When the merger of American Airlines and US Airways was announced, elite members in both programs started to get a little nervous. Rightfully so, considering how painful some of the previous large airline mergers have been.
While there are lots of items to be concerned about for AAdvantage and Dividend Miles elite members, domestic upgrades is one where the differences between how the two programs handle them are dramatic.
At a basic level, AAdvantage has a “pay-to-play” system where all elites are not entitled to free upgrades on every flight, whereas Dividend Miles offers free upgrades to all elites on a space available basis.
So, which one is better?
Let’s have a little fun determining which one is.
I’ve set up a poll for folks to vote in to determine the winner. But, before we start with the poll, we need to clarify the relevant positions. I’m a big fan of the American Airlines AAdvantage way of upgrading, so I’ll be presenting my opinion on why they’re the best.
I’ve invited a passionate US Airways Dividend Miles Chairman Preferred member, Jeanne from Heels First Travel to lay out the benefits of their system. She’ll be guest posting here shortly on that.
Then, I get the last word with my two cents on why the AAdvantage system rocks.
Finally, we pay you to vote. For everyone who votes and leaves a comment, we’ll be having a few giveaways you’ll be eligible for, including a couple of $50 Amazon gift cards we’ll give away randomly to folks who comment on both my blog and Heels First (they’ll have a place to do that as we get a bit further into the showdown).
I may also have a few other small, random giveaways, like Starbucks gift cards.
For my giveaway, I’ll allow multiple entries, with the caveat that you actually have to be discussing the upgrade procedures in some meaningful way. A whole slew of “gee I’d like to win” posts by one person will not be considered. I’ll be giving folks until Thursday, July 17th to comment before selecting winners.
For the record, even though American Airlines elite members get a lot more food in first class than US Airways elite members, I resisted the urge to call these the Hunger Games, airline edition (a la View From The Wing’s position that US Airways elites are hungry).
Let the games begin!