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Considering a switch to DL from AA ex-Austin (AUS)

Considering a switch to DL from AA ex-Austin (AUS)

Old Nov 4, 19, 1:39 pm
  #1  
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Location: Austin. DL Plat; WN A-List; Marriott Titanium; IHG Spire
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Considering a switch to DL from AA ex-Austin (AUS)

Looks like the status match is simple; I'd get Platinum on DL against my Plat Pro on AA. Was a multi-year DL Plat back about 15 years ago, and generally had good experiences.

Here are the key differences I see, most of which are positive:

1. Free domestic upgrades for all status levels for the ~40% of times I don't buy an F ticket
1a. DL A/C generally seem have a similar number of first class seats as AA craft
2. Sky Club access included with AMEX Platinum card, saving the $450 or so membership fee
3. Sky Club guess access requires a fee in all cases, including adult and minor family and other travel partners (true?)
4. Sky Club at AUS much nicer than Admirals Club and presumably less crowded due to point 3

I can get to JFK, BOS, LAX non-stop on DL, same as AA; neither AA nor DL go to SFO or anywhere else in the Bay Area non-stop, so I use WN; same for DCA.

One thing I'd probably miss would be the non-stop on BA to LHR, though I'd probably just sub the KL nonstop to AMS starting in May then connect to anywhere else from there.

Missing anything?
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Old Nov 4, 19, 1:44 pm
  #2  
 
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I don't really see any reason not to switch. DL is far more consistent and reliable than AA so that's a major factor right off the bat. I don't really rely on upgrades so I cannot comment on the differences there but I don't really think it's worth sticking to AA for the BA flight to LHR.
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Old Nov 4, 19, 2:12 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
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The new SC at AUS is stunning.
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Old Nov 4, 19, 2:17 pm
  #4  
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Originally Posted by sydneyracquelle View Post
The new SC at AUS is stunning.
Any way to get family in while traveling together, without paying a fee?
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Old Nov 4, 19, 2:28 pm
  #5  
 
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Originally Posted by sydneyracquelle View Post
The new SC at AUS is stunning.
Absolutely one of the best SkyClubs in the system.

Originally Posted by Mikey likes it View Post
Any way to get family in while traveling together, without paying a fee?
You can add up to 3 additional cardholders to your Amex Plat for a single annual fee of $175/year. This might be worth it depending how much you travel. The additional cardholders also get the Hilton/Marriott/car rental status benefits which may be useful if you have a spouse who sometimes travels without you and could use the status.

You also get one free guest if flying internationally and accessing as SkyTeam Elite Plus (PM would qualify).
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Old Nov 4, 19, 2:59 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by mattp1987 View Post
You also get one free guest if flying internationally and accessing as SkyTeam Elite Plus (PM would qualify).
STE+ is Gold and higher This is the only way to guest someone literally without paying anything.

If you narrow the scope of "without paying a fee" to mean "without paying a per-visit fee" (but allowing for an up-front cost) then there is the AMEX Plat additional user route that mattp1987 mentioned, or DL Reserve AMEX AUs have Sky Club access too. You'll have to weigh the expected # of visits vs. the cost of additional cards (bearing in mind the per-visit guest fee goes up to $39 on Jan 1st)

Or buying an Executive membership outright.

(and if you reach Diamond, you can use a Choice Benefit to select a guest pass that can be used in conjunction with an AMEX Plat or DL Reserve)
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Old Nov 4, 19, 3:05 pm
  #7  
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With several years of elite status on DL in the past, you could be close to MM status. OTOH how close are you to MM with AA?
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Old Nov 4, 19, 3:19 pm
  #8  
 
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Originally Posted by Zorak View Post
STE+ is Gold and higher This is the only way to guest someone literally without paying anything.

If you narrow the scope of "without paying a fee" to mean "without paying a per-visit fee" (but allowing for an up-front cost) then there is the AMEX Plat additional user route that mattp1987 mentioned, or DL Reserve AMEX AUs have Sky Club access too. You'll have to weigh the expected # of visits vs. the cost of additional cards (bearing in mind the per-visit guest fee goes up to $39 on Jan 1st)

Or buying an Executive membership outright.

