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AA miles so much more useful than UA miles?

AA miles so much more useful than UA miles?

Old May 22, 15, 7:40 am
  #1  
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AA miles so much more useful than UA miles?

Hi,

Am I alone in thinking that it is much easier to use AA miles than UA miles and there are so many more saver award seats available.

I normally use my award miles for NYC - LHR/MAN flights and with AA there is nearly always seats available including over the xmas period and it is only 20,000 AA miles . Where as with united they are much harder to find and need about 50% more miles.

I'm really impressed with AA's generosity in this regard..
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Old May 22, 15, 7:46 am
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Originally Posted by EWRMAN View Post
Am I alone
No. I'm sure there are many who agree with you. And many others who would disagree. You've picked a route where AA & partners have a ton of capacity. There are plenty of other routes where AA & partners will fall short on what UA & partners have available.

That's why it is important to make decisions based on how YOU earn and what YOU want to redeem for. Anyone who says there is only one "best" program out there is either lying or trying to sell you something. And probably both.
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Old May 22, 15, 7:50 am
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Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
No. I'm sure there are many who agree with you. And many others who would disagree. You've picked a route where AA & partners have a ton of capacity. There are plenty of other routes where AA & partners will fall short on what UA & partners have available.

That's why it is important to make decisions based on how YOU earn and what YOU want to redeem for. Anyone who says there is only one "best" program out there is either lying or trying to sell you something. And probably both.
OK.

Out of interest which routes are UA better on?
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Old May 22, 15, 8:48 am
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UA, while more expensive, has many more options both TPAC and TATL by virtue of the extensive *A network. The other main benefit that UA provides is the stopover and OJ on roundtrip award tickets. These can save a lot of money if used correctly. UA is also more generous in allowing you to connect to different regions, especially Australia (where they allow a connection in Asia while AA limits you only to QF flights which can be nearly impossible to book in J / F).

On the flip side AA definitely has its benefits - 50k for a TPAC J on JL to Japan is an insane value as is 62.5k for F and 67.5 for TPAC F to anywhere else in Asia. EY F for 90k to the ME / India is also a good value (as is 60k for EY F from ME to Australia).

However I think UA is going to be relatively stable on the redemption side for the relative near future after last year's devaluation (obviously earnings have changed) but I fear AA is in for a big devaluation this fall once AA / US integration is complete. Also it sounds like the CX F (and possible J) spigot is about to be turned off by CX
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Old May 22, 15, 9:23 am
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Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
That's why it is important to make decisions based on how YOU earn and what YOU want to redeem for. Anyone who says there is only one "best" program out there is either lying or trying to sell you something. And probably both.
+1

Originally Posted by Duke787 View Post
….. but I fear AA is in for a big devaluation this fall once AA / US integration is complete.
Yes indeed. Timing is anyone’s guess though.
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Old May 22, 15, 10:12 am
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AA miles so much more useful than UA miles?

while AA usually has availability in flights to London, those are often on British Airways flights with huge fuel surcharges.

For other European destinations, AA miles are not super useful, though the addition of US has helped a bit.

For Australia, AA is terrible because of the restrictions that don't allow routing through Asia. Star Alliance has both United and Air Canada from N. America, and allows routing through Asia.

AA also does not allow stopovers at all.
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Old May 22, 15, 5:51 pm
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AA miles so much more useful than UA miles?

UA star alliance is great for availability to panama. in fact star is the only choice to go to David panama. also booked great trip from argentina to lax, stopover to Disneyland, Amtrak to Denver, then on to map and return for family of 4 to come to my daughters wedding. couldn't have done the stopover or open jaw on amer or delta. on the other hand delta had direct flights for 5 of us msp to ixtapa this spring. american had the best flights for 4 of us map to Hawaii last year.
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Old May 22, 15, 6:20 pm
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Originally Posted by EWRMAN View Post
Out of interest which routes are UA better on?
For starters, the routes where AA miles can't take you at all.

