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aajfksjubklyn
Topic Author
Posts: 458
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 10:46 pm

AA Upgrades To Elite Members

Mon Oct 29, 2007 7:58 pm

I have a few to throw out there after the last year in trying to upgrade has been a challenge. Firstly, when you book a ticket on AA.com, as a platinum member I can choose to 'submit for an upgrade', which I usually do. Normally 72 hours prior to the flight you would get an email stating if you were upgraded. If you are not upgraded, they will 'Keep trying until 3 hours prior'. At that 3 hour mark, you then can only submit your upgrade at the airport Kiosk or Agent-your original request goes away. Most people do not realize this and loose it and get crazy when they do not see their names on the monitors for 'upgrades'. I learned the hard way as well.

Anyone know why this is done? It just doesn't seem right.

For the record on my last trip, I was confirmed upgrade (they even deducted my upgrades). Needless to say the gate agent announced Business was full. It was not. They ended up calling peoples names while we were on plane!!!!!!!!!!!!

My partner confirmed through Sabre that I was given an upgrade, I called him and told him I was in my assigned coach seat, and he says..Oh crap they took you off as well as everyone else!

Anyone else have similar experiences?
 
tonytifao
Posts: 800
Joined: Wed Mar 02, 2005 10:22 pm

RE: AA Upgrades To Elite Members

Mon Oct 29, 2007 8:40 pm

Everytime i'm confirmed, I'm confirmed! Never happened to me!
 
moman
Posts: 708
Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2004 7:17 am

RE: AA Upgrades To Elite Members

Tue Oct 30, 2007 12:12 am

At 3 hrs out, the flight goes to airport control, and then you have to resubmit on the upgrade list. Sounds like you were put into the queue, upgraded, and then removed by a gate agent. This is known to happen from time to time, but that's a bummer because they may have been waiting for last minute passengers. If you really want the upgrade, don't board until the last second and you might get it if a biz passenger no-shows.

I've noticed upgrades confirming much closer to departure than they used to, but it's still not bad.
AA Platinum Member - American Airlines Forever
 
hamad
Posts: 734
Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2000 6:29 am

RE: AA Upgrades To Elite Members

Tue Oct 30, 2007 12:52 am

upgrades are tricky always with legacy carriers.. but after all, they acknowledge you.
PHX - i miss spotting
 
aajfksjubklyn
Topic Author
Posts: 458
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 10:46 pm

RE: AA Upgrades To Elite Members

Tue Oct 30, 2007 11:48 am

At 3 Hours out it actually goes in the Headquarters hands, at 1 hour out it goes to gate control. Headquarters upgraded me, the lysol wiping gate agent (she cleaned her phone, keyboard and mic for about 5 minutes). I guess she was excited that Keanu Reeves was on-flight. She didn't care much about anything else...sterilizing a work area she never used, and she kept going on plane leaving customers backed up in the line at the gate. It was the weirdest experience I have ever have with AA, especially on a Transcon.

What boggles my mind is that there were 9 empty seats in Business Class....right up until we departed, with 17 standby's waiting for coach. She could have made likfe very simple if she just upgraded while we were waiting, rather then wait till everyone was one plane.

Oh yes I also forgot, one passenger was told to come forward for upgrade, the women took her bags and all, a new passenger sat in the seat she was in, 20 seconds later the women came back to her seat, her replacement was taken off plane, and of course it delayed our departure.

It seems AA is trying to make things easier, with the displays and all showing upgrade list etc...but when it comes to the gate agent, she is in full control....and knows it.
 
BOAC911
Posts: 280
Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2004 9:47 pm

RE: AA Upgrades To Elite Members

Tue Oct 30, 2007 12:42 pm

Next time purchase a higher fare and you'll be upgraded sooner and at the last minute. Also, your chances are better of getting an available seat.
 
JA732A
Posts: 21
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2007 8:22 pm

RE: AA Upgrades To Elite Members

Tue Oct 30, 2007 12:48 pm

Quoting BOAC911 (Reply 5):
Next time purchase a higher fare and you'll be upgraded sooner and at the last minute. Also, your chances are better of getting an available seat.

I don't believe American Airlines takes into consideration the fare basis when selecting who does and does not receive an upgrade, only elite status and check-in time.
 
aajfksjubklyn
Topic Author
Posts: 458
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 10:46 pm

RE: AA Upgrades To Elite Members

Tue Oct 30, 2007 12:54 pm

You are correct. Yes I bought a coach ticket, it was not cheap it cost me $849.00. I normally pay no more then $400 rt....please don't assume I bought a cheap fare...It doesn't have anything to do with that-and the trip was last minute (by my defination..I bought it one week prior). Upgrades are based on 4 things: forecast of possibly filling plane at 72 hours prior to departure (when initial upgrades are distributed)-in other words amount of seats sold/vs/empty. Then During 3 hour window: It is based on AAdvantage Status, Check-In time, and stand-by (missed flights etc). They do not take fare into account during 3 hour window (or ever unless fare doesn't qualify for upgrade period), unless someone walks up to counter and buys a ticket for $12,000 to LAX. Then you can bet someone is getting bumped. That was not the case on my last flight.
 
