FF+$250 upgrade to Europe

Old Jan 25th, 2005, 06:57 PM
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FF+$250 upgrade to Europe

Imagine my astonishment to be told that to upgrade to France on AA, it was not only 25,000 miles, but an additional $250!! I've been gone from the forum for a while, but I had no idea.

So, I'm traveling in the cattle car.

(The gal said it was de rigeur for all airlines. True?)
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Old Jan 25th, 2005, 07:07 PM
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Sorry to tell you LVSue, but the answer is yes..These rules were changed awhile back..Are you going back to Europe soon?
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Old Jan 25th, 2005, 07:12 PM
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This was announced by AA in October or November and spawned quite a lot of outrage in the AA frequent flyer community. Yes, upgrade co-pays are quite common; those that are miles-only on some airlines only apply to certain coach classes, i.e., the expensive ones, rather than all classes, which you can upgrade from on AA.

Even at $500 and 50K miles (worth, by most people's figuring, around $.015/mi, or another $625) for the RT, it's still cheaper by a long way than a standard business fare. The problem is, AA's business class product is pretty woeful at those prices, compared to their competitors' business class - flat beds, etc. Word is that the result is lots of grumbly elite AA flyers sitting in the back, and lots of empty seats up front. Dictatorship of the Accountants. Yield management indeed.

And....

If you've been away from AAdvantage news for that long, you might also not be aware that AA's commitment to "more room throughout coach" is also history. So on the 767 on which you'll be flying you will, most likely by your flight date, be back in 31" or 32" seat pitch, rather than the "MRTC" 34" pitch. The 777s (to LHR and Asia) will keep their legroom until the autumn; the rest of the fleet is being re-stuffed even as we speak.

So quite a few AA elite members, by all accounts, are moving into a "burn my AA miles, then look at other programs" mode.

It's true the airlines are hurting and they do love their economic models. But like Dr. Phil just asked (across the room on the TV,) "How's that working for you?"
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Old Jan 25th, 2005, 07:27 PM
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I've resigned myself to using up the miles as well. I'd never actually buy a full fare business fare and I don't fly like I used to, so the value of just a limited number of miles isn't that great. AA seems dedicated into competing purely on the price issue, based one what I've read from an email I received back from them (and I was truly shocked to get one!)

But since they have decided that price is the important point, rather than distinguishing their company through service or product, then I have joined them in making that a priority as well. And since NWA beat them on price for our next trip in February, NWA got the business. The first time, but surely not the last time, that I've purchased a ticket for a personal flight from someone other than AA in a good long while. And so it goes...


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Old Jan 25th, 2005, 09:35 PM
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The last time I flew to Europe was last April, but I have noticed in my last few domestic flights that the seats I have booked are not where they were supposed to be according to the plane layouts. (I book in the row behind bulkhead and it ends up being 4 rows behind bulkhead.)

I was curious (curious enough to write down the layout of my flight today), but the reconfiguration to save space seems to explain much.
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Old Jan 25th, 2005, 11:23 PM
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Welcome back to the real world.
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Old Jan 26th, 2005, 10:27 AM
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The extra legroom space is the reason that kept me going back to AA for my flights to Europe, despite that I always like Continental better,is more convenient for me also because I live in SAT.
Unfortunately I bought my tickets the first week of October.
I have accumulate enough miles for a free trip to Europe in 2006..after that unless AA is going back to their original plans, I will spend my moneys elsewhere.
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Old Jan 26th, 2005, 11:24 AM
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I got lucky. I had accumulated so many FF miles that when I booked our trip to Europe in the Fall, I received two free round-trip tickets (well, after taxes about $77) in First Class on American and British Airways (although it's called Club Exec). I haven't flown first class in more than 20 years.

The only downside was I now have six hour layover in London and had to fly a day early which gets us into Rome really late the night before the trip was supposed to start. The people who we go to Umbria to begin our trip do not arrive until the next morning, so I guess I have to spring for the Hilton Rome Airport for a night.

