I am a million miler with Continental (Now United). I have always been happy with the and feel they do treat their elite customers well although there has been somewhat of a deterioration of service since the merger. Got to believe it is better than American though!!! However having over 3 Million miles seems like it will be a difficult change to make for you. Are you that unhappy with American and Why?
I've been in the AA program for almost as long and many miles. I'm curious why the change as well. Do you have a ton of miles banked or just have over 3M lifetime? The new MM program they formalized this year provides some pretty cool stuff, you guys should have lifetime platinum status with them, which another airline likely will not match. I looked around a year ago when I moved farther away from the NYC airports and found switching to Delta almost made sense....until I looked at the miles they require for a free ticket. Their upgrades for active fliers was better for folks that were "gold" with other partners and they actually have a "diamond" level for 125k+ miles/yr folks. I just couldnt see my way to change when the reward flights were so much higher.
I have been impressed with the most recent updates for the AA program but I think its limited to exec plats. You can use your miles at the time of purchase similar to the way Marriott allows you to cash in points to pay for rooms.
At any rate, I am definitely interested in why you are looking to make the jump. Once I unload my miles I'll probably re-evaluate things as well just to make sure I'm not missing the boat somewhere else.
I have to say, I have n ever met anyone that travels a lot that either, has changed airline, is thinking of changing airline, or hasn't yet got to that point but will soon enough. In my estimation and experience (over 5 million miles on AA), they aren't what they once were, but neither is anyone else. There seems to be ups and downs, oftentimes related to how low an airlines falls before rising like the phoenix. In the Continental example, they were horrible, had terrible equipment, and morale was at an all-time low. Now they have new management, new planes, and better morale and they are the flavor of the month. American was one of the only 'legacy' airlines that did not take bankruptcy, has older equipment, and morale is very low. Finally, I believe that commercial air travel has been reduced to mass transit in the air and anyone who has traveled for many years has to hate the current affairs of the industry. Everyone I know complains about the airline they are most affiliated with.
Thanks for your input. I think Shoeman hits the nail on the head.
We have just had a year or so of horrible customer service, and after getting the runaround again on a very important issue, my dh was pushed to the edge. it is too long of a story to tell. We will see how it gets resolved. We have over Half a million points to use and then, we will see.
Sounds like a bad experience for sure, perhaps a call or email into one of their AA loyalty groups management would be in order. Outline the issues and how you are considering a switch. Might work out better than the standard customer service paths.
Best of luck to you, Shoeman definitely hit the nail on the head, its not what it once was but sometimes better to dance with the devil you know.
Airlines today can, and will, push customers to, and sometimes over, that proverbial edge. Shoeman is correct....none of them are what they used to be. It's not even worth discussing why that is, but it is. For all the reasons listed in this post, we all have those thoughts about switching airline loyalty. I have done it....and more than once...only to find that the grass is the same color at all of them.
So, when the airline sends me off the cliff I try and pick, very carefully, my battles to wage with them. We are rarely going to win....and I think the word loyalty has a very different meaning to the airlines today than we think it should.
I picked just one of those battles recently and got them to see my side of the issue. To give an idea of the severity that gets their attention, it surrounded the death of my wife's father. I won't go into detail, but I will say that the first 'few' people I spoke with could have, quite frankly, 'cared less' about the issue. But, as I persevered with the issue up the food chain, I found that there was a considerate person to be found.
So, even though they don't, in most cases (or trips, I should say), ever give us that feeling that loyalty counts....no one else is any better......unfortunately.
Lakeshore, I hope they take the time to resolve your issue properly. It will give us all a little flicker of hope that loyalty in the magnitude you have shown over the years does mean something.