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Old 02-16-2002, 05:24 PM   #21
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Well, unlike most of you, I think itís time for me to cut my losses and move on! If I were a Houston flyer, flying mainly domestic, Iíd stay. Upgrades are still relatively easy and plentiful out of IAH, although West Coast to EWR transcon upgrades have become difficult, approaching slim, even for a Platinum.

Pluses for staying:
1. Free domestic upgrades.
2. ďFreeĒ use of PC with Amex Platinum card.
3. Free booze in PCís.
4. Lots of opportunities to earn bonus miles!
5. A distinctly superior BF service.

Negatives:
1. HoKeY fares have priced me out of international upgrades.
2. Domestic upgrades have become increasing more difficult....first with EUA, and then even more so post-9/11. Thus, transcon upgrades are 50/50 at best, even for a Platinum. And, as a non-hub West Coast flyer, most of my CO flights are transcon.
3. COís limited route system and third-rate partners. As a non-hub flyer, virtually every CO flight involves the hassle of a plane change. And, if Iím flying to Asia, Iíd much rather fly SQ or CX than NW. Flying to Europe, I can think of lots of airlines Iíd rather fly than KL.
4. CO and its partners donít fly to Sydney, a high mileage destination that I fly to at least once, and usually twice a year.
5. High ticket prices! CO tickets are invariably among the most expensive.
6. Poor availability of reward tickets. And a Saturday night stay is required.
7. Worthless weekend specials, especially for non-hub flyers.
8. COís recent habit of trying to chintz their best flyers at every turn, including trying to squirm out of Rule 240 requirements last Fall, ďenhancedĒ elite kits for 2002, and charges for drinks in international Economy.
9. CO converting BF into Employee Class. Putting employees in their unsold BF seats ahead of their Elites shows total arrogance and contempt for their best customers.

Plus #1 is an extremely strong incentive! And in the past, it has outweighed Negatives #3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. But, with the rapid decline in value of Pluses #1 and 4, and the addition of Negatives #1, 2, 8, and 9, the scales have shifted dramatically. And Plus #5 means nothing if you canít get it!

I would dearly love to jump to AA, with its intl. tickets upgradeable on any published fare, Clubs vastly superior to the competition (other than cash drinks), and a generally better AAttitude than most airlines (or should I say ďless badĒ?). But UA seriously trumps them on service to Sydney, a regular destination for me!

AA metal doesnít fly to Sydney. You have to fly QF. QF only gives .7 miles on discount tickets, and you canít upgrade them with miles. OTOH, with UA, you have the choice of either UA or NZ. UA can be upgraded, either with miles or an SWU. And although NZ canít be upgraded, they offer a superior coach service with 34Ē pitch seats and better coach food than either UA, AA, CO, or QF. And both airlines give full status miles, although you can only get elite bonuses and mileage toward free upgrade certs on UA metal.
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Old 02-16-2002, 05:24 PM   #22
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Well, unlike most of you, I think itís time for me to cut my losses and move on! If I were a Houston flyer, flying mainly domestic, Iíd stay. Upgrades are still relatively easy and plentiful out of IAH, although West Coast to EWR transcon upgrades have become difficult, approaching slim, even for a Platinum.

Pluses for staying:
1. Free domestic upgrades.
2. ďFreeĒ use of PC with Amex Platinum card.
3. Free booze in PCís.
4. Lots of opportunities to earn bonus miles!
5. A distinctly superior BF service.

Negatives:
1. HoKeY fares have priced me out of international upgrades.
2. Domestic upgrades have become increasing more difficult....first with EUA, and then even more so post-9/11. Thus, transcon upgrades are 50/50 at best, even for a Platinum. And, as a non-hub West Coast flyer, most of my CO flights are transcon.
3. COís limited route system and third-rate partners. As a non-hub flyer, virtually every CO flight involves the hassle of a plane change. And, if Iím flying to Asia, Iíd much rather fly SQ or CX than NW. Flying to Europe, I can think of lots of airlines Iíd rather fly than KL.
4. CO and its partners donít fly to Sydney, a high mileage destination that I fly to at least once, and usually twice a year.
5. High ticket prices! CO tickets are invariably among the most expensive.
6. Poor availability of reward tickets. And a Saturday night stay is required.
7. Worthless weekend specials, especially for non-hub flyers.
8. COís recent habit of trying to chintz their best flyers at every turn, including trying to squirm out of Rule 240 requirements last Fall, ďenhancedĒ elite kits for 2002, and charges for drinks in international Economy.
9. CO converting BF into Employee Class. Putting employees in their unsold BF seats ahead of their Elites shows total arrogance and contempt for their best customers.

Plus #1 is an extremely strong incentive! And in the past, it has outweighed Negatives #3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. But, with the rapid decline in value of Pluses #1 and 4, and the addition of Negatives #1, 2, 8, and 9, the scales have shifted dramatically. And Plus #5 means nothing if you canít get it!

