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AA Upgrade With Miles And Cash-- A Rip-off?  
User currently offlineAirAmericaC46 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 590 posts, RR: 1
Posted (6 years 12 months 2 days 6 hours ago) and read 8205 times:

I just flew AA DFW-EZE-MIA and wanted to upgrade to business class using miles. I was told that I will have to use 25K miles plus $300 cash to upgrade the DFW-EZE leg. When I asked the same question at EZE on the leg to MIA, I was told I have to use 25K miles plus $400 cash. I thought it was a rip-off because years ago when I missed a flight from EWR to AMS, the reservations agent put me on KL JFK-AMS business class using 25K miles but NO CASH. I also read articles that mentioned airlines asking as low as $500 cash WITHOUT using miles to upgrade (like TG).

So here are my questions: 1. your opinions if it is a rip-off if airlines ask for both miles plus cash to upgrade.
2. What are the airlines that currently ask for MILES ONLY (and how many miles) to upgrade

3. What are the airlines that currently ask for CASH (and how much) to upgrade?
In fairness to AA, I still thank them for that wonderful business class RT JFK-YVR on CX for free using only 45K miles-----that was years ago, so I don't know now if they ask for more.

Thanks for the answers.

10 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineMiner From Brazil, joined Aug 2007, 105 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (6 years 12 months 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 8205 times:

Yes, I think it's a rip-off. Those earned miles, in my opinion have value and I don't need to increase it value with hard cash. But it's a trend and the airlines will try to make money in any way or form, so we just have to accept it. It was hotly debated when AA first introduced it a while back- lots of whiners (me included), but we just went along. So now, I just sit in coach and use my miles for when travelling with my kids.
No more AA miles for upgrades on CX. Bahhh. I'm booked for JFK-HKG next week- a 16:20 trip in coach. At least CX is far superior in Y than any US airlines.


User currently offlineTango-Bravo From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 3805 posts, RR: 29
Reply 2, posted (6 years 12 months 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 8205 times:

Perhaps not so much a rip-off as it is one more example of legacy airlines' obsession with convoluted nonsense. Miles or money would make sense, miles and money is more like yet another example of airline-think that goes "let's make this as confusing as possible for all concerned -- and after that, let's make it even more confusing" which serves no particular purpose beyond feeding the U.S. legacies' addiction to convolution.

Upping the miles or money required for upgrades would make sense; charging both miles and money is utter nonsense, even if not the most extreme example of such that the legacies manage to devise on a regular basis. They are utterly inept at operating a reliable schedule but they are utterly capable of inventing an endless succession of convoluted marketing schemes; perhaps the fact that airlines are going nowhere fast with regard to the former can be explained by their focus on the latter at the expense of the former.


User currently offlineTonytifao From Brazil, joined Mar 2005, 1026 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (6 years 12 months 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 8205 times:

I was fine with the $250 co pay + 25k miles because that is the only US airlines that will allow you to upgrade on more coach fares. They have increased now to $300 + $25k.

It does not irritate me anymore because I'm an Exec Plat, but before, they would charge you Same Day ticketing which would cost you anothe $75. I think it is now the same day service fee is $100. This is the biggest bullshit charge in the world.

Airlines are making so much with these stupid fees.


User currently offlineLufthansa747 From Philippines, joined May 1999, 3201 posts, RR: 43
Reply 4, posted (6 years 12 months 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 8205 times:

Pay or Cry, pretty simple. The era of comp upgrades is over.

$250 North American Pesos is next to nothing in Intl currency these days, so feel lucky they won't charge you in GBP.  Smile



Air Asia Super Elite, Cebu Pacific Titanium
User currently offlineTeamAmerica From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 1761 posts, RR: 23
Reply 5, posted (6 years 12 months 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 8205 times:

Quoting Lufthansa747 (Reply 4):
$250 North American Pesos is next to nothing in Intl currency these days

The North American currency is the "Amero", not pesos. rotfl 



Failure is not an option; it's an outcome.
User currently offlineJbernie From Australia, joined Jan 2007, 880 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (6 years 12 months 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 8205 times:

In April of 06 a friend of mine flew DEN-SFO-SYD on UA, they offered him an upgrade from economy to business on the SFO-SYD portion for US$500. I don't think he could of said yes any quicker  Smile. To my knowledge he does not have any FF link to UA (UA or Star Alliance).

When it comes to cost, it depends on the flight. I don't see any domestic flight being worth it, however any flights to/ from US - Asia/Sth Pacific when you are looking at an easy 13-17 hour flight without including any additional legs will make it very much in my interest.

Other factors will be how frequently you fly/accrue miles, for someone who is flying longhaul international frequently they may want to save the miles for a free flight for their partner as that is a reward they can obtain in a reasonable time frame. For someone who isn't travelling much but maybe has just enough miles for the reward, they might enjoy the option to upgrade as waiting for the free ticket might take a few more years.

Either way, I can't say I am surprised that the US airlines are wanting cold hard cash for more and more things. Many Americans don't really travel out of the Mexico/USA/Canada region so don't have the option to accrue miles on other airlines that might not impose these charges.


User currently offlineJcavinato From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 520 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (6 years 12 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 8205 times:

Creative fees? Let's see. There could be ones for:

* Using a seat in the gate area (that would be charged according to when you arrived to when you finally got on the plane).

* Boarding pass handling fee.

* Charge for reading the seat-back magazine.

* Rent or charge for the cup the complimentary drink is served in.

* Fee to retrieve your luggage at the end of the trip.

* Fee to breathe the air on the plane during the trip.

* Window seat versus all others.

Let's not give the airline VPs of Finance any ideas, here. As with all senior management, they get bonuses for everything.


User currently offlineFlyf15 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (6 years 12 months 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 8205 times:

The way I see it... it is just a question of supply and demand for those first class seats. They will charge what people are willing to pay. Too many people demanding upgrades that can't get them and they're not charging enough. First class seats going out empty and they're charging too much much.

As much as it sucks to have to pay money and miles, people are willing to do it all across the country every day, so the airline will continue to charge.


User currently offlineJFKPurser From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 486 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (6 years 12 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 8205 times:

Last time I checked in with reality, I realized that ANY time I was getting something that cost usually -- say -- 20 dollars for -- say -- 7 or 8 dollars instead, no matter how it was figured out, I was getting a deal.

User currently offlineTWAL10114ever From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 64 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (6 years 12 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 8205 times:

Quoting Flyf15 (Reply 8):
As much as it sucks to have to pay money and miles, people are willing to do it all across the country every day, so the airline will continue to charge.

BINGO, couldn't have said it better myself. What's sad is from what I hear, the F class product AA puts out on most flights isn't worth the money or the miles. I've only experienced domestic F class, nothing international, and the domestic product is pretty sad. You get the same turkey/cheese sandwich on a plate in F class on some lunch flights and that same sandwich is being served in coach for $5.


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