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Are you loyal to an airline, despite living at another airline's hub? Why?

Are you loyal to an airline, despite living at another airline's hub? Why?

Old Jan 14, 20, 11:47 pm
  #1  
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Are you loyal to an airline, despite living at another airline's hub? Why?

So, I live in Boston, which is a Jetblue and Delta Hub. However, I am a United flyer, despite United only flying to its 7 hubs Even AA flies to 17, not counting Eagle. That's also fewer destinations than Spirit and Southwest. By total passenger count its got the smallest presence of the Big Three - Its also the only one without any European service, though there I'm reasonably well served by Star.

Ultimately, I'm a United flier b/c they still have, by far, the best Asian network - and that comes with tradeoffs when flying domestic - in other words, always connecting in Newark. It wasn't as bad, when US airways was part of Star, but now, I increasingly think I should be flying DL quite a bit more.
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Old Jan 15, 20, 12:00 pm
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When one picks an airline for its route structure, it's not about the total number of flights, per se. It's about how well the offering matches one's individual travel needs. If you live near a hub, the airline with that hub is most likely to be the best match, just by the numbers. But there are certainly cases where an individual's travel needs fit well with another airline. For example, one colleague of mine lives in Chicago-- UA hub, AA hub, WN focus city-- but prefers to fly Delta. It turns out Delta's hubs are the primary cities he needs to fly to.
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Old Jan 15, 20, 1:55 pm
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I tried to slog it as an AA flier in Denver for a year. Did it for one winter...got tired of connecting at ORD and DFW to get anywhere. So I joined the dark side and was UA high 1P to low 1K for a few years.
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Old Jan 16, 20, 4:03 am
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I'm not loyal to any airline. I choose depending on where I want to go. I rarely take Qantas.
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Old Jan 16, 20, 3:17 pm
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I have a decent level of "loyalty" for quite a few travel companies. Airfare has been one that I just can't do. It requires a significant investment for a product that varies less from company to company. If I was a big business flyer, it may be a different story. I'm almost always going with the fare that has the best combination of timing, route, and price.
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Old Jan 16, 20, 5:07 pm
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I have been a UA 1k for about 10 years, despite living in London which is a BA and VS hub but has weak Star Alliance presence. Of course, BA has dozens of routes to the USA whereas UA only has seven, but I only ever fly to 2 of the ones UA has.

Why do I do this? Historically, UA was much more generous than BA. This year it won't be, so I will no longer be loyal to BA. Management don't seem to realise that, to attract non-captive customers you have to offer something more to them, but that's another story.
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Old Jan 16, 20, 10:38 pm
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UA loyalist prisoner here. For domestic flights, they are the only airline operating SEA-WAS redeyes. I suppose if I really wanted to save $50 then I could add an early morning connection somewhere, but for now, I'm happy to pay the slight premium.

For international itineraries, it's hard to beat the *A network (though hard product can be a bit lacking). I don't think SkyPesos get me very far in Asia, and it seems in Europe, I'm constantly reading about AF strikes.

If AS added a redeye, I'd consider changing over ...
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Old Jan 16, 20, 11:20 pm
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Originally Posted by Polytonic View Post
UA loyalist prisoner here. For domestic flights, they are the only airline operating SEA-WAS redeyes. I suppose if I really wanted to save $50 then I could add an early morning connection somewhere, but for now, I'm happy to pay the slight premium.

For international itineraries, it's hard to beat the *A network (though hard product can be a bit lacking). I don't think SkyPesos get me very far in Asia, and it seems in Europe, I'm constantly reading about AF strikes.

