Thinking of dropping AA for Delta

Old Jan 13, 20, 1:05 pm
  #31  
 
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Originally Posted by ggonzaga View Post
I'm actually under 21 so I'm not allowed into the Flagship lounges. It's the most annoying thing ever.
Just wait.

Soon you will be annoyed with decaying body parts, skin wrinkles and dentures. Enjoy being under 21 while you can.
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Old Jan 13, 20, 1:13 pm
  #32  
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AA is getting more aggressive at monetizing F although doesn't appear they are giving the kinds of F fares DL is giving. Upgrade odds are still better on AA. Also, remember that mileage/copay mileage/ trump sticker upgrades. For me I think going forward on transcons (particularly if it's a widebody flight) that might be my strategy. Saturday flying SFO/MIA I was number 5. The first 4 cleared because of no shows/misconnects. I was in 12J next to a girl with a baby. After takeoff the FAs get out the bassinet and attach it. Suddenly I have a bassinet with baby literally almost in my lap. The FA says to me "sir will you need to get out of your seat during the flight." I say considering its 5.5 hours flight time certainly yes. Luckily there was an open exit row seat for me to take.
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Old Jan 13, 20, 1:15 pm
  #33  
 
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Originally Posted by Jeremy3292 View Post
Delta status is much harder to achieve than AA due to the multipliers received for cabin classes. Delta maxes out at 1.5x MQM (unless you pay FULL fare) for business/first, whereas AA and Oneworld partners it is much more common to get 2x EQM (or more) for business/first. If you just fly economy a lot, then this is of no concern to you. However, if you fly internationally a lot via business class like me, AA status comes much more quickly. JAT.
On the greek letter side, you can make up a good amount of that with the two AmEx Delta co-branded cards that give Medallion Qualifying Miles spending bonuses. I got 20K non-flight MQMs last year by running a bunch of home improvement spend through the AmEx Skymiles platinum card.

And then because Delta also rolls over MQMs in excess of hitting a status threshold, I also started the year with 18K MQMs already in hand before heading out to the airport for the first time in 2020..
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Old Jan 13, 20, 1:26 pm
  #34  
 
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Originally Posted by ggonzaga View Post
Later, I was getting some water and getting ready to leave for my flight and the same lady at the check in desk finds me and pulls me aside. She explained that there's no payment method on file for a membership and that if I wanted to stay I would have to purchase the AC membership for $600 (no mention of a day pass). I told her I didn't know I couldn't enter on a domestic itinerary and apologized as I was traveling mainly internationally so I didn't know any better. My flight was about to board so I had no issue with leaving. She said that I could stay for today if I wanted to, but she said that after I told her my flight was boarding. I guess she said that only to take some guilt off her shoulders, but it was really a bluff. I was courteous to her and the other staff I interacted with because it's not their fault (apart from erroneously letting me in, but I'm not complaining) and plus if I get a membership I want to be in good terms with the staff there. She also mentioned that my account with AC is flagged, whatever that means. Oh well...
Even though you apparently weren't entitled to be there, I feel it would have still been a tacky business move for AA to have insisted on you leaving after they had initially welcomed you in. I'm glad she eventually offered to let you stay, even if it didn't really matter in the end since you were boarding anyway.

A bit related... Perhaps 4-5 years ago now, I was flying JFK-LAX-SAN, with JFK-LAX in three-class F, and I was in the old JFK FL lounge. I had used miles for the ticket and suddenly noticed they were selling last minute fares on the same route in Y for something like $150, with surprising availability for comp upgrades to J, so I approached Frances P. (a lovely AC agent at JFK, by the way) at the old FL entry desk and asked her if she would cancel my award ticket and allow me to purchase the cheapo coach fare and put me on the upgrade list, as it was within 2 hours of departure. She had it all done, along with the mountain of ticket coupons and receipts on AA ticket stock, all within a few minutes. Once I did that, I technically had no right to be in the FL anymore and should have been banished to the AC just outside the door, based on the entry rules at that time.

Bottom line... I still remember that experience. She even seemed to give me a sort of knowing look that I didn't really belong there anymore, but rather than saying anything negative, she actually said she couldn't believe I found such a good deal and actually congratulated me (I didn't mind flying in J vs. F, by the way, as I saved so many miles and got EQMs).

