500 mile upgrade question?

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by AnthonyB1609, Feb 1, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. AnthonyB1609

    AnthonyB1609 Silver Member

    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    151
    Status Points:
    375
    I am thinking about book a flight in may to LAX-DFW-FLL/MIA, I want to book two seats in F. I would like to save my miles for another trip and use my 500 mile upgrades. But I don't want to find out at the last min that I didn't clear. So my question is what flights are good for 500 mile upgrades and how long in advance should I book it?

    Sent from my iPad using milepoint
     
    rwoman likes this.
  2. Microwave
    Original Member

    Microwave Silver Member

    Messages:
    271
    Likes Received:
    340
    Status Points:
    500
    This is a wildly open ended question. First, we don't know what your status is, so that will make a difference. When I was Platinum, I had excellent upgrade rates--Golds have rates lower than that. In general, shorter flights carry higher likelihood of upgrade clearance than longer ones, so stopping in DFW will increase the number of stickers required for the trip but should increase their chances of clearing. In addition, traveling on lower demand days like Tuesday and Wednesday will generally also offer a better chance of success. That said, LAX, DFW and MIA are all AA hubs, so you'll be up against frequent flyers at just about every turn--I'd say you'd have better luck into FLL for that reason (although I've never flown that route myself). As for advance purchase, buy your tickets and request your upgrades as early as possible as sticker upgrades are sorted by original request time (within your elite tier).

    Sorry for the dearth of exact responses, but there's no "right answer" to your questions, just general guidance.
     
    AnthonyB1609, John777 and rwoman like this.
  3. AnthonyB1609

    AnthonyB1609 Silver Member

    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    151
    Status Points:
    375
    Thanks that was a lot of help. I am PLT now by that time should be EXP. But the person I'm traveling with has no status.

    I was wondering in MIA would decrease my chances so that's good to know that FLL might be a better choice. And I had assumed that Monday and Friday morning and afternoon would be bad days to fly so you just confirmed that for me.

    Thanks for the advice. I am not taking the trip until 5/12 but I will let you know how it goes lol. :)
     
  4. Microwave
    Original Member

    Microwave Silver Member

    Messages:
    271
    Likes Received:
    340
    Status Points:
    500
    Two added points based on this detail...

    First, once you move up a status level, you should call your elite status line and ask them to ensure all of your future reservations have been updated to reflect your newly achieved status. This is especially important when upgrades are involved, as it will affect the place you'll hold on the waitlist.

    Second, when you're travelling with a companion on the same reservation, he or she will "inherit" your status for the purposes of upgrade priority. That's the good news. The bad news is that, for you both to upgrade via the automated process (before you get to the gate), there will need to be sufficient inventory for both of you to clear at once or you'll both be passed over in favour of the next solo flyer down the list. I've been bitten by this one several times in the past. If it's important to you that your companion is in first, I'd suggest booking separately and springing for miles+copay for him/her, then book yourself on another reservation and request an upgrade just for yourself. You may end up in non-adjacent seats, but politely asking around will usually result in someone being willing to swap seats around to let you sit with your companion, especially if you're willing to take crappier seats in exchange for better ones (I'm looking at you, bulkhead row). As I mentioned, I've missed mid-con upgrades as an EXP before because I was flying with a companion and upgrade inventory only trickled in one seat at a time.
     
    AnthonyB1609 likes this.
  5. Philphactor
    Original Member

    Philphactor Silver Member

    Messages:
    103
    Likes Received:
    131
    Status Points:
    420
  6. DestinationDavid
    Original Member

    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

    Messages:
    6,846
    Likes Received:
    12,715
    Status Points:
    11,770
    Interesting tools! Hopefully the data keeps getting populated. I tested the offered ORD-DFW on the landing page and it shows a better percentage for GLD than PLT. :eek::D
     
    AnthonyB1609 likes this.
  7. Philphactor
    Original Member

    Philphactor Silver Member

    Messages:
    103
    Likes Received:
    131
    Status Points:
    420
    TheTravelAbstract likes this.
  8. AnthonyB1609

    AnthonyB1609 Silver Member

    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    151
    Status Points:
    375
    I just used the tools and they are freaking amazing thanks for the post!!!
     
  9. Jason
    Original Member

    Jason Silver Member

    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    82
    Status Points:
    370
    Is it safe to say whether and when you're upgraded is based on something too complicated to understand? For example, I'm platinum, booked and requested an upgrade for a flight tomorrow 9 months ago.

    Silly me, I thought when I made it to platinum and now have the "72 hours in advance" upgrade benefit, that I'd be upgraded a day or two in advance...especially when 11 of the 16 first class seats are showing available in expert flyer.
     
  10. DestinationDavid
    Original Member

    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

    Messages:
    6,846
    Likes Received:
    12,715
    Status Points:
    11,770
    You'll never know for sure when your upgrade will come through. There are many factors that go into when upgrade space is released. Do they think people are likely to purchase F seats right before the flight? Anticipated weather issues? The list goes on.

