During a recent webcast a question was asked about the potential for American Airlines returning to the Marriott Rewards program. The response was that there is a lot of support from members regarding AA and that the program was revised/updated every two years. I do not think I was alone in believing that there was a strong posibility of seeing AA reinstated. Has anyone else heard any updates or possibly had heard this webcast from a couple of months ago? If you heard the webcast did you get the same impression that I did?
American Air & Marriott Rewards have parted ways. Have you considered using the rewards site to book "Air & Car" on another airline, then purchasing your tickets on American. Sell the rewards tickets & get your money back, then flying on American? I do this From LA to Rome & back frequently. Currently the RT tickets for Business Class are running around $2400. The downside is you use a lot of points and get reimbursed with cash. But it works.
Not really into selling rewards, as if the airline finds out, you can be in a whole lotta hot water! I have lots of AA miles, so its not really an issue if I want to use them up for a trip, and have lots of MR points, so that is not the issue for me either. I remember when AA and Marriott said goodbye to each other, and really, it lessened the overall benefits to MR and AA particpants. Sometimes the MR bundled deals were better with MR points and sometimes not vs AA, but the flexibility it affored was really good, and required no backdoor ticketing thru alliances, no "selling" of airline tickets, it was straight up and just required two quick comparisons on AA and MR websites. Some MR members may not have many air points, so if they happen to live in, lets say Dallas, where AA has a virtual monopoly, then the inability to book on AA probably means a connection on a MR partner airline, and as for me, I avoid connections at all costs. TurboDave, its good to know you live in SoCal, so you do have a choice, and you have found a solution that works for you. I just prefer to not sell and avoid the hassles that can be encountered, but, to each thier own!
Re: American Airlines and Rewards Redemption
One of the issues to be resolved in combining the "Aadvantage" and "Dividend Miles" programs into one is how does Marriott fit in? My gut feeling is that the merger just might provide an impetus to both American and Marriott to rethink their original positions and give them an excuse to get back together again. Since I am a Lifetime Platinum with American and consider their loyalty program the best in the business I hope they do.
When I called CS after the elimination of the TP with AA, a person who I had worked with in the past told me that over half the people ordering the TPs requested AA miles.
I just hope that AA doesn't take on the Dividend program from US Air. Having checked it, I find that they have all the negatives that Delta has like charging for changed of time or date on a mileage ticket. AA and United do not charge.
It is very difficult to get a good "bang for your buck" using Dividend Miles. Their asinine redemption calendars are infuriating. There is no reason why it needs to be so convoluted. I live in the NYC area and even with three airports at my disposal, a flight could be 12,500 all the way up to 30,000 each way, but it depends on the day, the time of year, the airport you are flying out of, how many stops, its insane. All airlines have their good and bad points but I have to say redemption of Dividend Miles is an awful process. The merger would allow the combination of DM and AA miles (if you have both) which would be great on many levels.
While AA, AAdvantage, Oneworld membership, etc. will survive, I'm concerned about the mechanics of AAdvantage. AAdvantage currently has excellent award rates, good perks, etc. I do not want to see the redemption structure and benefits change, though I fear it is inevitable... We know Parker will pursue profits aggressively, and likely to the detriment of AAdvantage and perhaps even (but hopefully not) AA's great new in-flight experience. While the merger is great for US Air and offers more choices for customers of both AA and US Air, AAdvantage members stand to lose the most from this merger in my opinion. While its no longer possible, I really would have liked to see AA remain independent.
Whether or not AA would have survived long-term as a stand-alone entity is debatable. But even if they had to merge to survive, and even if it had to be US Air, I would have much preferred to see AA management remain. US Air and Parker tout that they know what they're doing, but do they really? For all intents and purposes, US Airways remains two separate airlines operating under a common name. US Airways has its own share of labor issues, and I question AA's labor in thinking that Parker is going to make things better for them. But such labor issues most likely won't affect the flying public. What will affect us is what Parker decides to do with AA. Horton and his team decided to take AA upmarket, which is great. They're turning AA into a real world class airline. US, on the other hand, is a legacy that acts more like an LCC... In fact, I believe you get better service, more complimentary services, etc. flying on real LCC like JetBlue than you do on US Airways. If this is what the future holds for AA, I think it'll be a real shame. But what will be even worst is if Parker decided to mess with how AAdvantage operates and seriously devalues it (like Marriott's new management has done to MR ). There's so much to be lost with this merger, and so little to be gained... especially knowing who's in charge and what they've done in the past.
I actually did some digging today and found this article from last year that gives Robert Crandall's opinion on AA prior to the merger announcement, very interesting read if anything: http://aviationblog.dallasnews.com/2012/09/robert-crandall-responds-to-a-pilot-about-the-american-airlines-situation.html/
I have been a long time member of America West so when they merged with us air I did get fewer upgrades but there were many more flight option as the route map got larger. that will be the big benefit with this merger. If you are AA get many more flight in US as Us air has a robust domestic route system . With Us air you get all the extra international flights. But most airline experts said that without a combination both would have trouble competing with UA and Delta . Being in Phoenix I do expect fewer non stops the combined airlines have hubs in LA and Dallas.