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Dear John letter from the Ambassador Club.

Dear John letter from the Ambassador Club.

 
Old Aug 15, 01, 9:32 am
  #1  
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Dear John letter from the Ambassador Club.

Got it in the mail yesterday. As a lifetime Ambassadors Club member I am good until April 30, 2003. After which, I will then be "allowed" to renew to Admirals Club membship with preferred pricing each year provided my membership does not lapse. AA can kiss my money good bye on this deal and future travel.
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Old Aug 16, 01, 3:43 pm
  #2  
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I too often vote with my feet and my wallet. Actually IMHO you got a really GREAT DEAL.
The sadder-but-wiser TWA stockholders should of done as well as you did. TWA went down the tubes into an over-due Chapt 11. AA had no obligation to give you anything. Be pleased you received something. The TWA stockholders got ziltch.

MisterNice
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Old Aug 16, 01, 5:46 pm
  #3  
JS
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Investing in the stock market is risky. Everyone knows that (or should know that). Some stocks go up, and some go down; TW was one of those stocks that went down (all the way down).

But no one buys an airline club membership to make money, so the comparison is not useful. Anything AA gives you is for customer goodwill (or marketing, same thing). AA bought TWA's assets, not the company itself. A lifetime airline club membership is a liability, not an asset.
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Old Aug 17, 01, 3:29 pm
  #4  
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quote:
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"...AA bought TWA's assets, not the company itself..."
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Somewhat true. AA bought only some of the TWA assets but not all, and AA assumed of only some of the TWA liabilities, but not all. IMHO you received far more than most people have ever received with a company that went Chapt 11, and they had somewhat of a business relationship with that company. As for "good will", with the NEW IMPROVED route structure, my best guess is most former TWA flyers will not be near a NEW IMPROVED AA airport and route structure. Honestly I really wish you received more, but I cannot think of a valid and justifiable reason for this to happen.

Out of curiosity, exactly what do propose is fair in a case like this (assuming you are a totally neutral party).

MisterNice

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Old Aug 17, 01, 4:06 pm
  #5  
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I supported TWA through thick and thin. I did not buy the lifetime membership to make money. I bought it because I travel a lot on TWA, by choice. I could have gotten cheaper flights on other airlines with shorter flight time. I have been Platinum on TWA for the past three years, but I doubt I will be EXP on AA for next year even though I could. I will fly AA when absolutely necessary, but not religiously. Why would anyone buy a lifetime lounge membership if they are not frequent flyers? Does not AA understand this? My question now is: should I go United or Delta?

I understand that AA does not have a lifetime membership program. But, why can I not keep my TWA lifetime card and use it as is? AA does not have to do any thing extra, except let me into their club on my day of flight like what they are doing now. If I loose the card, the deal is over.
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Old Aug 17, 01, 7:51 pm
  #6  
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FWIW, my preference is UA.
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Old Aug 25, 01, 10:40 am
  #7  
 
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TWA went Chapt 11. When that happens, all bets are off. Forget your miles, forget your clubs, forget your outstanding credit, forget your already paid for tickets.

But, they did work out some deals. AA did not get the money you paid for the club. It is long gone. The past is of no value.

It happens.
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Old Aug 25, 01, 2:08 pm
  #8  
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AH64D writes:

I understand that AA does not have a lifetime membership program. But, why can I not keep my TWA lifetime card and use it as is? AA does not have to do any thing extra, except let me into their club on my day of flight like what they are doing now. If I loose the card, the deal is over.

OK, let's review the facts. 1. Providing Club service costs the airlines money. Rent for the facility, staff, food, drinks, phone lines, etc. 2. As with virtually all other airlines, AA currently charges its FFers a fee for its lounges (with exceptions, such as same day F class, etc.). 3. AA bought some of the assets and liabilities of TW, which went out of business because it could not stay competitive and control its costs. 4. As a part of that deal, AA agreed to give the TW frequent flyers AA miles equivalent to their Aviators balance.

You are advocating that AA should provide lifetime club services for free to you when other AA frequent flyers (many of whom may even fly more than you do) have to pay for the club services? Sorry, I don't see the logic in that.

If you bought a membership in a gym or spa which went out of business, would you expect some other gym or spa which opened up in that space to honor your lifetime membership? You could argue--no, these are two different things, since the airlines are in business to sell seats. But, in fact, they have all decided that club membership is a profit item too, which is why they all charge for it now. It costs them money to provide the service, and they charge for it.

I don't fly more than you do, but do not think there is anything unfair about the deal which AA has offered to you.

Djlawman
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Old Aug 25, 01, 2:51 pm
  #9  
 
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Everyone arguing on behalf of AA on this matter keeps wanting to compare apples and oranges. Yes, TWA went out of business. Yes, AA bought them out, at least in part. Yes, AA technically OWES us (Lifetime Members) nothing. But…let’s look at this from a LONG TERM business OPPORTUNITY angle, shall we?

