American Airlines has been stingy with award availability specifically since the merger with US Airways management. They say things have gotten better, but how do they explain wide open flights, 300 days in advance with no premium saver seats?
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Things Used to Be Much Better
When I first became an Executive Platinum member of American Airlines, I could secure saver space on long haul flights, especially in advance. Systemwide Upgrades (eVIPs) were often available at the time of booking. When American merged with (was bought by) US Airways, all of that changed.
Systemwide Upgrades became so useless that two years ago I didn’t use any. Last year, I gifted two of them to a friend and still have two left to die on the vine in a week or so. Booking long haul (specifically Asian) destinations in premium cabins using saver space has become a thing of the past.
Eliminating All of the Excuses
American offers limited flights to Asia, though Hong Kong should be easy enough to secure premium saver awards for flights. They utilize the largest aircraft in the system (777-300ER) with a four-cabin configuration including eight seats in First Class and 52 in business class.
Unlike American’s flight to Seoul which uses a smaller 777-200 and has no direct partner flights, the two daily flights to Hong Kong from LAX and Dallas Fort Worth complement American’s oneworld partner, Cathay Pacific. Cathay flies to Boston, Toronto, Vancouver, New York JFK, San Francisco, Washington DC, Chicago, Seattle, and 3-4 daily flights to LAX.
American Airlines apologists have made excuses in the past for the abysmal award availability so I want to eliminate those excuses. I searched for space far in advance (December 4-11th). I chose mid-week dates (lower demand) and during a period between US holidays when fewer travelers choose to travel, especially business customers.
There’s really no valid reason for American to not offer saver space unless the flights are already selling ahead of schedule.
Abysmal Availability Despite Wide-Open Cabins
Just how bad is it? I am so glad you asked. On a recent sample search (using the old search engine as it’s a finished product), I checked out the Los Angeles-Hong Kong flight which is often less full than Dallas-Hong Kong but uses the same 777-300ER equipment. Below is the availability that American lists. As you can see there are no saver level seats in First nor Business Class.
Presumably, those cabins are full, right? Let’s take a look at available space in First Class from the American Airlines website.
Hmmm. Not a single seat sold in First Class well in advance yet no saver level awards for the flight? Certainly, Business Class must be better though. In order to not have any saver space either I would imagine they have sold at least a quarter of the cabin, maybe more.
Nope! Just 3.8% of seats have been sold for the flight in Business Class. It’s even possible that none have been sold and the two seats are instead blocked for crew rest as is common on long-haul flights for pilots. In my experience, those crew rest blocked seats tend to be in window seats and closer to the front, so I will assume they have actually sold those seats.
American also recently announced that Premium Economy seats are available for awards though booking is still new. The new system shows there are seats available, but not at saver level. How many seats have been sold in Premium Economy?
Not one Premium Economy has even been sold. Not one.
Surely, American is holding back some of these seats for flyers that spend $12-15,000 in base airfare alone and fly 100,000 miles with the carrier right? Management reduced the number of eVIPs from eight to four distributed annually, fewer frequent flyers getting upgrades for free should make it easier to upgrade. Let’s see that glorious Systemwide Upgrade availability.
It’s not even listed as an option.
How Does American Airlines Justify This?
How can American Airlines justify this terrible lack of space despite not selling a single First Class or Premium Economy seat and only 3.8% of the Business Class cabin? I asked them just that question on Twitter.
I received a canned answer, par for the course.
It’s astonishing that American Airlines has released virtually no space. While I won’t list out every route, their default position is to release nothing. When they do release space (it’s worthy of press releases and blog posts), they open up large swaths for regions and then shut off the faucet within a couple of days, though this route is nearly never included.
American Airlines recently announced their Q4 performance for 2018 and once again, the carrier lost money flying passengers but made money off of their loyalty program. I’m sure the top brass perceives the strategy to be working, generating revenue from the sale of miles while never releasing cheap saver space. But I, for one, have let all of my American Airlines credit cards go instead of putting all of my spend on the Citi Executive credit card as I once did. I presume others have joined me which begs the question: How long this strategy can prolong?
Why do you think American refuses to release a majority of their long-haul premium award space? Does it affect your loyalty as a passenger?
What do they mean by confirm the higher award and reinstate it later for free? Does that mean if I lock in a 120K seat to ICN, I can come back later and reduce it to 60K?
Executive Platinum flyers can reinstate miles for free. For everyone else, this does not work.
Thank goodness Spirit now flies out of CLT! Bye bye AA and the Citicorp credit card.
