Year 2000 membership

 

Old Feb 28, 00, 7:07 pm
  #16  
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Join Date: May 1998
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Shareholder: The AA/CP lounge access and upgrade reciprocity is outside oneworld scheme, and I presume will continue beyond CP's pullout. It began more than a year before oneworld.

Also, AA has an ongoing program whereby you can take the "challenge", and get quick AA Gold (= CP Club) or AA Platinum (= CP Gold) status. These can be gotten for 8000 or 16000 miles respectively, done within 3 months. In my case, and with a little creative routing, I could probably get AA Platinum in 2 domestic flights. A benefit of living at the extreme edge of the 'domestic' continent, I suppose.

Empress: As far as I can tell, you can book on CP or AA, through either CP or AA, and you can request your upgrade through either, as well, so long as the airline you request the upgrade on is someway involved. If you called AA, and booked a raw AA flight, you'd probably have to call AA. But's it's certainly as easy as requesting an upgrade on CP. Last Friday night, I changed my flights around the Eastern US, calling the CP E/P desk. They simply forwarded the upgrade request to American. Alternatively, I could have called AA directly, and asked to be upgraded.

I've only ever used CP stickers when upgrading on AA, but I've been told by others that they have been able to 'mix-and-match' stickers. I'm not sure if they meant on the same flight, but I do know for sure that one AA member has used CP stickers when flying on AA.

BlondeBomber, and everyone else: Costa Rica is also a good place to fly to, if you're going to MIA, DFW, or nearby areas. The differences in fares between SJO and DFW/MIA are amazing.

Luckily for me, I could very well fly YVR-DFW-SJO for real, stopping in DFW for the real purpose of my trip. When done, I'd just hop on the plane and fly DFW-SJO-DFW-YVR to come home. Or use some of the inevitable overtime accumulated in DFW in SJO.

I know it's not quite that simple, but it might still be worth it for me. 'Course there's the matter of the extra points you'd pick up (for less money) by flying the extra DFW-SJO-DFW segments. Canadians have minimal customs/immigration requirements for Costa Rica. And again in my case, the INSPASS would let me blow through USINS very quickly on the way back. (And would you be charged US customs immigration fees and taxes if you are just "connecting through?")

Note that my purpose in flying AA through the US would not be to avoid CP (although it might be to avoid AC -- more because I can't upgrade than principle), but rather to significantly improve my odds of being upgraded.

The important thing is that there are no hard and fast rules. Each time, you will have to evaluate where you are going, when you have to be there and when you can leave, availability of upgrades and economical fares, and a range of other issues. But I think we have a good starting point here.

Flying into/out of JFK seems pretty inexpensive. BOS, on the other hand, usually seems quite expensive. Costa Rica and Mexico are good places to use psuedo-hidden-city techniques. And flying anywhere in Europe, past LHR, but through LHR, is usually way cheaper than to LHR. HAMburg comes to mind.


And then there's that small matter of the current double points promotion on CP flights to and from the US, which includes CP codeshares on AA equipment.
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Old Feb 28, 00, 7:36 pm
  #17  
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KH, you are correct to note that the AA/CP situation pre-dates oneworld, but it also came about because AA bought 25% of CP. I very much doubt if this reciprocity will continue under AC, and when Cdn+ is rolled into Aeroplan this is likely to go the way of AC's agreement for lounge access with CO (which ended -- except for Houston until last year -- shortly after AC sold it 10% ownership in the US carrier).

I know all about the AA challenges, having taken it last year to achieve Gold, and as I note would likely do the same after July to get Platinum. (I suspect that AA will soften their stand on comps if it means capturing some high-yield Canadian flyers, particularly to get them to use AA's transAtlantic and South American services. Same with CX and BA. I suspect we'll all get some enticing letters after the split takes place to lure us away from AC, even if we are hardened elites on CP and will get the same status on AC.