AA needs to understand that these interactions with employees that might seem minor in the grand scheme of things can really make a difference in the long run, and sometimes people remember even the smallest gestures for years to come. Then again, that's just simple business 101.
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Old Jan 13, 20, 1:36 pm
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Jeremy3292 View Post
Delta status is much harder to achieve than AA due to the multipliers received for cabin classes. Delta maxes out at 1.5x MQM (unless you pay FULL fare) for business/first, whereas AA and Oneworld partners it is much more common to get 2x EQM (or more) for business/first. If you just fly economy a lot, then this is of no concern to you. However, if you fly internationally a lot via business class like me, AA status comes much more quickly. JAT.
That's true, every time I fly business/first with AA I'm surprised with how many EQMs and award miles are put into the account. It's also nice that similar rules apply for partner airlines, so I got quite a few EQMs flying PE MIA-LHR with British Airways. It's definitely worth flying first just for that. I upgraded to first class MIA-BOS for only $110 with AA so it was a no brainer.
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Old Jan 13, 20, 1:41 pm
  #36  
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Originally Posted by bchandler02 View Post
Perhaps this is a case where the OP should consider trying to go for status on another OneWorld airline, and then crediting AA flights to that? If s/he can reach mid tier, wouldn't that get him lounge access in the US on domestic flights?
A friend of mine told me the same thing, that I should get status with British Airways and that way I'll have access to ACs even flying domestic. It feels like now would be the time to get started on that since it's just the beginning of the year and I only have around 6,000 EQMs in my AAdvantage account. However, I did a quick search and it looks like BA Executive Club Silver and Gold requires you to fly British Airways at least 4x per year. I could get away with flying with them 2x a year if I know I'm going to Europe, but I don't want to feel forced to fly to Europe just to maintain status each year. I travel often enough to Europe but it's never something that's programmed each year. Also, I am told that if you're oneworld emerald through AA you'd get better treatment/higher priority when flying AA in terms of upgrades and IRROPS than if you became oneworld emerald through BA and flew AA.
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Old Jan 13, 20, 1:47 pm
  #37  
 
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Originally Posted by saunders111 View Post
I switched from AA to Delta last fall despite AA having a much more frequent schedule out of my home airport, ABQ. The bottom line is that I prefer Delta because the AA response to IRROPS was repeatedly a giant middle finger to me as a PLT. Having frequent flights from DFW to ABQ did me no good at all, if I was sitting in DCA pleading with surly customer facing employees about getting a seat on a flight that had tickets for sale, after a mechanical cancellation.

Having now flown on Delta for about six months, I have to say the ONE thing that I miss from AA, as a former PLT, is MCE access at time of booking. Delta does that wrong, treating Comfort+ as an upgrade for GLD and PLT that might or might not happen after booking.

saunders111
C+ upgrades for Delta Plats and Diamonds opens at time of booking and is pretty much automatic. It's DL Gold and Silver status where the window opens at 3 days and 1 day, respectively, where you can often have challenges getting upgraded. The main difference between AA if you are a DL Plat or Diamond is that you can only upgrade one companion to C+. So if you frequently travel with family or more than one business companion with low or no status, you'll have to decide who gets stuck in the back and the one companion you want to upgrade to C+ with you.
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Old Jan 13, 20, 1:54 pm
  #38  
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Originally Posted by metallo View Post
Even though you apparently weren't entitled to be there, I feel it would have still been a tacky business move for AA to have insisted on you leaving after they had initially welcomed you in. I'm glad she eventually offered to let you stay, even if it didn't really matter in the end since you were boarding anyway.

A bit related... Perhaps 4-5 years ago now, I was flying JFK-LAX-SAN, with JFK-LAX in three-class F, and I was in the old JFK FL lounge. I had used miles for the ticket and suddenly noticed they were selling last minute fares on the same route in Y for something like $150, with surprising availability for comp upgrades to J, so I approached Frances P. (a lovely AC agent at JFK, by the way) at the old FL entry desk and asked her if she would cancel my award ticket and allow me to purchase the cheapo coach fare and put me on the upgrade list, as it was within 2 hours of departure. She had it all done, along with the mountain of ticket coupons and receipts on AA ticket stock, all within a few minutes. Once I did that, I technically had no right to be in the FL anymore and should have been banished to the AC just outside the door, based on the entry rules at that time.

