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Am I the only one who thinks its a waste of miles to use them to upgrade?

Am I the only one who thinks its a waste of miles to use them to upgrade?

Jun 30th, 2008, 11:06 AM
  #41  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 82
whoops didn't word that correct. the miles aren't a hassle, I just think my Continental miles aren't worth much. I won't be getting the Continental credit card anytime soon
Londonlover is offline  
Jun 30th, 2008, 12:23 PM
  #42  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 24,001
Londonlover, you are not alone. I think it is a pretty widely-held view that Continental is one of the toughest carriers to use your miles with, along with Northwest and Delta. If you want to minimize the hassle of using miles, then American should be your choice.

There are reasons one might choose Continental or Delta or Northwest, but ease of redemption is certainly not one of them.
travelgourmet is offline  
Jun 30th, 2008, 04:02 PM
  #43  
cfc
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 4,426
gardyloo, the friend was told, point blank, that she could not upgrade from the most discounted transatlantic coach fare (that she'd found on aa.com). Now, I do know that not all phone agents know what they're talking about, but in this case, it seemed to be "that's it, full stop."
cfc is offline  
Jun 30th, 2008, 07:54 PM
  #44  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,987
gardyloo, the friend was told, point blank, that she could not upgrade from the most discounted transatlantic coach fare (that she'd found on aa.com). Now, I do know that not all phone agents know what they're talking about, but in this case, it seemed to be "that's it, full stop."

I can certainly imagine a phone agent getting it wrong; I've had similar experiences. However, there are a couple of situations that might lead to such a (generally wrong) response:

1) The agent misinterpreted the request and said your friend couldn't upgrade because there weren't any upgrade seats available on that particular flight/day, rather than just generically;

2) The flight was a codeshare - i.e. using an AA flight number on a plane operated by another carrier.

3) The fare your friend saw on aa.com was one of the ineligible fares (I think this is pretty unlikely, but possible.) Here's the language from aa.com -

Fares not eligible for systemwide upgrades are:

* Fares booked in I or O
* Fares booked in Q between North America and Asia, Europe, India, or South America
* Government or military fares
* Any fares not eligible for mileage credit (such as award tickets)


But I suspect an ill-informed agent is the most likely case. The golden rule of talking to airlines on the phone is, if you don't like the answer, hang up and phone back.
Gardyloo is offline  
Jun 30th, 2008, 08:55 PM
  #45  
cfc
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 4,426
Well, the possibilities are, according to that wording, an O or a Q, both of which are discounted economy coach fares.

I checked with her and she said the fare she got on line was an "economy supersaver" that was about $830. The next step up, according to the agent, was $2300 RT. Nothing in between.
cfc is offline  
Jun 30th, 2008, 09:38 PM
  #46  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 16,987
What was the route and date?
Gardyloo is offline  
Jun 30th, 2008, 10:49 PM
  #47  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 24,001
I see AA Q fares frequently. If you are looking at a trans-Atlantic fare in the $600-range, I usually find it to be a Q. It can often be a $200 bump to the next fare class.

The #'s posted by the OP seem like a bigger jump, but everything is possible.
travelgourmet is offline  
Jul 1st, 2008, 04:35 AM
  #48  
HKP
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 5,601
RDU-LHR Sept. 10-17
HKP is offline  
Jul 1st, 2008, 04:43 AM
  #49  
HKP
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 5,601
RDU-LHR Sept 10-17 comes up close to what OP had posted (tried that just to experiment and dream -- they have a nonstop that's easier for me to connect to than other gateways) -- at least if you do that "schedule-price" option to try it out. Have had roughly the same experience, but a year ago, and on that occasion I discovered a discount BusClass fare that was only a few hundred more than upgradeable-coach plus the upgrade fee, so I used that and got the miles on top of everything else!

I'm with those who say use miles to upgrade internationally but not domestically.
HKP is offline  
Jul 1st, 2008, 04:48 AM
  #50  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 24,001
I don't see why their should be a problem upgrading this itinerary. The lowest fare class I find is N, which is eligible for upgrade, as far as I know.

The upgrade would be 25k miles + $300 each way.
travelgourmet is offline  
Jul 1st, 2008, 04:58 AM
  #51  
HKP
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 5,601
You're right - checked. Maybe I should quit dreaming and GO while it's still under $1500. - figure that fare won't last!
HKP is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2008, 09:55 AM
  #52  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 9,285
Does anyone know if miles accrued via your credit card will also work for upgrades? I know airlines' miles do and I know you can buy air tickets with your credit card points or miles, but buying upgrades? Has anyone done this?
ncounty is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2008, 10:28 AM
  #53  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 24,001
ncounty: It depends. If you are talking about Capital One-style points, then they are not the same as airline miles and will be of no use for upgrading.

However, something like Amex points, where you are really exchanging the Amex points for miles can be used - once the Amex points are converted to the mileage program, there is no difference as far as the airline is concerned.

IMHO, the fact that Capital One-style points are not combine-able is one of the reasons why I don't think such cards are very good. The other is the lousy redemption value, where the points are worth far less than the 3-5 cents per mile that I try to get for redemptions.
travelgourmet is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2008, 10:32 AM
  #54  
yk
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 24,037
My DH has an AA/Citi credit card; all the miles he accrued from the CC purchase automatically get deposited into his AA FF account, and are eligible for upgrade.
yk is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2008, 12:59 PM
  #55  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 9,285
Thanks travelgourmet, that's what figured. I have citibank miles so I figured there is no upgrade. I still like them because I can still buy trips with them....25,000 points is worth $400 toward a domestic free round trip. I guess I'll use my delta and united miles for these upgrades.
ncounty is offline  

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