Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Discontinued Programs/Partners > US Airways | Dividend Miles (Pre-Consolidation with American Airlines)
Reload this Page >

Flying on American Airlines operated flight with DM Chairman's status

Flying on American Airlines operated flight with DM Chairman's status

 
Old Apr 8, 14, 10:31 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Programs: American Airlines Aadvantage EXP
Posts: 6
Flying on American Airlines operated flight with DM Chairman's status

So hopefully I find a place online to post this. I am writing it on my way back home to CA on an American Airlines operated flight from JFK to LAX. There are some areas where you feel just like an American Executive Platinum member (the equivalent to Chairman's) and other areas where you know you have not been fully integrated into the "new American Airlines" family.

Check-In Counters/Luggage: Unlike the 2 tiers offered by US Airways at most airports for check-in, American has 3 tiers for check-in. This was the case at both airports (LAX & JFK). The first class/executive platinum check-in at American was available to me as a Chairman's member. It appears that US airways Gold & Silver preferred members would use the Business Class check-in on American. Luggage was all tagged with one world priority status & our bags did arrive before the others at both airports. On the same reservation, my travel companion and I would have been able to check-in 3 fifty lbs bags each.

Security: I was surprised to find there is no priority security lane at Terminal 4 in LAX! I had a TSA pre check approval on my boarding pass, but unfortunately my traveling companion (booked under the same reservation) did not so we had to wait in a rather long regular security line. At terminal 8 in JFK, there is a priority security line and we (as well as all tier status members from both airlines or the one world alliance) were able to use it. This priority security lane at JFK is separate from the TSA pre check lane (which is also present).

Club Access: I was able to use my US Airways club membership to access the Admirals club at both LAX & JFK. The LAX club attendant let me in without any problem. However, she did want to look at my US Airways club card in more detail for her own knowledge because she said she had not seen one before. I was quite impressed that there was a shower available for use at the Admirals club in JFK. The Admirals clubs at both these airports seemed nicer than the 3 US Airways clubs in Phoenix & the old (now closed) LAX terminal 1 branch. I would say the Admirals clubs I visited were on par with the more upscale US Airways clubs in Charlotte & Philadelphia. What I found most interesting about the Admirals club is that there is free food, but also restaurant style food for purchase. The bartender can pour you a free soda from the fountain or you can purchase a bottle of soda. Similar to the US Airways club, there are house beer & wine selections which are available free of charge and then other types of wine, beer & alcoholic beverages available for purchase.

Seat Assignment: I was able to choose our preferred seats in economy class at the time of booking by entering my US Airways dividend miles number into the American Airlines website. Interestingly enough, I could have also bought a ticket for the same American Airlines flight on the US Airways website for the same price. However, if I did that, the US Airways website would not have allowed me to choose my seats online. I would think American may have allowed me to pick my seats if I called in but I'm not sure because I didn't need to do that. It just seems like an extra step so I would recommend buying the ticket from the American Airlines website rather than the US airways website. The American Airlines website does immediately identify your US Airways status once you type it in.

Upgrades: If you did not know already, American Airlines requires its members to use their points to go on their upgrade list. It is not complimentary like on US Airways. I believe you do get your points back if you do not get the actual upgrade. It does not seem like an unreasonable amount for American status passengers (perhaps around 500 points?) to go on the list and it appears it can be done at the time of booking. At this point, upgrading on an American flight is not an option for any US Airways status preferred member of any level. I hope they change this policy in the near future. There was actually 3 cabin classes (first, business, economy) on this coast to coast flight. On the return flight, I did see a few empty seats in Business class. It would have been really nice for my travel companion and I to get the upgrade. I would not mind giving up some miles from my Dividend Miles account if this option was available. Also, I do have some American Airlines Advantage miles (acquired prior to the merger on One World partners) that I would have been happy to give up for an upgrade. In the future, it will be interesting to see if the new American Airlines will invest in converting its current US Airways fleet into 3 cabins. The bottom line for upgrades (a very important issue for many frequent travelers) is: If you want a chance to upgrade, stick with US Airways operated flights.