JROTTO
Posts: 32
Joined: Sat Oct 14, 2006 12:40 am

RE: AA Upgrades To Elite Members

Tue Oct 30, 2007 1:44 pm

If i have checked in coach in advance, and show up to the airport 3 hours ahead of time, may i put my name on the upgrade list then? If so, will it still cost me the 500 miles?
 
albird87
Posts: 566
Joined: Mon Jul 10, 2006 7:15 am

RE: AA Upgrades To Elite Members

Tue Oct 30, 2007 1:55 pm

I dont understand this aswell. surely if you havent been upgraded before the 3 hours mark cant they jsut pass on that information to the airport and gate people? I mean it would make sense as surley they have to send all the names and detials to the airport to allow people to check them in and board. Would it be much more of a bother to then send along with that list, the no of stand by upgrades??

I had the unfortunate event a loong time ago before 9/11 and was travelling from LHR-JFK-MIA-GCM. However my LHR-JFK flight was delayed for 3 hours so i missed my connection down to MIA and then as well to GCM. I used my miles to upgrade all the way at check-in and so i was upgraded on all the flights down. Now because i missed my flights, when I got to the admirals club in JFK they were very sorry and appologising about this but they had me booked on a 6pm flight down to MIA where then i would have a hotel room waiting for me and i would be on tomorrows morning flight down to GCM. I was again upgraded on all these sectors but they told me that on my JFK-MIA sector that they hadnt given me a seat but i was confirmed in First. They told me to go to the gate a little bit earlier and then i would recieve my seat no and board. However when I got held up in security for ages (even using the first class line there!!) and when i got to the gate, a rude woman told me where the hell was I and she had been calling my name for ages and because i hadnt showed up before boarding she took my First seat away and gave me a Y seat!
Now at the time i was kinda like WTF!!! I mean they confirmed me but couldnt give me a seat so i had to go to the gate to get it and then when i get there (boarding had just begun at this stage) im told no!! I can understand if its time to close the gate and im not there but i was there just after they had begun boarding and there was a massive queue to get on board and they gave me a Y seat instead. In the end i just slept all the way down but I never understood this and why it happens... Oh well thats life i guess!!
 
AIR757200
Posts: 1466
Joined: Mon Jul 17, 2000 8:30 am

RE: AA Upgrades To Elite Members

Tue Oct 30, 2007 2:25 pm

If your upgrade hasn't cleared by the time you arrive to the airport (normally 2-3 hours prior), you must be placed on a upgrade standby list, which is classified by status, by an airport agent or self-service device. ((1= EP, 2= PL, 3= GL)). Passengers on full-upgradable fares who have not been upgraded, but request to be put on the standby list, override those on the upgrade list ("DSR, RF").

AAdvantage upgrade inventory is not the same as first class availability.
 
aajfksjubklyn
Topic Author
Posts: 458
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 10:46 pm

RE: AA Upgrades To Elite Members

Tue Oct 30, 2007 2:26 pm

I think formality goes out the door when boarding begins, which means better make nice with gate agent..but if they are too busy decontaminating their keyboard, phone and mic, with a severe case of OCD...then good luck. The fact that she announced "Business checked in full'...when it wasn't, just annoys me to no end. Especially when I was number 3 on list, which means once I boarded I would assume my name fell off the list and she chose to call anyone she wanted for the already seated in coach people who got upgraded.

Its not a clear situation and one I thought I had figured out. Guess not.
 
AIR757200
Posts: 1466
Joined: Mon Jul 17, 2000 8:30 am

RE: AA Upgrades To Elite Members

Tue Oct 30, 2007 10:48 pm

Quoting AAJFKSJUBKLYN (Thread starter):
At that 3 hour mark, you then can only submit your upgrade at the airport Kiosk or Agent-your original request goes away. Most people do not realize this and loose it and get crazy when they do not see their names on the monitors for 'upgrades'.

You state "most people do not realize" because they don't read their own membership guide.

Direct from the 2007 Platinum Membership Guide:

"...If seating is not available, we will attempt to process your request until three hours prior to flight time.", it continues.. "..If you have not recieved upgrade confirmation three hours prior to departure, you may ask to be placed on the upgrade standby list at the airport."
 
aajfksjubklyn
Topic Author
Posts: 458
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 10:46 pm

RE: AA Upgrades To Elite Members

Tue Oct 30, 2007 10:55 pm

Im aware of this...its after that! And why isn't "already on list considered"....what the heck is the difference other then making a complicated system already complicated.
 
moman
Posts: 708
Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2004 7:17 am

RE: AA Upgrades To Elite Members

Wed Oct 31, 2007 1:51 am

It goes to airport control at three hours out, not one hour.
AA Platinum Member - American Airlines Forever
 
AirAmericaC46
Posts: 489
Joined: Mon Mar 29, 2004 2:23 pm

RE: AA Upgrades To Elite Members

Wed Oct 31, 2007 2:01 am

What is that status higher than Platinum? I thought I read it somewhere that a "super-elite" status is given more priority and how do you reach that stage?
 