I would dearly love to jump to AA, with its intl. tickets upgradeable on any published fare, Clubs vastly superior to the competition (other than cash drinks), and a generally better AAttitude than most airlines (or should I say ďless badĒ?). But UA seriously trumps them on service to Sydney, a regular destination for me!

AA metal doesnít fly to Sydney. You have to fly QF. QF only gives .7 miles on discount tickets, and you canít upgrade them with miles. OTOH, with UA, you have the choice of either UA or NZ. UA can be upgraded, either with miles or an SWU. And although NZ canít be upgraded, they offer a superior coach service with 34Ē pitch seats and better coach food than either UA, AA, CO, or QF. And both airlines give full status miles, although you can only get elite bonuses and mileage toward free upgrade certs on UA metal.
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Old 02-16-2002, 10:39 PM   #23
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As I have said in the past, CO is a great airline for domestic travellers. If I flew internationally, I would be top level elite on AA.

I would not touch UA with a 10' pole. Too many labor problems, VERY bad attitudes and way too many elites.
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Old 02-16-2002, 10:39 PM   #24
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As I have said in the past, CO is a great airline for domestic travellers. If I flew internationally, I would be top level elite on AA.

I would not touch UA with a 10' pole. Too many labor problems, VERY bad attitudes and way too many elites.
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Old 02-16-2002, 11:20 PM   #25
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But would you be willing to sit in a 31" pitch seat for 15 hours to Sydney, 4 times a year (2 RT's), and then get only .7 miles for your suffering, in order to fly AA the rest of the year???

If you can honestly say "yes" to the above, I might reconsider! As I agree with you about UA labor problems and attitudes, as well as too many 1K's. And I still love AA's policy of international upgrades on all published fares! But as I'm 6'1" and 220 lbs., I just can't hack a 31" pitch seat for that length of time! That's a major reason I'm leaving CO.

As for CO being "a great airline for domestic travellers," yes it is, but not as great as it used to be! As I said, EUA and flight reductions post-9/11 have really hurt upgrade chances. I actually sat in the back on a IAH-LAX flight last Fall as a Platinum. Prior to that my upgrade record on that segment had been 100%, even as a Silver. And sitting in the back on EWR transcons is starting to become routine. On my last transcon I even got stuck in a middle seat. I spent the entire flight asking myself if this was my reward for making Platinum!
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Old 02-16-2002, 11:20 PM   #26
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But would you be willing to sit in a 31" pitch seat for 15 hours to Sydney, 4 times a year (2 RT's), and then get only .7 miles for your suffering, in order to fly AA the rest of the year???

If you can honestly say "yes" to the above, I might reconsider! As I agree with you about UA labor problems and attitudes, as well as too many 1K's. And I still love AA's policy of international upgrades on all published fares! But as I'm 6'1" and 220 lbs., I just can't hack a 31" pitch seat for that length of time! That's a major reason I'm leaving CO.

As for CO being "a great airline for domestic travellers," yes it is, but not as great as it used to be! As I said, EUA and flight reductions post-9/11 have really hurt upgrade chances. I actually sat in the back on a IAH-LAX flight last Fall as a Platinum. Prior to that my upgrade record on that segment had been 100%, even as a Silver. And sitting in the back on EWR transcons is starting to become routine. On my last transcon I even got stuck in a middle seat. I spent the entire flight asking myself if this was my reward for making Platinum!
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Old 02-17-2002, 09:34 AM   #27
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Would I be willing to fly 15 hours in coach? NO. But, I have no desire to fly to Sydney. My only experience with a person from there was rather unpleasant, and I have no desire to see if that was an aberation or the norm.

We both agree that CO is not the perfect airline for you. If you do not want to be stuck in coach on transcon's, you will need to be 1K on UA in order to avoid that fate. Even then, it will cost you some type of certificate. You need to weigh that vs the Sydney trips.

As for CO not being as good lately, transcons have always been a tough upgrade. I always look for flights that I can upgrade using mileage. 10,000 miles is a drop in the bucket for me and it is worth it for me. Since I have you trumped on size, 6'0 250lbs, I upgrade using miles on any trip west of Denver.

You also need to remember that the number of elites will drop in two weeks. The first two months of any year is tougher for upgrades, given that the people who are going to lose status still have it.
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Old 02-17-2002, 09:34 AM   #28
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Would I be willing to fly 15 hours in coach? NO. But, I have no desire to fly to Sydney. My only experience with a person from there was rather unpleasant, and I have no desire to see if that was an aberation or the norm.

We both agree that CO is not the perfect airline for you. If you do not want to be stuck in coach on transcon's, you will need to be 1K on UA in order to avoid that fate. Even then, it will cost you some type of certificate. You need to weigh that vs the Sydney trips.

As for CO not being as good lately, transcons have always been a tough upgrade. I always look for flights that I can upgrade using mileage. 10,000 miles is a drop in the bucket for me and it is worth it for me. Since I have you trumped on size, 6'0 250lbs, I upgrade using miles on any trip west of Denver.