If you reinstate the award you could rebook at the lower price when it drops. Commenter Joe is right, you would have to be an Executive Platinum to do this without incurring a fee of $150, assuming there was no schedule change.
None of this is surprising but it is still sad.I live in Miami and I am still trying to get rid of the 300k AA miles I still have banked.I have not been able to redeem a business class AA saver flight award in 2 years and I live in an AA hub!!I will never collect another AA mile willingly.JetBlue has become my carrier (FLL based)
Wanna sell those miles then? I’ll be needing miles for a honeymoon!
I recently tried to “borrow” miles from a family member to book my honeymoon, AA wanted $390 for every 30,000 miles transferred. Unfortunately buying miles off others isn’t very viable.
I love JetBlue, though American’s partners remain superior for a global offering at affordable prices that you can actually book.
US AIR WORST ACQUISITION OF ALL AIRLINE ACQUISITIONS. BRING BACK PAN AMERICAN
There’s a reason us road warriors used to call them “Useless Air”
And another thing – can we assume some of the availability only opens up when in the three week before departure window so AA can charge the “close-in” fee for those of us w/o status?
I think that would be a safe assumption.
In the last two years, my wife and I have downgraded or closed all 5 AA cards we had combined through Citi and Barclays and now focus on Chase Uktimate Rewards as AA miles have become worthless to us. All that’s ever open are multi-stop or cheap flights where cash is really the best way to pay. So tired of AA nickel and diming customers for an inferior product. Both gave up our status last year and earned it on another carrier. So glad we left.
Same here. Only keeping my Barclay Aviator Silver card for the couple of benefits I use. Everything else is going on Chase cards and earning Ultimate Rewards then transferring points to BA Avios for domestic AA flights. Just yesterday I saved 20,000 AAdvantage Miles by using Avios instead. Same itinerary I paid 30,000 Avios for was going to cost 50,000 AAdvantage Miles.
One thing that possibly we should not forget is that the Fqtv miles are a debt that the airline has on its balance.
There, politics enter. Times, they may wish to make the balance look less beneficiary, and times, maybe all the way around. So they will open or close the possibility of redeem, to regulate things the way they politically consider more suited to what they want to do. Miles debt must be a huge amount of money on the balance. Personally, I am Platinum only, and I travel in Economy, not even considering paying 25,000 miles + $350 per leg that are requested for an upgrade to Business for a 9 hours flight on the relation a fly a good decision, but that is of course arguably.
They plan to sell all the open seats as upgrades. I recently got an email from AA saying that “if available“ I could pay 550. For an upgrade to business.
So see if they don’t sell them they will get people to upgrade and poof all the seats are indeed sold.
This is happening and SWU’s will be, as you said, useless.
It’s a sad case for all the faithful customers!
Dana, thanks for reading and for your comment. They have been doing that for quite some time but usually, it’s just a little paper sign at checkin. The email upsell is a new addition.
Just booked our family of 5 at saver level in business HKG to LAX in August. No complaints here, though this does feel like a minor miracle.
Congrats on getting it booked, though as you said, it could be more miraculous than intentional and that’s my real challenge. It shouldn’t be a miracle to book an award for your family if the cabin is wide open.
Pretty disappointing that a travel blogger is using a seatmap to determine number of seats booked. Would you suggest the same tool when you are looking to move up to an earlier flight day-of? This doesn’t excuse the lack of award seats being released, but that is because they don’t have the right systems/tools in place to forecast paid demand and so they will default to offering zero seats at saver level until closer in.
Agree – seat maps are not valid ways of checking sold seats. There are likely tickets sold with unassigned seats.
While I can appreciate that seat map is not a good sole tool to use to determine availability on a flight (though if passengers are booking this far out on revenue tickets, they are planners and will want to have their seats and meal picked out at time of booking), it presents a bit of a conundrum. ExpertFlyer is only going to show up to 7 seats available in any fare bucket. That presents a problem, because, in a 52-seat business class cabin, they could show 7 for sale, but have sold 45 of 52 – which would be remarkably full this far out. However, when ExpertFlyer shows 7 seats in an 8-seat First Class cabin are available for sale and the seat map shows 0 seats sold, I have to pick one of the two features to trust. I can verify a small fraction for certain and compare that to the seat selection map, so this two-pronged approach is the closest I can come short of being inside management systems.
Are you inclined to believe that they have sold more than the two seats, but those pax have not selected them for a flight nearly a year out during an absolute dead week of travel? If so, why?
