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Gardyloo May 3rd, 2008 12:18 AM

A message board is a message board; good stuff, lots of egos, plenty of dreck. Caveat emptor.

AA is definitely tweaking the Aadvantage program - making Gold way too easy (free to MBAs etc.) and <i>probably</i> restricting serial &quot;challenges&quot; (the 10,000-point thing) so that people don't challenge, fall back, rinse, repeat.

I don't know that paying to renew is all that wise in the OP's case. I'd recommend a real spreadsheet analysis of flying patterns and expenditures to see if a membership in a lounge plan, for example, might be better bang for the buck, especially if mainly traveling domestically.

As to why transatlantic business class is so expensive, it's because &quot;business&quot; people will pay that much for it.

travelgourmet May 3rd, 2008 03:17 AM

<i>it's because &quot;business&quot; people will pay that much for it.&lt;/&gt;

Actually, it is because &quot;business&quot; people don't pay that much. While they don't readily publish these things, my understanding is that volume discounts for corporations can be very substantial.</i>

BeachBoi May 3rd, 2008 04:24 AM

yk...Just curious where did you see that everyone on the same PNR can upgrade with a PLAT?? If thats the case I'm taking EVRYONE with me!!

Jeff_Costa_Rica May 3rd, 2008 10:41 AM

I assume the chances of multiple upgrades clearing get slimmer and slimmer with each added passenger. Since I travel alone, my ugrades frequently clear since it's just me I have to worry about.

AAFrequentFlyer May 3rd, 2008 10:54 AM

I'm not sure what <b>yk</b> meant when s/he talked about AA upgrade policy and having status.

International upgrades(Europe, South America, Asia and India) - ANYBODY can upgrade one way as long as they meet the following terms:

1. upgradeable fare
2. C fare inventory is available
3. 25k miles (40k miles for India)
4. $300 co-pay

Domestic upgrades(including Canada, Mexico, Caribbean, Bermuda and Central America) - A staus holder can include 1 companion for an upgrade as long as:

1. The 2 are traveling together
2. 1 of the 2 have enough 500 mile stickers in the account to cover the upgrades.

travelgourmet May 4th, 2008 01:41 AM

AAFF: Is there no additional inventory made available for Plats or ExPlats? I can't think of too many other carriers that do this, but curious if AA does it.

But otherwise, I would agree that about the only thing that Plat will get you is a higher place on the upgrade list. But if it is T-24 and upgrades haven't cleared, I don't like my chances for that to be the deciding factor that will get a party of 3 bumped up.

AAFrequentFlyer May 4th, 2008 01:50 AM

Not for upgrades. For international upgrades C inventory is C inventory. It's either available or it's not. I waitlisted many times. I believe that having EXP status is more helpful during award reservations, not upgrading. Occasionally, a dedicated EXP agent would call the revenue desk to get one seat released for upgrade, but I don't think it happens all that often.

At the end I have always cleared so no complaints.

AAFrequentFlyer May 4th, 2008 01:59 AM

btw, I use e-vips as my upgrade instrument. All EXPs get 8 free certs per year. Each is good for one way upgrade up to three segments, anywhere AA metal goes. There is no co-pay.

Mileage/e-vips upgrades still need the same C inventory.

111op May 4th, 2008 01:50 PM

Hi again, I think that I'm right around the 30-day mark from when I'm thinking of traveling, so I need to get moving -- like finally settling on where to go and which airline to fly.

So I think that I'd better forget about trying out for upgrades based on what you guys are saying.

A while ago I thought that I found some Business class fares for around $2500, but it seems like now everything is over $4000. I read some articles that there're now discounted fares if you buy 30 days in advance, but maybe they are all gone.

I was considering L'Avion, but it seems like there's a risk there that's not negligible. I don't want to be stuck if they go under.

Can people recommend some good websites or travel agents who can help? Obviously I don't normally fly Business.

If I end up flying AA I think that I'll have to try to claim one award, but probably I'll have to buy another ticket -- unless I get my parents to share the one Business seat, which doesn't seem right.