Food On-Board: I only realized this on the return trip when I looked at the menu but apparently Executive Platinum American passengers get a complimentary food choice and alcoholic beverage choice when flying in economy. I asked the flight attendant if this policy extended to Chairman's US Airways members. She was very nice about it but told me I was the first passenger who has ever asked her that & she did not know the significance of a "Chairman's" member. I explained to her that it was the highest tier loyalty membership level on US Airways & equivalent to American Airlines Executive Platinum. She said she would ask the head flight attendant & get back to me. Not too long after, she told me that they did upgrade my status to Executive Platinum on this flight's computer system and I was entitled to receive the complimentary meal and alcoholic beverage. Bravo to the American Airlines flight attendants on this flight for going above & beyond their call of duty to treat me like an equal. I wanted to give the flight attendant one of my US Airways "above & beyond" certificates that I always carry with me when I fly, but I'm sure it would have had no value to her.

Lastly, I find it interesting that on every US Airways flight I have flown lately, the crew refers to themselves as US Airways, part of the "new American Airlines." Conversely, on these American Airlines flights, the crew just refers to themselves as "American Airlines" & does not make any reference to it being the "new American Airlines." Perhaps as the big dog, they don't think it's necessary to recognize the merger or maybe I'm just over-thinking it.

Would I fly on an American Airlines operated flight again in the upcoming months? Sure I would. Overall, it was a pretty smooth process & the recognition they gave me as a US Airways Chairman's member was adequate. On the other hand, if I have the choice and there is not much difference in price or travel time, I will stick to US Airways operated flights for the next couple years (as the 2 airlines continue to merge). Obviously, I will feel differently when there are no difference in policies between American Airlines Executive Platinum members and US Airways Chairman's members. Also, I do realize that these frequent flyer programs will eventually merge and the membership level currently called "Chairman's" by US Airways will cease to exist on the new American Airlines.
2sawn is offline  
Old Apr 9, 14, 8:28 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: PHL
Programs: US CP/AA EXP, HHonors Diamond, Marriott PLT, National Exec Elite, Avis 1st
Posts: 490
I've been doing a lot of flying on AA as a CP. I have a client in HNL, and since I won't be upgraded on US as a CP to Hawaii anyhow, I've been taking advantage of MCE. I also was PLT on AA a few years back as well.

As far as upgrades, only Executive Platinums on AA get complimentary upgrades. All others have to pay with 500 mile electronic stickers - one sticker for each 500 miles of the flight. They request it in advance and the stickers are only used if they clear the upgrade. As you said, CPs, and all elites, are not eligible for reciprocal upgrades yet.

It's my experience, that as a CP, the flight computer for alcohol/snacks will always show you as EXP. Some flight crews proactively have asked me if I wanted a free snack and drink, and thanked me for my business. On some flights I have had to ask them to look in their computer and then they saw that I was "EXP".

So for now, it is a viable option. Just know that you won't be upgraded. Even if the F (or Business) class cabin goes out with empty seats. I'll be sticking with US for now except when I head to HNL, strictly for the upgrades.
hginPHL is offline  
Old Apr 9, 14, 11:17 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: San Francisco, CA
Programs: United 1K; AA Platinum
Posts: 322
Originally Posted by hginPHL View Post
It's my experience, that as a CP, the flight computer for alcohol/snacks will always show you as EXP. Some flight crews proactively have asked me if I wanted a free snack and drink, and thanked me for my business. On some flights I have had to ask them to look in their computer and then they saw that I was "EXP".
That's better treatment than flying CP on US if you end up in Y. 95% of the time I get an upgrade to F, but if I'm in Y, I've never so much as gotten a nod.
blueheronNC is offline  
Old Apr 9, 14, 12:23 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Palm Beach/ New England
Programs: AA EXP 3MM, DL GM, Marriott Platinum
Posts: 3,971
Originally Posted by 2sawn View Post
Unlike the 2 tiers offered by US Airways at most airports for check-in, American has 3 tiers for check-in. This was the case at both airports (LAX & JFK). The first class/executive platinum check-in at American was available to me as a Chairman's member. It appears that US airways Gold & Silver preferred members would use the Business Class check-in on American. Luggage was all tagged with one world priority status & our bags did arrive before the others at both airports. On the same reservation, my travel companion and I would have been able to check-in 3 fifty lbs bags each.
I'm surprised that after using AA's special F/ Flagship check-in you were not informed about the special security area (see next comment)...

