I have been flying American for years. The flights are convenient, the points program has been decent, and my company prefers them. In years past, I would get upgraded more often than not, have direct flights, could easily fly standby, and redeem points for vacations on a regular basis. But for the past six to eight months, I feel like things have changed. They got rid of the direct flight to San Jose, upgrades are rare, and reward tickets are more expensive. Worst of all, all flights are overbooked and I can never get on an earlier flight using standby. In fact, last Friday I was flying home from Raleigh through Chicago. There was a ground delay in Chicago, and I was going to miss my connection home. Not only could they not get me on any other flight out of Raleigh (including two to Dallas that would have been quicker anyway), all of the Saturday direct flights were overbooked, so I had to make a connection in Dallas. Which meant I didn’t get home until 5pm on Saturday.
After all of this, and with the bankruptcy drama in the back of my mind, I am considering a switch. My understanding is that other airlines will often do status matches. What airline do you fly, and why do you like them? Or, conversely, who have you flown and hated? Who has the best rewards program? Do you get a lot of upgrades? Or can you fly standby?