End of the road for UK-based elites?

Old Aug 14, 2021, 7:32 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: NCL
Programs: UA 1MM/*G. DL Gold for one more year.
Posts: 5,301
End of the road for UK-based elites?

I was just thinking that, as September 1 is approaching, AA might be reconsidering the terms of their offer for renewed elite status (EXP in my case). The previous offer from July ($10k EQM between September and December) seemed fair at the time. But here we are the pandemic hasn't gone away, and neither has the ban on UK residents setting foot in the United States and thus boarding AA flights. So at this point, I was rather looking out for an acknowledgment of this situation and the fact that, as much as I would love to, I am not yet able to return to flying on AA.

Not a bit of it. This is the offer that I received last night, which is the same one as in July:


I can no longer spend on my AA credit card, because AA decided to pull out of the UK credit card market three years ago. I am earning tiny amounts of EQDs on domestic flights in the UK, but anybody who is not a US citizen is banned by government regulation from boarding an AA flight out of the UK. I would have thought that carrying over elite membership after a second year of travel bans would have been a no-brainer for AA. But, I find it hard to understand why AA would choose to send their UK-based loyal frequent fliers such a gratuitous punch in the face.
Passmethesickbag is offline  
Old Aug 14, 2021, 7:42 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2020
Posts: 828
Originally Posted by Passmethesickbag
I was just thinking that, as September 1 is approaching, AA might be reconsidering the terms of their offer for renewed elite status (EXP in my case). The previous offer from July ($10k EQM between September and December) seemed fair at the time. But here we are the pandemic hasn't gone away, and neither has the ban on UK residents setting foot in the United States and thus boarding AA flights. So at this point, I was rather looking out for an acknowledgment of this situation and the fact that, as much as I would love to, I am not yet able to return to flying on AA.

Not a bit of it. This is the offer that I received last night, which is the same one as in July:


I can no longer spend on my AA credit card, because AA decided to pull out of the UK credit card market three years ago. I am earning tiny amounts of EQDs on domestic flights in the UK, but anybody who is not a US citizen is banned by government regulation from boarding an AA flight out of the UK. I would have thought that carrying over elite membership after a second year of travel bans would have been a no-brainer for AA. But, I find it hard to understand why AA would choose to send their UK-based loyal frequent fliers such a gratuitous punch in the face.
Because you provide 0 revenue for them? Not any loyalty program can work for everyone. Why do they need to bend over backwards to extend status for someone who hasn't flown with them for almost 2 years. Why not go with BA? I always find it funny that FTers who choose to credit their flights to some other airlines FF to get status now complain that said FF doesn't cater to them. Good riddance I say.
milski and LoungeLizardHugo like this.
AndyKehn is offline  
Old Aug 14, 2021, 7:53 am
  #3  
VFR
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: BOS
Programs: AA PP, DL PM
Posts: 2,071
Originally Posted by AndyKehn
Because you provide 0 revenue for them? Not any loyalty program can work for everyone. Why do they need to bend over backwards to extend status for someone who hasn't flown with them for almost 2 years. Why not go with BA? I always find it funny that FTers who choose to credit their flights to some other airlines FF to get status now complain that said FF doesn't cater to them. Good riddance I say.
When you credit a BA flight to AAdvantage, BA pays AA for the miles. Seems like AA should have a pretty good incentive to keep foreigners loyal.

UA has said they may need to give out some targeted extensions to international elites (mostly in Asia); that makes sense because intercontinental flying is a larger share of their flying than other airlines.

I suspect AA may do some similar targeted extensions, but we won't know until next year.
duchy likes this.
VFR is online now  
Old Aug 14, 2021, 11:08 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Washington,DC
Posts: 1,819
It is Five months before your status ends
You are not flying AA for the rest of the year (IMO)
Why are you worried?