MGASJO
Posts: 345
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2005 9:37 am

RE: AA Upgrades To Elite Members

Wed Oct 31, 2007 5:15 am

Quoting AirAmericaC46 (Reply 15):
What is that status higher than Platinum? I thought I read it somewhere that a "super-elite" status is given more priority and how do you reach that stage?

It goes (from top to bottom), Executive Platinum (EP), Platinum (PL), Advantage Gold (AG) and regular Advantage

For Advantage Gold you need 25,000 miles 30 segments, Platinum 50,000 miles 60 segments, and Executive Platinum 100,000 miles 100 segments
C208B
 
DFW13L
Posts: 809
Joined: Tue Aug 30, 2005 3:22 pm

RE: AA Upgrades To Elite Members

Wed Oct 31, 2007 5:22 am

Just an update, for comparison purposes. On a MD80 with 11 out of 16 seats booked last night for a 11:10am departure today, mom and dad (one of them Gold status, the other non-status) were not upgraded until about 6am today. At two hours before departure all seats in first class were filled.
See, I knew American Eagle was first class all along!
 
AIR757200
Posts: 1466
Joined: Mon Jul 17, 2000 8:30 am

RE: AA Upgrades To Elite Members

Wed Oct 31, 2007 12:39 pm

Quoting AAJFKSJUBKLYN (Reply 13):
And why isn't "already on list considered"....what the heck is the difference other then making a complicated system already complicated.

I'm guessing more than likely, since a standby-list is an indiciation that you're at the airport awaiting to be placed on a flight, requesting to be placed on an upgrade list is also a confirmation that you are at the airport.

..pretty much the purpose of a standby list.

This is the system in place and it's not going to change anytime soon. Sometimes we just have to accept that this is the way things are done, just like any other business.

I've never seen anyone get crazy at the gate because I tell it how it is, usually quoting the exact rule, and I always get "Ohh, OK, I understand now".  Smile
 
aajfksjubklyn
Topic Author
Posts: 458
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 10:46 pm

RE: AA Upgrades To Elite Members

Wed Oct 31, 2007 7:25 pm

You are correct. As long as I get where I am going. Its just a pretty interesting business process reagrdless.

Thanks!
 
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Starlionblue
Posts: 20200
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

RE: AA Upgrades To Elite Members

Thu Nov 01, 2007 8:01 am

Quoting JA732A (Reply 6):
I don't believe American Airlines takes into consideration the fare basis when selecting who does and does not receive an upgrade, only elite status and check-in time.

Correct. Only status class counts.

Quoting AIR757200 (Reply 12):

You state "most people do not realize" because they don't read their own membership guide.

Correct as well. It's not rocket science and if you fly that much it becomes second nature anyway.

Quoting AirAmericaC46 (Reply 15):
What is that status higher than Platinum? I thought I read it somewhere that a "super-elite" status is given more priority and how do you reach that stage?

Executive Platinum is 100k miles or 100 segments. In my experience as Exec Plat you get upgraded about 90% of the time. As Plat about 35%. Also Exec plat may use first class lounges on international flights.

Then there are the "secret stages". Millions of miles, Lifetime Platinum, etc... The CEO at my former company had a lifetime platinum card with "4 million miles" on it.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
aajfksjubklyn
Topic Author
Posts: 458
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 10:46 pm

RE: AA Upgrades To Elite Members

Thu Nov 01, 2007 12:08 pm

In being a Million Miler on aa, and progressing to 2 Million, it's not much different then your everyday status, I got 8 upgrades into my account, two luggage tags and replacement Platinum card that has "A Million Miles" on it. I have been Platinum for the past 6 years, and quite honestly, other then getting through security faster, I may as well be Gold, or Group 1.. Upgrades are virtually impossible, I would say your chances on a Trans-con are about 10%, vs, NY-SJU, which I usually get upgraded always. Its all dependent on flight, time, route, and hidden things...  Smile
 
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Starlionblue
Posts: 20200
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 9:54 pm

RE: AA Upgrades To Elite Members

Thu Nov 01, 2007 12:16 pm

Quoting AAJFKSJUBKLYN (Reply 21):
Upgrades are virtually impossible, I would say your chances on a Trans-con are about 10%, vs, NY-SJU, which I usually get upgraded always.

Exec Plat made a HUGE difference in the number of upgrades, especially last minute ones. I seemed to always get that last seat in the front.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo

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