tommy767
Posts: 4658
Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2003 12:18 pm

AA Gold Status Upgrades

Mon Mar 26, 2007 8:00 am

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.
"KEEP CLIMBING" -- DELTA
 
Boston92
Posts: 2553
Joined: Wed Aug 09, 2006 6:56 am

RE: AA Gold Status Upgrades

Mon Mar 26, 2007 8:09 am

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?"
 
willyj
Posts: 410
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2005 3:04 am

RE: AA Gold Status Upgrades

Mon Mar 26, 2007 8:22 am

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...
 
gemini573
Posts: 143
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2007 5:53 am

RE: AA Gold Status Upgrades

Mon Mar 26, 2007 8:31 am

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).
 
willyj
Posts: 410
Joined: Mon Oct 03, 2005 3:04 am

RE: AA Gold Status Upgrades

Mon Mar 26, 2007 8:46 am

Why does it say you were quoting Boston92 when you were quoting me?
 
brons2
Posts: 2462
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2001 1:02 pm

RE: AA Gold Status Upgrades

Mon Mar 26, 2007 8:49 am

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.
 
gemini573
Posts: 143
Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2007 5:53 am

RE: AA Gold Status Upgrades

Mon Mar 26, 2007 8:49 am

That is strange as I was quoting you.....hmmm
 
DFW13L
Posts: 809
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2005 3:22 pm

RE: AA Gold Status Upgrades

Mon Mar 26, 2007 9:38 am

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.
See, I knew American Eagle was first class all along!
 
JayDavis
Posts: 1870
Joined: Wed Jan 10, 2001 1:09 pm

RE: AA Gold Status Upgrades

Mon Mar 26, 2007 9:42 am

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..............
 
DFW13L
Posts: 809
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2005 3:22 pm

RE: AA Gold Status Upgrades

Mon Mar 26, 2007 9:43 am

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!
See, I knew American Eagle was first class all along!
 
tommy767
Posts: 4658
Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2003 12:18 pm

RE: AA Gold Status Upgrades

Mon Mar 26, 2007 9:46 am

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?
"KEEP CLIMBING" -- DELTA
 
deltairlines
Posts: 6877
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 4:47 am

RE: AA Gold Status Upgrades

Mon Mar 26, 2007 9:49 am

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).
 
bhmbaglock
Posts: 2489
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2005 7:51 am

RE: AA Gold Status Upgrades

Mon Mar 26, 2007 9:52 am

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?
 
777STL
Posts: 2770
Joined: Mon Dec 13, 2004 8:22 am

RE: AA Gold Status Upgrades

Mon Mar 26, 2007 9:58 am

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
 
DFW13L
Posts: 809
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2005 3:22 pm

RE: AA Gold Status Upgrades

Mon Mar 26, 2007 10:00 am

At AA they used to be $50 each. The lower price makes it no big deal, in my opinion.
See, I knew American Eagle was first class all along!
 
tommy767
Posts: 4658
Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2003 12:18 pm

RE: AA Gold Status Upgrades

Mon Mar 26, 2007 10:08 am

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.)
"KEEP CLIMBING" -- DELTA
 
dz09
Posts: 360
Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 1:20 am

RE: AA Gold Status Upgrades

Mon Mar 26, 2007 10:11 am

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.
 
bhmbaglock
Posts: 2489
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2005 7:51 am

RE: AA Gold Status Upgrades

Mon Mar 26, 2007 10:41 am

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?
 
777STL
Posts: 2770
Joined: Mon Dec 13, 2004 8:22 am

RE: AA Gold Status Upgrades

Mon Mar 26, 2007 11:09 am

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
 
moman
Posts: 708
Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2004 7:17 am

RE: AA Gold Status Upgrades

Mon Mar 26, 2007 11:16 am

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
 
jetdeltamsy
Posts: 2688
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2000 11:51 am

RE: AA Gold Status Upgrades

Mon Mar 26, 2007 12:50 pm

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.
 
tommy767
Posts: 4658
Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2003 12:18 pm

RE: AA Gold Status Upgrades

Mon Mar 26, 2007 5:35 pm

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.
"KEEP CLIMBING" -- DELTA
 
BNinMSY
Posts: 217
Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2005 12:19 pm

RE: AA Gold Status Upgrades

Mon Mar 26, 2007 8:44 pm

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!
 
jetstar
Posts: 1370
Joined: Mon May 19, 2003 2:16 am

RE: AA Gold Status Upgrades

Mon Mar 26, 2007 10:21 pm

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.
 
jetdeltamsy
Posts: 2688
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2000 11:51 am

RE: AA Gold Status Upgrades

Tue Mar 27, 2007 1:58 am

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.
 