That being said -AA will take the advice of their "Marketing Department" Delta Airlines and will roll your Status for 2022 in the upcoming months.
GTITAN likes this.
SteveinA2 is offline  
Old Aug 14, 2021, 11:36 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 1,152
Originally Posted by Passmethesickbag
the pandemic hasn't gone away, and neither has the ban on UK residents setting foot in the United States and thus boarding AA flights.
<snip>
anybody who is not a US citizen is banned by government regulation from boarding an AA flight out of the UK.
Yes, you do have a disadvantage in being barred from a major Oneworld market, but the obvious retort is: You don't have to fly AA metal to earn AA EQM/EQD! You can fly any Oneworld airline of your choice to any Oneworld destination that will have you, and credit it to AA.
FlyingEgghead is offline  
Old Aug 14, 2021, 11:40 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 1,152
Originally Posted by AndyKehn
Because you provide 0 revenue for them? Not any loyalty program can work for everyone. Why do they need to bend over backwards to extend status for someone who hasn't flown with them for almost 2 years. Why not go with BA? I always find it funny that FTers who choose to credit their flights to some other airlines FF to get status now complain that said FF doesn't cater to them. Good riddance I say.
Well, the usual rationale is that if someone was a loyal frequent flyer in the past, but has been unable to be lately for reasons outside their control (pandemic), then the airline wants to keep their loyalty when they can travel again in the future, rather than lose them to "free agency".
FlyingEgghead is offline  
Old Aug 14, 2021, 12:12 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Denver
Programs: AS, AA, UA, Hilton, Marriott, Caesars DE
Posts: 2,054
Can't you just book BA flights after 9/1 and credit to AA to get the 2k EQD spend, UK has green list countries and has more or less ended their lockdowns? I'm confused, they're actually giving a very straightforward way to keep status. You can book ~3 R/T to ATH in J to qualify within 4 months, seems very generous to keep EXP.
Zacnlinc likes this.
safari ari is offline  
Old Aug 14, 2021, 1:11 pm
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: NCL
Programs: UA 1MM/*G. DL Gold for one more year.
Posts: 5,301
Originally Posted by AndyKehn
Because you provide 0 revenue for them? Not any loyalty program can work for everyone. Why do they need to bend over backwards to extend status for someone who hasn't flown with them for almost 2 years. Why not go with BA? I always find it funny that FTers who choose to credit their flights to some other airlines FF to get status now complain that said FF doesn't cater to them. Good riddance I say.
Hi, I see you're new here. Glad the pandemic is working out for you.
Spiff, aamilesslave, Tanic and 7 others like this.
Passmethesickbag is offline  
Old Aug 14, 2021, 1:26 pm
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: NCL
Programs: UA 1MM/*G. DL Gold for one more year.
Posts: 5,301
Originally Posted by safari ari
Can't you just book BA flights after 9/1 and credit to AA to get the 2k EQD spend, UK has green list countries and has more or less ended their lockdowns? I'm confused, they're actually giving a very straightforward way to keep status. You can book ~3 R/T to ATH in J to qualify within 4 months, seems very generous to keep EXP.
I take your point that's an inventive way of earning $10k EQD without actually spending anywhere near $10,000. Unfortunately, there is nowhere that I have any reason to travel for business where I am currently allowed to travel. My ambition is to resume travel to my business travel destinations at some point in the near future. But maybe the elite levels of frequent traveler programs are going to be an enclave reserved for point-chasing leisure travelers after the pandemic.
duchy and Zacnlinc like this.
Passmethesickbag is offline  
Old Aug 14, 2021, 1:30 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Denver
Programs: AS, AA, UA, Hilton, Marriott, Caesars DE
Posts: 2,054
Originally Posted by Passmethesickbag
I take your point that's an inventive way of earning $10k EQD without actually spending anywhere near $10,000. Unfortunately, there is nowhere that I have any reason to travel for business where I am currently allowed to travel. My ambition is to resume travel to my business travel destinations at some point in the near future. But maybe the elite levels of frequent traveler programs are going to be an enclave reserved for point-chasing leisure travelers after the pandemic.
But you're an EXP right now? All you need to do is spend 2k EQD in 4 months and your status is extended another year. Where is the 10k EQD coming from? I mean, I get business travel is non-existent, I haven't stepped on a plane for work purposes in almost two years, but you can still travel and if you choose not to, even with AA giving you a very fast track way to keep status, I don't see what else they can do for you, you want something from them without providing any actual benefit (see revenue) to them.
nancypants and DiamondMile like this.
safari ari is offline  
Old Aug 14, 2021, 2:09 pm
  #11  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Hilton Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: San Antonio
Programs: DL DM, Former AA EXP now AY Plat, AC 75K, NW Plat, Former CO Gold, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Titanium
Posts: 26,654
Originally Posted by Passmethesickbag
I take your point that's an inventive way of earning $10k EQD without actually spending anywhere near $10,000. Unfortunately, there is nowhere that I have any reason to travel for business where I am currently allowed to travel. My ambition is to resume travel to my business travel destinations at some point in the near future. But maybe the elite levels of frequent traveler programs are going to be an enclave reserved for point-chasing leisure travelers after the pandemic.
? Your promo says $2k, not $10k.
flyerCO is online now  
Old Aug 14, 2021, 2:13 pm
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: NCL
Programs: UA 1MM/*G. DL Gold for one more year.
Posts: 5,301
Originally Posted by safari ari
But you're an EXP right now? All you need to do is spend 2k EQD in 4 months and your status is extended another year. Where is the 10k EQD coming from? I mean, I get business travel is non-existent, I haven't stepped on a plane for work purposes in almost two years, but you can still travel and if you choose not to, even with AA giving you a very fast track way to keep status, I don't see what else they can do for you, you want something from them without providing any actual benefit (see revenue) to them.
You're absolutely right, that should have been $2k.

