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Best Frequent Flier Program From AUS?

Thu Jul 07, 2005 11:40 am

Hi everyone... I'm going to be moving to the Austin area in about a month and would like some input on the best frequent flier program to join. I'm currently a USAirways silver preferred member, but since they don't fly into AUS I'll be looking to switch to another airline as my main carrier.

If it helps, I'll be traveling frequently between AUS and PHX as well as ABE/PHL... The main things I'm looking for in the program are the ease/availability of upgrades and good customer service.

Thanks for any advice!
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RE: Best Frequent Flier Program From AUS?

Thu Jul 07, 2005 11:47 am

Southwest. No need to upgrade, as all flights are first class. Simple and automatic rewards, and few blackout dates. Better service and more frequency, more reliable, rationally priced and they respect their customers.

If you must fly someone else, try CO.
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
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RE: Best Frequent Flier Program From AUS?

Thu Jul 07, 2005 11:59 am

As said before, CO. As part of Skyteam, you can also get miles on DL and NW. Both offer a decent amount of flights out of Bergstrom.
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RE: Best Frequent Flier Program From AUS?

Thu Jul 07, 2005 12:20 pm

I'd go with Skyteam as you can fly CO to the west (via IAH) and DL to a lesser extent via SLC.

Then, DL has you covered to PHL via either ATL (hourly flights ATL-PHL) or CVG.

As for which Skyteam carrier to go with, go with the one that you think you'll use more. I think upgrades are a little easier on DL, but not sure. You can also try posting this at and see what people have to say.
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RE: Best Frequent Flier Program From AUS?

Thu Jul 07, 2005 12:46 pm

If you are currently a US Silver Prefered member, you can accumulate and use your miles on UA since they are also part of the Star Alliance. You can travel to ABE/PHL on UA via IAD or ORD. There are five flights a day between AUS-ORD-AUS all operated by UA Express partner Skywest using dual class CRJ-700s. UA Express partner Mesa operates two flights a day between AUS - IAD - AUS also using dual classCRJ-700s aswell with easy conections over to PHL and ABE.

With in a year or less from now when HP will be running the show for USAirways, you will be able to use and accumulate miles on their AUS-PHX route.
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RE: Best Frequent Flier Program From AUS?

Thu Jul 07, 2005 12:46 pm

Go CO! Can't say anything more about it than whats been said- but Continental is a good, solid product and has you covered with its SkyTeam partners (and its individual partners) anywhere around the world!

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RE: Best Frequent Flier Program From AUS?

Thu Jul 07, 2005 1:55 pm

I'm going to disagree with the others and say AA. They fly a bazillion MD80s here a day and you can fly to DFW, ORD, LAX, SJC all direct.

Of course, WN is the #1 carrier in this market and who I do most of my business with.
Firings, if well done, are good for employee morale.
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RE: Best Frequent Flier Program From AUS?

Thu Jul 07, 2005 2:24 pm

The three largest carriers in the Austin market are WN, CO, and AA. I agree with the ideas of WN and CO (though I don't know what CO rewards are like to deal with).

On WN, frequency is key and there is plenty of that. Also, you are more likely to have direct flights.

On CO, frequency is also very good, though you do fly through IAH. Flights from AUS usually arrive at the new terminal E and that is a pleasant experience with a nice layout, fresh interior, awesome windows, and great food choice.

I would be more hesitant about AA. Most business travelers (that are not going to NYC) fly AA and I imagine they have the upgrades locked up on the Mad Dogs. Also, just like with CO, 99% of their flights are through DFW. I work for a limo company and we almost ALWAYS take our corporate clients to the AA stand. We take them to CO only if they are going to EWR (Direct flights).

Glad to see people still moving into Austin...hope you like sitting in traffic though. Its truly a great place to live with lots of things to do...drop me a line if you need any help or have any questions...I have lived here most of my life (with lapses here and there.)

Mike S. in AUS
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RE: Best Frequent Flier Program From AUS?

Thu Jul 07, 2005 3:41 pm

I would say CO first, and AA as a very distant 2nd place. SkyTeam gives you so many more options with direct flights to several hubs: IAH, SLC, MSP, DTW, ATL, CVG, EWR, CLE & MEM. You can earn OnePass miles on all airlines, and connecting at IAH verses DFW is in my opinion much better. (have I stated before what a poorly designed airport DFW is?) Plus I'd avoid connecting in ORD like the plague! gosh I hate that place!

Now if you don't care about first class, or being able to earn miles to use internationally or to Hawaii, then WN would be the best choice. The have the most non-stop flights to where you want to go.
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RE: Best Frequent Flier Program From AUS?

Thu Jul 07, 2005 3:46 pm

Yeah the three Texas based airlines are probably your best bet due to all the reasons noted above. My order would be CO first with WN second --only if you know you will hit the 8 roundtrips a year, otherwise I'd put AA second.

Ciao, and Hook 'em Horns,
Capt-AWACS, Texas-It's bigger than France
Io voglio fica ogni giorni da mia bella moglie!

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