ScottB
Posts: 5450
Joined: Fri Jul 28, 2000 1:25 am

RE: AA Gold Status Upgrades

Tue Mar 27, 2007 3:00 am

Quoting Jetdeltamsy (Reply 20):
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.

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 don't expect to be able to upgrade on most airlines out of LAX as a third- or fourth-tier elite unless it's a Tuesday or Wednesday. You probably can't get an upgrade on a DL LAX-ATL flight, for example, unless you're a Platinum with a full-fare ticket.
 
jetdeltamsy
Posts: 2688
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2000 11:51 am

RE: AA Gold Status Upgrades

Tue Mar 27, 2007 7:01 am

Quoting ScottB (Reply 25):
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.

Exactly.
Tired of airline bankruptcies....EA/PA/TW and finally DL.
 
Mcmax
Posts: 157
Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2005 2:28 pm

RE: AA Gold Status Upgrades

Tue Mar 27, 2007 7:39 am

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.

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.

Quoting Tommy767 (Reply 21):
felt I was mislead when I called up the hotline to hear the reservation was booked in business.

I'm not trying to be rude, nor am I trying to be condescending here. However, as a Gold as well, it's pretty clear from AA's policy that while you may qualify to receive the upgrade, you are still required to pay for the upgrade. When they process the upgrade (i.e, within 24 hours of departure for Gold), the computer merely changes your status from Economy to Business. It does not check whether you have enough upgrade stickers available. Only when you get to the airport to check-in will the system check for enough stickers. If you don't have enough, then you have to pay for them.

It might appear that you are trying to argue the comptuer should have made sure you had enough stickers available to upgrade before confirming the upgrade for you. While in your specific situation that may seem the most ideal, however, in the long-run, this would have the most deleterious effect on you getting future upgrades. If the computer were to require enough stickers in your account prior to confirming the upgrade, then you would always have to make sure you had enough stickers available in your account at all times. If you didn't, then the computer would never grant you an upgrade. (This would end up being a more expensive option in your case since you don't fly enough to earn enough free upgrade stickers).

As other posters have said, and I say this in all honesty without spite, be happy you even got the upgrade out of LAX. I live in Orange County, and outside of AA's main hubs of Dallas and Chicago, I have been told that OC and LAX have the highest percentage of elite flyers in AA's system. Given your status (and my status) as Gold, count yourself fortunate that you were even granted an upgrade. While I don't even try for upgrades much when connecting through Dallas or Chicago, I remember in the past, the chances of Gold getting upgraded were slim to none. The last upgrade I managed to snag was for me and my partner from LAX-Kauai and the return from Maui-LAX. Leisure routes are about the ones a Gold stands a chance of getting upgraded.

Quoting Tommy767 (Reply 15):
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

Sounds like most flights these days. Sometimes a kind word (in a non-combative manner) to the parent solves the problem.
De minimis non curat lex tamen ego curao
 
tommy767
Posts: 4658
Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2003 12:18 pm

RE: AA Gold Status Upgrades

Tue Mar 27, 2007 8:03 am

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 upgrades. Don't do it. I never meant to come off as a "Whiner" and you're assumptions are completely inappropriate.

[Edited 2007-03-27 01:05:29]
"KEEP CLIMBING" -- DELTA
 
jetdeltamsy
Posts: 2688
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2000 11:51 am

RE: AA Gold Status Upgrades

Tue Mar 27, 2007 11:06 am

Quoting McMax (Reply 27):
Quoting Tommy767 (Reply 15):
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

Whiner.
Tired of airline bankruptcies....EA/PA/TW and finally DL.
 
tommy767
Posts: 4658
Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2003 12:18 pm

RE: AA Gold Status Upgrades

Tue Mar 27, 2007 2:03 pm

Quoting Jetdeltamsy (Reply 29):
Whiner.

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 my profile and making these assumptions based on my age group. I'm calling you out, how does it feel to be an 'a.net' bully?
"KEEP CLIMBING" -- DELTA