BB, I still don't see how you can pay the single "unified" through fare, but get two separate tickets issued on two different carriers to complete this hidden city journey as you are suggesting. You must have a complicit travel agent to do such a thing, no?

But as KH points out, each coming journey will challenge our skills to maximize the benefits, or set ourselves up for whatever eventualities come our way on AC/CP.
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Old Feb 28, 00, 7:52 pm
  #18  
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
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KH: Yes, you are charged the inspection fee, even if you are transitting. US airports don't have sterile transit, so you cannot get around the Customs and Immigration inspection.

BB: Even if you interline the YYC-MEX, breaking the sectors between different carriers, you still get caught on the fare rules.

The fare has to be built YYC /O IAH MEX /O IAH YYZ (for example). OK, so far, but that confines it to one ticket (you cannot break a point-to-point fare across more than one ticket). With a J fare, you can put the outbound and inbound on separate tkts, but you can't break the tkts at the stopover point.

Also, interlining means that the tkt has to be a paper ticket (unless it interlines AA/CP, which lets the agent see the whole PNR history, defeating the purpose of interlining).

The receiving interline carrier at the intermediate point (i.e. IAH YYZ return) is entitled to confirm that you have used the intermediate sectors from stopover to turnaround and vv.

I would figure a pax checking in for a flight at an intermediate point in a fare build without evidence of the interlining is a red-flag for fare fraud, especially on a OW ticket, or a RT with the same /O on the outbound.

I have certainly been asked to show evidence of using the inbound in cases where I am checking in after a stopover and I came in with a different carrier. Given the increasing vigilence of carriers to things like back-to-back's and hidden city tix, I suspect it will get increasingly difficult to do.

All of which leads me to believe that the very best thing to do is follow KH's plan, take some time off, and hit the beach somewhere warm

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Old Feb 28, 00, 8:46 pm
  #19  
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There are many ways of doing this legally with J tickets (or combinations of J and Y). You buy separate tickets for each leg or portions.

You can buy YYC-IAH-MEX and then MEX-IAH- YYZ and then YYZ-IAH-MEX and MEX-IAH-YYC all as separate J tickets for virtually the same price as return J tickets. All have stopover privileges in IAH.

You could also likely do YYC-ORD-MEX with a stopover in ORD going or coming and buying a separate shorthaul ORD-YYZ (nested ticket) to get to Toronto.

Is your problem with shipping your luggage? I am not sure where the airlines "catch" you. On the above illustrations, it should be perfectly legal.
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Old Feb 28, 00, 8:49 pm
  #20  
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Using AC and CO and MX I have done YYC-YYZ-IAH-CUN-MER-IAH-YYZ-YYC with stopover privileges in IAH and YYZ for 1/3 the fare of YYC-IAH or YYC-YYZ. I know this example doesn't help to get you away from AC but it does show what creativity can yield in terms of lower price, with full flexibility and a built in vacation for your business trip.
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Old Feb 29, 00, 1:41 am
  #21  
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How 'bout this as the best reason to connect through the US, courtesy of Empress?

We've been talking about the fact that the dollar difference between an upgradeable fare and a non-upgradeable is only a couple of hundred dollars, perhaps less, assuming that if we pay the extra money, the upgrade is guaranteed. But as I think we've all come to realize, upgrades are going to get harder to get, not easier.

So what this means is you pay $200 or so, for a lottery ticket, with reduced odds, where the prize is an upgrade, and you use one of your much more limited (and not purchaseable) upgrade stickers/coupons. But if you don't win the lottery, not only are you out the $200, you only get points, making tier status and the elusive upgrades even harder to get.

So would you pay an extra $200 for a lottery ticket?

Or would you rather pay an extra $80-$120 in taxes, fees and surcharges, for a guaranteed chance to upgrade, with better odds, not to mention a guaranteed 100% miles and extra segments, regardless of whether you get an upgrade?

