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US/AA merger- MASTER DISCUSSION THREAD/incl 'when will US leave STAR'

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US/AA merger- MASTER DISCUSSION THREAD/incl 'when will US leave STAR'

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Old Dec 8, 13, 9:45 am   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
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There is an existing thread in the AA forum that may be useful to US and AA Flyertalkers:
US-AA Merger: Just the Facts thread

As facts become posted, that should be the place to look.

Merger discussion, speculation, and other questions can be directed here, or the similar thread in the AA forum:
MERGER: US and AA 9 Dec 2013 and implications for AA flyers (new)

AA - US Merger Agreement / Announcement / DOJ Action Discussion (consolidated, and now closed to new posts)
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Old May 20, 13, 3:48 pm
  #646  
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Programs: US CP ; LH FTL ; *G
Posts: 1,630
Originally Posted by BoeingBoy View Post
US generally doesn't do matches, preferring paid trials instead - pay a fee for an elite level then fly X miles on US metal within 90 days (X depends on elite level sought). US may offer corporate level matches if the corporation offers enough potential business. I think AA may have something similar.

Jim
AA has similar 90-day point-based challenges ( only to GLD and PLT ). However, last year, AA was matching status to UA elites immediately, sometimes with the subsequent challenge to retain the status or to get SWUs.
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Old May 22, 13, 8:47 pm
  #647  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: LAX
Programs: UA Lifetime Gold , AA Lifetime Gold (1.2M), WN-A List, SPG PLT
Posts: 12
What do you like about US

As a loyal AA and UA customer, I curious to hear what fellow road warriors like about US and hope is retained in the AA/US merger, conversely what do you hope goes away?
learjet1969 is offline  
Old May 22, 13, 9:12 pm
  #648  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: BOS, PIT
Programs: US Chairman, Delta Silver, UA Premier, Hyatt Platinum
Posts: 719
As a Chairman, I am totally happy with just about everything at US Airways.

I really like US's upgrade system. I'm 100% for upgrades so far this year on 48 segments that include a lot of hub to hub flights and quite a few trans-cons. I really do think as a Chairman, that you are the #1 priority. I've gotten excellent service during IRROPS, and I've always found the dedicated phone line to be awesome.

That being said, US lags behind the other legacy carriers with regards to technology. I'm fine with the elimination of PTVs and inflight entertainment, but give me a power port to charge my iPad or laptop, please.

And, can we please get a friggin' US Airways app?
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Old May 22, 13, 9:19 pm
  #649  
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My guess is that US CPs are rather happy with where the program is right now, and don't really want any changes. Better tech would be really nice - like a website and an app with functionality similar to UA but which would actually work as intended.
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Old May 22, 13, 10:23 pm
  #650  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Programs: Marriott LT Platinum+Titanium Elite, Hyatt Globalist, AA EXP, Delta Plat, United Silver, AX Biz Cent
Posts: 669
As a Platinum on DL and US (both through AX Centurion), I'd say that it's pretty clear there are WAY less elites on US, so the chance of upgrades is much higher.

That said, I think the service is not so great on US, and I only use US when the routing is significantly more convenient than on DL.
some dude is offline  
Old May 22, 13, 10:35 pm
  #651  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Charlotte, NC
Programs: AA Exec Plat, RCplatinum, Hyatt diamond
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Originally Posted by some dude View Post
As a Platinum on DL and US (both through AX Centurion), I'd say that it's pretty clear there are WAY less elites on US, so the chance of upgrades is much higher.

That said, I think the service is not so great on US, and I only use US when the routing is significantly more convenient than on DL.
Upgrade percentage higher
Much better award availability

Agree that Delta has better service, but have to tell you USAirways is getting better each year and the gap is narrowing. On the technology front however.....
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Old May 22, 13, 10:43 pm
  #652  
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Originally Posted by some dude View Post
. . .That said, I think the service is not so great on US, and I only use US when the routing is significantly more convenient than on DL.
Can you say how exactly DL service is better?

I've flown on pretty much every major US carrier BUT DL, and didn't notice UA or AA service to be significantly better than US.

Do you get personal escort and foot massages in Sky Club if you fly DL F?
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Old May 22, 13, 11:05 pm
  #653  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Charlotte, NC
Programs: AA Exec Plat, RCplatinum, Hyatt diamond
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Originally Posted by burlax View Post
Can you say how exactly DL service is better?

