AU Members with Frequent Flyer Affinity Status

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Conductor
Joined
Mar 13, 2011
Messages
1,152
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All over the United States
I have spent way too much time in the air and on the train. About 5 or 6 years ago, I switched the vast majority of my air travel to Southwest, simply due to their Companion Pass program. I fly enough to easily hit it, so it was a no-brainer. My wife, or son have been all over the country with me on business trips. And th best part, is it even applies for award travel. So even when we fly on points, she can come free, rather than spend twice the miles. Plus, I hate gate checking bags on AA’s regional jets. Southwest flies all 737 planes, so that saves me time and convnenince even if I can only fly coach. Having free gate to gate live TV and wi-fi for A List Preferred/companion pass status is also a huge bonus for me. GoGo on AA, isn’t worth anything to me, it’s slow, and can’t be used until above 10,000 feet, and have to shut it down on descent 20 min or so before arival. Rarely pay for that garbage anymore. Southwest WiFi is typically pretty good, and wo is from the time you get on, to the time you get off.

I do miss the upgrades I got on Delta and American, but wasn’t worth trying to chase status on them, AND Southwest. Now when I fly AA or another carrier somewhere Southwest doesn’t go, I just book first class, and skip the upgrade game.

Also Select Plus on Amtrak for the time being, which, frankly, doesn’t do much at all for me. I have used the upgrades on Acela a few times, but otherwise, really don’t get any real value from it.

My travel in 2020 and so far into 2021 has decreased significantly, may not make Companion Pass this year. I Do have a 6 night round trip BHM-DEN early Feb, but not much else on the horizon. Been kinda nice staying home so much more!
 
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20th Century Rider

Conductor
Joined
Jan 26, 2020
Messages
1,594
Location
Oregon Coast
Pitting American versus Alaska is an interesting dilemma. Alaska looks like a better experience with partner airlines I'm likely to use, but they barely serve my hometown and I'm already on the positive side of AA's earning curve. I could potentially status match after a vaccine becomes available but passing through DFW/PHX/ORD/LAX is much faster and more convenient than SEA. If anything goes wrong AA has many more options to get me back on track again. I think there's a good chance I stay with AA and only move to AS/DL if they do something really stupid or leave me stranded. Speaking of which, AA is the only airline (out of 38) that has ever left me stranded over something within their control.

I rarely fly US airlines internationally (other than NA) and here is our good friend Paul to remind me why that is.


Other than United and American do any other mainstream airlines do the clumsy backward facing seats?
Paul does a great job in his blogs! That was a very quirky seat he was in... but the food looked great!🙂
 

Devil's Advocate

It's just a scratch.
Joined
May 24, 2010
Messages
12,505
Location
Siding of Excellence
I hate gate checking bags on AA’s regional jets. [...] GoGo on AA isn’t worth anything to me, it’s slow, and can’t be used until above 10,000 feet, and have to shut it down on descent 20 min or so before arival. Southwest WiFi is typically pretty good, and [works] from the time you get on, to the time you get off. I do miss the upgrades I got on Delta and American, but wasn’t worth trying to chase status [...] Now when I fly AA or another carrier somewhere Southwest doesn’t go, I just book first class, and skip the upgrade game.
Can't argue with the gate check stuff. Sometimes it's fast but other times it seems to take forever. Back in 2019 AA looked like they were moving away from Gogo. My complimentary access stopped working but performance improved. Not sure what happened since then. Most of my flights are short enough that MCE/ER is still workable if I'm honest.
 

DCAKen

Service Attendant
Joined
Jun 24, 2015
Messages
123
Pitting American versus Alaska is an interesting dilemma. Alaska looks like a better experience with partner airlines I'm likely to use, but they barely serve my hometown and I'm already on the positive side of AA's earning curve. I could potentially status match after a vaccine becomes available but passing through DFW/PHX/ORD/LAX is much faster and more convenient than SEA. If anything goes wrong AA has many more options to get me back on track again. I think there's a good chance I stay with AA and only move to AS/DL if they do something really stupid or leave me stranded. Speaking of which, AA is the only airline (out of 38) that has ever left me stranded over something within their control
Alaska is joining the oneWorld alliance, so you'll be able to fly AA and earn AS miles (and vice versa). Take a look at this FlyerTalk discussion.