Bottom line... I still remember that experience. She even seemed to give me a sort of knowing look that I didn't really belong there anymore, but rather than saying anything negative, she actually said she couldn't believe I found such a good deal and actually congratulated me (I didn't mind flying in J vs. F, by the way, as I saved so many miles and got EQMs).

AA needs to understand that these interactions with employees that might seem minor in the grand scheme of things can really make a difference in the long run, and sometimes people remember even the smallest gestures for years to come. Then again, that's just simple business 101.
That is true. There are so, so many passengers that stick to a single airline and sometimes bend over backwards against convenience to remain loyal. I have to fly to Miami for Valentine's Day and have an errand in Boston until 11:30am that day. I was going to get on a 1:00pm flight with AA but I would arrive to the airport far too late, risking missing the flight. My other option was to get a later flight and then risk being late to my valentine's day dinner that I had to pay a security deposit for. Normally I would make the leap and run this risk to stay with AA, but I decided to book with Delta because of the gravity of the consequences I'd have to deal with if something happened and I missed the flight or arrived too late. But when I do run these risks or just stick with AA even though the flight is cheaper with another airline, AA needs to understand that I value their business and they should acknowledge that beyond just elite status. I've had amazing service from flight attendants in transcontinental first and business class but I've also received awful treatment. The times that I receive awful treatment, it's utterly disappointing. But I guess in the grand scheme of things, the airline you stick with is the one that gives you the most satisfaction in the long run.
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Old Jan 13, 20, 2:03 pm
  #39  
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Originally Posted by ggonzaga View Post
I'm actually under 21 so I'm not allowed into the Flagship lounges. It's the most annoying thing ever. When I was flying a lot on the MIA-LHR route, I was going to AC often since I didn't have my Platinum AMEX. What they would do is have an employee escort me into the Flagship lounge and watch me pick food and what not, but then escort me into the Admirals Club. I'm not allowed into Flagship because of the open bar, which is really annoying because I wouldn't even drink.

I do travel internationally reasonably often, so I do value being a oneworld member.

As for the BOS AC, it wasn't horrible but definitely annoying. They scanned my boarding pass and said there was an error and that something was "processing" on my account. The lady asked if I had just qualified recently and I said no I'm a member for all of 2019, I didn't understand why an error was showing up. She asked if I was the primary on the account and I said yes because I thought she was just new in the job and didn't know what she was talking about (later I realized that she was referring to the credit card). Eventually she saw my elite status and said that I was all set but that she was going to call AA to find out what's going on. Later, I was getting some water and getting ready to leave for my flight and the same lady at the check in desk finds me and pulls me aside. She explained that there's no payment method on file for a membership and that if I wanted to stay I would have to purchase the AC membership for $600 (no mention of a day pass). I told her I didn't know I couldn't enter on a domestic itinerary and apologized as I was traveling mainly internationally so I didn't know any better. My flight was about to board so I had no issue with leaving. She said that I could stay for today if I wanted to, but she said that after I told her my flight was boarding. I guess she said that only to take some guilt off her shoulders, but it was really a bluff. I was courteous to her and the other staff I interacted with because it's not their fault (apart from erroneously letting me in, but I'm not complaining) and plus if I get a membership I want to be in good terms with the staff there. She also mentioned that my account with AC is flagged, whatever that means. Oh well...
If you're under 21, DL won't let you enter SCs having self service bars without a parent or guardian, regardless of whatever credit cards, lounge memberships, or premium cabin tickets you might have.
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Old Jan 13, 20, 2:06 pm
  #40  
 