Originally Posted by 2sawn
Security: I was surprised to find there is no priority security lane at Terminal 4 in LAX! I had a TSA pre check approval on my boarding pass, but unfortunately my traveling companion (booked under the same reservation) did not so we had to wait in a rather long regular security line. At terminal 8 in JFK, there is a priority security line and we (as well as all tier status members from both airlines or the one world alliance) were able to use it. This priority security lane at JFK is separate from the TSA pre check lane (which is also present).
LAX does have special "premium" security lanes and lines (pre-check not required), in a different location than the normal TSA lines and pre-check area. As you face the ticket counters, the escalator to the left (east) takes you to premium security. OneWorld Emeralds are supposed to have access, but the TSA guy at the door on the 2d floor may not know all of the FFP terminology.

Originally Posted by 2sawn
Club Access: I was able to use my US Airways club membership to access the Admirals club at both LAX & JFK. The LAX club attendant let me in without any problem. However, she did want to look at my US Airways club card in more detail for her own knowledge because she said she had not seen one before. I was quite impressed that there was a shower available for use at the Admirals club in JFK. The Admirals clubs at both these airports seemed nicer than the 3 US Airways clubs in Phoenix & the old (now closed) LAX terminal 1 branch. I would say the Admirals clubs I visited were on par with the more upscale US Airways clubs in Charlotte & Philadelphia. What I found most interesting about the Admirals club is that there is free food, but also restaurant style food for purchase. The bartender can pour you a free soda from the fountain or you can purchase a bottle of soda. Similar to the US Airways club, there are house beer & wine selections which are available free of charge and then other types of wine, beer & alcoholic beverages available for purchase.
Had you been flying internationally, now that Chairman's Preferred is OneWorld Emerald, you would have had access in both JFK and LAX to the Flagship Lounge, which serves also as the AA First Class lounge. The Admirals Club is the Business Class and OneWorld Sapphire lounge and also the lounge for paid members. On these premium transcon flights, non-members in Business and First have access. At JFK, the Flagship Lounge is in concourse B, adjacent to the Admirals Club. Concourse C has only an Admirals Club.

Originally Posted by 2sawn
Upgrades: If you did not know already, American Airlines requires its members to use their points to go on their upgrade list. It is not complimentary like on US Airways. I believe you do get your points back if you do not get the actual upgrade. It does not seem like an unreasonable amount for American status passengers (perhaps around 500 points?) to go on the list and it appears it can be done at the time of booking. At this point, upgrading on an American flight is not an option for any US Airways status preferred member of any level. I hope they change this policy in the near future. There was actually 3 cabin classes (first, business, economy) on this coast to coast flight. On the return flight, I did see a few empty seats in Business class. It would have been really nice for my travel companion and I to get the upgrade. I would not mind giving up some miles from my Dividend Miles account if this option was available. Also, I do have some American Airlines Advantage miles (acquired prior to the merger on One World partners) that I would have been happy to give up for an upgrade. In the future, it will be interesting to see if the new American Airlines will invest in converting its current US Airways fleet into 3 cabins. The bottom line for upgrades (a very important issue for many frequent travelers) is: If you want a chance to upgrade, stick with US Airways operated flights.
The lack of domestic upgrades at the highest tiers, Chairman's Preferred when flying on AA and Executive Platinum when flying on US, where the new American Airlines would _not_ need to address the question of legacy AA's e-500 "electronic stickers," is really frustrating. This is something that could be resolved simply (highest tier status reciprocity) before 2015. Until it's fixed, elites on both carriers will likely fly only on their qualification carrier, making the merger somewhat un-consummated.
fastflyer is offline  
Old Apr 9, 14, 2:26 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Dallas, TX
Programs: US Airways Chairman's Preferred, SPG Platinum, AMEX Platinum Card, Global Entry
Posts: 177
Originally Posted by blueheronNC View Post
That's better treatment than flying CP on US if you end up in Y. 95% of the time I get an upgrade to F, but if I'm in Y, I've never so much as gotten a nod.
Agree - those are two things I was VERY impressed with when flying on AA. I really hope they keep the free food and beverage item when flying in Y.