Ya' know, it sounds simple on the surface -- you can't upgrade from the lowest 2 or 3 fare classes. But the fact is, the consequences are long and deep, and not yet fully exposed.


[This message has been edited by KenHamer (edited 02-29-2000).]
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Old Feb 29, 00, 6:56 am
  #22  
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Ummm.. Ken. exactly what's on my mind and the point I've been trying to get through the last few weeks!!
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Old Feb 29, 00, 11:10 am
  #23  
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And forget a measly $200 for the lottery ticket. On YVR-YYZ the difference, taxes included is a little over $325.
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Old Feb 29, 00, 6:20 pm
  #24  
 
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BB: as I said before, you can ticket the OW point-to-point ticket just fine. It is not using the first sector on MEX-YYZ can trigger the problem.

When you check in at the stopover point (IAH), the interlining carrier can ask to see that you used the sector inbound to the stopover (even if you inbound on a previous day). If you can't demonstrate that you did, they can charge you not merely for the fare difference between MEX-YYZ and IAH-YYZ, but the difference between the airline's actual revenue on the sector (a portion of the MEX-YYZ) and the IAH-YYZ.

Also, the ticket has to be issued on the first carrier's ticket stock. This increases the incentive for the receiving carrier to ensure that the tariff rule is obeyed. If they can catch you, they get paid right away, rather than waiting out the clearing period and getting their smaller share of the fare.
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Old Feb 29, 00, 7:35 pm
  #25  
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
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So, it's like, a done deal.

I tried getting an upgrade today on my CP codeshare on AA tin, and all I got was vague answers about when I might or might not get an upgrade, as opposed to the well defined 100/72/24 hour timelines. I was eventually told 'Well, you can always check again when you get to the airport.' Cleary, the attitude now is 'what's the big deal if you don't get your upgrade?'

Then I called AA E/P desk, where a very pleasant and competent agent booked a different routing, immediately upgraded me on the first segment, and promptly declared 'the second segment can't be confirmed for an hour or so, but it's wide open. I'll check it, so give me your number, and if it doesn't go though, I'll call you back.'

I'm now in the process of cancelling my CP ticket. Kind of sad about it, but I'm a whole lot more surprised, about this sudden turn of the cards. But as I said earlier, we all have options. Some more than others, and some more or less painful than others, but options nonetheless.

In the short term, I'm going to race to CP Gold, which I should attain by about mid-March. Then I'll have to debate whether to take the AA Gold/Platinum challenge immediately, or wait until after July 15, so it's good for 1 years, instead of just 'til next year. Hopefully, I'll also have a better idea how AC/CP is going to pan out.

I may have to rethink my strategy again, as more details become clear, but for now, that's the plan.

Regards,

The Artist formerly known as KenHamer. R.I.P.

[This message has been edited by CanadiAAn (edited 03-01-2000).]
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Old Feb 29, 00, 7:48 pm
  #26  
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
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Ken
Did you turn over a new (Maple) Leaf? http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/smile.gif

I was able to confirm an upgrade for my CP flight tomorrow. Let's see how it goes on my next few flights.

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Old Feb 29, 00, 8:07 pm
  #27  
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I'll be booking a ticket tomorrow morning for this weekend after I check whether there are any web specials that will fit my needs (and the list is forever shrinking while AC's is forever growing)...

I am already worrying about how I am going to get an upgrade as it'll be in N class but I am planning to tell them I'll be using old stickers while trying to ask the agents at the airport to take the new ones! (That's a long way... need to get the upgrade first).

Deja vu all over again... magically all discount seats except one direct flight between YYZ and YVR going and return are left. Might have to go through YEG again and back through YYC again. (btw, I got over 15000 points for last weekend's trip... 1676 YYZ - YEG, 507 YEG - YVR, 500 YVR - YYC, 1675 YYC - YYZ = 4358 Q miles + 4358 EP bonus + 6000 (1500 x 4 for royal bank visa bonus for being in business class even it was upgraded) + 1000 for booking with Amex = 15716 points in one weekend + 5000 for qualifying for CLUB + another 5000 for qualifying for GOLD once the legacy bonus kicks in.... doesn't excite me anymore making GOLD that early in the year...)