AA correctly decided that it would be a good idea NOT to alienate Ambassador Club members by cutting them off from club access. It only makes sense since the only people buying memberships are, generally speaking, frequent flyers. Why would you want to piss them off during the acquisition/changeover period? That being said, it makes no sense whatsoever, to limit the Lifetime Members to two years without even giving us the opportunity to purchase/upgrade to the same thing with AA. The only people who bought lifetime memberships are the people who are not only their most frequent flyers, but, people who plan on being so for quite a long time. The only thing AA accomplished in doing by cutting off our “Lifetime” memberships without giving us this, or any other opportunity or option, was to REALLY piss us off.

Two months ago, I decided to switch airline loyalties (I’m not going to get into it here as to why), from Northwest. After two months of trying different airlines, I had it narrowed down to two. AA or Continental. My flying constitutes 120-140 thousand miles a year. A frequent flyer that any airline would kill to get. My final choice? Continental. The deciding factor? No option given to extend/upgrade to a lifetime membership with AA.

Why they wanted to pursue this avenue is beyond my comprehension, and most, it not all, of the other “Lifetime” Members, whose “Lives” now end on April 30, 2003.

------------------
Blue Skies to you all!
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Old Aug 25, 01, 3:49 pm
  #10  
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quote by 2 Million Miler:
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"...Two months ago, I decided to switch airline loyalties (I’m not going to get into it here as to why), from Northwest. After two months of trying different airlines, I had it narrowed down to two. AA or Continental. My flying constitutes 120-140 thousand miles a year. A frequent flyer that any airline would kill to get. My final choice? Continental. The deciding factor? No option given to extend/upgrade to a lifetime membership with AA..."
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I have heard of many reasons for choosing an airline. Some are based upon to/from location, number of flights per day, upgrade policy, upon its ff loyalty program etc. This is the first, REPEAT first time I have ever heard of one choosing an airline program based upon its airline club lifetime membership program.

I am really curious. Just how do you chose the stocks you wish to invest in?

MisterNice
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Old Aug 25, 01, 4:50 pm
  #11  
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Anybody who buys anything labeled "lifetime" in this flaky industry should have their head examined.....and this is living proof. Just ask the former customers of Pan Am, Eastern, Braniff, Republic, Hughes Airwest, PSA, Ozark, Canadian, People Express, the old Midway (and probably the new one), the old Frontier, Eastwind, Alliance, Legend, Sunworld, Air Atlanta, Kiwi, Reno, Air 21,Air Florida, Carnival, Tower, Laker, BCAL....whew, this thread isn't long enough.....
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Old Aug 26, 01, 7:38 am
  #12  
 
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2 Million Miler --

Please don't take this the wrong way, but if that was your deciding factor, AA probably doesn't want your miles anyway. AA looks to maximize revenue yeild. This is why the charge a lot of their clubs -- because they can get it, and it helps the bottom line. This is why they are stingy with their domestic upgrades -- because they can be and it helps their bottom line. In the case of upgrades, it also helps give a better chance of upgrading to those willing to spend some extra money (by buying some extra stickers).

AA figures -- probably rightly -- that if you're spending $25,000 / year(which is less than most EXP's spend) an extra $250 for club access wouldn't cause people to bat an eye. That's only ONE PERCENT of the yearly air travel budget. Those are the customers AA really wants to keep from the TWA deal.

Airlines don't like penny pinchers. They, like most other companies, like the big spenders.
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Old Aug 26, 01, 7:52 am
  #13  
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A similar discussion took place on PlaneBusiness:

Petition/Letter to Mr. Carty on Behalf of Lifetime Ambassadors
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Old Aug 26, 01, 8:03 am
  #14  
 
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I am lucky I have been buying only short term membership in TWA. I also had my miles insured. I knew, and I would think everyone else did also, that they have been financially in trouble for the past 5 years. If AA had not bought our TWA - they probably would be out of business anyway. Therefore, I think anyone that purchased anything (long term) from TWA over the past 3-4 years should have known they were taking a risk.

I know a few who bought TWA lifetime Ambassador Club memeberships AFTER the AA buyout was first made public. They thought they could get into the AA Clubs for life for a relative cheap cost - and took the chance that AA would honor their TWA lifetime status. It did not work out, but they know they were taking a chance.

Yes, everyone has the right to disagree with the takeover terms. AA could have given Ambassador Club lifetime members a better deal - but they did what they thought was best for their business. Personally, I would have given a longer timeframe (say, 4 years of Club membership) and tried to gain the TWA members loyality over that time.
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Old Aug 26, 01, 10:14 am
  #15  
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by AH-64D:
My question now is: should I go United or Delta?</font>
If you live in Arizona, I can't imagine picking Delta.

If America West wasn't so [insert adjective here], it would be a no-brainer.

Of course it depends on what your travel looks like, and what you like out of a loyalty program, but between UA and DL, it seems pretty clear:

UA allows upgrades on lowest fares
UA has a strong West Coast route structure (albeit much of which is served by Sh*ttle)
UA allows companion upgrades
UA has a real alliance and a pacific route structure
UA has economy plus... Compare 35" pitch to 31" on DL. Ugh.
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