Like the trip I booked over half a year ago with UA miles and that I'm leaving on in a few weeks, to AES (Alesund, Norway), where only Star Alliance airlines fly. To use AA miles, I would had to waste one day in each direction driving all day from Oslo (the only place in Norway AA miles can take me with a decent connection, but about an 8 hour drive away from Alesund).

Also, routes where UA miles can get you there on full-size planes but AA miles can only get you there on puddle jumpers, like (at least in the past) Jackson Hole (for Grand Teton & Yellowstone National Parks) in the summer.

In other words, even if AA may be better than UA to locations where you can fly either, there are locations you can fly only one or the other, or locations where it's much more comfortable flying one vs the other.
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Old May 22, 15, 6:36 pm
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UA lost a lot of value hen LH decided to not release F awards until close to the flight date.
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Old May 22, 15, 6:48 pm
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If I fly to Europe (in style), then UA miles are more useful to me, but for trips to Asia, I prefer AA miles.
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Old May 23, 15, 12:49 pm
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I think it depends. Star Alliance has so many more member airlines than Oneworld which can help you when you want to start visiting the second and third tier cities. Just to give one example, Vilnius, Lithuania is served by Lufthansa, Austrian, SAS and Brussels Air. Much easier to use UA miles somewhere like that.
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Old May 23, 15, 2:13 pm
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AA miles are pretty poor for premium class to Europe. Flying from the East Coast US and avoiding BA, you're left with a handful of Iberia routes, a handful of Airberlin routes, one or two Finnair routes, a dozen or so US Air routes on which it's very difficult to find business seats, and a fair number of AA routes that have very little premium availability and often route through London (more taxes and surcharges) or are on 763's with dated hard product.

Give me *A over OW all the time for premium class flights US-Europe.
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Old May 24, 15, 11:41 pm
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AA miles so much more useful than UA miles?

Availability using UA miles has always been better for me than using AA miles. Going Asia to EU, United has partner availability every day for the rest of the year. AA has one or two choices a month.
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Old May 25, 15, 6:01 am
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Originally Posted by EWRMAN View Post
Hi,

Am I alone in thinking that it is much easier to use AA miles than UA miles and there are so many more saver award seats available.

I normally use my award miles for NYC - LHR/MAN flights and with AA there is nearly always seats available including over the xmas period and it is only 20,000 AA miles . Where as with united they are much harder to find and need about 50% more miles.

I'm really impressed with AA's generosity in this regard..
I was able to cash out my AA miles for a RT business class ticket from LAX to PPT, pretty much the only airline where I could have done that (Air France flies there but doesn't really release award space to partners). As far as I'm concerned, AA rocks!!!
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Old May 25, 15, 7:27 am
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Use them now, though

I think that may be true overall, but as a Charlotte resident I have benefited from the merger, at least temporarily.

In the last few years I have used AA for business/first class awards to HK, Beijing, Shanghai, London, and premium coach from Paris. (All summer high season trips.) This year I booked an August non-stop business class trip CLT-FCO and BCN-CLT for 50k each way. (Using the 100k I got as a sign up bonus last year for the Citi Exec Elite CC). I haven't used BA so avoided surcharges!

I figure that soon (as soon as the merger is complete) the mileage devaluation will continue, so I don't expect to have these opportunities last forever. I have stopped trying to accumulate miles with bonuses and just spend them. Enjoy while it last

Originally Posted by dukerau View Post
AA miles are pretty poor for premium class to Europe. Flying from the East Coast US and avoiding BA, you're left with a handful of Iberia routes, a handful of Airberlin routes, one or two Finnair routes, a dozen or so US Air routes on which it's very difficult to find business seats, and a fair number of AA routes that have very little premium availability and often route through London (more taxes and surcharges) or are on 763's with dated hard product.

Give me *A over OW all the time for premium class flights US-Europe.
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