If you eliminate BA flights there’s almost nothing transatlantic. there’s one exception Philly to Venice direct seems to have pretty good spring/winter/ fall bizsaver availability on AA. Every other city pair for saver level is BA connecting through LHR on AA search.. I can buy a premium economy seat, which for transatlantic is acceptable, for the BA J class fees for NyLon flight. . That PE ticket produces a nice chunk of AS miles.
I am finding literally no direct ORD-DOH via QR on business with every possible date I have searched for 2019. Like, seriously?
On Business Saver Award Travel, that is.
Try pairing with a different country. I had this issue once as well trying to get a direct to Doha but when I did ORD-DOH-MCT availability wide open (midweek flight tho) took family of 4 in qsuite so I was very lucky
You are right it’s inexcusable. Makes a mockery of it being a “loyalty” program. At the opening of the schedule at least 2 business class seats should be bookable with miles, on all but the 10-15 busiest days of the year
have been in the program a long long time. going to use what I have left and go elsewhere.
Same. Time to move on from American Airlines. They don’t appreciate or respect customer loyalty. I’m letting my status expire 1/31/19 and using up my existing miles.
Thank you so much for writing this. I have been saying this for years. AAddvantge has been the absolute worst for years now and I’d rate the value of their miles as actually a liability rather than an asset. I tried for many years to stay loyal to them but no longer could justify wasting the $$$. Happy to say now I’m 100% UA. On Friday I booked 3 Polaris seats to HKG @ saver level from IAH on UA.
Good to see a high profile blog leaning in on miserable AA availability. However, seating charts indicate little. As for ‘justification’, AA obviously believes it can get better value from those seats later, and can likely dump them off for Saver Awards if nothing of higher value evolves.
This is a big reason why saying “I booked a free flight worth $xxx” and using cash prices is delusional. With cash, you buy today and do something better than check for flights for the next four months.
I mention in another comment but should have perhaps placed it within the post, that I did verify first with ExpertFlyer for seats remaining for sale. The best cabin in which to see this is First Class as there are only 8 possible seats, since American only lists 7 as the maximum per fare bucket. So out of the two sources (ExpertFlyer is absolutely reliable but only so far as 7 seats per bucket, AA’s seat map doesn’t show seats sold, only those assigned) I made an assumption (as anyone outside of AA management would have to do) that the seat map was at least mostly accurate if not 100% accurate given the known variables.
It is possible that someone has booked one seat in first (leaving the other 7 for sale) and not selected a seat. The same for up to 45 of the 52 business class seats and all of the premium economy seats. But logically, given the dead flying period I selected, the amount of time until the flight (they just opened this portion of the schedule last week) and those super planners who bought seats this far out in advance all decided not to select their seats too. It seemed too illogical for me, though my method remains imperfect.
This article is very indicative of someone who just doesn’t get the revenue side of the business. Those seats sell. More often than not, almost all of them. They have no duty to make things available early. It doesn’t make financial sense. I’ve frequently seen 0 saaver F/J awards to Asia for the entire calendar. But the truth is they sell almost all of those seats. That being said I just canceled a J seat I had snagged on DFW-HKG (thanks CX error fare). I’d like to see better availability but I don’t fault them for not on those premium routes. Fly CX or JAL which offer better availability and service anyway.
A fair analysis. Thank you
As a former AA manager I see this guys blog all the time. Seems like he has an axe to grind on AA .
@Gooseman: no one has an axe to grind with AA. For what purpose?
The revenue side of the business says that AA lost money flying planes last year and only was profitable because of selling miles.. so if their margin is only because of the miles they are playing a very risky game by not making their miles usable…
Alex: Maybe they do sell during peak periods, but the week I chose is not a peak period at all, similar to this week. I pulled up the inventory available for sale this week and I found the following:
F3 A3 J7 R7 D7 I7 W7 P7 Y7 B0 H7 K7 M7 L7 G7 V7 S7 N2 Q0 O0 E0
That would suggest that in fact, they do not sell out during these periods even just a week out.
I do agree that CX is a better soft product (same hard product) and that is preferred, however, you can’t search CX availability on the website (BA has it) blocking the average flyer and further, Business Extra members can’t use their BX points for CX flights as they are not codeshare; JL flights cost more because it would pass through Asia 1, so that also increases the price to HKG of Asia 2 even if available at Saver level.