I'm trying to get used to the sticker shock, but I do think this will be money well spent.

Thanks again!

111op May 4th, 2008 01:53 PM

By the way, I tried to check out the Amex Plat companion offer (though I'm not Amex Plat) to get some ideas for airfares.

Their inventory seems limited around the dates I was looking for. So I just got them to see if they could quote me a ballpark fare. It sounded like a seat would be at least $8000 (but you get one ticket free), so it's still over $4000 per person.

Please share your tricks and wisdom, thanks!

WillTravel May 4th, 2008 02:27 PM

Is it possible to get insurance that would cover a L'Avion bankruptcy or business termination? You'd have to be extremely sure, of course.

I wouldn't usually mention the following possibility, because it would generally be too much trouble, but if you are thinking of spending $8000 on business-class tickets, I will.

Since you can't transit the UK, how about first going to Toronto (or Montreal) and then taking Zoom premium economy nonstop to Paris? You'd have to allow *plenty* of time to allow for immigration delays or whatever other type of delays, particularly since Zoom flights are pretty limited, but it might be worth the savings.

111op May 4th, 2008 07:11 PM

That's not really going to work either because I don't want to transit through Canada. But thanks for the thought though.

I already don't find L'Avion that appealing because I've to fly in and out of Paris. I mean, I'd rather do open jaw and save a few hours. I don't think it makes sense to subject to my parents to more flying than necessary.

Also it's not just the $. I mean, I don't want to make plans to go, have the airline go bankrupt and then not be able to go either. That'd be a terrible experience because it's not like I can vacation with my parents anytime.

111op May 5th, 2008 06:09 PM

I think that I can't quite get over the sticker shock -- esp. now that non-stop flights are well, well over $5000. Probably a no go.

I'm thinking of other options -- like... gasp... Air India! One way first class is actually about $2000. Do people know how this is? I searched online and it looks like whether the plane is new makes a big difference. This is EWR-CDG.

111op May 8th, 2008 06:04 AM

Hi, what do the upgrade chances look like for 6/4 JFK-ZRH and 6/15 FCO-JFK on AA? Does someone know?


BeachBoi May 8th, 2008 06:20 AM

111op.....AA Flight 64, June 4, JFK ZRH...&quot;0&quot; UPgrade (C Class) Seats, 14 Business Class seats available for sale(this number will fluctuate of course but as of this moment).....AA Flight 235, June 15, FCO JFK...&quot;0&quot; Upgrade (C Class) Seats, 2 Business Class seats available for sale....Chances? Not good for returning, Slim to None...Chances of having lunch with the Pope that day much better...

111op May 8th, 2008 06:30 AM

Thanks. Business is 5000+ according to Kayak on these flights.

I found Business flights for about 3000 on Swissair, but there's a connection on the way back from FCO, and I still think it's silly to connect when you're paying to fly Business. Maybe that's the best I can do for now.

Unless... Does someone know of a travel agent who can get reduced Business fares on AA? AA does work better since all our miles are on AA.

Thanks again!

111op May 8th, 2008 06:34 AM

By the way, out of curiosity -- are Exec Plat passengers subject to the C inventory upgrade rule? Or can they upgrade as long as a Business Class seat is available?

travelgourmet May 8th, 2008 06:41 AM

EXPs have the same availability as anyone else, per AAFF's post above. The main difference is that they get a certain number of vouchers to use, in lieu of miles + cash.

Unfortunately, AA has the bulk of its flights going to LHR. Since you can't connect through there, I would have to say that your chances of upgrading 3 seats on AA are pretty low.

111op May 8th, 2008 06:45 AM


So there're no C seats. And suppose on the day of the flight, there're still Business class seats available. Do they then start &quot;giving them away&quot;? I mean, do they release that inventory for upgrades?

I guess this route is not possible for me, but just for future reference.

111op May 8th, 2008 06:47 AM

You're right that AAFF explained the upgrade rules for Exec Plat already. Sorry that I was just too lazy to scroll up. I just did to read his/her explanation. Thanks again.

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