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First Experience as EXP - AA is flooded with Elites

First Experience as EXP - AA is flooded with Elites

Old Nov 8, 22, 11:54 am
  #1  
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First Experience as EXP - AA is flooded with Elites

Well, I hit EXP on 10/29, a few days over 8 weeks since I started to get "status". I did this mostly with CC spend and AA hotels, only took one flight. As suspected, there are WAY to many EXP already, AA is going to have to raise the bar.

I booked a mid afternoon flight, LAS to DEN via PHX departed yesterday. As of Thursday there were 7 open First Class seats and the fare was really high to pay the difference. By Monday AM all seats taken and I was number 11 on the upgrade list! On the flight from PHX to DEN 6 seats open as of Sunday night, but Monday all gone and I was number 17 on the upgrade list, 17 as an EXP ! WOW.

I suspected this would be the case, AA simply made it too easy to get status, so as the saying goes, if everyone is elite, nobody is.
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Old Nov 8, 22, 11:58 am
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Originally Posted by TRAVEL4SCUBA View Post
Well, I hit EXP on 10/29, a few days over 8 weeks since I started to get "status". I did this mostly with CC spend and AA hotels, only took one flight. As suspected, there are WAY to many EXP already, AA is going to have to raise the bar.

I booked a mid afternoon flight, LAS to DEN via PHX departed yesterday. As of Thursday there were 7 open First Class seats and the fare was really high to pay the difference. By Monday AM all seats taken and I was number 11 on the upgrade list! On the flight from PHX to DEN 6 seats open as of Sunday night, but Monday all gone and I was number 17 on the upgrade list, 17 as an EXP ! WOW.

I suspected this would be the case, AA simply made it too easy to get status, so as the saying goes, if everyone is elite, nobody is.
YMMV. I'm an EXP with about 190K LP's YTD and I've probably been getting upgraded 75% of the time.
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Old Nov 8, 22, 11:59 am
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Umm....are you sure your status updated?

I have never once seen #17 on ANY upgrade list as an EXP...
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Old Nov 8, 22, 11:59 am
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I expect the LPs required will go up a fair amount for 2024 - Delta announced increased requirements ($20k spend for their EXP equivalent tier) a few weeks back and United announced a huge jump today ($18k + 54 segments, or $24k for their EXP equivalent). My guess would be that AA goes to 250k LP for EXP for next year.

I just hope they remove the 75k LP per ticket limit at the same time, as neither Delta nor UA have a limit to the maximum amount of spend you can earn on their own tickets.

Last edited by Acidity; Nov 8, 22 at 12:17 pm
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Old Nov 8, 22, 12:00 pm
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Originally Posted by 355F1 View Post
Umm....are you sure your status updated?

I have never once seen #17 on ANY upgrade list as an EXP...
Updated in my account, I booked the ticket 6 weeks ago, maybe it didn't map over ?
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Old Nov 8, 22, 12:04 pm
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Originally Posted by TRAVEL4SCUBA View Post
Updated in my account, I booked the ticket 6 weeks ago, maybe it didn't map over ?
What boarding group was on your boarding pass? That'll tell you for sure (or if you still have the boarding pass, it'll have your status on it).

That said, I totally believe your experience. I regularly see 30+ people board in group 1 on my DFW-ORD-DFW flights, so some routes are definitely very elite heavy. I haven't hit EXP yet, but when I do I still doubt I'll be in the top 10 for those flights (not that it'll matter, I've seen 7 GS preboard on a flight with 0 upgrades anyways).
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Old Nov 8, 22, 12:06 pm
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Do you think PHX is a factor for seeing lots of EXPs?
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Old Nov 8, 22, 12:08 pm
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Originally Posted by Acidity View Post
What boarding group was on your boarding pass? That'll tell you for sure (or if you still have the boarding pass, it'll have your status on it).