Gooseman: That’s fair. My axe to grind is that after years of loyal customer activity, American has made useless the awards and upgrades that matter. Do I have a chip on my shoulder, sure. I have 700,000 miles across three accounts for my family and we can’t book a single roundtrip on AA metal at saver levels to fly to Asia. That’s absurd. If I’m not outraged then I am asleep at the wheel.
Richard: I agree. In the words of George W. Bush, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice… well… you’re not going to fool me again.” Customers will vote with their feet as they already have for revenue flights.
American Airlines may be the most poorly run company in the world. After being platinum for many years and receiving consistant horrible experiences, I switched to United and Southwest. AA’s rewards program is hands down the worst.
Chris, it will really show when the next economic slowdown happens. American will struggle for business in a way that Delta and others will not.
After being platinum for 10 yrs, I have now switched my loyalty to Spirit Airlines. There is no difference in service between AA and Spirit. At least I know what I am getting with Spirit Irlines. What made me mad was the fact that I bought a ticket on AA website to India. They offered 4 segments of the flight on Gulf Airways. After flying over 20,000 miles round trip, I received about 9000 miles because flown on Gulf Airways are not transferrable. I lost my status and that is the best thing that happened to me. Thanks AA!
Thank you, Kyle!
Rename it America West…
WSJ rated it lower than Spirit.
I am ready to get rid of my AA cards.
AA miles are worthless.
Do Citi and Barclays banks and cardholders realize they are being played?
I have accrued over 3 million AA in seat miles over the years. They mean nothing.
Heck of a job, Doug! Your concept of loyalty differs from anyone else’s.
Twice now, American awards has booked the first leg of my flight on Alaska Airlines. This not only eliminates my “free bag” promotion, but takes me hundreds of miles north when my final destination is south.
The new AA management is in over their heads. Everything is on a downward spiral…maintenance, on-time arrivals, abysmal treatment of employees and customers, etc., etc. I foresee another bankruptcy in the future. Meanwhile Southwest Airlines continues to do it all right and well…
my carrier of choice totally!
“Abysmal” is the word of the day!
AI is the enemy of the consumer. Not just AA, All large companies are using AI to maximize profit minimizing customer loyalty.
And its not due to US Airways. With their program, they let me use the miles to buy down the price of a first class seat to Europe, since i did not have enough miles.
They want you to buy miles and its more expensive than the regular fare. I think they only want you to use miles for a domestic flight
I don’t disagree regarding the US Airways program, I found it to be rather generous and easy to use. But that was a long time ago in a land far, far away it seems. Pre-consolidation, airlines simply had to compete more. Real difference between programs existed and differentiation was a friend to the airlines, not a foe. That’s all changed and the one thing that Dougie and crew have done well is the race to amalgamation with DL and UA.
I live in Charlotte where it is American or Anerican. I can tell you, before US Airways bought American, the US Airways frequent flyer program was much better. They seem to have adopted American’s bad policies and brought them to the new combined airline. I was 364 miles short of platinum last year and had blitzed through the other requirements. Had that happen once before in the US Airways days too. US Airways gave me platinum for free. American Airlines wants me to pay 600. Joke. US Airways was a better company than American and we got better benefits.
It’s embarrassing that a blog of this caliber would publish an article where the author used the seat map to determine if tickets had been sold on a flight.
Also, empty flights aren’t justifications for opening award seats. Heard of revenue management?
Stephen, I am going to thank you for thinking of Live And Let’s Fly as a blog of “caliber” and refer you to the other points made in comments above regarding ExpertFlyer supporting data and logical conclusions as a result.
To your second point, I would ask you this: If I can’t secure a saver seat way out in the front of the schedule when no one else has booked, and I can’t secure one close-in (without incurring a fee or) inside of 48 hours to departure are they really even there? If a saver seat becomes available in a forest but no one is able to book it, did it happen?
I was Chairman with US Airways and have been ExPlat ever since the takeover.
Yes, the product has gone down, miles are expensive to earn and prove useless when you try to spend them, and you cannot rely on using SWU strategically.
They will continue to “enhance our experience” for as long as they can get away with it.
Last night discovery: they must have moved the evil monkey in charge of award routing (the one that devised the idea of a 23 hour layover when there is a direct flight available) , moving thr monkey from award redemption to normal fare ticketing: all flights from LAX to Italy in premium economy are advertised with a high price (~$2400) but the ones without the 20 hours layover are $400 or $500 extra.
This year I might fly to Europe every month in premium economy, log 180k EQM and still not hit the $15k spend, which used to be straight forward but now has become poisoned as well (you spend X but only a fraction goes to EQD). The real spend on AA tickets and fees on the AA credit card was double of the EQD that they calculate.