Points are great and all, but as we say yesterday those are only going to lose value in the future. Doing little things like recognizing your best customers by name shows excellent customer service. I've never had this happen in Y on US Airways, and rarely do even in F.
LSUTigerWes is offline  
Old Apr 9, 14, 5:44 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: PHL
Programs: AA EXP, UA *S, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Titanium, Hyatt Exp, IHG Plat, National EE, Sixt Plat
Posts: 637
Originally Posted by fastflyer View Post
The lack of domestic upgrades at the highest tiers, Chairman's Preferred when flying on AA and Executive Platinum when flying on US, where the new American Airlines would _not_ need to address the question of legacy AA's e-500 "electronic stickers," is really frustrating. This is something that could be resolved simply (highest tier status reciprocity) before 2015. Until it's fixed, elites on both carriers will likely fly only on their qualification carrier, making the merger somewhat un-consummated.
I agree that this could be "easily" implemented, at least compared to other decisions that still need to be made about UDU vs. stickers, but there would still be the issue of how to prioritize the pecking order within the CP/EXP tier. On US, CP's are ranked based on BIS miles in the past 12 months on US metal. On AA, I believe it's based on ticket purchase date (please correct me if that's wrong).

So even though I really wish they had at least top-tier reciprocal upgrades in place already, I can understand that it'll just take some time. Patience is key here. It's not like I used to get free upgrades on UA/AC/*A, so I didn't lose an expanded network of upgradeable flights due to the merger. If anything, I'm just glad that I do get the EXP treatment in coach on AA the 5% of the time I don't fly US metal.
sjpmurph01 is offline  
Old Apr 9, 14, 11:29 pm
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Programs: American Airlines Aadvantage EXP
Posts: 6
fastflyer, thanks for the info about premium check-in at LAX. You are absolutely right. The TSA security woman on the second floor looked at my ticket and did not understand what "Emerald" status meant. I even specifically asked her if there was another line for premium passengers, showed her the status printed on my ticket and she said they did not have that available at terminal 4. I will be sure to use it the next time I fly American Airlines this year.
2sawn is offline  
Old Apr 10, 14, 1:34 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: PIT/DFW/MEL; AA Exec. Platinum & 4MM, QF WP
Posts: 7,689
Originally Posted by 2sawn View Post
Upgrades: If you did not know already, American Airlines requires its members to use their points to go on their upgrade list. It is not complimentary like on US Airways. I believe you do get your points back if you do not get the actual upgrade. It does not seem like an unreasonable amount for American status passengers (perhaps around 500 points?) to go on the list and it appears it can be done at the time of booking. At this point, upgrading on an American flight is not an option for any US Airways status preferred member of any level. I hope they change this policy in the near future. There was actually 3 cabin classes (first, business, economy) on this coast to coast flight. On the return flight, I did see a few empty seats in Business class. It would have been really nice for my travel companion and I to get the upgrade. I would not mind giving up some miles from my Dividend Miles account if this option was available. Also, I do have some American Airlines Advantage miles (acquired prior to the merger on One World partners) that I would have been happy to give up for an upgrade.
Originally Posted by hginPHL View Post

