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Don't want to do AA or BA... what should I do?

Don't want to do AA or BA... what should I do?

Old Apr 13, 06, 1:14 pm
  #1  
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Don't want to do AA or BA... what should I do?

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=449020

This thread deals with a similar question, so I have searched, but the two-letter convention on FT kills the best query of "AA" "BA" "Alternative" "OW" and such. So forgive me if this is asked over and over again--I'm a slacker and, since this isn't *A related, I'm out of my element.

Anyway, I recently moved from *A "Fortress DEN" to the no-mans-land that is BOS. There are a lot of flight options from BOS on almost every alliance, but my company mainly takes me to HEL, which requires a hop on OW carriers BA, AA or AY or on LH, UA or SK depending on itinerary. It should be clear that I'm planning to maintain the bulk of my travel on LH/UA.

So, I had Gold on AA until this year, but I really avoided flying OW since I couldn't accrue enough miles on it due to the BA-AA accrual restriction and the fact that I refuse to fly AY until they finalize the modernization of their fleet. However, I have lots of friends in Ireland, so getting free tickets/upgrades to see them on EI sounds good to me. However, I know nothing of their program. Alternately, the above thread states that Asiamiles might be a better choice. So, the question is: what OW FF program should I enroll in and use, considering my circumstance.

Note, like all good FT'ers, upgrades are more important than free tickets. Propensity to status match makes it even better, if to cushion the blow in the interim period.

Help!

Timothy

And yes... I'll strand some miles on AA, but who cares.

Timothy

Last edited by GodOSpoons; Apr 13, 06 at 2:06 pm Reason: Clarified Question to be Answered...
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Old Apr 13, 06, 1:32 pm
  #2  
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What exactly are you asking?
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Old Apr 13, 06, 2:07 pm
  #3  
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Question clarified above. Thanks for pointing out that my rambling style of writing is an ineffective communications medium.

Timothy
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Old Apr 13, 06, 2:21 pm
  #4  
 
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Going BOS-HEL on OW you have a bunch of choices: through LHR (AA/BA->BA/AY), NYC (AA->AY JFK or EWR), MAN (AA->AY), or even CDG (AA->AY) or YYZ (AA->AY). The AA BOS-MAN flight has the advantage of domestic first seats (although not service) sold as coach (for elites). There is also a direct (one-stop) AY flight but that's "charter" service: all coach with 29" pitch and probably best avoided.

I'd suggest figuring out what routing will be most convenient/economical for you and joining up with the carrier you'll be flying trans-Atlantic. Note that it's very difficult to gain status with BA (or even join the club) if you're flying discount economy, much easier on AA. If you must take a mix of carriers, Asia Miles is the only OW program which will get you upgrades outside of your home airline (on AA and BA but not AY) so it's worth looking into.

Michael
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Old Apr 13, 06, 4:05 pm
  #5  
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Well, I'm going to take a mix of carriers owing to the fact that there are so many airlines on that route, a majority of the routes to HEL are through LHR (with the exception of the JFK one) and, with the restriction on the AA-BA accrual, it makes no sense to try and do this on either of those programs. I'd do AY, but even the Finns seem to turn their nose up at the national airline.

Any other ideas? This isn't immediately critical, as my next BOS-HEL-ARN-HEL-DUB-BOS works fine on *A. However, I'm almost done with my 1K and I'd love me some other status.

Timothy

Plus, I hate BA. They always lose my luggage.
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Old Apr 13, 06, 4:48 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by GodOSpoons
I'd do AY, but even the Finns seem to turn their nose up at the national airline.
Give it a shot and don't complain before you have some first hand knowledge... if you "hate" BA as an airline just because they (=ground handling) have lost your luggage few times, I'd say either grow up or stay with *A and shut up

Last edited by NoWindowSeat; Apr 13, 06 at 4:55 pm
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Old Apr 13, 06, 8:58 pm
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Originally Posted by NoWindowSeat
Give it a shot and don't complain before you have some first hand knowledge... if you "hate" BA as an airline just because they (=ground handling) have lost your luggage few times, I'd say either grow up or stay with *A and shut up
A few times? BA lost my luggage five out of six RTs in 2005, plus they did that whole emergency landing 744 engine thing out of SFO, which makes me uncomfortable as a FF. Plus, I had a huge snafu with bag interline that they couldn't make work but somehow OS fixed out of courtesy due to my *G status. I gave them plenty of chances to win my business when I lived in London.

