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Moving from Star Alliance to One World - AA vs BA?

Moving from Star Alliance to One World - AA vs BA?

Old May 18, 19, 2:29 am
  #1  
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Moving from Star Alliance to One World - AA vs BA?

Hello All,

I am currently a Star Alliance Gold Member (Aeroplan 75K) and considering switching alliances. I was Aeroplan 100K last year and was very disappointed with their service and their inability to consider maintaining my 100k status as I was short by a 1000$ (I had banked $19k and 190k miles). I am currently a BA Executive Club Silver Member as well and have recently joined the AA program. I have been advised that the BA program is going through a significant change and that it would be better to consider the AA program. I am based in Toronto but travel frequently to Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia and a bit into the US. I am primarily interested in gaining status, best options with lounge accesses and upgrades. I am not as much motivated in redeeming miles. Any help or advice would be appreciated

Thanks,

Srikanth
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Old May 18, 19, 2:48 am
  #2  
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What are you objectives from a ffp?
Class of travel?
Any ff miles/avios from non flying activities?

AA is a revenue based ffp. Many AA freq flyers have failed to make the status cut because of this.

Lounge access is based on class of service or mid tier status.
Except for AA where status will not get you lounge access on USA domestic flights. The equivalent status on BA would get you USA domestic lounge access.

Upgrades are hard to get with both ffp. BA does not have upgrade me mentality/entitlement of USA airlines.

General FFP:- Which Frequent Flyer Program to Join? Help Is Here!

Oneworld:- Deciding on a Oneworld Frequent Flyer Program? Help is here

The grass in not always greener on the other side
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Old May 18, 19, 3:23 am
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Thanks. At this point, there are no non flying based activities for One World. My Amex is currently associated with aeroplan.

Lounge Access is significantly important for me. Upgrades are good to have but not banking on it (I think despite all the issues AC is not bad with upgrades). I am guessing BA is still more preferred???
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Old May 18, 19, 3:29 am
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Also AA is calendar year (Jan to Dec)
BA ff year is based on the date you joined.

For AA you will need to check if USA-Canada/Mexico etc is included in the no lounge access policy
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Old May 18, 19, 3:31 am
  #5  
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Thanks! I have been reading some of the threads that you pointed me out to. It seems I should stick with the BA given I have been collecting Avios as well. Also, I may end up changing my visa card to the BA visa card which might help as well.
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Old May 18, 19, 7:15 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by smangalam View Post
Thanks! I have been reading some of the threads that you pointed me out to. It seems I should stick with the BA given I have been collecting Avios as well. Also, I may end up changing my visa card to the BA visa card which might help as well.
I'll disagree.

1. Yes, AA is a revenue-based system. But when flying other OW carriers and crediting to AA, you usually get 30% of miles flown as Elite Qualifying Dollars. Thus it's actually fairly easy to hit your required EQDs for status if you're flying OW partners. In my case, 90+% of my flying is on partners, and I made EXP in early March this year.

2. BA's cash component for awards is typically much higher than that of AA. I've occasionally seen cases where the cash component of an Avios award ticket starts to approach the cash price for the ticket.

3. Lounge access is excellent except in the U.S., where you do not get access to AA lounges based on elite status. You get elite status based access to nearly all OW lounges regardless of where they are except AA lounges.

4. Because AA's membership year is fixed, you get much more than a year. When you qualify for an elite status level, you hold that level for the remainder of that calendar year PLUS the entire following year. So, in my case, for example, I attained EXP in March, 2019. I will retain that status until January 31, 2021, even with no additional flying. Nearly two years!

For my money, AA's the way to go.
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Old May 18, 19, 7:38 pm
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Originally Posted by smangalam View Post
Thanks. At this point, there are no non flying based activities for One World. My Amex is currently associated with aeroplan.

