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BAEC help desk for USA and Canada based flyers

BAEC help desk for USA and Canada based flyers

Old Dec 17, 19, 7:53 pm
  #1  
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BAEC help desk for USA and Canada based flyers

Greetings!

Iíve searched here and elsewhere without success, so hoping BAEC forum members might be able to help locate a guide for a U.S.-based flyer who wants to focus on BAEC. I asked this question a year ago here, but never saw a reply specific to the question aboveóit was buried in an AA thread and things worked out, so I never followed up.

Iím a long-time AA elite considering BAEC as a possibly better option to buying back AA Platinum Pro this year. My travel is almost all domestic AA, most often paid short/mid-distance in F, with 1-2 international trips yearly (nearly always in Y, upgraded to J when successful).

BAEC Silver is attainable for me, I think; but there are surely some pitfalls I simply havenít unearthed. One that springs immediately to mind is how to book and ticket an AA domestic flight as a BA code-shareóI havenít tried it, but suppose just going through the UK (or any non-U.S.) site could work. Is this possible, advantageous, or even necessary?

My thanks in advance for sharing your wisdom and experience!
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Old Dec 17, 19, 8:02 pm
  #2  
 
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You can't book an AA domestic flight as a codeshare unless it is in conjunction with an international segment (which can be on AA as a codeshare). So to fly four qualifying segments you have to work in a transatlantic segment. The main drawback to BAEC is that you don't qualify for AA upgrades, the main advantage is lounge access.
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Old Dec 17, 19, 8:34 pm
  #3  
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Are your international trips east or west? If east and you're able to meet the minimum qualifying flights to attain silver or gold then BAEC might work well for you. If you're flying mostly in paid F domestically then you won't need to worry about upgrades which is another plus for BAEC over the AA program.
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Old Dec 17, 19, 10:32 pm
  #4  
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Originally Posted by AAir_head View Post
I’ve searched here and elsewhere without success, so hoping BAEC forum members might be able to help locate a guide for a U.S.-based flyer who wants to focus on BAEC. I asked this question a year ago here, but never saw a reply specific to the question above—it was buried in an AA thread and things worked out, so I never followed u.
<snip>
What are your objectives from a ffp?
Do you fly to the UK?

Another AA vs BAEC thread-->Are BA Golds Treated Equally/Better Than AA EXPs on AA Flights?

A good AA vs BAEC from 2018---> Just moved to London: AA versus BA versus United

The linked "here" post
Originally Posted by AAir_head View Post
I hadn’t ever considered BAEC; after reading up on it, it seems plausible. Not sure about orphaning 1.4M AA miles, though. Or foregoing upgrades entirely.

I searched over in BAEC forum, but didn’t find anything like a “BAEC guide for FFs based in North America”; the program wiki is pretty informative, but something focused would be helpful. Anyone happen to know if such a thread exists?

thanks!
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Old Dec 20, 19, 5:32 pm
  #5  
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Originally Posted by Mwenenzi View Post
What are your objectives from a ffp?
MCE at booking when I have not bought first class, and lounge access domestically and internationally without a membership. I have more than a few miles with American Airlines which I understand can be redeemed with BAEC.

Originally Posted by Mwenenzi View Post
Do you fly to the UK?
I fly to Europe once or twice per year.

Originally Posted by Mwenenzi;31851543Another AA vs BAEC thread-->[url
https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/british-airways-executive-club/1996940-ba-golds-treated-equally-better-than-aa-exps-aa-flights.html

A good AA vs BAEC from 2018---> Just moved to London: AA versus BA versus United
Thanks. These were at least somewhat helpful.

Last edited by AAir_head; Dec 20, 19 at 5:44 pm
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Old Dec 20, 19, 5:39 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by golfmad View Post
Are your international trips east or west? If east and you're able to meet the minimum qualifying flights to attain silver or gold then BAEC might work well for you. If you're flying mostly in paid F domestically then you won't need to worry about upgrades which is another plus for BAEC over the AA program.
East. I am not overly concerned with domestic upgrades; I have found in the past year that the upgrade percentage for platinum pro is at least underwhelming if not unsatisfactory. Main cabin extra is quite alright. I cannot sustain executive platinum level travel out of my own pocket any longer.
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Old Dec 20, 19, 6:28 pm
  #7  
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Originally Posted by AAir_head View Post
I fly to Europe once or twice per year..
You need 4 eligible BA operated and/or BA marked and/or IB marketed & operated flights to get BA Silver/OW Sapphire status (= AA Plat). Exact rules in BA forum "attaining status and earning Avios " sticky thread. You need that, or better, for free lounge access. BAEC year is based on the date you join. Not calendar year.

