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AAdvantage – Switch to Delta or Stick with AA?
Hi Everyone. After reading an article about the changes coming to AA, possibly not hitting Platinum this year without booking a personal flight, and general dissatisfaction with the program and on board product, I think I’ve finally been pushed to switch to Delta (based on reading that their program is the best). Wondering if anyone can let me know if they think that’s a good idea to switch or stick with AA.
I originally went with US-Air because they were one of two airlines that got me to my client site. Pre-merger, I read USA had the best program. Since the merger, AA has been OK and the program served me well. Last year I was constantly upgraded, even at Gold. This year, as Platinum, upgrades seem to rarely happen – even when not flying at peak times and they’ve reduced their cabins to 8 FC seats instead of 12 -16.
If my company travel keeps up, I’m only going to have 53 EQSs this year, so without taking a couple of personal flights, I obviously won’t hit Platinum. I’m wondering if it’s worth it pursue Platinum or if I should just cut my losses and start from scratch.
That said, I’m really starting to hate the flight experience. The refit seats are extremely uncomfortable. The pitch is higher, the headrest forces my head forward when the seat isn’t leaned back, and the fact that a computer takes up most of my foot-space. I don’t know if that’s how it is on other airlines, but I’m actually grateful when I get into a plane that hasn’t been refit because it’s that much more comfortable.
Also, my company has a partnership with Delta it seems. I can fly out of both home aiports, MIA and FLL, for cheaper on Delta than AA every time. I can’t even book on AA anymore without sending it to someone for approval and explaining it will even out on AA due to the luggage cost.
Main reason I have for staying is that I have my miles already saved with them so I’d hate for them to go to waste. My wife and I want to take an international vacation at some point, and 50k miles for first class isn’t bad (not that I know what to compare it to).
Also, since I have the card with them (for now, I rarely use it), I know I’ll always at least have priority check in.
Mainly international travel. I’m with a company that will be sending me international for at least the next 6-8 months. I was very disappointed to find out that OneWorld status basically means nothing with partner airlines. Also, I don’t know if this is consistent with other airlines, but I hardly got any miles for my trips with other airlines.
While not a deal breaker, I’d also like upgrades. I’m not allowed to book anything other than economy, so when I would previously get upgraded on USA it was a very nice perk. Upgrades being so rare now and reduced by design because of space constraints (8 seats instead of 16), it feel like a perk I’ll rarely see unless I start traveling weekly and get ExP (which I’m not opposed to, just doesn’t fit my current project).
Comfortable seats as well. I already expect to hate my experience due to an elbow war with the person next to me, but my chin being pushed into my chest is just silly. I don’t see why the head rests are angled forward like that.
So if I do switch, what’s the best way? I have a corporate card and everything has to be booked on that card. I realize it makes gaming status more difficult, but it’s what I have to work with. Also, will they status match? Considering I currently have Platinum and might lose it, will they match my status in any way?
Thanks for any advice you can offer.
[USER=2314]@AlexWin[/USER] welcome. Unfortunately a number of the things you mention are true of any of the carriers flying today. Consolidation, copycat tactics, and first class monetization mean that the big three look very similar. Delta seems to currently be the leader in terms of operational performance but I don’t know very many people who would say they have the best frequent flier program. Instead of going by what people say I would sit down and look closely at their program and see if it will for your needs.
With that said there is no harm trying the competition. Why not take a few flights and see what you think. You’re not going to make Plat so it can’t hurt. Plus it seems like you’ll save your company some money and some hassle for yourself. Airlines do match from time to time. I would contact DL customer service to see if they have any offers available. You could also check [URL]http://statusmatcher.com/[/URL].
I feel your pain with the newer 737 headrests angled way forward. I thought I was the only freak who felt like Quasimodo after a Transcon. Just completed a flight today from SAN-PHL on an old LUS 321 and it was comfy back in economy. Of course you have to sort your priorities – no IFE or electrical outlets in these oldies but I slept well.
About your dilemma, I switched from Delta about ten years ago when I started flying lots of international routes. I like certain hubs and aircraft and award availability that AA offers.