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BAEC Status and upgrades with other OW carriers

BAEC Status and upgrades with other OW carriers

Old Apr 17, 14, 9:33 am
  #1  
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BAEC Status and upgrades with other OW carriers

I'll soon be relocating to Florida and while I will still make return trip back to a UK regional airport at least twice a year I do also intend to do a lot of traveling within the US.

My question is, from a FFP point of view, am I better off sticking with BA (I will fly the minimum number of flights in a given year to be eligible for status) or should I move to the AA program?

I gather that sticking with BA would give me lounge access on domestic AA flights as long as I have BA silver or above, whereas I wouldn't with AA status even when flying first on domestic AA flights.

From an upgrade point of view are OW status holders treated equally when it comes to upgrades or do AA members get preferential treatment over other OW status holders? I know OpUps are rare but I've heard they are more common in the US than they are with BA
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Old Apr 17, 14, 9:45 am
  #2  
 
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Originally Posted by pipsi View Post


I gather that sticking with BA would give me lounge access on domestic AA flights as long as I have BA silver or above, whereas I wouldn't with AA status even when flying first on domestic AA flights.
I think you have answered your own question there
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Old Apr 17, 14, 9:47 am
  #3  
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thanks for that pinkcat, I suppose the lounge access is probably worth it overall.

Howver I'm still interested from an upgrade point of view. I also noted that AA do some sort of 500 mile upgrade, I'm not exactly sure what that is but I'm assuming it's where AA members can upgrade for 500 miles at the airport(?). Obviously as a BAEC member I'm not able to do this. Any one able to give some insight?
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Old Apr 17, 14, 9:58 am
  #4  
 
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The 500 mile upgrade is just that, you use it to upgrade for 500 miles, so a 1500 mile flight would require 3 x 500 mile upgrades. you have a time from which you can request upgrades depending on status
you get 500 mile upgrades for 10,000 miles flown or you can buy them at $30

http://www.frugaltravelguy.com/2014/...ades-work.html
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Old Apr 17, 14, 9:59 am
  #5  
 
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Originally Posted by pipsi View Post
thanks for that pinkcat, I suppose the lounge access is probably worth it overall.

Howver I'm still interested from an upgrade point of view. I also noted that AA do some sort of 500 mile upgrade, I'm not exactly sure what that is but I'm assuming it's where AA members can upgrade for 500 miles at the airport(?). Obviously as a BAEC member I'm not able to do this. Any one able to give some insight?
There is a good thread that covered the main pros and cons of the BA and AA programs.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/miles...tive-club.html

It depends what level you are in the AA program. Executive Platinum is the equivalent of BA Gold (OneWorld Emerald) and one of the main highlights is unlimited domestic upgrades within a certain window before your flight as well as the 8 System Wide Upgrades which you can use on long haul flights (similar to BA's Gold Upgrade vouchers).

So yes, upgrades are much more frequent on AA as they are listed as one of the benefits and as you already pointed out, you will not get lounge access when flying domestically with an AA card.

Hope this helps.
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Old Apr 17, 14, 10:04 am
  #6  
 
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BA silver status will give you AA lounge access on domestic AA journeys, so is invaluable for that. AA status will not unless on the same day as an international sector.

Where you credit the rest depends much on where you want to spend it. Your AA miles will go further than BA Avios if traveling west or south from the US or East from Europe, as well as saving you BA's fuel charges.

Upgrades on AA are seldom handed out to other than AA elites, as are upgrades on BA seldom handed out to non-BA elites.

I think if I were you I'd use both schemes. Of course, credit card earnings and 2-4-1 vouchers may sway it in BA's favour too.
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Old Apr 17, 14, 10:48 am
  #7  
 
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I've done several AA segments in the last year as a BA gold. Been upgraded once and it was when they were trying to free space in Economy to JFK as LGA was screwed and they wanted to get people on the JFK flight instead.

Lounge access is worth more to me than the 'first' class upgrades on AA.

But the redemption side of things is worth considering too.

If you are in the AA program - you have access to all levels of redemption - and their redemption availability is good. But as a BA member - you only get the lowest level - which sells out quick.

So it's swings and roundabouts.
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Old Apr 17, 14, 11:04 am
  #8  
IMH
 
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Originally Posted by pipsi View Post
I know OpUps are rare but I've heard they are more common in the US than they are with BA
To supplement what others have written: AA status will get you access to upgrades on domestic flights using either the 500 mile vouchers referred to above (which you will earn at a fairly rapid rate if you fly often and credit to AA) or free as an EXP. Your chances of getting an upgrade depend on the route(s) you fly (some flights have literally dozens of GLD/PLT/EXP members on board), your status and other factors that change from time to time but can be researched on the AA board (booking date, booking class, time of check in).

