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AA removes free MCE seating perk for BA elites [Update : now restored]

AA removes free MCE seating perk for BA elites [Update : now restored]

Old Oct 1, 20, 7:44 am
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Arrow AA removes free MCE seating perk for BA elites [Update : now restored]

Not sure where this best fits, but this seems a reasonable place, BAEC status will no longer get you free access to MCE seats on AA.

https://thepointsguy.com/news/americ...world-seating/

Effective immediately, AA’s partner elites will no longer receive complimentary access to the airline’s extra-legroom Main Cabin Extra seating. This policy change has been updated on AA’s Main Cabin Extra webpage, and we’ve reached out to the carrier for more details. In fact, TPG tested booking a British Airways elite on an AA flight and confirmed that Main Cabin Extra seating is no longer free.
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Old Oct 1, 20, 7:53 am
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That is a huge downgrade for OW Elites flying on AA. Indeed it was one compensation for having to squeeze into 10-abreast 777 on TATL, as well as having comfortable domestic flights (and lets face it, domestic in the US can be positvely mid-haul by european standards.

Why the change? Surely airlines want to be capturing business at times like this. More perks to bring back frequent flyers not less, especially those that cost relatively little.
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Old Oct 1, 20, 8:04 am
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America First! Haha... Kidding. Will this now lead to some kind of response from other programs? Hope this is not the start of shared benefits eroding across all of OW as each airline looks to start protecting ever cent of revenue (which I get they need to do). MCE was a good perk for my frequent US trips. With no lounges currently, now no MCE, other than a few TPs, I don't see the need to use American, seeing most competition on the routes I need already includes a bag either directly or with a CC.
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Old Oct 1, 20, 10:22 am
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That's a shame, this was a good "hack" , along with the T3 lounges and WiFi made AA my preferred carrier into JFK . But it was a very generous benefit on a cheapo ticket so it's pretty fair IMO

Would be nice to see seat fee discounts like KLM has
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Old Oct 1, 20, 10:39 am
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Originally Posted by sammyg901 View Post
That's a shame, this was a good "hack" , along with the T3 lounges and WiFi made AA my preferred carrier into JFK . But it was a very generous benefit on a cheapo ticket so it's pretty fair IMO

Would be nice to see seat fee discounts like KLM has
I could stomach a small fee for.long haul. But a typical Mexico to Dallas flight is 400 dollars for regular economy. To now have to pay extra for a good seat is stretching fares to crazy amounts. I can live without it, but I feel a good perk lost
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Old Oct 1, 20, 11:03 am
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Originally Posted by sammyg901 View Post
That's a shame, this was a good "hack" , along with the T3 lounges and WiFi made AA my preferred carrier into JFK . But it was a very generous benefit on a cheapo ticket so it's pretty fair IMO

Would be nice to see seat fee discounts like KLM has
I can understand dropping the perk for basic economy fares, that would be tollerable and understandable and yes agree it was very generous (as is free baggage for OWE), but for regular economy this is penny pinching (cent pinching?). Or even dropping the number of 'guests' (8 was OTT) - maybe limiting to card holder plus one guest, also understandable.
As noted above, I hope other alliance benefits are not eroded - more difficult as things like lounge access are part of OW rules.
Travelling is just going to be less fun and comfortable in the 'new normal'...
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Old Oct 1, 20, 1:10 pm
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off topic (as not directly related to only basic fares)
Originally Posted by TTmex View Post
America First! Haha... Kidding. Will this now lead to some kind of response from other programs? Hope this is not the start of shared benefits eroding across all of OW as each airline looks to start protecting ever cent of revenue (which I get they need to do). MCE was a good perk for my frequent US trips. With no lounges currently, now no MCE, other than a few TPs, I don't see the need to use American, seeing most competition on the routes I need already includes a bag either directly or with a CC.
I am not aware of any other OW that has MCE. That is economy seat with more leg room, other than exit rows /row 1 on some aircraft (but may be incorrect).
Oneworld status has "Access to preferred or pre-reserved seating" but has always meant different things on different airlines
https://www.oneworld.com/travel-bene...world-priority


Edit
AA equivalent thread--> AA drops oneworld airliner partner elite seat benefits Oct 2020
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Last edited by Mwenenzi; Oct 1, 20 at 6:03 pm Reason: Now separate thread
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Old Oct 1, 20, 1:31 pm
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Originally Posted by Mwenenzi View Post
off topic (as not directly related to only basic fares)

I am not aware of any other OW that has MCE. That is economy seat with more leg room, other than exit rows /row 1 on some aircraft (but may be incorrect).
Oneworld status has "Access to preferred or pre-reserved seating" but has always meant different things on different airlines
https://www.oneworld.com/travel-bene...world-priority
On long haul OWE can book front row of economy for free on BA. Sapphire and below must pay and can be 90 usd. So wonder if BA will remove that and will be gold only, not OWE.
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Old Oct 1, 20, 1:37 pm
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Originally Posted by TTmex View Post
On long haul OWE can book front row of economy for free on BA. Sapphire and below must pay and can be 90 usd. So wonder if BA will remove that and will be gold only, not OWE.
BA's "Access to preferred or pre-reserved seating*" for OW Sapphire/Emerald status is no seat selection fee.
Airlines can have other perks they extend to other OW status pax of other ffp's
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Old Oct 1, 20, 1:42 pm
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It is not a published OW benefit. Better for OW carriers to agree on uniform and for a benefit to be defined without jargon. MCE is a bit of legroom and free booze on domestic. If that's what BA gets on AA, BA has to offer the same to AA.
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Old Oct 1, 20, 2:28 pm
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Originally Posted by sammyg901 View Post
That's a shame, this was a good "hack" , along with the T3 lounges
I agree and we took advantage of this a few times - especially great value when getting a seat for the under 2 year old as well. On a daytime flight to New York this was easier to manage with kids than seats in J.

Given AA now have their premium economy offering on long haul Im not surprised to see this going as it gives a good place for elites to be bumped up to.
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Old Oct 1, 20, 2:36 pm
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I have no insight on this one, but on the speculation side, I wonder if this is related more to Alaska than BAEC? This is more of an issue on domestic services, where at the moment the small number of BAEC travellers would not make much difference. But if a wodge of MVP members are being drawn into oneworld from early next year, perhaps that's what they are trying to head off? Alaska doesn't allow their top tier to their MCE equivalent with Saver fares.
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Old Oct 1, 20, 3:10 pm
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
I have no insight on this one, but on the speculation side, I wonder if this is related more to Alaska than BAEC? This is more of an issue on domestic services, where at the moment the small number of BAEC travellers would not make much difference. But if a wodge of MVP members are being drawn into oneworld from early next year, perhaps that's what they are trying to head off? Alaska doesn't allow their top tier to their MCE equivalent with Saver fares.
that would make sense...... shame used MCE several times
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Old Oct 1, 20, 3:14 pm
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Twould be nice to have some AA flights soon so I could be outraged.
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Old Oct 1, 20, 3:19 pm
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
I have no insight on this one, but on the speculation side, I wonder if this is related more to Alaska than BAEC? This is more of an issue on domestic services, where at the moment the small number of BAEC travellers would not make much difference. But if a wodge of MVP members are being drawn into oneworld from early next year, perhaps that's what they are trying to head off? Alaska doesn't allow their top tier to their MCE equivalent with Saver fares.
It would be MVPG (not MVP which is the 25k threshold, OW Ruby), the 50k+ OWS equivalent. Additionally, AS doesn't allow free selection of their MCE equivalent (PE) for free, except for their top tier MVPG75K and certain fare buckets for their lower elites.
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