Comparing top tier statuses against 1k

Old Apr 28, 20, 4:37 pm
  #1  
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Comparing United 1K to other Top Tier Statusís

I feel as though this would be a productive discussion for those who need to decide which top tier status to chase. You can put post your opinion on which top tier status is the most valuable including both hard and soft benefit and include a second and third etc . Even though this topic is a bit general for the United forum I feel as though it belongs here because itís a great way to compare 1k status to other top tier statuses and see what benifits united offers that others donít vice versa. International top tier statuses are more than welcome but please give a generalization of the best benefits because most are not familiar with the benefits. If someone would like to start another forum for invite only statuses please do (I am just waiting to see how this one performs) but if you can, please avoid posting about them in this forum.

I will start with mine first

Out of the US 3 ( I am not to familiar with air Canada super elite but I hear it is very good.) I would say:

1. delta diamond because the status offers 3 choice benefits allowing diamonds to get a free sky club membership+ 4 international upgrade certificates and + a choice of many other great options. Furthermore agents are willing to bend the rules quite often for diamonds compared to other lower statuses. The service is what makes diamond. The one draw back is domestic upgrade percentages arenít great due to FCM however if you donít live in Atlanta you can clear 50%+ quite easily. Also delta offers comfort plus which is simply a better product than economy plus or main cabin extra and diamonds get it for free right after booking.

2. United 1k. I would say 1k is getting closer and closer to diamond however due to the ridiculously high requirements it gets a step down for sure. However united offers a much better set of upgrade benefits than delta. It give out pluspoints which are much more flexible and can be used for up to 10 international upgrades to Polaris if you book premium plus. Where as delta only gives 4. However United does not a comp a club membership so this puts them a step down and phone agents are much less competent. However they both offer fully flexible award tickets for their top tiers which is a big plus.

3. Finally American. American offers the worst customer service and the worst benefits. Only making up for it with the lowest qualification metrics. AA does not comp a club membership unlike delta AND has a far worse upgrade program than United only offering 4 upgrade certs and no regional certs . Also combine this with very bad phone agents and a bad product,AA unquestionably gets last.

Please post your opinions , I am very interested to know how 1k ranks next to other top tier statuses especially international ones.

Last edited by united 1k flyer; Apr 28, 20 at 4:54 pm Reason: Better title
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Old Apr 28, 20, 4:58 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2020
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I am a BAEC Gold member, my flying is a mix of domestic AA, long haul to Europe/LHR on BA, and trips around Europe on BA. So this isn't comparing to United, but AA to another international program.

I picked BA over AA's elite club for the following reasons:
- Biz and first lounge access, including Flagship, even when flying AA domestic in economy
- Flagship first check in where available (I am a UK citizen and do not have global entry or TSA pre, being escorted to the front of the security line at JFK during rush hour is invaluable to me)
- Onboard service, when flying economy, is elevated as you are recognised as a OWE
- Easy to earn bonus Avios, and the tier points you collect when flying AA domestic rack up real fast making it easy to requalify
- BA blocks seats in economy next to Gold members where possible (again, invaluable)
- Operational upgrades still happen from time to time when flying AA domestic
& whatever else Oneworld has to offer, plus some stuff I may have missed.

But...
- I do not get the same upgrades as AA elites, which isn't a big deal as I book the cabin I'm happy flying in. I often upgrade flights using Avios.

Maybe I'll change to AA's program, but honestly having BA Gold with the majority of travel within the US just feels like cheating.

Last edited by exLHRnowSFO; Apr 28, 20 at 5:05 pm
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Old Apr 28, 20, 5:08 pm
  #3  
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Originally Posted by exLHRnowSFO View Post
I am a BAEC Gold member, my flying is a mix of domestic AA, long haul to Europe/LHR on BA, and trips around Europe on BA.

I picked BA over AA's elite club for the following reasons:
- Biz and first lounge access, including Flagship, even when flying AA domestic in economy
- Flagship first check in where available (I am a UK citizen and do not have global entry or TSA pre, being escorted to the front of the security line at JFK during rush hour is invaluable to me)
- Onboard service, when flying economy, is elevated as you are recognised as a OWE
- Easy to earn bonus Avios, and the tier points you collect when flying AA domestic rack up real fast making it easy to requalify
- BA blocks seats in economy next to Gold members where possible (again, invaluable)
- Operational upgrades still happen from time to time when flying AA domestic
& whatever else Oneworld has to offer, plus some stuff I may have missed.

