Lounge Access

Old May 4, 02, 2:58 pm
  #1  
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Lounge Access

I searched but couldn't find anything about whether or not BA elites could use AA lounges when flying AA domesticly. I know they can internationally but as a BA Silver can I use AA lounges when travelling domestic? Thanks a lot, you guys are really helpful.
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Old May 4, 02, 4:37 pm
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by lavasushi:
I searched but couldn't find anything about whether or not BA elites could use AA lounges when flying AA domesticly. I know they can internationally but as a BA Silver can I use AA lounges when travelling domestic? Thanks a lot, you guys are really helpful. </font>
Yes you are entitled to do so.

Dave
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Old May 5, 02, 2:08 am
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[This message has been edited by Merry (edited 05-25-2002).]
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Old May 5, 02, 2:28 am
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I have used AA lounges when flying LAX-DFW on a separate itinerary. Admittedly, I was Qantas Club at the time (QF Silver, OneWorld Ruby, so my QF Club membership got me in) so it might be different to other OQ membership levels.

Dave
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Old May 5, 02, 2:34 am
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Merry:
My experience is not the same as Dave's. You can use AA lounges in the US as a OW Elite when travelling interenationally or connecting to an international flight (that day).

This is done to ensure US customers do not join another OW FFP obtain elite status and thus avoid the rip-off which is having to pay for Lounge access in the US.


Having said that I know that on a number of occassions the door-staff will allow in an elite who in clearly non-American - but the rules actually state this is not a benefit of OW.


Nick
</font>

As an OW Emerald/Sapphire there is entitlement to lounge access. If you look at the OW web page you will see that access is permitted. It is only AA DisAAdvantage members that are screwed into buying lounge access.

The problem lies with some of the lounge agents not being able to understand simple english instructions on who should be allowed in. After I had a problem with the STL AC club, I contacted AA about this and did get a nice letter back from them confirming that OW Sapphire/Emeralds are entitled to access even on totally domestic AA itineries and apologising for the problems that I had had.

They do have a sheet that they can refer to to determine whether a person turning up is allowed in. When I had the problem at STL, eventually a more senior person turned up and just said to the agent that I should be allowed in and promptly proceeded to walk her through the rules.

The main problem she was having was the complexity. They had a thing showing that I was allowed access when travelling on a One World carrier. She then tried saying that I was travelling on AA and not a OW carrier. Go figure the logic there

Dave
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Old May 5, 02, 3:00 am
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Dave Noble:
The main problem she was having was the complexity. They had a thing showing that I was allowed access when travelling on a One World carrier. She then tried saying that I was travelling on AA and not a OW carrier. Go figure the logic there.</font>
Well, AA is the third world carrier of OneWorld - if anyone had to leave one of them out, it would be AA. Perhaps AA staff have started recognising that they are not worthy of being part of OneWorld (although the same counts WRT UA in *A, and all American carriers in any other "alliance you might care to name).

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Old May 5, 02, 3:56 am
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[This message has been edited by Merry (edited 05-25-2002).]
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Old May 5, 02, 4:02 am
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Merry:
Extract from British Airways Executive Club T&C's:

8.4.3 (further provisions) Please note access and business class check-in facilities are not available on American West, Malev, Emirates, Alaska Airlines or JAL, but is available on selected LOT codeshare routes. Access is not available on American Airlines domestic routes unless connecting (same day) with an intercontinental service operated by a OneWorld carrier (specific terms and conditions apply).

Nick
</font>
mmm..interesting. Well I have had it in writing from AA that as an OW Emerald member I am entitled to access. Admittedly I was checking based on Qantas FF status rather than BA.

Dave
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Old May 5, 02, 4:12 am
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Merry:
Extract from British Airways Executive Club T&C's:

8.4.3 (further provisions) Please note access and business class check-in facilities are not available on American West, Malev, Emirates, Alaska Airlines or JAL, but is available on selected LOT codeshare routes. Access is not available on American Airlines domestic routes unless connecting (same day) with an intercontinental service operated by a OneWorld carrier (specific terms and conditions apply).
</font>
So standard OneWorld conditions are starting to break-down then. Whatever happened to being either OneWorld Sapphire or Emerald and being able to access any OneWorld lounge as long as you were flying on a OneWorld carrier that day?

But then, we are talking about AA, and anything can happen over in that swamp.

Dave
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Old May 5, 02, 4:16 am
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[This message has been edited by Merry (edited 05-25-2002).]
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Old May 5, 02, 4:34 am
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[This message has been edited by Merry (edited 05-25-2002).]
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Old May 5, 02, 5:01 am
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Merry:
This condition has been in existance as long as OneWorld has.

Clearly, when US residents have to pay for lounge access irrespective of class of travel on domestic services, there has to be a way of stopping them all swapping over to a non-US carriers FFP to avoid the lounge access charge.

The same rules apply for StarAlliance members.


OneWorld has never claimed that you can access "any" OW lounge* - they tend to be very precise in their vagueness!!