American Airlines and Alaska Airlines are working together to become closer and more integrated partners with the addition of mileage accrual across both airlines. As Alaska Airlines prepares to join Oneworld in 2021, Alaska and American are expanding codeshare agreements and providing frequent flyers of both programs to once again earn and redeem miles. Starting April 1, 2020 all flights on either airline can earn miles (award and elite qualifying, as of an April 7 update to the AA web site) for the other airline’s frequent flyer program.
 

B757Guy

Service Attendant
Joined
Apr 27, 2015
Messages
133
If any members have United Premier 1K or especially Global Services, please let me know. I'd like to chat about how the airline is meeting your expectations in-flight.
 

Devil's Advocate

It's just a scratch.
Joined
May 24, 2010
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Siding of Excellence
American has suspended (or perhaps cancelled) most flights to my main domestic destination and this has created a bit of a problem that now requires me to mix flying and driving, spend the night in a connecting city, or leave before dawn to make it work. That is not a situation I find convenient compared to just driving the whole way. Anybody else running into similar problems? It probably wouldn't bother as much if the prices weren't so high for limited service.
 

Devil's Advocate

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I think there's a good chance I stay with AA and only move to AS/DL if they do something really stupid or leave me stranded. Speaking of which, AA is the only airline (out of 38) that has ever left me stranded over something within their control.
My first eight flights since vaccination were booked on AA but with repeated delays, routine cancellations, flying coach on First Class airfare, and delayed reinstatement of benefits I've started moving my bookings over to DL. AA's meltdown at DFW and clumsy upgrade process is getting old so I'm giving DL's A220's and SLC hub a chance to win me over. Even sluggish Amtrak looks to be making a faster return to service normalcy than American Airlines.
 

jebr

Enthusiastic Transit Rider
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"The Last Great City of the East," St. Paul, MN
so I'm giving DL's A220's and SLC hub a chance to win me over.
Never used the SLC hub personally, but I've been generally happy with DL, and their A220 I took last month was wonderful. Wide seats even in coach, leg room was fine for me (though I'm not terribly picky on that front,) and I'm a fan of having the infotainment screens on board. I'd be happy to have that aircraft on every flight I'm planning on taking.
 

Palmetto

Engineer
AU Supporter
Joined
May 12, 2014
Messages
2,352
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Miami
Meanwhile, AA is yanking their IFE on just about all their narrow bodies. The customer experience is certainly not high on their priority list.
 

Devil's Advocate

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Never used the SLC hub personally, but I've been generally happy with DL, and their A220 I took last month was wonderful. Wide seats even in coach, leg room was fine for me (though I'm not terribly picky on that front,) and I'm a fan of having the infotainment screens on board. I'd be happy to have that aircraft on every flight I'm planning on taking.
Glad to hear you found DL's A220 to be comfortable and well appointed. I have not yet visited the new SLC either but reviews & videos make it look nice.

Meanwhile, AA is yanking their IFE on just about all their narrow bodies. The customer experience is certainly not high on their priority list.
That's because passengers "prefer their own devices".:rolleyes: We're supposed to think of this as an enhancement.
The Project Oasis fiasco really put AA's customer service standards into perspective. Even UA seems to be moving ahead at this point.
 
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jiml

Engineer
AU Supporter
Joined
Feb 27, 2019
Messages
3,712
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Somewhere in Southern Ontario
A September flight, planned to be my first on an A220, has had an equipment change to 737MAX8. I wouldn't have chosen a MAX8 intentionally, but figure we'll have to fly on one eventually. I've heard nothing but good reports on the A220 on either AC or DL.
 

Brian Battuello

Lead Service Attendant
AU Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jul 23, 2014
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429
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Arlington, MA (near Boston)
Had to look up "Project Oasis". Jesus H you know who. And to think I remember "MRTC" (look it up).

