international coach where you want lounge access? If that's the case, I'd look at a priority pass credit card (or Amex for the centurion).

Alaska partners with a lot of great airlines, including Cathay and JAL. If that's important to you, would suggest sticking with them even if they're techinically not alliance members.
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Old Aug 18, 19, 12:31 pm
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I'd go with DL.
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Old Aug 18, 19, 12:37 pm
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Originally Posted by USFlyerUS View Post
I'd go with DL.
I'm now somewhat loyal to DL myself because they are the best option between SHA and JAX, and MU pretty much owns SHA, but if my flying patterns worked with AS, I would definitely choose them because the miles are much more valuable. That having been said, I would hit 2 mm on AA before jumping ship if I were in the OP's shoes.

Last edited by moondog; Aug 18, 19 at 12:47 pm
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Old Aug 18, 19, 12:38 pm
Join Date: Dec 2010
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If i was regularly flying Las Vegas <--> Everett, WA Alaska would be the only choice. Pretty sure that they fly LAS-PAE.

The amount of time wasted flying AA LAS - PHX/LAX - SEA makes no sense. Three years is a long time to go for 2MM. Don't go chasing status at the cost of logic.

Take your AA status and match to AS mileage plan.
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Old Aug 18, 19, 12:45 pm
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Join Date: Jun 2010
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Thanks all, great inputs and points of view. Will consider as I develop my strategy on this.
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Old Aug 18, 19, 12:56 pm
Join Date: Nov 2011
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i would compare Alaska's route map and schedule to Delta's, and status match to the better program for where you need to fly. This is Alaska's big hub after all. With AA -- your nearest hubs are 3+ hours away, flights to SEA are often too infrequent to be of good use for connections, and you often have to back-track or fly in two separate programs compared to a nonstop flight. This makes IRROPS difficult. I favor Delta because of their IFE/hard product and flight performance compared to Alaska (or AA), but whether this matters all depends on flight frequency where you need to match work timing and IRROPS needs. Alaska interestingly has better Asian partners if that matters.

My problem is similar at BOS. AA seems keen on continuing Oasis, not investing further in lie-flat transcontinental seats having half-heartedly trying LAX-BOS, and often leaving me with sub-40min connections @ PHL (no shower, running to/from Terminals B and F) or CLT to get anywhere that isn't already a hub. If not for the outstanding Asian OneWorld partners, Delta has been calling my name.
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Old Aug 18, 19, 1:49 pm
Join Date: Mar 2014
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Programs: Etihad Guest, Aegean & some other almost useless M&M programs; BA One World; spg; HHonors; Accor...
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Myself, I'd go for whichever is the best deal and/or most convenient schedule + Priority Pass. Good luck!
Shiv01 is offline  
Old Aug 18, 19, 2:10 pm
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I’d at least stick around to hit 2MM. This year I’ve started flying DL mostly because I made EXP early and I wanted to test the DL waters. I neither find them better or worse than AA for my flying patterns but their Frequent Flyer Program is just awful. If the better routes are more important than award redemptions at reasonable rates, then the switch to DL would seem a no-brainer.
AA100k is offline  
Old Aug 18, 19, 3:09 pm
Join Date: Oct 2014
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Delta for sure. One fewer person in front of me on the AS upgrade list.
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pmblinn is offline  
Old Aug 18, 19, 6:34 pm
Join Date: Nov 2013
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I switched from aa to Delta about a year before leaving PHX for SEA and I've been satisfied with the carrier. Granted, for me it was the bottom tier comparison, but Delta even having to connect to hubs was a better experience from Phoenix, and now I'm at a hub which is cool.

Do you travel internationally very much? Alaska has some good partners, and especially if you fly business class the earnings and redemption can be great.

​​​​Anyway, the issue for you is that PAE to SEA can be a major hassle of a commute, but if you choose Delta, grab an Amex Platinum card for Skyclub (and Centurion) lounge access.
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Old Aug 18, 19, 6:57 pm
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I'd take DL over AS, but I concur with trying to bang out 2MM first.
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