If you have surplus of AA ff miles makes some sense to credit some flights to another ffp.
FF miles/avois do not grow in value. General trend is devaluation, so use them when you can

For awards AAdvantage is uses (big) zones. BAEC uses distance. But need to read the fine print in both ffp's
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Old Dec 20, 19, 6:42 pm
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I don't know much about the AA system of redeeming points for flights, but be aware BA has very large surcharges. As an example, my last miles redemption ticket in business class had a co-pay of over $1250 per person.
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Old Dec 20, 19, 6:49 pm
  #9  
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Originally Posted by Jagboi View Post
I don't know much about the AA system of redeeming points for flights, but be aware BA has very large surcharges. As an example, my last miles redemption ticket in business class had a co-pay of over $1250 per person.
AA awards on BA pay those same surcharges
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Old Dec 20, 19, 8:43 pm
  #10  
 
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USA based (PHL) here. I've been BA gold since 2012, I am fortunate enough to have international travel for work - sometimes once a year, sometimes many times... not had a problem meeting the 4 BA flight requirement, except last year, when I ended up taking an Iberia codeshare on personal travel.

There have been a few threads over the years on which FFP is best, especially AA vs BAEC, really down to personal preference. For me, personally, I am not concerned with domestic upgrades on AA - especially when you routinely see the upgrade list 25+ deep.

Lounge access worldwide is great, especially in the USA. It's extremely nice when in an airport with a Flagship lounge, as I can take a less costly flight (not peak time, later at night) and have a shower after a day of running around when I may have had to leave my hotel long before the flight. Being able to guest someone in a lounge is also a nice perk and goes over well when traveling +1.

Calling AA reservations for any issues, I get routed to the EP desk and they're quite helpful.

Worst case scenario on a domestic AA flight, I'm in an exit row (by choice, I'm tall). Have been moved to first a few times. They treat us the same as EP's in-flight, usually greeted, always comp beverage + food. For some reason the agents for American Eagle flights out of PHL F terminal are always able to get me on an upgrade list, while other flights are YMMV if the agent can figure it out. I always get 3 bags for myself and anyone on the booking, always seat selection.. quite nice.

I use 95% of my avios on AA. I'm fortunate to be based out of an AA hub so, usually I can get a direct flight.. They devalued avios in recent years but still can fly most places for <15k round trip.
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Old Dec 21, 19, 9:21 am
  #11  
 
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I switched last year. My case is slightly different as I live mostly in the UK, but if you can make your four flights easily enough that's not much of an issue. In addition to the very good points already provided, these are my thoughts:

You might find you don't have to stay at Silver. Reaching BAEC Gold last year and this have been much easier for me than any of my years crediting AA, as a few premium flights go a long way (so to speak ). TPs are simply easier to earn than BIS miles. My normal travel of a few J UK-west coast US returns gets me a lot of the way there, then I top up with maybe one long and one short haul. You sound like you do plenty more than that as regular travel. It's also nice not to have to think about EQDs. If your work travel is enough and your BA year is slightly offset from the AA calendar year, you might also be able to maintain AA Gold so you can keep the few benefits of status with them (but they're mostly around awards and upgrades, which you don't need).

Strolling into LAX FL at 6pm when my international connection isn't until 2pm the following day and automatically getting the "welcome" smile is a huge game changer for me. I hate sitting at the gate. And drink chits every time are meh in the grand scheme of things, but still nice.

I don't know how many flying years you still have ahead of you, but BA offers a path to lifetime OWE, rather than just ruby and sapphire. And for a lot less flying.

Very short haul redemptions are better value on BA, long haul not so much but you still have a stash of AA miles to burn too. I've often read that BA earns more RDMs, but I still fly a lot of AA which earn a reduced amount so I'm not seeing much of that. TPs earned on AA are equivalent to on BA though, and that's more important for you anyway.


Some of the perks you're used to will disappear, but they're not that major. And just knowing the rules. I keep making assumptions out of habit and realising I'm completely wrong. Luggage allowance rules, SDC rules, etc, I still have to look them up every time.

Waiting on the main phone line (I only sometimes get put through to the EP line but even then not until after the long wait) is a drag. You'll still get the same treatment from the AAngels though, so I tend to wait till the lounge for anything that isn't time sensitive.

You will almost never be upgraded, but a good use of your miles is upgrading yourself (since award tix are so costly) rather than waiting to play the SWU lottery or memorising which flights combinations are least elite heavy.



