Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Hey Aadvantage...Kiss My Aass!!!

I just finished speaking with the American Airlines Aadvantage department. Since I usually head to Chicago sometime between October 15th and December 15th, I figured I'd better get on the stick and book my ticket. Of course, being the travel diva I am, I wanted to buy a coach ticket and then use some of my Aadvantage miles (50,000) to upgrade to business class. Even though I end up paying more for a qualifying coach seat than I would for an internet-rate coach seat in order to upgrade, I never really balk at the price because it's always worth it to me to pay a few hundred extra dollars for the added comfort and pampering that BC brings.

However, it appears that the times they are a changin'! Secondly, here's what the Aadvantage department quoted me for a round-trip flight from Basel to Chicago:

828.63 Euros/$1,060 U.S. (including a 20 Euro service charge...which, BTW, really frosts my aass!!) + 50,000 Aadvantage miles to upgrade my coach seat to business class PLUS a $500 U.S. "co-pay" for using the miles.


Ummm...Excuse me? Co-pay? I explained that I wanted to just use miles like I did earlier this year without the co-pay. Nope, nada, not happening. There is now a co-pay of $250 per leg which means my "free" upgrade using miles now costs me $500 more than it did earlier this year bringing the total of my ticket to just over $1,500 U.S. It's not bad for a BC ticket, but I'm not sure if I'm willing to fork over an extra 500 bucks at this time just out of principle. Maybe I'll just start going to the U.S. once per year and stay for two weeks (sorry Mrs. TBF) instead of going 2-3 times per year for one week at a time.

Obviously, it's a matter of supply and demand. The demand is there (I couldn't get my first choice of dates), so they can raise the prices. Yes, I understand why they can do it, but it doesn't mean that I like it. I mean, what's the point of having miles if you have to spend so much extra money to use them?

I currently have the ticket on hold until Saturday, and I'm going to take the next couple of days to figure out my options. Right now, I'm kind of thinking of waiting until early next year to see if the prices go down. Afterall, who wants to fly to Chicago in January or February? Maybe I'll even fly coach...

OK...let's not be gettin' crazy here!!

Updated later:
I've decided to put off the trip until early 2007. Mrs. TBF was as outraged as I was about the co-pay. The planes are generally much less crowded in January and February. I think I'll take my chances with flying coach on the way to the U.S. (hoping that I can find a seat with nobody seated next to me), and then just upgrade on the return to Europe. I only need to enter the U.S. once every 365 days to keep my Green Card valid, so don't actually have to go back to the U.S. until April, 2007.

6 comments:

Expat Traveler said...

haha - your thinking of flying coach? I'd rather pay the $500 to fly business.

Although I've never flown business from California to switz (or the first leg at least), I'd pay for that extra comfort. Coach sucks, I can never sleep and it's so uncomfortable for me and I'm 5'9". And that's even with the better international service. I can't imagine your pain with those long legs...

I'd still go... Just means cutting down or saving in other areas I'd suppose...

The Medium Swede said...

I say you package yourself in a FedEx box and be delivered to your mother-in-law's home. We could take you out and shake you to get the wrinkles out. Of course there would not be as much leg room.

The Big Finn said...

ET - It's not $500, it's $1,500. Also, it's not the money. It's the principle of the matter. What's the point of having miles if you have to pay to use them???

TMS - It costs over $50 to send an overnight letter to the U.S. I could only imagine what it would cost to send me in a FedEx box.

CanadianSwiss said...

I think that's plain old rippin' people off. You already pay for a ticket to get miles, then you have to pay again to use them! I hope Swiss doesn't start doing that too. They're already on my black list!

Just thinking... Is there any partner airline of AA you could use, or would they also want cash for using the miles?

Jul said...

Holy crap, that's one big copay!

Now you'll have to excuse me while I go kick myself repeatedly for not having spent AA miles sooner.

The Big Finn said...

CS - This was in combination with a partner airline. BA from Basel to London, and AA from London to Chicago.