Or as I refer to my typical travel on United, “Another day, another delay”
I’ve finally had a travel experience that has caused me to seriously reevaluate my airline loyalty. For a relatively simple trip from Milwaukee to Los Angeles through Chicago, due to a long string of issues including maintenance and crew problems (and some ATC delays for good measure) I ultimately arrived in Los Angeles about 19 hours after originally planned.
a photo collage I made during the delay. It isn’t fully updated, but it is “Flyer Friendly”
I reached my goal of 1 million miles on United earlier this year, and have already requalified for 1K for 2015. I have a few international trips remaining where I’m hoping to upgrade with my Global Premier Upgrades. Beyond that, I guess I’m willing to consider myself a free agent, at least to see if I can find something better. Certainly my luck can’t get any worse?
I finally made it to LAX!
United is still the preferred airline for my corporate travel policy, but I could fly Delta, Southwest or US Airways easily as these are also preferred. I could probably make American work too thanks to codeshares with US.
Of those options, I’m not particularly interested in Southwest. I don’t like how they operate, and I seem to have bad luck when flying them. Tiny sample size, but I’ve never had a flight be on time. I think Skymiles is a horrific loyalty program, but I already have about 500,000 lifetime miles on Delta, so I wouldn’t be totally restarting at zero. I used to fly Northwest as my primary airline, and even used Delta to some extent a few years ago. I really like the Detroit hub, and Minneapolis is pretty easy to manage. I’d also have mostly mainline flights from MKE rather than only CRJ’s from my home airport and I could avoid O’Hare is my main connection point. On the other hand American has long felt like the best option, combining a good airline with a great loyalty program, but I think they are preparing for a fall. Who knows what a Parker-ized AA will look like in 2015 and beyond. Plus, with American, I’d still have to deal with O’Hare and often regional jets to get there.
I guess I’m stuck deciding between Delta and American. I have quite a few trips through the rest of the year. I would presume to stick with United for my international trips so I can have the chance of upgrading, but I’d be open to other carriers for domestic flights.
I don’t want to start over, but I also am not comfortable burning my ‘once in a lifetime’ status match for what may be a short ‘experiment’, so I’m thinking that a challenge would be ideal. I don’t expect any airline to recruit me, but I would think United would try to keep me for past and current loyalty. Clearly that is not in the cards.
What other ideas am I missing? Any suggestions for where I should be looking? What would you do? Please share your thoughts, and I’ll let you know how it goes.