Living in the United States, you have the option of requalifying by credit card spending, an option that AA actively decided to remove from us. You also have the option of stepping on a 4,243-mile domestic flight. Here, the longest domestic flight is 444 miles. International travel to a handful of leisure destinations is currently allowed, but subject to change at any moment from either country's side, incurring risk of having to quarantine for 10 days upon return. Thus, going on even a single leisure trip around here right now is risky if you have a job you need to get back to. The risk of booking multiple such trips would not be sane from my perspective.

The way I view it, the main point of my business relationship with American over the last several years has been that I buy a lot of tickets from them, and they provide me some benefits in return. During the recent period, still ongoing, when it has not been legally possible for me to travel with them (or indeed with anybody), they also have not had to provide me with any benefits (not even mailing me a physical card). I don't personally find it it an unreasonable proposition to freeze this relationship until AA is legally able to transport me again. Me making risky and unnecessary mileage runs outside of the transatlantic partnership with partner airlines who would pay AA a few $$ for the miles I would earn and charge them a few $$ for giving me lounge access would not, as far as I can see, benefit AA in any proportionately meaningful way.
duchy likes this.
Passmethesickbag is offline  
Old Aug 14, 2021, 2:17 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: LHR/LGW
Programs: DL Gold, CO Silver
Posts: 1,036
Originally Posted by safari ari
Can't you just book BA flights after 9/1 and credit to AA to get the 2k EQD spend, UK has green list countries and has more or less ended their lockdowns? I'm confused, they're actually giving a very straightforward way to keep status. You can book ~3 R/T to ATH in J to qualify within 4 months, seems very generous to keep EXP.
Have we ? Interesting perspective !
duchy is offline  
Old Aug 14, 2021, 2:27 pm
  #14  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Hilton Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: San Antonio
Programs: DL DM, Former AA EXP now AY Plat, AC 75K, NW Plat, Former CO Gold, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Titanium
Posts: 26,654
Originally Posted by Passmethesickbag
You're absolutely right, that should have been $2k.

Living in the United States, you have the option of requalifying by credit card spending, an option that AA actively decided to remove from us. You also have the option of stepping on a 4,243-mile domestic flight. Here, the longest domestic flight is 444 miles. International travel to a handful of leisure destinations is currently allowed, but subject to change at any moment from either country's side, incurring risk of having to quarantine for 10 days upon return. Thus, going on even a single leisure trip around here right now is risky if you have a job you need to get back to. The risk of booking multiple such trips would not be sane from my perspective.

The way I view it, the main point of my business relationship with American over the last several years has been that I buy a lot of tickets from them, and they provide me some benefits in return. During the recent period, still ongoing, when it has not been legally possible for me to travel with them (or indeed with anybody), they also have not had to provide me with any benefits (not even mailing me a physical card). I don't personally find it it an unreasonable proposition to freeze this relationship until AA is legally able to transport me again. Me making risky and unnecessary mileage runs outside of the transatlantic partnership with partner airlines who would pay AA a few $$ for the miles I would earn and charge them a few $$ for giving me lounge access would not, as far as I can see, benefit AA in any proportionately meaningful way.
AA allows you to earn status by flying 100% on partners. This was true preCV19 and is true now. Just because you dont want to fly on those partners right now is much different from you can't fly them. You've decided your risk of getting stuck outside UK isn't worth it. While I feel this is an unlikely to happen thing, if that's how you feel, that's a personal choice. Now that you've made a personal choice you're expecting AA to cater to that choice despite millions of others having flown with no issue, plus no reasonable basis for AA to assume your issue will occur in future.
flyerCO is online now  
Old Aug 14, 2021, 2:29 pm
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: NCL
Programs: UA 1MM/*G. DL Gold for one more year.
Posts: 5,301
Originally Posted by duchy
Have we ? Interesting perspective !
Actually, actually looking closer at it, yes we would. Three round-trips LHR-ATH would represent 9,060 miles and 2,265 EQD. The cheapest way of doing this, if you are able to take three weeks off in September and fly out every Wednesday, would cost 846.

Last edited by Passmethesickbag; Aug 14, 2021 at 2:40 pm
Passmethesickbag is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

This site is owned, operated, and maintained by MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Designated trademarks are the property of their respective owners.