Maybe it pays to wait until the next economic slowdown, when they will have to lure back all the disgruntled loyal customer that they shed. Or maybe we should stop living in the past and simply pick flights and airlines on their sole merit, for each single trip, and mentally bank the saved money to splurge later, instead of using awards.
First, I like the alliteration in your title. 🙂 Second, I hope that AA is bottoming out on the negative side and can only get better overall. I am executive platinum and my hub is Denver. I received more than 35 complimentary upgrades to domestic first in 2018; this was close to 90% of my flying. And, I was very well taken care of in irregular operations. So, no complaints there. My complaint is the amount of cheese (which I loathe) in the meals. It is gratuitously added to salads and vegetables when it could be placed on the side to be ignored by those of us with the “do not like cheese even a little bit” gene. I noted the new meals being introduced and they are, sigh, cheese heavy.
Denver is not an AA hub.
Agreed. I meant that Denver is MY hub–where I fly from and to most frequently. Perhaps that accounts for some of my upgrade success, although I often to Chicago, Charlotte, and Philadelphia.
I hope this is the bottom for American as well. I would think investors would have pushed Dougie out a while ago anyway given the performance of the stock in relation to peers.
I’ve recently booked 2 saver level business from SFO to MNL via HKG (layover in ORD – yes, not smart but it was what they’ve had in business on AA flying Cathay). I was supposed to leave SFO on May 23 and then leave HKG also on the 23rd. I got an email this week saying that SFO-ORD would delay and I would miss the HKG connection. I’ve called them and the only option they have (due the saver availability with all Oneworld companies) is to put me on a flight that would get me to HKG on May 22 and leaving HKG to MNL on the 23rd. My question is: what would be the best way to (1) ensure that I get to HKG on the same departure date that I’ll leave to MNL or (2) get a confirmation from AA that they will be able to cover my expenses (food/hotel) for the night of 22nd to the 23rd?
You must be new on award travel or on schedule change in general.
AA will reissue your tickets to reflect the new flights. but AA will NOT cover your now dditional expenses.
Your other option is to cancel the award with fee waived to get the miles and taxes refunded.
This is not AA unique. No domestic airlines cover layover hotel and meals. A few international airlines cover layover hotels but no meal and NOT on award tickets.
A canned pablump response is standard for any issue raised with AA customer services. And with no action or followup.
Everything about American is a travesty. More & more everyday travelers do all they can to avoid using their flihts. Something simple as booking a round trip flight and then changing the out going due to hurricanes or other issues from your origination and they will go and cancel the entire flight without letting you know that you return flight has been canceled. Which leads you to have to book an entire new flight at same day cost. And that is just one of the issues our group deakt with on our latest vacation and we have vowed never to use them again.
I’ve been checking business saver awards from every AA direct flight from PHL to ANY European destination since October for Aug/Sep 19 and same results. The cabins are empty but no seats available. I even called about using point to upgrade a purchased coarchnsewt and that was also not available. I am no switching to fly Delta for business due to AA’s horrific award availability of business saver seats between PHL and Europe direct.
After being EXP for several years i gave up. I lost 6 System Wide Upgrades since they are useless. After spendind thousands and thousands of dollars and reached 225,000 status miles and 4 systems wide upgrades last year, i was pissed off of discovering you can only use them for ultra short fligts like IAH DFW. Maybe they are thousands of EXP who did the same. With an average of expenses of $50,000 a year it will be a big loss for AA. I am now with Avianca life miles program and so far so good.
All the Amercan executives should get fired …
They chose the royalty customers to beg for the upgrades.
Sorry business practice .
I am executive platinum and my status is expiring in 4 days (my chouce). I agree with the article it is so hard to get upgraded nowadays….at least on American. I also have 2 systemwide upgrades that will be expiring in 4 days as well. I recently received an email from AA that my flight from EWR could be impacted by bad weather and the airline would not charge me a change fee so, I decided to leave out of PHL a day earlier…needless to say they didn’t charge me a change fee but charged me a change in fares. Executive Platinum on AA in my opinion is not a good deal.
It’s the same with Delta. I have three upgrades that will expire in February that I tried to use all year. The only options they ever had for upgrade on any route were undesireable red eyes, no matter how far out or close in I tried to book. Whole planes empty, no upgrades available. “”Revenue management” releases them we have no idea…”
This makes me sad to read. Loyal AA flier for 20 yrs. Funny, I thought is was US Air who changed the Premium flying culture these past few years. Most of the AA management is gone, along with Sabre.
