Until last year, I was loyal only to United Airlines. I have flown aboard United to Beijing aboard a 777-200 in business class, while returning from Beijing on United’s 777-300 in Polaris business class. In addition to those long haul flights, I have flown to Denver on a CRJ-700, Houston on a ERJ-175, and Costa Rica on a 737-800, to name a few. The love affair slowly fizzled as I began having issue after issue after issue with customer service.
The decision was ultimately made to “see other people” in 2019. There were a couple of flights taken on Delta airlines, but a few more were taken on American Airlines. Here are some:
I ultimately ended up qualifying for American Airlines’ Gold status by year’s end.
This is the airlines’ base status, which meant I received a few upgrades and not much else. A week or so ago, I received an email offer to pay for an upgrade to American Airlines’ Platinum. Platinum is only one tier up from Gold so I ignored it completely, until last night. I received the offer again so I decided to check it out.
The “world of benefits” offered in the message were:
- Upgrades on qualifying flights. Confirmed as early as 48 hours prior to departure.
- Complimentary Preferred and Main Cabin Extra seats.
- 60% mileage bonus.
- Two free checked bags per flight.
The potential upgrades nor the two free checked bags excited me. The upgrades, because there are ALWAYS Executive Platinum or Concierge Key members flying to/from Dallas and Charlotte. This makes an upgrade virtually impossible, without buying the ticket outright. The two free bags are not a benefit for me because American Airlines already does a great job providing military members with appealing benefits.
The 60% mileage bonus would be useful if I were flying a bit more on the airline. Due to my current work situation, I cannot fly enough to make this worth it.
The best benefits on the list, for me, are the complimentary Preferred and Main Cabin Extra seats. This is twofold: 1) the better seats in the Main Cabin usually go for a fee ranging from ~$19 to ~S99, and 2) flyers in Main Cabin Extra receive complimentary alcoholic beverages. SCORE! While these are relatively small, they go a long way if you had a long day and can score an exit row seat with the seat in front of you missing.
If you remember above, there was a “See my offer” button. The next screen showed, in addition to the four world of benefits listed above, four more. Those four were:
- Priority check-in, security, and boarding.
- Complimentary same day changes.
- Oneworld Sapphire status which includes access to Business Class lounges on eligible flights.
- Discounted Admirals Club membership and a dedicated service desk.
Those were meh, but I was waiting for the big reveal. It did not take long for to see the end game…~$1,200 or ~120,000 miles to upgrade from Gold to Platinum. No sir!
I understand what American Airlines was trying to do but I am not interested in this promo. If the airline is offering me this to progress from Gold to Platinum, what are they offering Platinum Pro, Executive Platinum, and Concierge Key? I have no reason to stop flying American Airlines, I just wish they did not try to nickel and dime “us” with this offer.