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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
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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 Feb 14, 13, 11:43 am
  #106  
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: DCA
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Originally Posted by GUWonder View Post
US will still be in Star Alliance this summer.



It's AA that charges the high fees on award tickets with BA flights, and AA likes it as is because it increases the revenue AA gets.
I'm not so sure that the award fee is going to AA--with the ATI, I think that BA may be getting some or all of the fee. But regardless, it doesn't really matter to me whether AA or BA gets the award fee for BA bookings; the result is the same: I will not book BA TATL awards.
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Old Feb 14, 13, 11:45 am
  #107  
Formerly known as I_Hate_US_Airways
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
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Thumbs up Good News - Bad News

Bad News

1. Airfares will probably go up
2. Service will be diminished in certain cities (like Phoenix)
3. Less options in One World for European travel
4. Loss of free upgrades for most elites

Good News

1. Improved domestic network
2. More redemption options in the Advantage Program
3. Direct flights to Europe on BA (love it)!
4. Free domestic upgrades for the top tier elites (no more having to compete with some Low Roller for first class seat).
5. No more double connections when flying to South America from several US cities.
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Old Feb 14, 13, 11:46 am
  #108  
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Originally Posted by TheFlyingMan View Post
I was just about to takeoff when we got the official news of the merger. I just completed 4 transcon segments and sat up front in all 4 as a SP (that won't happen again on the new AA). A lot of FC was talking about the merger and it seemed that the following came up (I have to say, it was unusual to have mult rows all talking about it together):

1) People in PHX and CLT are concerned about losing their hubs
2) Lower-level elites (SP/GP) may not get upgrades anymore and the system for getting them well likely change
3) Even CPs and Plats were concerned with the huge influx of all the AA higher tier elites, there will be a lot more segments sitting in the back

We on FT are all concerned about switch for *A to OW... surprisingly didn't come up much on any of my 4 flights.

Seems most concerning thing from all tier levels is that upgrades may be a thing of the past, esp for SP/GP.
I think there are two sets of concerns: those who fly domestically and those who fly internationally.

If you fly domestically, I can the concerns being in line with what you're saying. For those that fly internationally, other factors will come into play as SP/GP won't be riding up front without miles or cash.
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Old Feb 14, 13, 11:49 am
  #109  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: ORD
Programs: AA EXP,2MM, DL Gold,Starwood PLT
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Originally Posted by thomwithanh View Post
I think they meant obtaining regulatory approval and completing the merger on paper by Q3 2013. Actual integration will probably still be a year off from then.
That's exactly what that meant, nothing more. Integration will not even start to begin until the deal closes. So sometime after that is when US will leave Star etc, but we have no date on that. Im sure that info will be released at some later date.
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Old Feb 14, 13, 11:50 am
  #110  
PHL
 
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Originally Posted by I_Can_Fly_US_Airways View Post
Bad News

...
4. Loss of free upgrades for most elites

Good News

...

4. Free domestic upgrades for the top tier elites (no more having to compete with some Low Roller for first class seat).
This is assuming AAdvantage won't change that part of the program. It's also possible that they would match the competition and begin giving upgrades away for free to elites instaed of requiring the 500 mile E-upgrades.

I do hope, however, that they allow us to combine our lifetime mileage towards lifetime gold and plat....
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Old Feb 14, 13, 11:58 am
  #111  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
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I posted a list of merger issues here. Although written from an AA perspective maybe it will help:
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Old Feb 14, 13, 11:59 am
  #112  
 
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Originally Posted by Alphaguy View Post
Nope... anyone know if AA uses Sabre or Shares? I thought they used the first.... ah... I remember that debacle...
AA has always been on Sabre.. they created it. The merged carrier also is likely to be on Sabre. AA essentially get's reservations for free based on the deal of separation from AMR back in 01. AA is also currently working with Sabre on a new generation reservations platform.
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Old Feb 14, 13, 12:01 pm
  #113  
 
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Originally Posted by cdepks View Post
Can you elaborate more on why UA is so bad? I rarely flew them, but never had any issues, I am considering the jump too for *A reasons to Europe...
I'm not the original poster, but I think I can respond to this. I'm in PIT, and switched over to UA in the beginning of 2008, when I felt that US routes and benefits were going downhill. (I had been with US for 8 years before that, earning anywhere from GP to CP during that time.) Not to threadjack, but this might be useful to others considering making the jump to UA.

For the first ~3 years, UA was great. I made it up to 1K (=CP) level and stayed there, and I felt incredibly valued as a FF. Both when UA used 500-milers for upgrades and when they went to unlimited upgrades, I sat up in the front easily 90+% of the time. Moreover, my companions were also upgraded at the time window, and I had instruments (tons of CR-1s & 6-8 SWUs each year) that I could use for upgrades for my family on long-haul domestic (like to Hawaii) and international flights.

However, after the merger, IME, the following happened:

1) UA started flying more RJs to PIT from ORD, and more props (vs RJs) to IAD. Not my favorite kind of planes, and a degradation in upgrade availability.

2) The fare differential for upgradable international flights increased. To use a SWU - now a GPU - requires a minimum fare class. That used to be on the order of ~$100 or so. For US-Europe flights (in general) that has now increased by a LOT. (It can still be reasonable on US-Asia flights, depending on the route.) Since you aren't guaranteed that the SWU will clear, this is a more expensive gamble.

3) The frequency of my complimentary domestic upgrades decreased. I started getting upgraded only 50% of the time, and most of those only cleared right before boarding, rather than in advance. That change in the upgrade window meant that I had to haunt the gate, rather than stay in a club or something. Also, it means that my companion no longer inherits my status for an upgrade clearing, which generally means that the companion doesn't clear at all.