I just hope everyone on here is leaving the same experiences/feedback with AA or its never going to change
I am platinum and often get the 500 mile upgrades from Ord to nyc. I also love the free exonomy plus seating for the whole family at booking.
And I mostly use miles for Middle East airlines whichbaeems to work. Have united and chase f Europe flights.
Yep, same here. I tried to book award travel to Bangkok for 6 months. Finally used Chase Rewards. I have had a zero balance on my Citi AA CC for 2 years. I just hadn’t cancelled it yet because it is my oldest CC (17 years). It will get cancelled this year. Haven’t been able to use an upgrade in 3-4 years. I am “only” Platinum and a million-miler.
Don’t cancel it, just drop it down to a free version of their “Thank You” cards. It keeps the line open but discontinued the annual fee and any benefit toward American Airlines. The downgrade should also open you up for the card in 24 months on the off-chance they get their act together by then and you want to come back.
Thanks for the excellent advice on dropping Citi card down to free version of Thank You card. I have the same problem as Phil – it is my oldest card (28 years) so I didn’t want to let it go.
From my side – I have been a loyal AA flyer since 1988, with 10+ years at EXP and just shy of 5M miles. The no upgrade thing finally made me drop my AA loyalty a year ago, and I can tell anyone that it is a freeing experience not trying to chase status. I just fly the best deal or routes, preferring the foreign carriers internationally (except BA) due to their superior service. Doug Parker killed AA, its just that not many people have made the connection yet that the only place they make money is on loyalty, yet they focus on killing loyalty.
I’m sure that you are aware, but their focus is on handing out CK memberships for policy makers. I worked for a family owned company and last year they gave the top 5 family members CK status in exchange for a guaranteed spend of $150K. This seems extremely short-sighted as this had no effect on the company’s travel policy (AA was already a preferred partner) and I can personally name at least 10 EXPs who have stopped flying due to the lack of award availability. AA seems to have unlearned the recipe (another way of saying that US-Scare drove away the best employees). The big spend is driven by the most frequent butt-in-seat passengers (typically PLT + EXP) there are 10x-100x of them for every CK in a “policy making” role. Everyone knows that policy will only drive behavior when there is no other incentive (or in the case of AA disincentive).
I read this to imply the non-LAX routes are 1x/day, which is incorrect at least for JFK:
“Cathay flies to Boston, Toronto, Vancouver, New York JFK, San Francisco, Washington DC, Chicago, Seattle, and 3-4 daily flights to LAX.”
I didn’t mean to imply that was the only multiple frequency, but I can see why you thought that. Toronto (and maybe Vancouver) are not daily. I think San Francisco is also double daily some days.
My intention was just to say that award bookers specificaly out of LAX have 4-5 combined options on oneworld direct to HKG.
Unlike many of you, I have no flyer status but have faithfully used my AA Platinum CC for 10+ years to accumulate Aadvantage miles, paying $$ each year for my card. I’ve also steered several friends & relatives to their program. While I have had a few sweet deals that allowed us to visit Europe in the past, I haven’t found anything that works for us in a couple years. After reading your article and the comments I see that it’s not just me and I see that I’m probably just a fool to think that it’s worth it to continue so I’ll be cancelling my AA card when it comes up for renewal and looking for a more member friendly program as the current AA program sucks! You can bet that I’ll also be pointing this out to those I originally brought into the fold. GFL American!
Wow. I wish I had seen this thread earlier. Thanks for the post Kyle!
After flying AA for 20 years, more than half the time as Platinum and Lifetime Gold status. I will need to make changes, unfortunately. No wonder I was having so much difficulty booking award seats,
Especially international flights compared to the past.
I always fly economy but that’s just as complicated. And even if you can get super saver they want you to fly to 3 cities before reaching your final destination. Sometimes 36 hours later. Or even requiring overnighting at airport hotels. Or even worse, flying you into one city’s airport but connecting out of its second one! How ridiculous is that?? Now, all that might be acceptable if AA’s inflight service wasn’t a horror show. Partners like BA are not any better. I hate Heathrow and I’ve never been treated like a human by any British person I have ever met. And thanks for the eye opener–i had always thought AA bought out US Airways. US Airways tricked me by keeping the AA livery. This explains everything! US Scareways has always provided amateur level experience, like flying a regional. Yes, it’s still got that regional mentality.