So, screw BA. I don't fly them unless it's a choice between them and Aeroflot. And I have flown AY... have you? Been in a lot of MD-11s lately? They're finally putting decent seats in business, though, so I'll reconsider once the fleet is retooled and the interiors refreshed.

Grow up or shut up? Thanks for the input.

Timothy
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Old Apr 13, 06, 9:36 pm
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Ok, so you want to avoid BA, and want to upgrade. Again, only the AA and CX schemes will allow you to upgrade on AA, and only the AY scheme will allow you to upgrade on AY. Those are your choices and which one is best depends on whether you'll more often (for convenience, service, and/or economics) do BOS-LHR/MAN/CDG-HEL or BOS-JFK/EWR/YYZ-HEL. Only you can decide...

Michael
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Old Apr 14, 06, 1:56 am
  #9  
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Originally Posted by GodOSpoons
So, screw BA. I don't fly them unless it's a choice between them and Aeroflot. And I have flown AY... have you? Been in a lot of MD-11s lately?
Yup, more than my share, they have their up and downs and I fully agree that the old J seats were/are crap but it still isn't ...your post just sounded quite picky, you want to use OW to get points for Ireland visits, but than again, you don't want to use AA or BA and as AY sucks in your opinion, there isn't much left you can do...

Happy flying.
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Old Apr 14, 06, 2:17 pm
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Originally Posted by GodOSpoons
A few times? BA lost my luggage five out of six RTs in 2005, plus they did that whole emergency landing 744 engine thing out of SFO, which makes me uncomfortable as a FF. Plus, I had a huge snafu with bag interline that they couldn't make work but somehow OS fixed out of courtesy due to my *G status. I gave them plenty of chances to win my business when I lived in London.

So, screw BA. I don't fly them unless it's a choice between them and Aeroflot. And I have flown AY... have you? Been in a lot of MD-11s lately? They're finally putting decent seats in business, though, so I'll reconsider once the fleet is retooled and the interiors refreshed.

Grow up or shut up? Thanks for the input.

Timothy
You don't want to fly AA, BA, AY to Hel but you want to fly OW. You don't leave us many ways to help you.

Aeroflot is not that bad these days.
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Old Apr 14, 06, 2:34 pm
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Originally Posted by millionmiler
You don't want to fly AA, BA, AY to Hel but you want to fly OW. You don't leave us many ways to help you.

Aeroflot is not that bad these days.
Or LX. Looks like they codeshare with Blue1 to Helsinki.

Edited to add that USAir services Shannon and Dublin with a lot of connections from Boston to Philadelphia.

Given your constraints, there's no way I would go with Oneworld and I would stick with Star, especially beause you have been with them in the past.
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Old Apr 14, 06, 4:36 pm
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If baggage handling is a concern, you will be hard pressed to find any airline that does a better job than AY. Flew SVO to JFK and back with less than 30 minutes on the ground, and both bags made it. Friend did the reverse in Y, and again, no problems.

Aeroflot is not bad at all in C or Y, and I say this having flown not only the modern Western fleet, but the IL-96, which I find infinetly more comfortable in Y than any Boeing or Airbus, the IL-86, and the Tu-154 and 134. Cabin service wise they leave AA in the dust from my experiences...

From what you've said, AY via JFK or AA via LHR seem the best options for you.
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Old Apr 14, 06, 5:41 pm
  #13  
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If you don't like BA (who have never lost my luggage in 100's of flights, more than can be said for UA or AA) I would go with AY. Nice airline, nice people, excellent wine list. The seat isn't great but AA's is no better and at least AY treat you like a human all the time.
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Old Apr 14, 06, 6:30 pm
  #14  
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If you don't like BA or AY then your OW choices are pretty limited. Skyteam too, since AF codeshares with AY into HEL - pretty much leaves NW into AMS then KL the rest of the way - for one-stop access to Finland.

EI is such a LCC in Europe these days that it seems unnecessary to get into their program if you could fly into some hub and hop to Ireland cheaply.

You could play all sides off against the middle and go counter-intuitive by joining Alaska's plan. EQMs on AA, AS, NW, DL, KL, AF, LA; some good reciprocal lounge access, and annual upgrades on NW as well as AS metal. Not super useful domestically but pretty decent redemption levels to some destinations.

Just a goofy thought.
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