You also need to remember that the number of elites will drop in two weeks. The first two months of any year is tougher for upgrades, given that the people who are going to lose status still have it.
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Old 02-17-2002, 11:53 PM   #29
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I'll gloss over you deciding that an entire country is unworthy because of one a-hole and say that my experience flying QF has been quite good. I just made silver status, but I've mostly been flying domestic (that's domestic Australia).

QF accepts CO miles if you are departing from outside Australia, but if you are going to fly with them every so often, check out OneWorld benefits, which QF and AA are part of.

Also, QF has recently changed their reward program from being "points" based to miles. This may solve your problem of only being 70% rewarded for travel.

I can say that, in this area of the world, NZ and SQ are regarded as a "nice way to fly," while QF is often "the only way to get there." Litterally.
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Old 02-17-2002, 11:53 PM   #30
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I'll gloss over you deciding that an entire country is unworthy because of one a-hole and say that my experience flying QF has been quite good. I just made silver status, but I've mostly been flying domestic (that's domestic Australia).

QF accepts CO miles if you are departing from outside Australia, but if you are going to fly with them every so often, check out OneWorld benefits, which QF and AA are part of.

Also, QF has recently changed their reward program from being "points" based to miles. This may solve your problem of only being 70% rewarded for travel.

I can say that, in this area of the world, NZ and SQ are regarded as a "nice way to fly," while QF is often "the only way to get there." Litterally.
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Old 02-18-2002, 12:51 AM   #31
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Quote:
I'll gloss over you deciding that an entire country is unworthy because of one a-hole and say that my experience flying QF has been quite good.
First of all, it wasn't me who said that! Personally, I happen to think that Oz is the 2nd greatest country on Earth! I like Aussies enough that I married one!

As for QF, I've flown them both from the U.S. and domestically. My experiences (and that of my wife's, a life-long QF flyer) have been that QF's major strength is that their planes have a great reputation for not falling out of the sky!

The quality of their service is OK...not the best, but certainly not the worst either. Ditto with the quality of their onboard food. I wasn't meaning to put QF down, only to emphasize the very high quality of NZ's Economy service.

My biggest problem with QF is that I can't upgrade into SYD with AA miles, while I can upgrade a UA flight with UA miles. And the pitch of their Economy seats is a pathetic 31" (same as CO, BTW), as opposed to 34" on NZ.

Quote:
QF accepts CO miles if you are departing from outside Australia, but if you are going to fly with them every so often, check out OneWorld benefits, which QF and AA are part of.
Yes they do. But they're not miles applicable to status, which is extremely important, especially when we're dealing with a 15 K miles RT. And they don't give elite bonuses either!

BTW, they will also give CO miles on a domestic flight, as long as you flew in from the U.S., and it doesn't even have to be a QF flight. I flew LAX-CNS on CO, then bought a "Boomerang Pass" on QF, CNS-SYD RT. And I got the CO miles for that trip!

Quote:
Also, QF has recently changed their reward program from being "points" based to miles. This may solve your problem of only being 70% rewarded for travel.
Yes they have...on their own FF program! Actually, QF has revamped it's program from one of the worst to one of the best! Should I ever emigrate to Australia (and that might happen), I would certainly consider jumping to QF! Unfortunately, AA still only gives .7 AA miles on QF discount tickets...at least according to their website.
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Old 02-18-2002, 12:51 AM   #32
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Quote:
I'll gloss over you deciding that an entire country is unworthy because of one a-hole and say that my experience flying QF has been quite good.
First of all, it wasn't me who said that! Personally, I happen to think that Oz is the 2nd greatest country on Earth! I like Aussies enough that I married one!

As for QF, I've flown them both from the U.S. and domestically. My experiences (and that of my wife's, a life-long QF flyer) have been that QF's major strength is that their planes have a great reputation for not falling out of the sky!

The quality of their service is OK...not the best, but certainly not the worst either. Ditto with the quality of their onboard food. I wasn't meaning to put QF down, only to emphasize the very high quality of NZ's Economy service.

My biggest problem with QF is that I can't upgrade into SYD with AA miles, while I can upgrade a UA flight with UA miles. And the pitch of their Economy seats is a pathetic 31" (same as CO, BTW), as opposed to 34" on NZ.

Quote:
QF accepts CO miles if you are departing from outside Australia, but if you are going to fly with them every so often, check out OneWorld benefits, which QF and AA are part of.
Yes they do. But they're not miles applicable to status, which is extremely important, especially when we're dealing with a 15 K miles RT. And they don't give elite bonuses either!

BTW, they will also give CO miles on a domestic flight, as long as you flew in from the U.S., and it doesn't even have to be a QF flight. I flew LAX-CNS on CO, then bought a "Boomerang Pass" on QF, CNS-SYD RT. And I got the CO miles for that trip!

Quote:
Also, QF has recently changed their reward program from being "points" based to miles. This may solve your problem of only being 70% rewarded for travel.
Yes they have...on their own FF program! Actually, QF has revamped it's program from one of the worst to one of the best! Should I ever emigrate to Australia (and that might happen), I would certainly consider jumping to QF! Unfortunately, AA still only gives .7 AA miles on QF discount tickets...at least according to their website.
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