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Low-segment, high-rev flyers left in the cold?

Low-segment, high-rev flyers left in the cold?

Old Sep 12, 22, 12:44 pm
  #1  
gdm
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Low-segment, high-rev flyers left in the cold?

I just requalified for EXP (I think this is year 15) and apparently I had missed the new requirement of 30 AA segments/year for acquiring SWUs.

I'm based out of SFO and almost all my flying these days is long-haul — transcons or transoceanic, and essentially always in paid J. I average at least $50K/year in direct spending.

I fly SFO-LHR 4-6 times/year and SFO-JFK about the same. Paid J fares, always. I think this works out to about $50K/year in direct airline spend. For which I get the privilege of 4 hour hold times at the EXP desk for IRROPS, and no SWUs? AAdvantage Customer Service and Executive Liaison both are very polite but reinforce that yes, this is the way the program works now.

Seriously, am I missing something? Is AA really that uninterested in defending high-value low-segment flyers?
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Last edited by gdm; Sep 12, 22 at 2:09 pm
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Old Sep 12, 22, 1:34 pm
  #2  
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There are still three and a half months before NYE. How many segments have you flown and how many will you have by NYE? Would it make sense to do a few little weekend trips to someplace fun?
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Old Sep 12, 22, 1:36 pm
  #3  
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$50k in J tickets and no CK..?
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Old Sep 12, 22, 1:37 pm
  #4  
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
There are still three and a half months before NYE. How many segments have you flown and how many will you have by NYE? Would it make sense to do a few little weekend trips to someplace fun?
He has until Feb 28 to get those 30 flights.
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Old Sep 12, 22, 1:39 pm
  #5  
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Originally Posted by 355F1 View Post
$50k in J tickets and no CK…..?
I'm CK and spend way more than that. $50K used to be the minimum to be considered for CK, but it wasn't guaranteed.
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Old Sep 12, 22, 1:43 pm
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Originally Posted by fly747first View Post
$50K used to be the minimum to be considered for CK, but it wasn't guaranteed.
What? Who told you theres a $50k minimum?

$50k used to be the mininum Airpass spend (now $60k), but there is otherwise no published minimum for CK.
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Old Sep 12, 22, 1:54 pm
  #7  
gdm
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Originally Posted by 355F1 View Post
$50k in J tickets and no CK..?
No, I've never been CK. I asked about it once-upon-a-time and they was pointed out that a lot of my flying is on partners at the time, BA and CX. With AA's current level of service out of SFO, it's very hard to justify connecting. I'm 0/4 for planned trips through DFW this year.
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Old Sep 12, 22, 1:55 pm
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Originally Posted by gdm View Post
I just requalified for EXP (I think this is year 15) and apparently I had missed the new requirement of 30 AA segments/year for acquiring SWUs.

I'm based out of SFO and almost all my flying these days is long-haul transcons or transoceanic, and essentially always in paid J. I average at least $50K/year in direct spending.

I fly SFO-LHR 4-6 times/year and SFO-JFK about the same. Paid J fares, always. I think this works out to about $50K/year in direct airline spend. For which I get the privilege of 4 hour hold times at the EXP desk for IRROPS, and not SWUs? AAdvantage Customer Service and Executive Liaison both are very polite but reinforce that yes, this is the way the program works now.

Seriously, am I missing something? Is AA really that uninterested in defending high-value low-segment flyers?
It really dependa on what routes you use your SWUs on - you don't need complementary domestic upgrades, domestic lounge access, etc. The phone line service impacts all EXPs.

It seems like United gives you the full amount of PlusPoints for your spend, and they have an SFO hub, so maybe they make more sense. But for your travel patterns (mostly paid J long haul), status may not matter as much
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Old Sep 12, 22, 2:04 pm
  #9  
gdm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
There are still three and a half months before NYE. How many segments have you flown and how many will you have by NYE? Would it make sense to do a few little weekend trips to someplace fun?
I've maybe flown 16 segments this year so far. Unfortunately, with AA's current level of flying out SFO, "little weekend trips" have a way of turning into multi-day ordeals and me spending four hours waiting for the EXP desk to call me back.

For sure, there is nothing stopping me from going up to Seattle and just flying back and forth between SEA and PDX all day. I would get my segments. Does this somehow make me a more valuable customer?
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Old Sep 12, 22, 2:08 pm
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gdm
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Originally Posted by Adelphos View Post
It really dependa on what routes you use your SWUs on - you don't need complementary domestic upgrades, domestic lounge access, etc. The phone line service impacts all EXPs.

It seems like United gives you the full amount of PlusPoints for your spend, and they have an SFO hub, so maybe they make more sense. But for your travel patterns (mostly paid J long haul), status may not matter as much
I usually try and use my SWUs on long-hauls. I guess I've used them occasionally on SFO-JFK if they're about to expire. Domestic lounge access via credit card.

I cannot stand UA... so if I go somewhere else, it's DL. Their partners to Asia are pretty disappointing though.
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Old Sep 12, 22, 2:17 pm
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Originally Posted by gdm View Post
I usually try and use my SWUs on long-hauls. I guess I've used them occasionally on SFO-JFK if they're about to expire. Domestic lounge access via credit card.

I cannot stand UA... so if I go somewhere else, it's DL. Their partners to Asia are pretty disappointing though.
But if you fly primarily long haul on J from SFO, you will always have lounge access, right (either at Admirals Lounge or a OneWorld Lounge based on a partner flight)

In terms of SWUs, it seems it is a very easy mileage upgrade to F from SFO to JFK using all the miles you get (I know there is a co-pay). I am not super familiar with AA's international mileage upgrades but that is also an option.

So UA is out. Aside from Virgin and Flying Blue, Delta will be pretty weak from SFO in terms of very long haul.

Basically I'm not sure why you need EXP at all if you fly mainly J.
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Old Sep 12, 22, 2:44 pm
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Originally Posted by metallo View Post
What? Who told you theres a $50k minimum?

$50k used to be the mininum Airpass spend (now $60k), but there is otherwise no published minimum for CK.
Airpass has nothing to do with CK status. Before Covid, $50K was the minimum needed to be considered for CK, but that didn't mean that everyone who spent that minimum was granted CK status. There are also plenty of government officials who aren't even close to spending $50K and AA has granted them CK status. AA will never publish the actual minimum and it changes every year because AA likes to keep a certain % of flyers in each loyalty tier.
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Old Sep 12, 22, 2:47 pm
  #13  
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If it were my situation and I was spending 50k a year flying paid J SWU's wouldn't mean that much to me anyway.

Otherwise the EXP call line isn't what it used to be. I'm still on hold now from a call I placed August 30th.
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Old Sep 12, 22, 2:49 pm
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Originally Posted by gdm View Post
For which I get the privilege of 4 hour hold times at the EXP desk for IRROPS, and no SWUs? A
SWU?? My flight preferences often match yours and I wouldn't have even thought about SWU LOL
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Old Sep 12, 22, 2:50 pm
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If you're almost always in paid J, why does it matter? I think the 30 segment requirement was one way to require a modicum of flight loyalty to AA.
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