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AA Gold Status Upgrades  
User currently offlineTommy767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 6584 posts, RR: 11
Posted (7 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4110 times:

So I've been aching to start this topic up because a few weeks ago I was genuinely pissed off at LAX. I called up the night before to the AA Gold hotline to see if I would be upgraded on LAX-MIA which was the 777 flight. To my surprise, I was upgraded and given a business class seat assignement of 10B. When I got to LAX the next morning, the e-ticket machine told me that it would cost over 150 dollars to upgrade since I had only 1 segments for this year. Granted, I got my hopes up and probably should have read my membership guide, but I thought that this was ludicrist. I talked about this with my dad and he told me that even the lowest elite level on CO will not charge you for upgrades based on segments. When I asked about this over the AA reservation hotline about a week later the agent told the reason that they do this beacuse, "Well we're also one of the airlines who are NOT in bankruptcy right now." A pretty random and useless excuse in my book.

Anyway, I was wondering if this has ever happened to you? Or whether you think this policy is right or wrong compared to the other US carriers? If this belongs in polls and prefs. let me know I'll move it.


"Folks that's the news and I'm outta here!" -- Dennis Miller
30 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineBoston92 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 3390 posts, RR: 7
Reply 1, posted (7 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4099 times:

Quoting Tommy767 (Thread starter):
I was genuinely pissed off at LAX

I am pretty confused, why are you pissed at LAX?



"Why does a slight tax increase cost you $200 and a substantial tax cut save you 30 cents?"
User currently offlineWillyj From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 468 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (7 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 4077 times:

I'm not sure I understand why you are pissed. You are given 4 one-way 500 mile upgrades to use each year. Obviously you'd used all of them already, so you had to by 5 at $30 each for the distance of the flight. The more you fly, the more free upgrades you get. I think this is a fair system. And $150 is not a huge sum to pay to be upgraded on a transcon flight.

The bankruptcy quote, while not needed, is probably because you were ranting about not getting a free upgrade, and the agent was pointing out that American is trying to regain it's financial health, and therefore charge for services it provides. I'm a platinum member with AA, and while I'd like more free upgrades too, I understand that they are a business. Also, if they did automatically upgrade their frequent fliers for free, most likely, as a gold member, you probably wouldn't be upgraded very often as the Platinums and Exec Plats would have taken all of the empty space...


User currently offlineGemini573 From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 146 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (7 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 4059 times:

Quoting Boston92 (Reply 1):
lso, if they did automatically upgrade their frequent fliers for free, most likely, as a gold member, you probably wouldn't be upgraded very often as the Platinums and Exec Plats would have taken all of the empty space...

I think out of certain airports, especially LAX, MIA and DFW (from experience), I would imagine it being very difficult being upgraded as Gold or even Platinum. I'm EXP and on two occasions, I was waiting to be upgraded at the gate (out of MIA). I had asked about being upgraded and was told I was at the top of the list. The gate agent told me to wait as they were waiting to release the seat. I've seen maybe about 6 PLTs inquiry about being upgraded and the agent told them, "no chance." There's one person ahead of you (which of course was me).


User currently offlineWillyj From United States of America, joined Oct 2005, 468 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (7 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 4047 times:

Why does it say you were quoting Boston92 when you were quoting me?

User currently offlineBrons2 From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3007 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (7 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 4044 times:

I'd gladly pay $150 to upgrade the DFW-CDG AA flight I am taking in August!

I just booked it with 60,000 AAdvantage Miles. I did have to pay the taxes, so the grand total was a cool $68  Big grin



Firings, if well done, are good for employee morale.
User currently offlineGemini573 From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 146 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (7 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 4044 times:

That is strange as I was quoting you.....hmmm

User currently offlineDFW13L From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (7 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 3996 times:

Yes, you have to pay, but it also gives you a better shot at upgrading. I haven't been Elite on any carrier other than AA for like 8 years now, so correct me if I'm wrong, but I would assume that if all upgrades are free, then everyone will be doing it. Whereas if you have to pay or earn them, then people will use them with a bit more discretion and therefore give you a better shot at doing it.

Anyway, I have accepted the program that AA has. It works. It's fine.


User currently offlineJayDavis From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 2000 posts, RR: 16
Reply 8, posted (7 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 3990 times:

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if you are "only" a Gold on AA, you aren't squat...............You have to be Platinum or as the above poster, EXP, before AA will even acknowledge you..........everyone and their dog is Gold in the program.  Smile

Sorry..............


User currently offlineDFW13L From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (7 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 3990 times:

Quoting JayDavis (Reply 8):
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if you are "only" a Gold on AA, you aren't squat...............You have to be Platinum or as the above poster, EXP, before AA will even acknowledge you..........everyone and their dog is Gold in the program.

Sorry..............

That's true. When Group 1 boards, that's half the plane here at DFW!


User currently offlineTommy767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 6584 posts, RR: 11
Reply 10, posted (7 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 3980 times:

Quoting Boston92 (Reply 1):
I am pretty confused, why are you pissed at LAX?

No no. I was pissed off in terminal 4 of LAX. Not at LAX. Should have re-phrased that.

Quoting Willyj (Reply 2):
I'm not sure I understand why you are pissed. You are given 4 one-way 500 mile upgrades to use each year. Obviously you'd used all of them already, so you had to by 5 at $30 each for the distance of the flight.

I never recieved these, unless they expired in December 2006 when I became an Gold member. Which would have given me less than a month to use them.

But answer me this: Do other airlines do this whole segment thing for their lowest tier elite members such as CO, DL, UA or NW?



"Folks that's the news and I'm outta here!" -- Dennis Miller
User currently offlineDeltAirlines From United States of America, joined May 1999, 8894 posts, RR: 12
Reply 11, posted (7 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 3973 times:

Each program comes with different perks and amenities. For example, DL, CO, NW and US all offer free domestic upgrades to elites; UA and AA do not. Conversely though, it's a lot easier to upgrade internationally with AA and UA vs the above; AA/UA give out Systemwide upgrades to top-tiers that are good on nearly any fare; the others, you need to be on a full fare to upgrade internationally (don't know if NW's new SWUs for WP members that are a choice award have this type of restriction). So, for a traveller like me (all domestic), DL is great - I can upgrade all I want, doesn't cost me anything, etc. I don't really care about international upgrades, for the sole reason that I don't need to travel across the pond. But if you're an intl flyer, then AA/UA is probably a better program for you, as it's a lot easier to upgrade, plus you can access the lounges as a mid-tier elite (PLT for AA, 1P for UA); while on the SkyTeam carriers domestically, you need to be top tier to have this access (ElitePlus).

User currently offlineBHMBAGLOCK From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 2698 posts, RR: 5
Reply 12, posted (7 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 3963 times:

Quoting Tommy767 (Thread starter):
I was genuinely pissed off at LAX.

????????

Quoting Tommy767 (Thread starter):
I talked about this with my dad and he told me that even the lowest elite level on CO will not charge you for upgrades based on segments.

As a low end elite on CO you would have had almost zero chance of being able to upgrade on a route like LAX-MIA. The relatively nominal charge that AA puts on its upgrades do have a way of equalizing things just a bit compared to others. If you're smart about how you work with them, you will rarely have to dip into your own pocket to pay for the upgrades either.

1. You get some free each year you qualify
2. Another great way to bank upgrades is volunteering to bump on overbooked flights. It really helps to get to know the gate agents if you fly a route regularly. They will go out of their way to help a regular who they know they can count on for small favors, i.e. change seats without griping to keep a family together, take the next flight, etc. Usually if you volunteer and bump you'll get a $200-600 voucher(depends on a lot of things but I've never been offered less than $150. These can be converted to upgrades easily. Better yet, you'll always end up getting upgraded if the space is there on the flight they re-schedule you for. If the flight you volunteer on isn't the last on your itinerary for the day they might even bump you up on the next flight as well.

I'm now back in BHM and as AA only connects through DFW from here I really don't get the chance to fly them much any more. When I was commuting back and forth from PHL or EWR to UIO they were absolutely my first choice

Quoting Tommy767 (Thread starter):
"Well we're also one of the airlines who are NOT in bankruptcy right now."

Very true but not relevant.



Where are all of my respected members going?
User currently offline777STL From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 3569 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (7 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 3953 times:

Quoting Tommy767 (Reply 10):
I never recieved these, unless they expired in December 2006 when I became an Gold member. Which would have given me less than a month to use them.

Unless you're an Executive Platinum, upgrades AREN'T free. You need to use 500 miles "stickers" to upgrade your flight and it's based on the flight mileage, i.e. a 1725 mile flight is going to cost you four "stickers". However, for every 10,000 miles you fly as an elite at the proper fare basis, AA gives you four stickers. Frankly, I don't understand why you're upset at AA, you seem like you don't understand how the program works. No stickers in your account means you will have to buy them at $30/wack.



PHX based
User currently offlineDFW13L From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (7 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 3946 times:

At AA they used to be $50 each. The lower price makes it no big deal, in my opinion.

User currently offlineTommy767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 6584 posts, RR: 11
Reply 15, posted (7 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 3930 times:

Quoting BHMBAGLOCK (Reply 12):
As a low end elite on CO you would have had almost zero chance of being able to upgrade on a route like LAX-MIA.

Thats what I was telling him. It is EXTREMELY hard to upgrade on CO as is. Especially if you fly out of EWR which is his staple airport.

Quoting 777STL (Reply 13):
Frankly, I don't understand why you're upset at AA, you seem like you don't understand how the program works. No stickers in your account means you will have to buy them at $30/wack.

Probably beacuse I got my hopes up and didn't read my program guide, which I left at home in NJ. So it was my bad, but there were other factors on why the outbound flight sucked. I'll give you a summary:

Mostly beacuse my coach section on the 777 was swamped with bratty kids whose parents didn't keep them in line. I swear to god, I was going to lose it. This one kid in back of me kept kicking my seat the whole way and another kid sitting next to me kept putting her feet in my seat area. Both were relentless and yes, they SCREAMED on occasion. Plus we all know about the gate delays at MIA and that was an extra 45 mins. So it total, we were 2 hours late (an add't 60 minute tech delay at LAX) and the bags took a good 40 minutes to come out. Naturally i was not in a good mood. The way back, however was much more pleasent and the service was notably better (plus no kids.)



"Folks that's the news and I'm outta here!" -- Dennis Miller
User currently offlineDZ09 From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 491 posts, RR: 1
Reply 16, posted (7 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 3928 times:

I got so disgusted with Continental over their FF program that I am basically giving up my elite status which I held for years. On a trip a few months ago, I was notified of an upgrade a few days beforehand. I checked in online and got my boarding pass. When I got to the gate about 35 minutes before departure I was told that I was late and that they gave up my seat. Late for what? I said. I'm already checked-in and you have just started boarding! Well, I really thought I was going to be arrested that day after one of the CO gate employee ran away screaming and fearing for her life shortly after I asked for her name and badge number. I usually reach gold with CO around this time. I don't think I'll even make silver this year with them. I am already gold with EK (their highest tier) this year and I don;t regret the switch.

CO, Dl, AA and the rest of the US airline industry are simply a joke these days. Too bad Greyhound buses don't have wings, they would certainly be serious competitors.


User currently offlineBHMBAGLOCK From United States of America, joined Jul 2005, 2698 posts, RR: 5
Reply 17, posted (7 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 3892 times:

Quoting Tommy767 (Reply 10):
I never recieved these, unless they expired in December 2006 when I became an Gold member. Which would have given me less than a month to use them.

Can't remember how they determine the timing on these but as I recall it was pretty quick. You might want to call and ask about this.

They don't expire or at least they last a long time as I used a couple last September that had been banked for approximately 5 years.



Where are all of my respected members going?
User currently offline777STL From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 3569 posts, RR: 3
Reply 18, posted (7 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 3870 times:

Quoting BHMBAGLOCK (Reply 17):
Can't remember how they determine the timing on these but as I recall it was pretty quick. You might want to call and ask about this.

They don't expire or at least they last a long time as I used a couple last September that had been banked for approximately 5 years.

You don't receive stickers just for acheiving elite status. You must fly 10,000 qualifying miles as an elite first. He didn't have any because he wasn't supposed to have any.



PHX based
User currently offlineMoMan From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 1054 posts, RR: 4
Reply 19, posted (7 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 3860 times:

I am Platinum on AA, and sat in the back on a flight from SEA-DFW-TPA the other night even though I requested an upgrade weeks in advance. With the high flight loads, chances of anyone except EXP consitently getting upgrades on busy travel days are nil. I've requested upgrades on 6 flights this year and only got 3.......don't be mad at AA, be thankful that you had the chance to upgrade, many passengers don't.

Plus you pay $35 each for stickers at the airport vs. $30 online.



AA Platinum Member - American Airlines Forever
User currently offlineJetdeltamsy From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 2987 posts, RR: 8
Reply 20, posted (7 years 4 months 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 3798 times:

Quoting Tommy767 (Thread starter):
I was upgraded and given a business class seat assignement of 10B. When I got to LAX the next morning, the e-ticket machine told me that it would cost over 150 dollars to upgrade since I had only 1 segments for this year.

That pretty much says it all. One segment in the qualifying period and you expect a free upgrade?

We can't give away our premium product to peole who don't put a lot of money into our bank account and the line has to be drawn somewhere.

Fly the miles, EARN the status and enjoy the perks. Otherwise, ask your Dad for one of his upgrades.



Tired of airline bankruptcies....EA/PA/TW and finally DL.
User currently offlineTommy767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2003, 6584 posts, RR: 11
Reply 21, posted (7 years 4 months 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 3745 times:

Quoting Jetdeltamsy (Reply 20):
That pretty much says it all. One segment in the qualifying period and you expect a free upgrade?

We can't give away our premium product to peole who don't put a lot of money into our bank account and the line has to be drawn somewhere.

Fly the miles, EARN the status and enjoy the perks. Otherwise, ask your Dad for one of his upgrades.

See, I knew that when I started this thread I would expected to see these types of comments. I mentioned that 'yes' although it was my fault for forgetting to read my membership guide, I felt I was mislead when I called up the hotline to hear the reservation was booked in business. But a few of your opinions are rude. I made this thread to ask what other users thought about lowest tier upgrades on AA and other airlines. That's it. I mentioned my story as background.



"Folks that's the news and I'm outta here!" -- Dennis Miller
User currently offlineBNinMSY From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 332 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (7 years 4 months 1 week 18 hours ago) and read 3724 times:

Many people are actually purchasing First Class revenue tickets these days because the airlines have gotten a little smart. They are now selling discounted, nonrefundable first class seats - making more than upgrading the elites with low fare tickets.

So many cabins are actually full or near to it with discounted first class $revenue$.

It's all about the ca$h!


User currently offlineJetstar From United States of America, joined May 2003, 1642 posts, RR: 10
Reply 23, posted (7 years 4 months 1 week 17 hours ago) and read 3684 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting JayDavis (Reply 8):
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if you are "only" a Gold on AA, you aren't squat...............You have to be Platinum or as the above poster, EXP, before AA will even acknowledge you..........everyone and their dog is Gold in the program.

Sorry..............

You are absolutely right, I am a million mile member of AA, which gives me lifetime Gold status and my wife is also Gold. The only real benefit we get from being Gold is being able to board Group 1, able to book emergency exit row seats at time of booking and checking in at the first/business class counter.

On 2 recent trips to LAS from LGA, we requested upgrades using my 500 mile coupons for all 8 segments and not one came through, higher elites and paid upgrades got whatever first class seats were available. I keep accumulating these coupons, right now I have 56 in my account but except for 2 recent upgrades on trips from LGA to MCO I have not been able to use them.

So I just accept the fact that I am on the bottom of the pecking order and live with it, it’s still better than nothing.


User currently offlineJetdeltamsy From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 2987 posts, RR: 8
Reply 24, posted (7 years 4 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 3600 times:

Quoting Tommy767 (Reply 21):
I felt I was mislead when I called up the hotline to hear the reservation was booked in business. But a few of your opinions are rude. I made this thread to ask what other users thought about lowest tier upgrades on AA and other airlines.

And i told you what i thought.

Life is full of rules that we are stuck with.

This is one of those times. You're a whiner. Suck it up.

[Edited 2007-03-26 19:00:19]


Tired of airline bankruptcies....EA/PA/TW and finally DL.
25 ScottB : Or... fly the miles, earn the status, and enjoy the perks on a different airline with policies that are a better match to the way you travel. Just do
26 Jetdeltamsy : Exactly.
27 McMax : Upgrades don't expire. If they're deposited into your Aadvantage account, you get to use them, assuming you rank high enough on the upgrade list. I'm
28 Post contains links Tommy767 : Quoting Jetdeltamsy (Reply 24): This is one of those times. You're a whiner. Suck it up. You're prejudging my whole situation: Bank accounts, Dad and
29 Jetdeltamsy : Whiner.
30 Tommy767 : Oh! Well excuse me for having a bad outbound flight! Tell me that you've never had a bad flight from time to time? Its obvious that you're looking at
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