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Originally Posted by ggonzaga View Post
That is true. There are so, so many passengers that stick to a single airline and sometimes bend over backwards against convenience to remain loyal. I have to fly to Miami for Valentine's Day and have an errand in Boston until 11:30am that day. I was going to get on a 1:00pm flight with AA but I would arrive to the airport far too late, risking missing the flight. My other option was to get a later flight and then risk being late to my valentine's day dinner that I had to pay a security deposit for. Normally I would make the leap and run this risk to stay with AA, but I decided to book with Delta because of the gravity of the consequences I'd have to deal with if something happened and I missed the flight or arrived too late. But when I do run these risks or just stick with AA even though the flight is cheaper with another airline, AA needs to understand that I value their business and they should acknowledge that beyond just elite status. I've had amazing service from flight attendants in transcontinental first and business class but I've also received awful treatment. The times that I receive awful treatment, it's utterly disappointing. But I guess in the grand scheme of things, the airline you stick with is the one that gives you the most satisfaction in the long run.
You lead quite the life for still being < 21 yo! I was too busy stuck at school with minimal funds at that age to enjoy myself so much, but whatever way you manage to do it, congrats, and I can't fault you for enjoying yourself.

Originally Posted by QueenOfCoach View Post
Just wait.

Soon you will be annoyed with decaying body parts, skin wrinkles and dentures. Enjoy being under 21 while you can.
Despite what I said above, it's also tough to disagree what has now become QueenOfCoach's signature advice!
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Old Jan 13, 20, 2:11 pm
  #41  
 
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I wish I had been able to do so much flying before I was 21! IMO, if you're MIA based, AA makes the most sense--I'll add that I prefer the Centurion lounge anyway for the spa. I've been dieting lately and trying to george myself on food less, but getting a free chair massage is fantastic!
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Old Jan 13, 20, 2:14 pm
  #42  
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Originally Posted by ggonzaga View Post
Yes of course, but when I'm in a domestic flight and I see 15 names on the upgrade list screen and I'm in 10th place, that's when I realize there's a lot of frequent fliers on the routes that I take especially.
If you're bothered by being 10 of 15 on the upgrade list, DL would not be a good fit for you. On elite heavy routes, a GM = Gold = DL equivalent to the AA Plat tier can easily be 49 of 70 for 1 seat.

Time for the chorus: Goodbye cruel airline (copyright, QueenOfCoach).
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Old Jan 13, 20, 2:20 pm
  #43  
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
If you're under 21, DL won't let you enter SCs having self service bars without a parent or guardian, regardless of whatever credit cards, lounge memberships, or premium cabin tickets you might have.
Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention. I pulled up the SC lounges in BOS and they say they have bars. Does this mean they're self service bars or not necessarily?
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Old Jan 13, 20, 2:30 pm
  #44  
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Originally Posted by ggonzaga View Post
Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention. I pulled up the SC lounges in BOS and they say they have bars. Does this mean they're self service bars or not necessarily?
AFAIK all SCs have bars and provide some alcohol for free. The prohibited SCs are those without bartenders or, equivalently, with self service bars. If you can find a menu with drink prices, there must be a bartender to collect the money (and of course also to collect tips on even the free drinks).

Unfortunately I don't recall the situation in BOS, but if I had to guess, I would say that they have a "luxury" bar and hence a bartender (as does JFK T4, all SCs in ATL, F/G at MSP, etc.). Note that some of these luxury bars are more luxurious (and expensive) than others; there are a bunch of versions of the drinks menu.
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Old Jan 13, 20, 2:42 pm
  #45  
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Originally Posted by metallo View Post
You lead quite the life for still being < 21 yo! I was too busy stuck at school with minimal funds at that age to enjoy myself so much, but whatever way you manage to do it, congrats, and I can't fault you for enjoying yourself.



Despite what I said above, it's also tough to disagree what has now become QueenOfCoach's signature advice!
Thank you, I'm a college student at the moment but I do have my own business and it's always been a goal of mine to be productive with my time and to be financially independent of my parents. I love travel intrinsically, so I enjoy going between my college town and home for all reasons (family, friends, unofficial SO, business, etc). I'm glad to be doing this at an early age. Before I even started college I wanted more time to do what I wanted, and college kind of gives you a lot of free time. However I'm more mature than people my age and instead of getting wasted every weekend I work on progressing my business and strengthening the relationships that I truly care about. I appreciate the kind words!
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