All things considered, it's still a great deal and with FF Miles becoming harder to cash in, I feel very fortunate.
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Old Jan 26th, 2005, 12:46 PM
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maitaitom, regarding the 6 hour layover: Are you aware that as a First or Business Class traveller, you have access to the Executive Club lounge at the airport in London? I've been to the one at Gatwick and the following are all free: showers, snacks, soft drinks, bar drinks, and computers. I don't know if you're using Gatwick or Heathrow, but I'm sure the lounges are just as nice at either airport. I don't think your layover will be so bad.
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Old Jan 26th, 2005, 01:07 PM
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"Are you aware that as a First or Business Class traveller, you have access to the Executive Club lounge at the airport in London?"

P_M, since I usually travel cattle car mode, I was not aware of that fact. You have made my day. Perhaps I'll partake in a Gin and Schweppe's bitter lemon (if that's still around). Thanks for alerting me.
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Old Jan 26th, 2005, 01:29 PM
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The Admiral's Club at Heathrow (and I assume at Gatwick as well) even has free computers for checking email, etc.
All drinks and even light snacks are free, and it is a very comfortable environment.
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Old Jan 26th, 2005, 01:58 PM
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Sue -
yes, it's true. As noted by others, these days on most airlines you can upgrade without pying a fee only if you purchase a full fare (or close to full fare.) Continental actually staggers the fee based on the fare class purchased. Not sure about others.
Kismetchimera - you are in SAT also? Don't you think it's time we had an SA GTG? I'l start a thread...
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Old Jan 26th, 2005, 02:44 PM
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Not only light snacks but a really good substanial buffet starting in the late afternoon...don't know if AA does the same but Delta's was great. I could even learn to like layovers!

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Old Jan 26th, 2005, 02:48 PM
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Oh, maitaitom,
I'm another fan of Schweppe's Bitter Lemon!

I used to be able to find it here, but not lately. Mmmm, a bitter lemon with gin......
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Old Jan 26th, 2005, 03:26 PM
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Always happy to be of service, maitaitom!! Enjoy your layover.
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Old Jan 26th, 2005, 03:28 PM
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After hearing all this, I might just skip the three weeks in Italy and pull a Tom Hanks and hang out at Heathrow for 20 days.
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Old Jan 26th, 2005, 03:41 PM
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Comment and question:

C: At one point, up-gradable coach fare on AA from RDU-LGW was about $1100., and restricted business class was $2000. So you could either pay $1600. and 50,000 miles or $500 more and no miles for the same seat (and get 1.5xFF miles), or 90,000 miles or 180,000 miles and no money. Quick, do the math, and you'll know what I did.

Q: According to the AA website, Admiral's Club members use the BA "Terraces lounge" at Gatwick's Norh Terminal. Anyone know what the facilities there are like? (On the AA website, there little icons indicating showers, etc. for other Admiral's Clubs but not at LGW.)
 
Old Jan 26th, 2005, 03:56 PM
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The Terraces Lounge is what I described above. I was thinking it was called the Executive Club Lounge, but now that you mention it, the correct name is "Terraces Lounge." Sorry for the mistake. I plead temporary insanity.

Here's a link to some info about the Terraces Lounge:

http://www.britishairways.com/travel...urn&sec=atairp

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Old Jan 26th, 2005, 04:25 PM
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I give, Cassandra. What did you do? I'm pretty good at math, but...
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Old Jan 26th, 2005, 04:52 PM
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The BA Terraces lounge at LGW is by most reports one of the nicest ones in the BA network.

Be sure you understand who can, and who can't, get into the various lounges. Generally limited to pax with premium class tickets and/or oneworld Alliance elite status (Sapphire and up), or in some cases (but not all) membership in another lounge network that conveys reciprocity. AA is the most anal of the lot, BTW. Look at the AA.com website for admit policies; sadly you'll look in vain for a similar page on the BA website.
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