If AS added a redeye, I'd consider changing over ...
AS redeye SEA-IAD is back on the schedule in mid March, as well as a late afternoon flight (lv ~1645 ar ~2345)
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Old Jan 16, 20, 11:35 pm
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Originally Posted by jrl767 View Post
AS redeye SEA-IAD is back on the schedule in mid March, as well as a late afternoon flight (lv ~1645 ar ~2345)
Oh interesting. I already have a bunch of travel booked on *A carriers ... I don't think I have enough planned travel to requal UA Gold and also acquire AS status tho. Maybe next year ...
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Old Jan 17, 20, 1:56 am
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I've been midlevel elite or higher since 1992 on SOME airline (usually just one at a time, and currently it's F9 50K) out of ATL, which has been Delta-dominated the whole time. It's very hard for biz travelers in Atlanta to make a go of it anywhere else but DL, but I'd say I spent more years than not OUTSIDE the Delta fold, with the most spent on CO and NW. In fact, my first-ever upgrade came in 1992 as a total surprise...I knew about miles but I didn't know about elite status.

Flying someone other than DL meant limited flights and usually connections, but for mileage maximization I could do gems like ATL-EWR-IAH-MCI (stop) and v.v. as a total bizarre zig-zag back when that sort of thing was more rewarding.

I could also feast on hub-attack fares, especially HNL ones. Once or twice a year NW or CO might hub-attack DL for a very short time with a $300-ish RT HNL fare, which also worked for miles.

Western destinations would require connections (e.g. ATL-DTW-LAS or ATL-EWR-LAS), and internationally it was about at parity to Europe or Asia.

Usually I'd switch programs if negative changes came along, which happened 5 or 6 times and sometimes involved switching into DL. Segment runs used to be a lot more rewarding on DL, and I finally had all the pieces together by 1996, when I flew 3 LAS trips on ATL-CVG-MSP-SLC-LAS (3 days)-LAX-CVG-ATL and got upgraded on all the segments (booking on easySABRE, IIRC).

I comped over to United for a year but they just didn't work out...ORD was the only true hub out of ATL, and other spots at the time were either jungle jets (IAD) or too thinly served (DEN,SFO). There was also the .bomb and bad availability on sale fares. CO also had too many jungle jets for my liking.

So it's very possible to do it if you're a self-funded leisure traveler who isn't locked into specific destinations.
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Old Jan 18, 20, 3:10 pm
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The SF Bay Area has SFO, a major United hub, but I'm loyal to AA and fly mainly out of SJC. I sit up front frequently for free (especially compared to anyone who isn't GS on United out of SFO), and save money and time on Lyft/Uber. As a bonus, SJC Club A8 which replaced SJC Admirals Club is in Priority Pass and right across from the AA gates.
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Old Jan 18, 20, 10:55 pm
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I was not a FF member of the home airline of my origin and destination (2/3 of the time) as I get a better value - easier status and upgrades. Having a stop or two breaks the trip up and makes it less tiring. Fares were also lower.

Until they stop flying to my major destination on their own metal.
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Old Jan 19, 20, 12:11 am
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Originally Posted by sassysan View Post
The SF Bay Area has SFO, a major United hub, but I'm loyal to AA and fly mainly out of SJC. I sit up front frequently for free (especially compared to anyone who isn't GS on United out of SFO), and save money and time on Lyft/Uber. As a bonus, SJC Club A8 which replaced SJC Admirals Club is in Priority Pass and right across from the AA gates.
Yes, but SFO isn't a fortress hub, so we aren't as screwed in the Bay Area with absurd fares and lack of competition, not to mention 3 airports within a fairly close radius. So, while UA is a predominant SFO carrier, it isn't like we're in ATL, DTW, MSP and so forth in this area.
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Old Jan 21, 20, 8:14 am
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Even-though ZRH is my closest airport, I hardly ever fly SWISS on long-haul flights. Sometimes I even drive to MXP because they offer better deals.
Don't really care about alliances anymore ever since I lost the QR Gold status...
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Old Jan 23, 20, 2:40 am
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I should have also mentioned in my post above that we get far fewer hub-attack fares from the legacies now that we're down to just three major legacies + Southwest.
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