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Will UA? AA to allow elite status benefit on BE fares (but no status/mileage earning)

Will UA? AA to allow elite status benefit on BE fares (but no status/mileage earning)

Old Sep 6, 20, 10:50 am
  #1  
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Will UA? AA to allow elite status benefit on BE fares (but no status/mileage earning)

Upgrade, better seating, same-day change, etc privileges. UA to follow?

https://www.aa.com/i18n/aadvantage-p...am-updates.jsp
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Old Sep 6, 20, 11:09 am
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So what is the difference with non-BE fares? If none, this just represents a fare drop for the informed. BTW...... check your PM.

Last edited by LAXOGG; Sep 6, 20 at 11:19 am
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Old Sep 6, 20, 11:11 am
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Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH View Post
Upgrade, better seating, same-day change, etc privileges. UA to follow?
And, starting January 1, zero EQM/EQD/EQS for BE purchases. So, you can use your status benefits, but you can't accrue toward requalification.

Originally Posted by LAXOGG View Post
So what is the difference with non-BE fares? If none, this just represents a fare drop for the informed. BTW...... check you PM.
In addition to the above, you're limited to same-day changes; you can't cancel a trip and move it to a wholly different date, or a different destination, for example.
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Old Sep 6, 20, 11:20 am
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
And, starting January 1, zero EQM/EQD/EQS for BE purchases. So, you can use your status benefits, but you can't accrue toward requalification.


In addition to the above, you're limited to same-day changes; you can't cancel a trip and move it to a wholly different date, or a different destination, for example.
Yeah, but the only time I've bought BE are on l.t. 3 hour segments w/ significant price differential that would otherwise be part of a multi-city itinerary (ie regular r.t + short BE segment cheaper than multi-city). For me, I'd probably still be restricting my purchases to those special instances. The premier benefits and cost savings would outweigh the qualifying losses for me.
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Old Sep 6, 20, 11:32 am
  #5  
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I also suspect that the elimination of change fees will simply make itself felt in a number of ways, the most self-evident will be the widening of the gap between BE and Main Cabin fares. This will create the old non-refundable fare all over again, but post-pandemic waiver, it will be inflexible, e.g. no changes fee or otherwise.

Winners & losers under this policy will be determined by who needs and can pay for what.
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Old Sep 6, 20, 11:34 am
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Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH View Post
Yeah, but the only time I've bought BE are on l.t. 3 hour segments w/ significant price differential that would otherwise be part of a multi-city itinerary (ie regular r.t + short BE segment cheaper than multi-city). For me, I'd probably still be restricting my purchases to those special instances. The premier benefits and cost savings would outweigh the qualifying losses for me.
Oh, don't get me wrong: if we can't get rid of BE entirely (and reduce the regular fares accordingly), this is the next-best thing, and I hope UA follows suit. Assuming that they would also make the fares PQD-ineligible*, I would then treat BE the same way I treat an award redemption: if the savings is sufficient, it would make sense to give up the earnings. I just wanted to point out that the downside could be pretty significant for somebody who would purchase BE fares frequently.

Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
I also suspect that the elimination of change fees will simply make itself felt in a number of ways, the most self-evident will be the widening of the gap between BE and Main Cabin fares.
I just don't see it. UA wants to sell fewer BE fares, not more. I think you're more likely to see fares rise across the board (once people are flying again, anyway) while the differential between BE and regular economy remains about the same as it is today. If the gap gets too wide, even business travel policies are going to start allowing BE purchases, and businesses will just start telling employees just to throw the tickets away if necessary.

* If they keep PQD eligibility and restore full premier benefits, suddenly I'd find them quite compelling for a number of my domestic trips -- but I suspect that's more than UA is willing to offer.
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Old Sep 6, 20, 11:39 am
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
...
* If they keep PQD eligibility and restore full premier benefits, suddenly I'd find them quite compelling for a number of my domestic trips -- but I suspect that's more than UA is willing to offer.
Yup - I think UA might be OK w/ allowing elite benefits, but they don't want FFers start buying a higher percentage of BE fares - and in my case, I probably wouldn't, if AA is matched (are your reading this UA Insider? )
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Old Sep 6, 20, 11:57 am
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
Oh, don't get me wrong: if we can't get rid of BE entirely (and reduce the regular fares accordingly), this is the next-best thing, and I hope UA follows suit. Assuming that they would also make the fares PQD-ineligible*, I would then treat BE the same way I treat an award redemption: if the savings is sufficient, it would make sense to give up the earnings. I just wanted to point out that the downside could be pretty significant for somebody who would purchase BE fares frequently.


I just don't see it. UA wants to sell fewer BE fares, not more. I think you're more likely to see fares rise across the board (once people are flying again, anyway) while the differential between BE and regular economy remains about the same as it is today. If the gap gets too wide, even business travel policies are going to start allowing BE purchases, and businesses will just start telling employees just to throw the tickets away if necessary.

* If they keep PQD eligibility and restore full premier benefits, suddenly I'd find them quite compelling for a number of my domestic trips -- but I suspect that's more than UA is willing to offer.
Exactly. But, the elimination of change fees likely means that UA (and other carriers) will be just fine selling more BE tickets. Indeed, because most people likely fly the ticket as booked, with a broad enough difference between BE and Main, businesses will require BE and suffer the occasional total loss on a ticket.