Lounge Access is significantly important for me. Upgrades are good to have but not banking on it (I think despite all the issues AC is not bad with upgrades). I am guessing BA is still more preferred???
Here's a recent blog post about AAdvantage elite status that you might find helpful:

https://thepointsguy.com/guide/what-...-status-worth/

Note that AAdvantage Platinum and above do get Admirals Club access in North America when flying to another continent -- even in Economy Class. But if you're just flying to the U.S. or Caribbean, AA status won't give you lounge access; BA status will.

I assume that you stay in hotels and maybe even rent cars when you travel. Both of those activities are potential sources of AA miles or BA Avios, but won't help you reach or maintain elite status.
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Old May 18, 19, 8:13 pm
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For me, BA works out better because I avoid awards that entail large cash components. For example, short haul within the US (DCA is one of my favorites because it is often expensive to fly to/from there), and between various places in China and HKG. That having been said, I don't have status anymore because of the 4 BA flights requirement. If I cared, I could do PVG-LHR-NCE on BA, but status isn't so important to me these days.
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Old May 19, 19, 3:01 am
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Now I am confused.....I might as well wait to see what Air Canada does in 2020 once it takes over Aeroplan and then decide. Based on Dr.HFH's comments, does that mean that BA doesn't change status mid-way through the membership year? If so, that would be a deal breaker for me.
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Old May 19, 19, 4:27 am
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Originally Posted by smangalam View Post
Now I am confused.....I might as well wait to see what Air Canada does in 2020 once it takes over Aeroplan and then decide. Based on Dr.HFH's comments, does that mean that BA doesn't change status mid-way through the membership year? If so, that would be a deal breaker for me.
I used to earn on AA, but switched to BA after AA went to $ based earning and haven't looked back. I still earn AA miles on one or two domestic paid First (J) tickets each year, but credit almost all my AONEn and ACIRn ticketed flights to BA.

My year runs April 1- March 31, so lets say I earn BA Gold by October, I get BA Gold then (when earned) for the remainder of that membership year (until my anniversary date) and then also get it for the subsequent membership year from April 1-March 31. So for this year as an example (if I wasn't already BA Gold) I would be BA Gold from October 2019 until March 31, 2021.

If you fly paid J or F it is much easier to attain OWE via BA (BA Gold) than AA (AA Exp). In the past I would have to add extra flights to get AA Exp, but with BA I don't and can actually credit some of my regular flights to AA once I attain BA Gold. With the addition of the AA's $ based earning and the fact that most of my flights are RTW or Circle Pacific, thus the low cast per sector, earning on AA flights being $ based resulted in very low EQDs on top of everything else and the math did not support continuing using AA as my primary FF program. AA and UA are now my backups to BA.

YMMV. Each person's purchased class and travel pattern will determine what works best. Do the math. I also only fly solely North America itineraries 1-2 times a year, usually in paid first (J), sometimes awards, so AA's North America upgrades are not a benefit that is useful to me. North America lounge access including Flagship lounges is useful and is available to BA Gold (OWE).

Point of clarification, AA earned OWS/OWE do not get lounge access on solely North America flights with the exception of MEX (Mexico City) and Flagship first (3-class) non-stop flights between JFK-LAX/SFO and BOS/MIA-LAX.
***North America is defined as the U.S. (including Hawaii and Alaska), Canada, Mexico (except MEX), Bermuda, the Bahamas and the Caribbean.

Last edited by aaupgrade; May 19, 19 at 5:03 am
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Old May 19, 19, 6:41 pm
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Originally Posted by aaupgrade View Post
With the addition of the AA's $ based earning and the fact that most of my flights are RTW or Circle Pacific, thus the low cast per sector, earning on AA flights being $ based resulted in very low EQDs on top of everything else and the math did not support continuing using AA as my primary FF program.
That's interesting. Most of my flights are not on AA; they're on other OW airlines. I find that I get to EXP faster now because EQD accumulation on OW partners is mileage based, typically 30% of BIS miles credited as EQDs regardless of cabin.
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