But...
- I do not get the same upgrades as AA elites, which isn't a big deal as I book the cabin I'm happy flying in. I often upgrade flights using Avios.

Maybe I'll change to AA's program, but honestly having BA Gold with the majority of travel within the US just feels like cheating.
I think this is a great strategy within one world because getting access to flagship lounges and flagship first checkin makes you feel like a CK however BA gold is much easier to attain and avios are a more valuable currency. Does Oneworld emerald get free main cabin extra or at least preferred seating? However sadly star alliance doesnít have a tier above star gold so crediting flights to say Lufthansa would be a horrible idea because the only benefit you get is free united club access but you would miss out on way more benefits. Like plus points etc and itís not like United gives Polaris lounge access like aa gives flagship lounge access to elites.
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Old Apr 28, 20, 5:13 pm
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Originally Posted by united 1k flyer View Post
I think this is a great strategy within one world because getting access to flagship lounges and flagship first checkin makes you feel like a CK however BA gold is much easier to attain and avios are a more valuable currency. Does Oneworld emerald get free main cabin extra or at least preferred seating? However sadly star alliance doesnít have a tier above star gold so crediting flights to say Lufthansa would be a horrible idea because the only benefit you get is free united club access but you would miss out on way more benefits. Like plus points etc and itís not like United gives Polaris lounge access like aa gives flagship lounge access to elites.
Yes to free MCE, I forgot to mention that.
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Old Apr 28, 20, 5:15 pm
  #5  
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Originally Posted by exLHRnowSFO View Post
Yes to free MCE, I forgot to mention that.
sounds almost better than EXP. However in the end it probably all just depends on how much someone values SWU and if they can use them.
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Old Apr 28, 20, 5:30 pm
  #6  
 
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Can't really speak towards DL, and while I may put UA 1K slightly over AA EXP if travelling domestic only, I'd put AA EXP signficantly over UA 1K if there is any signficant international travel.

A few random thoughts:

UA:
- UA in general has better domestic seats; more E+ seats available than AA MCE (E+ equivalent).
- More PP upgrades given for 1K vs. EXP SWUs


AA:
- CPU Upgrade % is higher on AA (likely due to SFO).
- Better lounges, on average. Access to F lounges while travelling on OW internationally, no matter what class of service (yes, there are a few limited exceptions, but still).
- Seat selections on partners (no issue on BA, seemingly always an issue on LH)
- I don't find AAs customer service to be all that bad as an EXP. I've called in several times recently and have gotten through in a short amount of time. Even had no issue getting refunds. Thankfully, I didn't have any tickets that required a refund on UA, but I have been following the horror show on the other thread.
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Old Apr 28, 20, 8:10 pm
  #7  
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Originally Posted by econ View Post
I'd put AA EXP signficantly over UA 1K if there is any signficant international travel.
I'd tend to agree. *G is pretty weak compared to OWE.
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Old Apr 28, 20, 8:55 pm
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BAEC Gold is nice but premium cabin Avios awards to/from the US are stupidly expensive due to BA’s added fees. Like $500-$1000 one way more compared to other programs. So if award redemptions are important I would consider something else.

Last edited by djmp; Apr 28, 20 at 9:17 pm
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Old Apr 29, 20, 4:51 am
  #9  
 
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Cant really compare AA to either UA or DL but
AA for the lounges.. especially outside of the US
SWU for me , in use 10/10 on any fare, which is a nice touch
Domestic for me.. is been 9/10.. and EXP do not need certs etc for domestic upgrades
no issues with the EXP call lines.. getting thru quick, even with the mess the airlines are in
OW partners.. they fly were I need to go, and BA will block seats for EXP.
I only wish AA would fly to more international cities in Asia ...

ok time to get a coffee refill
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Old Apr 29, 20, 4:57 am
  #10  
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The benefit that matters most to me as a 1K member is the 1K line and service. Everything else is nice-to-have but doesn't move my needle very much. I almost always buy premium cabin (US domestic and international), so preboard is nice but not essential (especially international I prefer to be last on the aircraft). Upgrades are near meaningless, E+ is not really relevant, etc etc. But when stuff hits the fan and things have to change quickly, 1K line handles it well, in my experience.
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Old Apr 29, 20, 8:33 am
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Originally Posted by united 1k flyer View Post
I