As far as upgrades, only Executive Platinums on AA get complimentary upgrades. All others have to pay with 500 mile electronic stickers - one sticker for each 500 miles of the flight. They request it in advance and the stickers are only used if they clear the upgrade. As you said, CPs, and all elites, are not eligible for reciprocal upgrades yet.
Welcome! Here are some fine points to the system. In AAdvantage, there are 3 modes of upgrade (other than the occasional lucky op-up):
  1. e-sticker, short-horizon. These are free for EXP. They cost stickers for PLT and GLD (earned, or bought with money or miles), but the stickers are fully rebated for PLT and GLD who are on Y or B fares. Finally, although few know it these upgrades are available with stickers (bought with money) for non-elites who are on Y or B fares. This upgrade type can be requested at booking but will not clear before the applicable horizon (100/48/24 hrs). This type of upgrade is only valid for one class up from coach (not Biz-to-First). These are valid in the "expanded domestic" zone-- basically western hemisphere other than deep S America. Books into special transient inventory R for Biz and X for (2-class) First. At the gate, priority is by status, then within status full vs discount, then within that connecting vs originating, then within that time of request.
  2. AAdvantage miles, any horizon. Books into award inventory C for Biz and A for First. Can be booked anytime the inventory is there. Can be waitlisted. Copay applies unless ticketed in Y/B/J/D/R fare buckets. You can redeem these using AAdvantage miles and yet still earn on another program. Domestically the 15k each way plus $75 may not be attractive for various trips, but if you do happen to be on Y or B fare it's only 5k miles and no copay (8k for Hawaii/Mexico/Caribbean/C. America). Valid for a one-way up to 3 segments.
  3. Systemwide one-way e-cert. Books into award inventory C for Biz and A for First. No copays. Can be booked anytime the inventory is there. Can be waitlisted. Valid for a one-way up to 3 segments. EXP's get 8 of these annually. PLT's last year could choose as a reward on reaching the 75k mileage level.

Last edited by martin33; Apr 10, 14 at 2:43 am
martin33 is offline  
Old Apr 10, 14, 12:07 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Palm Beach/ New England
Programs: AA EXP 3MM, DL GM, Marriott Platinum
Posts: 3,971
Originally Posted by 2sawn View Post
fastflyer, thanks for the info about premium check-in at LAX. You are absolutely right. The TSA security woman on the second floor looked at my ticket and did not understand what "Emerald" status meant. I even specifically asked her if there was another line for premium passengers, showed her the status printed on my ticket and she said they did not have that available at terminal 4. I will be sure to use it the next time I fly American Airlines this year.
I always invoke the word "flagship." That's AA speak for top-tier or paid First Class, and the TSA at LAX seems to know that word if not Emerald.
fastflyer is offline  
Old Apr 10, 14, 12:14 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Palm Beach/ New England
Programs: AA EXP 3MM, DL GM, Marriott Platinum
Posts: 3,971
Originally Posted by martin33 View Post
Welcome! Here are some fine points to the system. In AAdvantage, there are 3 modes of upgrade (other than the occasional lucky op-up):
  1. e-sticker, short-horizon. These are free for EXP. They cost stickers for PLT and GLD (earned, or bought with money or miles), but the stickers are fully rebated for PLT and GLD who are on Y or B fares. Finally, although few know it these upgrades are available with stickers (bought with money) for non-elites who are on Y or B fares. This upgrade type can be requested at booking but will not clear before the applicable horizon (100/48/24 hrs). This type of upgrade is only valid for one class up from coach (not Biz-to-First). These are valid in the "expanded domestic" zone-- basically western hemisphere other than deep S America. Books into special transient inventory R for Biz and X for (2-class) First. At the gate, priority is by status, then within status full vs discount, then within that connecting vs originating, then within that time of request.
  2. AAdvantage miles, any horizon. Books into award inventory C for Biz and A for First. Can be booked anytime the inventory is there. Can be waitlisted. Copay applies unless ticketed in Y/B/J/D/R fare buckets. You can redeem these using AAdvantage miles and yet still earn on another program. Domestically the 15k each way plus $75 may not be attractive for various trips, but if you do happen to be on Y or B fare it's only 5k miles and no copay (8k for Hawaii/Mexico/Caribbean/C. America). Valid for a one-way up to 3 segments.
  3. Systemwide one-way e-cert. Books into award inventory C for Biz and A for First. No copays. Can be booked anytime the inventory is there. Can be waitlisted. Valid for a one-way up to 3 segments. EXP's get 8 of these annually. PLT's last year could choose as a reward on reaching the 75k mileage level.
This is a great list.