(and if you reach Diamond, you can use a Choice Benefit to select a guest pass that can be used in conjunction with an AMEX Plat or DL Reserve)
DL AMEX Reserve AU only have SC access if you pay additional. Free AU do not have SC access.
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Old Nov 4, 19, 3:24 pm
  #9  
 
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So

Originally Posted by Mikey likes it View Post
Looks like the status match is simple; I'd get Platinum on DL against my Plat Pro on AA. Was a multi-year DL Plat back about 15 years ago, and generally had good experiences.

Here are the key differences I see, most of which are positive:

1. Free domestic upgrades for all status levels for the ~40% of times I don't buy an F ticket
1a. DL A/C generally seem have a similar number of first class seats as AA craft
2. Sky Club access included with AMEX Platinum card, saving the $450 or so membership fee
3. Sky Club guess access requires a fee in all cases, including adult and minor family and other travel partners (true?)
4. Sky Club at AUS much nicer than Admirals Club and presumably less crowded due to point 3

I can get to JFK, BOS, LAX non-stop on DL, same as AA; neither AA nor DL go to SFO or anywhere else in the Bay Area non-stop, so I use WN; same for DCA.

One thing I'd probably miss would be the non-stop on BA to LHR, though I'd probably just sub the KL nonstop to AMS starting in May then connect to anywhere else from there.

Missing anything?

Delta is not perfect but everything I fly AA I am sad...it makes me appreciate Delta all the more.
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Old Nov 4, 19, 3:46 pm
  #10  
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
With several years of elite status on DL in the past, you could be close to MM status. OTOH how close are you to MM with AA?
I'm at ~750K on AA toward MM and something like 400K on DL.
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Old Nov 4, 19, 4:03 pm
  #11  
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Originally Posted by Mikey likes it View Post
I'm at ~750K on AA toward MM and something like 400K on DL.
Will you naturally continue to take some flights that you can credit to AA to eventually get AA MM status, just in case you ever need it later? It could be worth bothering to keep your AA account active for this reason. [IIRC only flying counts for AA MM now.]
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Old Nov 4, 19, 4:18 pm
  #12  
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Will you naturally continue to take some flights that you can credit to AA to eventually get AA MM status, just in case you ever need it later? It could be worth bothering to keep your AA account active for this reason. [IIRC only flying counts for AA MM now.]
Probably, though still not sure what MM really gets me.
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Old Nov 4, 19, 4:43 pm
  #13  
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I've had a bunch of flights into AUS for the last three years as a PLT, of course they ended right after the new SkyClub opened. I think it's an easy move, for no other reason than to avoid DFW. I found that upgrades were difficult, but possible on DTW, and easier for LAX. RDU is odd because of the 1x/day, I'd fly it westbound and sometimes it's be empty and sometimes Id have to spend the $99 to buy up to F before it sold out.

Most important things to me to make the switch:
- much more C+
- much better bulkhead in C+ (AA's is horrid to the point of unusable)
- nicer staff systemwide
- RPU which actually clear in advance on some long routes
- better checked luggage service
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Old Nov 4, 19, 4:52 pm
  #14  
 
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I switched last year after years of AA Exec Plat, and Iím DFW based. DL has much better service, I get upgraded more often, and even with a connection I still often get to my destination quicker since AA is so unreliable. AA used to have a much better FF program, but theyíve gutted it to the point that itís about the same as SkyMiles for redemptions. Unless youíre Conciege Key on AA, they donít seem to want or care about your business anymore, so why stick with them.
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Old Nov 4, 19, 4:55 pm
  #15  
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Originally Posted by Mikey likes it View Post
Probably, though still not sure what MM really gets me.
It's gets you lower level status for life, yours or the airline's, which is handy if you're ever *forced* to fly oneworld after defecting to DL or if you still have AA miles to use on award tickets after you switch to DL and your current AA status expires.
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