Most of my airline FF points are on jetBlue. And with a bit of luck my dusty AA Lifetime Platinum card might actually be worth something on JB. God knows it isn't doing me any good on AA.
 

Brian Battuello

Lead Service Attendant
AU Lifetime Supporter
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Jul 23, 2014
Messages
429
Location
Arlington, MA (near Boston)
And by the way, if you have the slightest interest in frequent flyer status mythology, you must see "Up in the Air" with George Clooney. He absolutely nails the simultaneous prestige and banality of American Airlines domestic "First Class". And he gets to canoodle with Vera Farmiga. Some very underrated stuff in that movie.
 

jiml

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Feb 27, 2019
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Somewhere in Southern Ontario
Had to look up "Project Oasis". Jesus H you know who. And to think I remember "MRTC" (look it up).

Most of my airline FF points are on jetBlue. And with a bit of luck my dusty AA Lifetime Platinum card might actually be worth something on JB. God knows it isn't doing me any good on AA.
MRTC = "Carty's Folly" - good while it lasted but unsustainable with everything else that happened to the airline industry in that period.

The only thing AA Plat was good for was North American lounge access and free drinks on International itineraries. Unless you were flying some obscure domestic route with no EXP's, they'd swoop in and grab all the upgrades. The luggage tags were nice. ;)
 

Devil's Advocate

It's just a scratch.
Joined
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Had to look up "Project Oasis". Jesus H you know who. And to think I remember "MRTC" (look it up).
I was a big fan of MRTC. According to my memory it was a re-branding of a TW project after AA acquired some of their low cycle assets. Although I have switched airlines repeatedly I've remained loyal to Y+ products (MRTC > UA E+ > AA MCE > DL C+).
 
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PerRock

Conductor
Joined
Sep 16, 2006
Messages
1,901
Location
Ann Arbor, MI
Made Silver with British Airways this year; will likely loose it next year. One nice thing that BA Silver (and Gold) status does is give you lounge access regardless of where you are flying & what class you're flying in. I don't know if the equivalent AA status grants this, but also got an automatic upgrade to MCE if you book the cheap seats, as well as 2 checked bags.

I normally don't fly enough, or far enough to qualify for any tiers most years. This year I had a limited window during late covid to visit my sister in the UK, so while tickets were cheap booked BA First to the UK and back to see her. Cost a little more than a non-covid time economy ticket, but each trip was enough to bump me up a tier.

peter
 
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Brian Battuello

Lead Service Attendant
AU Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Jul 23, 2014
Messages
429
Location
Arlington, MA (near Boston)
As mentioned, I've traveled 2,000,000 miles on American, with some help from their credit card.

Now I can't find a single reason to fly on American. My only hope is that they somehow link my AA status with jetBlue so that I can get free Even More Room upgrades.
 

trainman74

Conductor
Joined
Apr 7, 2011
Messages
1,780
Location
Sherman Oaks, CA
The first few years I lived in L.A., I tended to fly American because of MRTC and because they had mainline service out of the Burbank airport (to DFW). Both of those ended up going away.
 

Ryan

Engineer
Joined
Apr 14, 2008
Messages
17,355
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Off looking for his sense of humor
Silver on UA because of Marriott status. Last time I was on one of their planes was a trip to Scotland in 2016, so meh.

A-List on WN because they have the lock on government contract fares out of BWI. Saves me dough on early bird upgrades, and really saved my bacon returning from San Diego last week. my Thursday afternoon flight was cancelled just before I returned my rental car (clutch move making that last minute check and keeping the car!). My A30 boarding turned into a C15 on the next flight, but The Internet taught me that they'll board A-listers between A and B, so my A30 really only turned into the equivalent of A64. Super important for needing/wanting an aisle for the long haul across the country. Next trip to San Diego will get it locked in for me for next year.
 

neroden

Engineer
Joined
Feb 23, 2014
Messages
8,447
Location
Ithaca, NY
When the US Air folks took over, it was downhill from there.
.... to add some history to this, US Air was never great, but when they merged with America West and the America West folks took over, it went way downhill. So it was the America West folks in charge when they merged with American Airlines...
 
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