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AA (with gold status) or another airline for upcoming trip

AA (with gold status) or another airline for upcoming trip

Old Oct 10, 20, 1:16 am
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: TPA
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AA (with gold status) or another airline for upcoming trip

Hi- I haven't flown since everything went down with COVID. I have an upcoming trip to the DC area and am weighing which airline I should fly. I only want to fly a major carrier.
Options are:
UAL - no status, almost no miles in the bank but good flight options (direct)
DAL - no status but a good amt of miles I can use (connection) and the flights are also incredibly cheap. Connection option only, though. And the cheapest connection appears to be in NY (how is that working with quarantine)?
AA - gold status extended till next year. Direct flights, price on par with UAL.

AA would normally be the first choice but it appears they are filling the middle seat right now? For those who have flown it lately, what are the odds of being upgraded with only gold status (TPA-DCA)? Are the flights generally full across airlines?

I also have some credit on JetBlue so am thinking of flying that airline back.

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Old Oct 10, 20, 3:50 am
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Probably zero chance of an upgrade. I would just take the most convenient direct flight and not overthink it.
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Old Oct 10, 20, 4:25 pm
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Originally Posted by LD75 View Post
DAL - no status but a good amt of miles I can use (connection) and the flights are also incredibly cheap. Connection option only, though. And the cheapest connection appears to be in NY (how is that working with quarantine)?
WN (nonstops to BWI) is blocking middle seats until 30 Nov, but obviously any discussion of upgrade is moot

AA nonstops will be to DCA; UA nonstops will be to IAD

DL offers connections over ATL/JFK/LGA/DTW to all three airports ... if you're that concerned with F, just use some more of those DL miles for the F ticket ... for $75 you can do a Same-Day Confirmed change to any connecting flights (including change of connecting point, but not arrival/departure airport; also note there are no NYC quarantine issues for connecting pax) with available F seats
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Old Oct 10, 20, 6:24 pm
Join Date: Aug 2010
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Forget about your Gold status, but do fly AA.

For TPA-WAS, nothing beats nonstop to DCA. Five minutes from the gate to the Uber pickup and 10 minutes to downtown. Both BWI and IAD are inconvenient airports and you presumably want to avoid public transportation into DC.

Only reason to fly to BWI or IAD is if by "DC area" you mean close to one or the other airport.

Highly unlikely that as a Gold you are upgraded and there really isn't much else that matters. While I would not recommend it during non-pandemic times, F will cost about $100 more and I consider it well worth it just because the passenger volume is lower and there is more space.
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Old Oct 12, 20, 9:59 am
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I'd book the nonstop flight to the airport closest to where you want to be in DC. I think from Tampa you have all three choices.

If you wear a mask and follow basic personal sanitation protocols, odds are low that you get sick a short nonstop flight regardless of whether you're in F or Y or whether there's anyone in the middle seat. The main thing for me would be keeping the travel as simple, short, and stress-free as possible.
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Old Nov 20, 20, 2:10 am
Join Date: Nov 2008
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Agree with other posters about the convenience of the direct flight to DCA, where also the plane to Uber time is shortest. Avoiding public transport is self-protection these days
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Old Nov 21, 20, 7:11 pm
Join Date: Sep 2005
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I've been on the subway (Metro) here in the DC area a handful of times in the last several months. In general, I see it as pretty safe. The stations are outside or indoor with high ceilings. The number of passengers is low -- I've never had a problem being at least 6 feet away from other people and often 10 feet. Masks are required and the rule (law) seems to be respected.

The busiest time was on the weekend. Traditional M-F commute times had sparse ridership since 90% plus of DC office workers are still working from home.

The rub is later when many more people return to the system.
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Old Nov 21, 20, 7:23 pm
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I'd probably pick DL for the empty middle seat, which makes coach much more comfortable.

AA Gold is like Silver with other airlines (25,000 miles first status level), so I wouldn't expect upgrades on a DC route (elite heavy) or really any other significant perks. I don't think AA Gold is an argument for flying AA, although if you're close to (re)qualifying for a (higher) status tier, it might be worth it.
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