Old fashioned operational upgrades, on the other hand, are rare precisely because AA routinely upgrades its elites into forward cabins in the way described.

Originally Posted by Work2Travel333 View Post
It depends what level you are in the AA program.
That would be my answer as well, in a nutshell. If you fly AA a lot and regard upgrades on AA as valuable, EXP status in the AAdvantage programme plus a paid Admirals Club membership is the way to go. If you fly AA out of necessity within the US but prefer other OW carriers for long haul travel, stick with BAEC.

Note that many redemptions are cheaper with AA (fewer miles/Avios and lower taxes/fees except when flying BA). Having Avios, on the other hand, gets you earlier access to award inventory -- crucial for QF premium cabins, for example -- and to RFS and single segment short hauls elsewhere.

I use both. BAEC for status, lounge access and Avios redemptions. I don't regard AA domestic "F" as especially desirable and am happy with the exit row seats that BA Silver gets me. I use AAdvantage primarily to accumulate miles from hotel stays, car rental, online shopping and of course credit cards (something you'll want to learn about once you've relocated to the USA).
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Old Apr 17, 14, 11:16 am
  #9  
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There is a lot of wise advice in what IMH says. In my opinion, you are probably better off with AA if you are flying with AA. The 500 mile upgrades will come fast and if you really fly a lot, EXP is certainly recognised on AA. The only real advantage that BA has is the lounge access which, I think, you should buy in the form of an AC membership.
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Old Apr 17, 14, 11:43 am
  #10  
 
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I don't fly AA that much domestically, so BAEC works better for me overall. I still get lounge access as a BA Silver, and also can book into AA's Main Cabin Extra seats (sorta-roomier Y) at no extra cost. AA F out of Seattle usually just means bigger seats, real food instead of airline MREs, and a quicker exit once we land, so any upgrade to it is nice but not a big deal.
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Old Apr 17, 14, 1:13 pm
  #11  
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I can confirm what others say:

- BA: lounge access on domestic flight but no upgrades bar exceptional and most unusual cases (you won't get automatic upgrades, and if OPUPs are to be given which is very unusual, you'll come after all AA status pax)

- AA: if you fly enough unlimited domestic upgrades (EXP) otherwise, using the 500 miles system.

To me if you are going to be doing a lot of domestic US flights, I would choose AA without doubt. You'll also get better 'soft support' in case of IRROPS etc (even though in fairness, AA is better than most other OW airlines when it comes to supporting other OW status pax). I also think that in the US, the F upgrades are worth more than lounge access as you are likely to spend very little time in airports and can also get a priority pass card or equivalent if that is such a big issue to you.
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Old Apr 17, 14, 1:32 pm
  #12  
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Don't forget that - if you can make it to AA EXP - you will get 8 eVIP's that are valid for intercontinental First (from any revenue Business class bucket) or for intercontinental Business (from any revenue Economy class bucket) confirmed upgrades - as long as A- or C-class is available, the upgrade is yours. Each eVIP is valid for up to 3 segments (LHR-JFK-MIA-EZE upgrade would just require a single eVIP).

eVIP's are transferable, so you could give them to anyone...

eVIP's make AA EXP status quite amazing!
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Old Apr 17, 14, 1:34 pm
  #13  
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Thank you for all of the great advice everyone. Having thought about it a bit more I reckon I'll travel AA first most of the time in order to gain more TP so upgrade opportunities won't be so important to me after all. I might even be able to reach gold this way too.

Lounge access will be useful to me, especially as a number of the trips I already have planned will include connections ,so lounge access will be useful for killing time between flights. I'm also the sort of person who turns up to the airport super early for peace of mind so again lounge access will be useful then too.

One rookie question; what does IRROPS mean? I've seen it mentioned a few times on the forum but haven't figured out what it means yet.

Thanks again everyone.
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Old Apr 17, 14, 2:14 pm
  #14  
 
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Originally Posted by pipsi View Post
One rookie question; what does IRROPS mean? I've seen it mentioned a few times on the forum but haven't figured out what it means yet.
Irregular Operations. Situations such as a snow storm in a major hub would trigger irregular operations. Airlines tend to take care of their own elite fliers first during IRROPS.
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Old Apr 17, 14, 3:07 pm
  #15  
 
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Originally Posted by TPJ View Post
eVIP's are transferable, so you could give them to anyone...

eVIP's make AA EXP status quite amazing!
But be careful with this...

http://blog.wandr.me/2014/04/wanna-t...airlines-evip/
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