I would note that SWUs are valid from Business to First as well as from Coach to Business.

Also, there are paper upgrade coupons that behave similarly to item 2, the domestic mileage upgrades. For example, the BXP1 certificates. There are a few peculiarities: BXP1s are valid on all fares except QSON (so G is the cheapest applicable fare). Each certificate is valid for one segment.

I always keep a few BXP1s in my briefcase for domestic long-haul segments, because A inventory is often available when the list for X is quite long.
fastflyer is offline  
Old Apr 26, 14, 5:01 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Philadelphia
Programs: US CP, SPG Plat., HH Gold
Posts: 342
Originally Posted by fastflyer View Post
This is a great list.

I would note that SWUs are valid from Business to First as well as from Coach to Business.

Also, there are paper upgrade coupons that behave similarly to item 2, the domestic mileage upgrades. For example, the BXP1 certificates. There are a few peculiarities: BXP1s are valid on all fares except QSON (so G is the cheapest applicable fare). Each certificate is valid for one segment.

I always keep a few BXP1s in my briefcase for domestic long-haul segments, because A inventory is often available when the list for X is quite long.
Is there any way of a Chairman's member of upgrading on international AA flights? The system wide US Airways certificates probably don't work, but perhaps one could use Dividend Miles?
Speedracer2 is offline  
Old Apr 27, 14, 3:47 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: BOS
Programs: Marriott Titanium / LTG, HHonors Gold, JetBlue Mosaic, Nat'l Exec
Posts: 3,403
Originally Posted by Speedracer2 View Post
Is there any way of a Chairman's member of upgrading on international AA flights? The system wide US Airways certificates probably don't work, but perhaps one could use Dividend Miles?
Not yet.
dtremit is offline  
Old Apr 27, 14, 8:43 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Philadelphia
Programs: US CP, SPG Plat., HH Gold
Posts: 342
Originally Posted by dtremit View Post
Not yet.
Crap! I hate the old AA international business seats. Even the US 767 seats are better.
Speedracer2 is offline  
Old Apr 27, 14, 9:31 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: CLT
Programs: AA-EXP, MR-PP
Posts: 3,441
Further more if you are CP flying on US while ticketed on AA (codeshare), you are not entitled to CP benefits of being upgraded if available. I had a mixed AA/US itinerary(2 AA, 2 US) flights and all ticketed on AA. While riding in back on AA I'll at least EP back of the bus drink/snack and MCE seat, on US, nada.
iztok is offline  
Old Apr 27, 14, 3:31 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Philadelphia
Programs: US CP, SPG Plat., HH Gold
Posts: 342
Originally Posted by iztok View Post
Further more if you are CP flying on US while ticketed on AA (codeshare), you are not entitled to CP benefits of being upgraded if available. I had a mixed AA/US itinerary(2 AA, 2 US) flights and all ticketed on AA. While riding in back on AA I'll at least EP back of the bus drink/snack and MCE seat, on US, nada.
Can't wait for them to integrate so that benefits span across the entire network; I am just afraid that they will take the cheapest (and not best) from both programs. Dreading a coupon based upgrade system rather than the easy automatic US program. Hoping for the more generous AA systemwide upgrades. Upset about not being able to upgrade on oneworld partner airlines. Liking the Flagship Lounges but thinking they might go away with less First int'l cabins (other than LA and JFK), etc. etc.
Speedracer2 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: