Well, you have seen my recap of the Launch Party for the oneworld MegaDO, and if you are interested in oneworld, here is your chance to see what they offer. While the details are pretty straightforward, I am going to talk about the challenges that the primary sponsors are offering for anybody wanting to jump ship.
American has honestly been one of the stingiest airlines when it comes to matching over. They were the first US legacy carrier to introduce challenges, and theirs is actually one of the hardest normally to do on deep discount fares. While other airlines just focus their status challenges on miles, American focuses on points, earned based on a combination of your fare class and how long your flight is. The deeply discount economy fares are .5 points a mile, discount economy is 1 point per mile, full fare economy is 1.5 points, business is 1.25 points per mile, and First Class is 1.5 points per mile. With the general requirements being 5,000/10,000/20,000 points for Gold/Platinum/Executive Platinum respectively, this actually makes it harder to do cheap mileage runs to earn. On top of the difficult requirements to challenge for status, they also include a fee for the challenge, which you can only find out by calling the AAdvantage desk and asking about the challenge.
For the DO, they are doing something very special, a free match challenge with lower requirements to meet. The AA challenge is based on Base Miles Earned, and the tiers are the same as points, but using flown miles instead of points. Thus I only need to fly 10,000 miles before the DO in order to qualify. I've even scouted out fares with a friend and we are contemplating doing a mileage run to FRA on AA to meet the requirements of the challenge.
The Hyatt challenge is nowhere near as exciting, but still has some interesting perks. Instead of the usual 25 stays or 50 nights for Diamond, you get 90 days to get 18 nights. Combined with the current promotion, and a good selection of Hyatt Place properties, that is quite a lot of points earned just to meet the challenge requirement. Combined with the AA bonus offer for Hyatt stays, you could earn a ton of miles, ton of points, for not that much in spend.
Overall, I am definitely doing the AA challenge, and will have to do some serious debating on the Hyatt Challenge, as I am quite ok with being a Platinum for next year, since the free internet goes down to Platinum, and upgrades are the main benefit for Diamonds. While nice, I'd be looking at roughly $1140 just to get to Diamond for all of next year. These special challenges are only going to be available for Attendees, and registration will open up at 10:00am CDT on Thursday October 27 at megado.com.