Nick

*I am sure someone will manage to fnd an exception somewhere. Maybe the Finnair site for Austria or the Qantas site in Brazil
</font>
It does say
"When flying with a oneworld airline, simply show your Qantas Platinum Frequent Flyer card and you'll be welcome at any of over 200 exclusive pre-flight lounges - regardless of the class you're flying."

on the OW alliance website under Qantas, whereas under AA it says

"Entrance to more than 220 exclusive airline lounges in our network when traveling internationally*, including First Class lounges, regardless of the class of service flown on that day


* Mexico, Canada and the Caribbean are not considered international destinations when travel originates in the United States, Mexico, Canada or the Caribbean"

Seems to be less vague there

The QF website is even more specific


Platinum and Gold Qantas Frequent Flyers (Emerald and Sapphire oneworld™ members) may also enter the lounges of our oneworld alliance partners* when travelling on eligible flights that are marketed and operated by a oneworld alliance airline. Marketed means that there must be a oneworld alliance flight number on your ticket.


It defines eligable flight as..

Points for air travel may only be earned for paid travel on regular scheduled flights (subject to clause 9.2.4) where a Qantas flight number (or the flight number of any oneworld Alliance Airline or Frequent Flyer Partner Airline) is entered on the ticket ("Eligible Flight").

Dave
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Old May 5, 02, 5:06 am
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Merry:
This condition has been in existance as long as OneWorld has.

Clearly, when US residents have to pay for lounge access irrespective of class of travel on domestic services, there has to be a way of stopping them all swapping over to a non-US carriers FFP to avoid the lounge access charge.

The same rules apply for StarAlliance members.

OneWorld has never claimed that you can access "any" OW lounge* - they tend to be very precise in their vagueness!!
</font>
From http://www.oneworldalliance.com/fbt/home.cfm

"The oneworld alliance airlines provide over 340 lounges across the globe. If you are a top-tier member of one of our frequent flyer programs, you will have access to our lounges prior to departure."

So, by being a top-tier member of a OneWorld carrier, and by flying on a OneWorld carrier, you will have lounge access.

Now, the OP was a BA member. Going further through the BA segment of the OneWorld site, we get the following:

"As a Silver member, you will also be entitled to the following benefits when flying on oneworld alliance airlines:

Access (with one guest) to more than 200 airline lounges across the oneworld network, including Business Class & Frequent Flyer lounges regardless of the class you are flying that day"

We also get (for Gold members):

"As a Gold member, you will also be entitled to the following benefits when flying on oneworld alliance airlines:

Access (with one guest) to more than 230 airline lounges across the oneworld network, including First Class, Business Class & Frequent Flyer lounges regardless of the class you are flying that day"

Nothing in there about restricting it to certain lounges dependant upon whether the flight was on certain sectors or not.

Dave
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Old May 5, 02, 6:49 am
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I travel AA with some frequency, and I've never been denied AA lounge access ... either as a BA Silver or Gold.
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Old May 5, 02, 9:31 am
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by thadocta:
Well, AA is the third world carrier of OneWorld - if anyone had to leave one of them out, it would be AA. Perhaps AA staff have started recognising that they are not worthy of being part of OneWorld (although the same counts WRT UA in *A, and all American carriers in any other "alliance you might care to name).
Dave
</font>
Off topic- just wondering if there's any particular reason for your animosity toward AA? From reading these boards, it seems that Oneworld consists of BA/CX/QF/AA. If that were the case, I would see the argument for AA being the one to go because of the state of the US domestic airline market.

However, there are eight airlines in the "alliance," and from my past readings on this board, I would have thought that if "anyone" had to drop one, it'd be Iberia. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.


Back on topic- well, "furr'ners" aren't the only ones who have issues with lounge access on AA- there a continuing debate about domestic access for people travelling in F on transcons (does it have to be F on a three-class (which is really P)? Does it have to be paid? Etc.) This isn't written into the member guide, but there still seems to be some sort of unclear policy that gives rise to this debate.

My guide to who gets into Admirals Clubs:
- Paid members
- Paid transcon three-class F
- AAdvantage PLT and EXP on an international itin (w/ 2 drink tickets in US clubs- we're all getting loaded!)
- J and P pax on an international itin.
- other programs' Sapphires and Emeralds as discussed here
- guests when applicable

I'm sure I forgetting something....

In their "defense," my guess is that the average non-international gateway AC employee probably doesn't see that many non-AA sapphires and emeralds, and probably don't have the policy top of mind.

However, they should be able to know where to look (without being rude).

Perhaps there's defensiveness because of the American tradition of conning your way into lounges/upgrades/etc.

I was embarrassed when I saw my seatmate LGA-STL on a recent flight arguing with the agent about access on his domestic (non-transcon, obviously) F ticket. H started off saying that the LGA AC had let him in and that they had told him that he would have access as STL. After that, every time the agent started a sentence, he'd say "call New York" louder and louder. After a few minutes of this, I left and came back five minutes later (I never found out whether or not he got access).

I won't touch the "it's AA not a OW flight" issue- then again, my dad once had a postal worker tell him that she couldn’t accept a package to New Mexico because it's out of the country.

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