I've flown on pretty much every major US carrier BUT DL, and didn't notice UA or AA service to be significantly better than US.

Do you get personal escort and foot massages in Sky Club if you fly DL F?
It's all perception of course but was a twice a week flyer with Piedmont out of Wilmington in the Stone Age. Knew every flight crew and gate agent. Couldn't even come up with a bad experience if I tried. Then came the merger. Even in the same uniform you could tell who was Piedmont or US Air. One miserable customer service experience after another.

Switched to Delta and really enjoyed service. Could see a noticeable difference even through NW merger. Went back over the years and tried flying US again and there never seemed to be any consistent service. Could go 3-4 flights and never get a PBD or find anyone smiling especially during AW merger. Because of schedule I starting using USAirways more frequently 2 years ago. Flight after flight service got more consistent. I enjoy flying them now.

I know it's a tough and demanding job and I don't mean to disparage anyone but my perception has been that Delta rank and file were more loyal to the airline and it showed in the customer experience. I think it's swinging the other way now.

Oh, about the foot rub....you'd have to actually get a set in a Sky Club first
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Old May 23, 13, 8:07 am
  #654  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Programs: Marriott LT Platinum+Titanium Elite, Hyatt Globalist, AA EXP, Delta Plat, United Silver, AX Biz Cent
Posts: 669
Originally Posted by burlax View Post
Can you say how exactly DL service is better?

I've flown on pretty much every major US carrier BUT DL, and didn't notice UA or AA service to be significantly better than US.

Do you get personal escort and foot massages in Sky Club if you fly DL F?
There are meals in First Class on flights from LGA-FLL on DL. There is no meal on US on DCA-FLL.

USAir has flight attendants aggressively trying to hawk their credit card. Delta may briefly mention it, if at all.
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Old May 23, 13, 9:54 am
  #655  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: IAH
Programs: UA Silver, Marriott Gold, Hilton Gold
Posts: 209
Some of the blogs are reporting that AA will not be doing soft landings for elites who do not requalify for their current tier this year. Looks like they're doing what they can to thin down their bloated elite ranks before the merger.

Email from AA, as reported by One Mile at a Time:

Can you believe we’re almost halfway through 2013? Hopefully you’re on track to achieve your goal of elite status qualification for 2014. To check how many elite qualifying points, miles and segments you’ve earned thus far, simply log in to your account.

Previously, based on your prior year status, you benefited from an exception to receive a higher level of elite status than you actually earned. Next year, regardless of your current status, your elite status for the next membership year will be based on your elite qualifying activity in 2013.

We invite you to achieve the highest level you can to earn the greatest benefits. You can also find details about qualifying for elite status here.
jr57 is offline  
Old May 23, 13, 10:02 am
  #656  
Moderator: American AAdvantage & Marriott Bonvoy
 
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Programs: American ExPlat; Marriott/SPG Lifetime Plat; Hyatt Globalist
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Originally Posted by jr57 View Post
Some of the blogs are reporting that AA will not be doing soft landings for elites who do not requalify for their current tier this year. Looks like they're doing what they can to thin down their bloated elite ranks before the merger.
I suspect this is to bring things into alignment with the US approach: If they want the higher tier, SELL it to them.
AZ Travels the World is offline  
Old May 23, 13, 10:09 am
  #657  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Gilbert, AZ
Programs: AA Executive Platinum, HH Diamond, National Executive
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Originally Posted by AZ Travels the World View Post
I suspect this is to bring things into alignment with the US approach: If they want the higher tier, SELL it to them.
Last year it seemed like everyone and their mother was getting a soft landing. I made the "decision" to buy up on the 31st of December as there was a chance I would use the Certs (unfortunately I didn't), a few days later everyone was getting the bump!

It is worth it to me to take advantage of buy up. Hopefully, people can take advantage of the US CC and Club purchase.
WiscAZ is offline  
Old May 23, 13, 2:47 pm
  #658  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Washington, DC
Programs: US-CP, UA, Marriott Rewards, HHonors, Avis,
Posts: 4,549
Originally Posted by learjet1969 View Post
As a loyal AA and UA customer, I curious to hear what fellow road warriors like about US and hope is retained in the AA/US merger, conversely what do you hope goes away?
Things I like, and want to stay:

-High upgrade percentage as CP
-Lucrative promos (would love to see some flavor of Grand Slam make a return)
-Excellent customer service out of the CP line (I know the formal CP desk has been dismantled but far more often than not I still get outstanding phone service)
-Star Alliance, although we all know that is a goner. OP just asked what I wanted!
-Really consistent, good vegetarian meals. I'm not a vegetarian but knowing that the vegetarian meals are consistently good means I am rarely stuck with something that sounded better than it ended up being
-Pretty good partner award levels
-Being able to buy up a level of status. If I'm 10k miles short in December, I'd rather just fork over a little money and be done for the year instead of trying to find one more MR to do.