I'm sure there are more things I've noticed are different, but I'm suffering from a BAEC do hangover so not doing my very best thinking today.
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Old Dec 21, 19, 10:55 am
  #12  
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Originally Posted by AAir_head View Post
MCE at booking when I have not bought first class, and lounge access domestically and internationally without a membership. I have more than a few miles with American Airlines which I understand can be redeemed with BAEC.



I fly to Europe once or twice per year.



Thanks. These were at least somewhat helpful.
You might be better off getting status through Iberia Plus rather than through BAEC. It is possible to obtain oneworld status through Iberia Plus without flying even one IB-coded flight.

Be aware, though, that for award travel on AA, IB Plus redemptions require roundtrip travel, and are not changeable or refundable if your travel plans change. However, if you have both a BAEC account and an IB Plus account, you can freely transfer Avios between accounts, as long as each account has been open for at least 90 days, and each has at least one earned Avios. (Transfers in from Amex MR or Chase UR should count as "earned" Avios.)

Here's a recent Inside Flyer article about the benefits of crediting partner flights to IB rather than to a different oneworld FFP:

https://insideflyer.co.uk/2019/03/qa...f-iberia-plus/

From the Inside Flyer article:

"Why Bother With Iberia Plus Then?
First of all, if you happen to be based outside of Europe, you might be very interested in a frequent flyer programme that doesnít require a minimum spend or a certain number of flights on a specific airline. Iberia Plus ticks that box."
​​​​​​

Last edited by guv1976; Dec 21, 19 at 11:12 am
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Old Dec 21, 19, 11:16 am
  #13  
 
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as an AA EP or CK for about 8 years (and lifetime plat) before i moved to london permanently, with frequent trips to the US, my experience was this:

first year to qualify at BA GGL my first year was super easy. a handful of premium long haul, with loads of domestic US flights in F. -- the key here was this was BEFORE AA fixed their fare buckets. i would regularly bear the JFK-PHX-SFO to obtain 270TP in F which now reads J.

so it is a bit more difficult with domestic travel. however i will say that as a BA GGL in the US, i have been treated better than i ever had been in all my years as an AA frequent flyer. the free lounge access (as opposed to some years of paying for admirals club access) and similar bag allowance still remain, as does access to the AA explat phone line when i call for any issue on an AA flight.

downside of course is never being able to use any of my 500-mile stickers, and no SWU or being able to upgrade on AA longhaul since i purchase them now via BA.

you always earn your BA avios and TP on AA operated and marketed flights so long as you provide your executive club number in the booking.
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Old Dec 21, 19, 1:29 pm
  #14  
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I may be doing something wrong, but if you book on the AA.com website, if you put your BA# it clears out all your personal details, including saved forms of payment, so it's like booking for the first time everytime.

If you book using your AA ff# it won't allow you to change it online. If you call to change it or have it done at the airport, make sure your BA# is on the BP. Often times the agents hand it back, and I find they didn't change it correctly. They'll often claim "it's changed in the system" but 100% of the time it ends up crediting to AA. Some agents know what they are doing. If the agent insists it's done and your BA # isn't on the BP, be persistent they should ask another agent. There's always somebody who knows how to do it.

I also find my TSA precheck doesn't come through, so I have to stop at a check-in desk if I want to use the BA # on my BP.

Then good is of course free AC entry as a Silver.

In terms of mileage crediting I find on expensive fares AA is better.

For redeeming, BA seems to me cheaper on shorter first and economy flights than on AA, but hard to compare as earning is not apples to apples and I don't really pay enough attention to know if what II am saying is perception or reality.
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Old Dec 21, 19, 2:50 pm
  #15  
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Originally Posted by Nicoolio View Post
For redeeming, BA seems to me cheaper on shorter first and economy flights than on AA, but hard to compare as earning is not apples to apples and I don't really pay enough attention to know if what II am saying is perception or reality.
Maybe, but things have changed recently. BAEC eliminated Band 1 redemptions for North America, and increased redemption rates in some other bands. In the meantime, AA introduced non-changeable "Web Special" awards which can yield excellent value if one can live with the non-changeable aspect of those awards.

BAEC, of course, charges for each flight flown, so while redeeming for short- or medium-haul nonstops on AA can be a good deal, for short- and medium-haul award itineraries requiring connecting flights, BAEC provides poor value. By contrast, Iberia Plus can yield excellent value on such itineraries. Last year, I had a four-segment award itinerary on AA which was less than 1,000 flown miles. I got it for just 12,000 Iberia Plus Avios; BAEC would have charged 30,000 Avios (7,500 per segment).
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