Well... the only thing on my mind now is upgrades (whatelse?!?). (Just like u formely KH... most importantly UPG nothing else!) YYZ - YEG is showing all 12 seats empty, YEG - YVR only have 5 J seats (This worries me a lot as Y only have 2 middle seats left), YVR - YYC all 12 seats empty, YYC - YYZ all 24 seats empty. I think we are already seeing the effects of people unable to upgrade resulting in more empty J cabin.

Plus Benson out... the other whatever his name is (I don't care.... )in. I don't think we are going to get any reprieve. I sent CPlus a letter yesterday asking for reason why we aren't allow to upgrade on standby from any fare... usually they reply email the next day, this one they didn't and I don't expect one which again shows how they are just trying to avoid the reality when they knew that denying upgrades from any fare on the day of travel is unexplainable.

Just another thought...does AA still allow EP to upgrade from any fare? Is so, can we say book a YYZ - YVR flight with AA/CP travelling on CP-operated aircraft (booked in a AA flight number) then ask AA to upgrade us?

I notice a SHARP decrease in EP desk service to us lately. They just go by the "just doing my job or just doing what Milty is telling us to do which is to screw you guys up as bad as it gets..."attitude.

BTW, this will be my first & last CP flight for this month(March). Unless I have to make a trip to HKG/NRT lateer in this month which I don't think so. I'll just sit around this month and watch CP rot!!!

They must remember...no matter how good or how juicy their brains get in thinking out tricks to screw us... we FFs are the ones that give them their business and ultimately it's us who can screw them up by taking away our business.

Regards,
Empress (I might have to change my name too as this name is picked as a result of the great Club Empress)
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Old Mar 1, 00, 2:09 am
  #28  
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
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Empress:

The "legacy bonus" doesn't count towards early qualification of loyalty bonuses, only toward E/P requalification. That is, you must fly 35K to start getting the 50% bonus. Even if you had a 10K legacy bonus and appeared to have 45K qualifying miles, you'd still only have 35K miles for Club and Gold qualification purposes, loyalty bonuses, early qualification bonuses, etc.

On my AA flight YVR-LAX (actually a CP code share) there were also 12 seats open, until 100 hours. Then there were 11 seats. And then after me, only 10 seats. It will be pretty lonely in J class if this keeps up.

His name's Blotto. Sorry, I meant Brotto. Slash and burn guy. Scorched earth expert. Very scary.

AA is "supposed to" follow CP's E/P upgrade rules, but they don't, in part because there systems are still pretty disparate. And I did book and AA flight number on a CP codeshare, then get AA to upgrade me. (Actually, the agent upgraded me without me asking. I did tell him I was calling to check the booking, and get the info on upgrades. He just went ahead and did it.) As well, the flight was only $687 for a completely unrestricted H fare, as opposed to the almost $2000 if I'd booked using CP flight numbers.

E/P service has been hit and miss for me the last few days. Spoke to "Lucky" today, who was very helpful and energetic. Earlier in the day I spoke to some who's name wasn't worth remebering.

I think were doing a pretty good job so far of playing tit-for-tat, when it comes to outsmarting each other. (BTW, anyone know where I can get some tat?)

And how 'bout "Admiral" for a new name?
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Old Mar 1, 00, 8:26 am
  #29  
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Join Date: May 1999
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How about "Ken hAAmer"?

"no that's hAAmer with TWO As and ONE M, not ONE A and TWO Ms! And that's a lower-case h and capital As, thank you very much".

andrew
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Old Mar 1, 00, 11:08 am
  #30  
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
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Andrew: You're hired! When can you start? http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/smile.gif
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