Please post your opinions , I am very interested to know how 1k ranks next to other top tier statuses especially international ones.
Interesting question, my strategy has to been to split my business between two programs, UA to have decent status to cover the dramas of US travels and when I joined the program the benefits were I thought quite good.I also have QF Plat , I was a legacy member from when I lived in Australia and I maintain Plat which is 1k equivalent through a number of QF metal flights when I am in Australia and longer hauls on CX around Asia/BA in Europe.I find the the whole OW Emerald experience lounge access et al much better than Star G and member recognition/treatment is as good if not better than UA treats it's own elites on UA metal. Of course you are spreading the miles around and to be honest not using QF points on QF metal is brutal but for me the travel life experience is worth the hit.
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Old Apr 29, 20, 8:50 am
  #12  
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Originally Posted by wanderingkev View Post
Interesting question, my strategy has to been to split my business between two programs, UA to have decent status to cover the dramas of US travels and when I joined the program the benefits were I thought quite good.I also have QF Plat , I was a legacy member from when I lived in Australia and I maintain Plat which is 1k equivalent through a number of QF metal flights when I am in Australia and longer hauls on CX around Asia/BA in Europe.I find the the whole OW Emerald experience lounge access et al much better than Star G and member recognition/treatment is as good if not better than UA treats it's own elites on UA metal. Of course you are spreading the miles around and to be honest not using QF points on QF metal is brutal but for me the travel life experience is worth the hit.
Does QF offer any upgrade instruments equivalent to United pluspoints.
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Old Apr 29, 20, 3:14 pm
  #13  
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Originally Posted by LondonElite View Post
But when stuff hits the fan and things have to change quickly, 1K line handles it well, in my experience.
+1

As with so many things, this is all about personal situations and preferences, I think. (Don't get me wrong; there's a reason I clicked on this thread, read it and am replying. ) For example, one of the reasons that I have not seriously considered switching to DL from UA is that my flying habits these past few years would routinely put me between 100,000 and 125,000 EQMs. And I never really doubted that United 1K > Delta Platinum. The additional 25K-mile requirement was always a deal breaker. And I had been hitting United spend levels. So it seemed that that wasn't going to be a problem, but I have no idea how things would have turned out this year.

I also think that United 1K based out of LAX > United 1K based out of SFO. It seems like the competition Up North really does water down the benefits. It seems to me that where you fly from and to factor in pretty heavily.

United's upgrade benefits at 1K are valuable to me, too, as I cannot buy tickets in J or F for my business travel; we are restricted to Economy. That's another personal situation that would cause people to change their answer, I suspect.

Unfortunately, I think my flight patterns are about to change, and I don't know if I'll be able to maintain 1K status after 2021. Good thing I hit MM status last year; that's something.


I have never seriously considered AA.
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Old Apr 29, 20, 3:55 pm
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So after I started this thread I became weirdly interested in top tier elite statuses around the world. I guess that was the point of this thread, to discover which one is the best and I think I may have found it.

Now I imagine most of you have never heard of this status before and I hadnít either but after years of research on the web 😊.... ok I may be over exaggerating, I found...

china Eastern platinum, the benefits are a combo of the awesome upgrade benefits of US airlines and the awesome lounge access benefits of European airlines and the modern business class hard product of the Asian airlines. The requirement is 100k miles flown.

It comes with Unlimited domestic upgrades within China (like the US airlines but the product is much better)

4 international upgrade certs (just like delta and AA) these have no fare class restrictions and are available 99.9% of the time.

Access to the China eastern first class lounge if traveling on any SkyTeam airline (just like LH hon circle or CX diamond and BA Concorde room card)

you can get award availability opened up for you and a companion in business on any flight. (Also award rates are very good, think 55k one way us to China in biz and 70k in first)

Finally they also get to choose one of the 3 options, this year they were

3 nights in a top hotel in china
a 777 simulator
so I forgot the third

Anyway these status seems remarkably generous. Iím very impressed. Eventually I would love to have a wiki on every single top tier status in the world and the top 5 best benefits of each and there can even be a ranking of best to worst. All compared to 1k of course. I mean we need to keep a reason to stay in the MileagePlus forum.

Also I would love to know if anyone can find a similar status to this one in comparable benefits. This has really spiked my interest.
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Old Apr 29, 20, 4:10 pm
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Originally Posted by united 1k flyer View Post
Does QF offer any upgrade instruments equivalent to United pluspoints.
No, just the opportunity to access upgrades with points and they will under conditions open up discounted points travel. So that is a downside, I would say in QF's favor that I have been complementary upgraded from coach to business or business to first many times .UA has done that for me on average about once every million miles. But of course hope is not a great strategy.I tend to use my QF points on RDU /LHR routefor the family , use the points for coach then buy up for $150 to PE.
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