That, of course, is a problem for the individual traveler.
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Old Sep 6, 20, 12:32 pm
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Originally Posted by jsloan View Post
If the gap gets too wide, even business travel policies are going to start allowing BE purchases, and businesses will just start telling employees just to throw the tickets away if necessary.
probably depends on what businesses, and if the fare differential gets completely ridiculous. But letís not forget before all this, many companies were happy to buy flexible fares, at what, 3-5x or more of discount fares to get free changes. And while business travel does make changes more than personal, how often were those fares more than they needed? In many cases, unless a trip was changed 3 times, it still would have been cheaper to book the discount fare.

id guess that when businesses eventually do get back to traveling, theyíll be buying regular fares again. With free changes on any ticket that isnít BE, Iím guessing its more benefitial to buy regular - it will likely be higher than typical discount fare previously, but lower than the previously available flexible fare.

Who knows though. While eliminating change fees for now - maybe in the next couple to even few years, makes sense, I must say Iím quite surprised how big UA marketed this as a permanent change. Quite honestly, Iím always of the impression one should never say never, and it seems to tie their hands if they want to change strategies again, say, 5 or 10 years down the road.

remember several years ago when UA got rid of close-in award fees, only to being them back again a few years later? Itís going to be a lot harder for them to do this now with change fees. And what happens if DL and AA re-implement change fees. UA is going to have a hard time trying to justify it if they want to match.
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Old Sep 6, 20, 12:48 pm
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Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Exactly. But, the elimination of change fees likely means that UA (and other carriers) will be just fine selling more BE tickets.
Your logic is backwards. The elimination of change fees -- aka, a second source of revenue -- means that the carriers will be even less willing to sell BE tickets. Remember, the entire point of BE was to raise fares in a way that preserved deniability. Every BE fare that they sold was a failure.

Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
Indeed, because most people likely fly the ticket as booked, with a broad enough difference between BE and Main, businesses will require BE and suffer the occasional total loss on a ticket.
Right, which argues for a smaller differential, not a larger one.

Originally Posted by emcampbe View Post
probably depends on what businesses, and if the fare differential gets completely ridiculous. But letís not forget before all this, many companies were happy to buy flexible fares, at what, 3-5x or more of discount fares to get free changes.
How true is that, really, though? Are businesses buying flexible tickets because they didn't care about the cost? Or are they buying flexible tickets because there are no discount tickets available, either due to a Saturday-night stay requirement or an advance purchase requirement?

Originally Posted by emcampbe View Post
And while business travel does make changes more than personal, how often were those fares more than they needed? In many cases, unless a trip was changed 3 times, it still would have been cheaper to book the discount fare.
I mean, I can't speak for other businesses, but my company's policy is to buy discount (non-BE) fares whenever possible, and the company will reimburse change fees as needed. My father works in a different industry, and his company's policy is similar, although he's allowed to buy BE when it makes sense.

Originally Posted by emcampbe View Post
id guess that when businesses eventually do get back to traveling, theyíll be buying regular fares again. With free changes on any ticket that isnít BE, Iím guessing its more benefitial to buy regular - it will likely be higher than typical discount fare previously, but lower than the previously available flexible fare.
I mean, I think you're right, but I think that's because all fares will be increasing, not because the BE->regular economy spread will be increasing.

Originally Posted by emcampbe View Post
Who knows though. While eliminating change fees for now - maybe in the next couple to even few years, makes sense, I must say Iím quite surprised how big UA marketed this as a permanent change. Quite honestly, Iím always of the impression one should never say never, and it seems to tie their hands if they want to change strategies again, say, 5 or 10 years down the road.

remember several years ago when UA got rid of close-in award fees, only to being them back again a few years later? Itís going to be a lot harder for them to do this now with change fees. And what happens if DL and AA re-implement change fees. UA is going to have a hard time trying to justify it if they want to match.
You're talking about a company that has had no problems making retroactive changes to lifetime programs. When change fees become economical again, you can rest assured that UA will find a way to spin it as an improvement. For example, they might start by making BE fares changeable with a fee.
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Old Sep 6, 20, 1:34 pm
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We'll see. I predict a significantly greater differential between BE and Main as a means of driving business traffic to BE, changing the equation from the past where the differential was designed to drive business traffic to Main.
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Old Sep 6, 20, 5:48 pm
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As long as Basic Economy (BE) still counts toward Million Miler (MM) status, I will put up with whatever arcane conditions UA wants to require of BE pax.

/s/ MM Aspirant
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Old Sep 6, 20, 6:34 pm
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Originally Posted by IAH-OIL-TRASH View Post
UA to follow?
There is no point. The benefit costs nothing. But you need to at least 2k PQP to qualify as Silver.
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Old Sep 6, 20, 10:40 pm
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I say no. My reasoning is that DL has always allowed carry-ons in BE, and AA has followed since 2018. While UA prides itself on having the most restrictive BE product.
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Old Sep 6, 20, 11:36 pm
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These days, I'm a ff that's gotten mostly BE tickets.
Except for the redeye SFO-EWR, last flight of the day for biz routes like SFO-SAN and statistical anomalies like EWR-SJU that are always packed, almost everything else I've seen gets you a row to yourself in BE. Not sure how long this will last. The extra perks of other classes are next to nothing.
Funny thing is that in IRROPS, agents have been putting me into exit rows, E+ or premium economy on rebooking. The pursers will look at my BE boarding pass, scratch their heads. How did you get up here? In these instances, I've always been in too much of a hurry to even know what cabin I'm in until I find my seat.
Lately, in my last couple bookings for identical itineraries, there were no BE fares to be found.
For the fuller flights, when the back of the plane boards first, it's the front part of economy that winds up with no overhead space.

Last edited by Long Zhiren; Sep 6, 20 at 11:54 pm
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