Things I want them to get rid of:

-The godforsaken credit card pitch. Seriously. That has got to go.
-Technology that belongs in the Smithsonian. US has always been bottom-of-the-barrel in all things IT. Let me book partner awards online. Let me see where my inbound aircraft is coming from. Let me not have to clear the cache on my ipad on a weekly basis. Let me request upgrades online (miles/certs).
-DCA Gate 35A. Always chaos, always a mess. If you're going to run all the RJ's out of the same gate, so be it. Just take over the next gate too and keep the flocks of people from taking over the whole hallway.
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Old May 23, 13, 6:53 pm
  #659  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Programs: US, HH
Posts: 719
Originally Posted by learjet1969 View Post
As a loyal AA and UA customer, I curious to hear what fellow road warriors like about US and hope is retained in the AA/US merger, conversely what do you hope goes away?
To add to some of the other likes so far:
- the no-fuss automatic upgrades. I either get them or I don't. As a silver I got a good number of upgrades and as a gold even moreso.
- ability to select exit row seats at reservation time, and if not available, they have preferred seats towards the front both aisle and window.
- I actually like the reservation functionality on the web - the fact that the flights are each priced and listed individually as opposed to in pairs. It makes it easier and quicker for me to build my trip rather than having to wade through multiple pairs to see which one works best for me.
- ability to move-up, even if only within 6 hours of original flight, for no fee.

And to add to the wants:
- one-way awards (which AA already has so presumably we'll eventually get that)
- the ability to book mileage upgrades online, or be placed on a waitlist, so I don't have to call every day
- have some low fare finder functionality for open-jaw/multi-city trips.
- and generally to be able to do more online in terms of booking partner flights, be it paid or award.
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Old May 24, 13, 9:37 am
  #660  
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: SFO
Posts: 3,601
I'm a Silver, and from the perspective of a bottom tier elite (a kettle in costume, if you will), I think US has the best program for me.

I should add that I probably don't fit the profile of most of the posters here. I fly mostly for leisure, if you can call visiting family leisure. We moved to Maine, with family in PHL, PHX, SAN and most of our friends near DCA. Doing 25k a year to keep Silver isn't much of a challenge even if we never take a single trip for work or for ourselves. I also don't generally buy revenue F without a compelling reason (flying alone with child) and a good price, such as when US prices everything out of PWM at $650 each way on a flexible A fare. Meaning, I don't HAVE to sit up front, but I do like it.

What I like:

- Trial status. The cart before the horse works. If I hold up my end of the bargain, I get to keep the benefits. This was how I got started, and my wife did the same this year.
- Bottom tier companion upgrades. These are nice because in my situation, we fly a lot of short segments where there isn't a lot of revenue F. I haven't kept track, but I'm at or close to 100% on PWM-PHL/DCA and I believe 50% on PWM-CLT. We usually get 3 seats in F with two Silvers on the PNR, at least on those trips where we've purchased a seat for our infant (mostly the west coast trips).
- Priority check-in, security and boarding at the bottom tier.
- Access to the preferred desk. I've had great customer service.
- Automatic upgrade process
- Exit row at booking
- Free bag

What I don't like:

- Can't book partner awards online
- Can't request mileage upgrades online, or even see if there is inventory available before calling in to do so
- Can't courtesy cancel online - minor, I don't do it often
- Still have to pay for choice seats
- No app, no seat selection on mobile website
- Having to go to the airport for a moveup. I'd like to confirm online before heading out.

I'd like for them to keep the US program in the merger, but move to AA's systems. I'd also be ok with them going to 500 mile certs for upgrades just so that I might sometime have a shot at a TCON or hub-hub upgrade, but the tradeoff would be the free upgrade on the short segments that I almost always get. AA prices their 500mi certs reasonably, though, so it would just come down to attempting to upgrade where you really want it. I see no problem with that. I think more of us would end up in F when we really valued it that way.
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