4) The availability for instrument-based upgrades went downhill. It used to be that with a little advance planning, you could find R-space (upgrade space) a few months in advance. That has not completely disappeared, but it is much sparser. Also, there has been a big decrease in the number of CR-1s/RPUs (regional instruments) that you can earn. It used to be an easy 8 per year for a 1K, and now it is 4.

So, if you are used to sitting up front on US, especially as a mid-level flyer (GP or PP), you will not have the same experience on UA. As I said above, as a 1K, the highest tier (except for purely revenue-based elites, the GS), I had less than a 50% success rate. My husband is a GP, and he can count his upgrades on 1 hand. UA greatly emphasizes selling upgrades rather than giving them to elites (much more so than US, IMHO), and often targets those offers at non-elites specifically. If you search the UA thread for "TOD" or "HOD" you will find numerous examples of this.
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Old Feb 14, 13, 12:03 pm
  #114  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
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We have been contemplating a move to BZN for a while. With no OW carriers anywhere near BZN I think this spells the end for me with US. And that sucks because I have been CP for quite a while. Now the hard part of getting status match with UA and moving on.
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Old Feb 14, 13, 12:08 pm
  #115  
 
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First rumor is that US will move all flights to A Concourse at CLT.
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Old Feb 14, 13, 12:17 pm
  #116  
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Originally Posted by mechteach View Post
I'm not the original poster, but I think I can respond to this. I'm in PIT, and switched over to UA in the beginning of 2008, when I felt that US routes and benefits were going downhill. (I had been with US for 8 years before that, earning anywhere from GP to CP during that time.) Not to threadjack, but this might be useful to others considering making the jump to UA.

For the first ~3 years, UA was great. I made it up to 1K (=CP) level and stayed there, and I felt incredibly valued as a FF. Both when UA used 500-milers for upgrades and when they went to unlimited upgrades, I sat up in the front easily 90+% of the time. Moreover, my companions were also upgraded at the time window, and I had instruments (tons of CR-1s & 6-8 SWUs each year) that I could use for upgrades for my family on long-haul domestic (like to Hawaii) and international flights.

However, after the merger, IME, the following happened:

1) UA started flying more RJs to PIT from ORD, and more props (vs RJs) to IAD. Not my favorite kind of planes, and a degradation in upgrade availability.

2) The fare differential for upgradable international flights increased. To use a SWU - now a GPU - requires a minimum fare class. That used to be on the order of ~$100 or so. For US-Europe flights (in general) that has now increased by a LOT. (It can still be reasonable on US-Asia flights, depending on the route.) Since you aren't guaranteed that the SWU will clear, this is a more expensive gamble.

3) The frequency of my complimentary domestic upgrades decreased. I started getting upgraded only 50% of the time, and most of those only cleared right before boarding, rather than in advance. That change in the upgrade window meant that I had to haunt the gate, rather than stay in a club or something. Also, it means that my companion no longer inherits my status for an upgrade clearing, which generally means that the companion doesn't clear at all.

4) The availability for instrument-based upgrades went downhill. It used to be that with a little advance planning, you could find R-space (upgrade space) a few months in advance. That has not completely disappeared, but it is much sparser. Also, there has been a big decrease in the number of CR-1s/RPUs (regional instruments) that you can earn. It used to be an easy 8 per year for a 1K, and now it is 4.

So, if you are used to sitting up front on US, especially as a mid-level flyer (GP or PP), you will not have the same experience on UA. As I said above, as a 1K, the highest tier (except for purely revenue-based elites, the GS), I had less than a 50% success rate. My husband is a GP, and he can count his upgrades on 1 hand. UA greatly emphasizes selling upgrades rather than giving them to elites (much more so than US, IMHO), and often targets those offers at non-elites specifically. If you search the UA thread for "TOD" or "HOD" you will find numerous examples of this.
I'll +1 this as I was the one it was originally directed to. Mechteach summed it up pretty well.

TOD/HOD offers are what really suck on UA these days. To those that aren't familiar with UA, TOD/HOD refers to upgrades being sold for Tens of Dollars, or Hundreds of Dollars on international routes. US sells upgrades, but only does so after all elites have been upgraded and they have seats left over. UA tries to sell seats out from under elites and then gives them what's leftover. The problem with this is that general members are often offered significantly lower prices for upgrades than 1Ks. So the 1K sits in the back while the Kettle sits in front on a cheap upgrade.

UA also tends to treat every elite the same, regardless of how much they fly. The 1K is often treated no better than the Silver. UA used to treat its FFs very well, but that's changed since the merger completed. The famous 1K line/desk is gone.

UA's hurting badly now as a lot of people have left, ironically for AA. However, its leadership seems to think it can make up the difference selling cheap upgrades to Kettles.

The SWU situation certainly sucks on UA, but it's no better on DL either. DL has to buy even higher fares as only Y/B/M can be upgraded.

Bottom line is that things suck, IMO. While we don't know what's going to happen with DM/AA, we do know things aren't terribly rosy at their competitors either.

In my mind, moving over to UA would pretty much be foregoing upgrades as I expect them to be nonexistent.
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Old Feb 14, 13, 12:22 pm
  #117  
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Originally Posted by planeluvr View Post
First rumor is that US will move all flights to A Concourse at CLT.
^^^
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Old Feb 14, 13, 12:31 pm
  #118  
 
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Originally Posted by Superguy View Post
^^^
Or make E even bigger and put them all there
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Old Feb 14, 13, 12:37 pm
  #119  
 
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Originally Posted by Superguy View Post
You can change the settings to show 40 posts/page in your control panel.
Only way to view FT. ^
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Old Feb 14, 13, 12:39 pm
  #120  
 
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The AA thread is at 500 messages so far....
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