Based in Chicago. Should I try to pursue status in AA or United?

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Totally depends on the routes and schedules you need. I think AA's lounges are nicer and AA offers more routes that fit my needs but Chicago is United's main hub so you're going to probably have the most flexibility with them. Honestly you can't go wrong either way.

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I was AA and switched to UA for a few reasons. 1. A frequent route was no longer direct at AA.

2. Terminal 1 (UA) has a Clear TSA-pre line which terminal 3 did not.

3. Redemption of miles to Europe in business class is generally cheaper. For AA you generally fly into LHR. In the UK, you need to pay taxes on the business award ticket. UA is flying into Germany without the tax cost.

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Agreed there are good redemptions for AA, just that it is something to consider.

Getting AA status is much harder then UA. I found myself with a shred of status on UA first, and it’s worked for me so far

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That is what I’ve determined as well

I’ve spent too much energy on this, but here are my observations -

UA -
1. Great connectivity and frequency, on avg much better than AA
2. Much better international partnerships
3. Cleaner lines/better terminal setup (imo)
4. Terrible shot at upgrades + lots of competition
5. Terrible international redemptions from a point value for premium cabins

AA -
1. Better redemptions for sectors in premium cabins on point value
2. Better upgrade odds given lower density of competition
3. Loyalty points can be “bought”
4. Terrible international network esp in EU
5. AA is apparently downsizing over time in ORD (or last I read)

Based on above you can choose what you value and go with one.

helpful

appreciate this!

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Depends where you’re flying and which redemptions you want to make.

If you have a lot of credit card spend, AA is easier with Loyalty Points. If you want better network, especially internationally/globally, and better elite benefits then United

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