That said, I totally believe your experience. I regularly see 30+ people board in group 1 on my DFW-ORD-DFW flights, so some routes are definitely very elite heavy. I haven't hit EXP yet, but when I do I still doubt I'll be in the top 10 for those flights (not that it'll matter, I've seen 7 GS preboard on a flight with 0 upgrades anyways).
I was group 1 and literally like 50 people stood up LOL
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Old Nov 8, 22, 12:09 pm
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Originally Posted by rrgg View Post
Do you think PHX is a factor for seeing lots of EXPs?
Hard to say, but I think the bar was simply set too low. I totally cheated the system and first one to admit, the bar is set too low. They need to revamp this or they are going to lose lucrative customers. I took one flight, several hotel stays and lots of credit card spend and hit EXP in essentially 8 weeks.
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Old Nov 8, 22, 12:10 pm
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I have a decent upgrade percentage as an EXP. WAY better than what top-tier elites at UA and DL are reporting. AA will continue to get the bulk of my business for precisely this reason.
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Old Nov 8, 22, 12:14 pm
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Originally Posted by TRAVEL4SCUBA View Post
Updated in my account, I booked the ticket 6 weeks ago, maybe it didn't map over ?
Unless you called AA to have your status refreshed it's highly likely that your waitlist position was based off whatever status you had at the time of booking.

Even though your account shows EXP, for existing reservations the system will usually still hang on to whatever status you had at the time of booking.

Yes there are "lots of EXPs" but to be #17 on a midday PHX-DEN flight is highly irregular.
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Old Nov 8, 22, 12:16 pm
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Originally Posted by TRAVEL4SCUBA View Post
Hard to say, but I think the bar was simply set too low. I totally cheated the system and first one to admit, the bar is set too low. They need to revamp this or they are going to lose lucrative customers. I took one flight, several hotel stays and lots of credit card spend and hit EXP in essentially 8 weeks.
I'm not sure AA would agree with you that you "cheated" the system. They've been very open about how they're very happy to have CC warriors (such as yourself) gain status in that way. And they make a lot of money off of selling RDMs/LP to partners for more than people redeem them for (I just redeemed 60k miles for an AC membership worth $450, so .75cpm).

You also have to remember, the EXP who flies 4 times a year doesn't impact frequent fliers all that much since they fly so infrequently - the metric that matters for upgrades and boarding groups etc isn't the number of EXPs, it's the number of EXP-segments flown. 1 EXP who flies 100 segments a year is roughly equivalent to 50 EXPs who fly 2 segments a year.

That said, I do think the gap between EXP and CK (and the corresponding tiers on UA/DL) is too large, and AA is probably going to look to move the elite tiers to be a bit more balanced in that way. I've seen times where GAs called group 1 and it took 5 minutes to board, and then they called groups 2 and 3 together because there were so few PlatPros + Plats; that's clearly much too top heavy.

Edit: Also worth noting that UA's announcement for 2024 qualification today made it easier to qualify using CC spend (though still more difficult than AA), so UA also at least seems to want to encourage more CC spend.

Last edited by Acidity; Nov 8, 22 at 4:32 pm
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Old Nov 8, 22, 12:19 pm
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So based on *your* *two* experiences as an EP so far, AA's made a huge mistake and need to change their philosophy? For whom? You?
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Old Nov 8, 22, 12:21 pm
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Originally Posted by steveholt View Post
So based on *your* *two* experiences as an EP so far, AA's made a huge mistake and need to change their philosophy? For whom? You?
For the people that actually earn their status the hard way. The status is diluted when its so easy to obtain. The consumer also sees less value.
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Old Nov 8, 22, 12:30 pm
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Originally Posted by TRAVEL4SCUBA View Post
For the people that actually earn their status the hard way. The status is diluted when its so easy to obtain. The consumer also sees less value.
It is not diluted, because higher spending and more LP EXPs still have higher upgrade priority. You were simply a lower LP EXP on your flights. If the system changes, you would have still been #17 on those upgrade lists (or lower), and you wouldn't even be EXP, but rather PP.
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