Throughout my entire life, I have been an American loyalist. The airline offered the most connectivity out of Puerto Rico, and their product was not that much better or worse than their competition. However, over the past years, American has been slowly becoming worse and worse, making life more difficult for elite flyers. For example, adding a spend requirement and not offering a waiver has been very upsetting. The reduction of SWU from 8 to 4 and the termination of many of their codeshare partnerships have made the airline less attractive.
Now, after studying all other airlines in the US I am leaning on switching alliance from American to Delta. Although I love Delta as a company (I believe they are the best run airline in the US), I despise the way they try to prevent elites from upgrading. That being said, their Diamond status level seems to be more lucrative than American’s Executive Platinum.
Where I am Now:
I am on track to re-qualify for Executive Platinum on American. Although it will take the whole year this time, by December 31 I will have met all requirements. I am very upset, however, at American’s lack of sAAver awards on international routes. The process for redeeming SWU has become more cumbersome as some flights clear the day of departure. I love American as a concept, they have been my airline of choice for 23 years, but is it time to cut the cord?
Delta offers the most international network in the US, and have a solid business class product. The airline has invest in partnerships all across the globe, not to mention SkyTeam Alliance. What really upsets me is their treatment of the SkyMiles program. They don’t give elites as many chances at upgrades as American doe,s and their award chart is non-existent. Their constant devaluation of miles also worries me. That being said, Delta’s product is quite compelling.
I was looking into the Delta status challenge, where I could possibly accelerate my qualification to Delta Platinum. The problem is, do I want to go from EXP on American to PLT on Delta? I’d be sacrificing being a top tier elite to being a middle level elite. However, the status would be valid until the end of 2019. Is it worth the hassle, and should I go for it? The question is up in the air ( lol 😉 ).
I am torn by this decision. I don’t know if Delta really is that much better than American. American has disillusioned me a lot recently. I wish they would try to improve their AAdvantage program, to make up for the cuts they have made the past few years. If they did make a substantial improvement on their elite program in the next few months that might keep me with them, if not, Delta seems to offer a tempting product.
What do you think? Are you a Delta Elite? What has your experience been like? Have you recently switched alliances from one airline to another? What was it like? Let us know!
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