    The 72 hour benefit is the earliest time at which your upgrade will be confirmed. Many times you have to wait much longer than that. :)
     
  11. miamigrad
    Original Member

    miamigrad Silver Member

    Messages:
    134
    Likes Received:
    179
    Status Points:
    395
    What is the route? That's plays a major factor. For example, if the route is frequented heavily with EXP... well, that doesn't bode well for PLT or Gold sometimes.
     
  12. DestinationDavid
    Original Member

    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

    Messages:
    6,846
    Likes Received:
    12,715
    Status Points:
    11,770
    Not to mention hubs with lots of connecting EXPs and PLTs. It's a rough game predicting upgrades. :eek::)
     
  13. schnitzel
    Original Member

    schnitzel Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,867
    Likes Received:
    2,833
    Status Points:
    1,470
    Interesting. My wife and I are on a waitlist. I'm Platinum. She was nothing when we got on the list, and we said we'd take either both of us or one of us. Now she's Gold.

    Since we did the either/or, I'm assuming she didn't get the benefit of my status. So now I need to call and make sure they take her Gold into account for the list?
     
  14. schnitzel
    Original Member

    schnitzel Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,867
    Likes Received:
    2,833
    Status Points:
    1,470
    And, yes, those tools are amazing! I just hope the underlying data is accurate.

    Is there a set for international SWU upgrades?
     
  15. Jason
    Original Member

    Jason Silver Member

    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    82
    Status Points:
    370
    I'm out of DFW, which I'm sure has alot of EXP, but it is a Saturday flight which I assume has less members with status since it's on the weekend. It's only a very short flight to MSY and not a big deal if it doesn't clear, but I wanted to start Mardi Gras alittle early up in first ;)
     
    AnthonyB1609 likes this.
  16. John777

    John777 Silver Member

    Messages:
    414
    Likes Received:
    463
    Status Points:
    535
    If you're on the same PNR she will inherit your status for upgrades, regardless of what hers is. The trouble is having two seats open up at the same time, as if only one opens up the system will pass you over and give it to the next solo traveler.
     
    Microwave likes this.
  17. schnitzel
    Original Member

    schnitzel Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,867
    Likes Received:
    2,833
    Status Points:
    1,470
    Different PNRs, actually. I had to book the tickets separately due to the limit of 8 gift cards per purchase on the AA site (Costco . . . ).
     
  18. Aktchi
    Original Member

    Aktchi Silver Member

    Messages:
    609
    Likes Received:
    668
    Status Points:
    720
    What they are trying to predict is how many F seats will remain unsold. We can almost forgive them as it is difficult to predict the future. :) OTOH, with all the fancy data mining and software, they should be getting better, but sometimes we only see confusion and hesitation.
    What seat maps show is "unassigned", which is distinct from "available". Many people don't bother to select a seat in advance and wait to do it at the airport. So 11 unassigned need not mean 11 available. To check availability in EF, run "Flight Availability". If you get F7, then AA is willing to sell 7 seats in F. I don't know why, but 7 is the max availability AA reveals at one time, so at least that many are available, the real number being somewhere between 7 and 11.
     
    AnthonyB1609 and Jason like this.
  19. DestinationDavid
    Original Member

    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

    Messages:
    6,846
    Likes Received:
    12,715
    Status Points:
    11,770
    ExpertFlyer shows F7 on all flights after 5PM DFW-MSY tomorrow night. The Y cabin is a different story though....
     
    Jason likes this.
  20. Jason
    Original Member

    Jason Silver Member

    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    82
    Status Points:
    370
    That's great info I didn't realize but it makes sense. Even though there are now 12 seats unassigned, there are only 2 seats available in F or A class, which tells 2 are still available right? Now by looking at awards and upgrades, I see 0 X class seats available, which is why I haven't been upgraded. Would it be right if I saw X seats available and was within the elite status upgrade window, I should call or check why I haven't been upgraded?
     
  21. Aktchi
    Original Member

    Aktchi Silver Member

    Messages:
    609
    Likes Received:
    668
    Status Points:
    720
    To be precise, AA is offering 2 seats in F for sale, so at least that many are available. More may or may not be available. You'd think they'd be willing to sell any available seat at full undiscounted price, but it could also be that by showing F2 they put pressure on people looking for 1- 2 seats, whereas if they showed F7, people will be more relaxed. :) Who knows. Maybe someone with more experience can comment on how to interpret such situations.

    Place an EF alert as well, call AA as soon as you see availability and request to be upgraded. They are supposed to go in some well-defined order of priority but in real life calling them when a seat is available is known to make a difference.
     
  22. Jason
    Original Member

    Jason Silver Member

    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    82
    Status Points:
    370
    Well, in this case it appeared to be right. I did clear the upgrade, although we're delayed now :(. There was one other first class seat available, which they gave to a guy in coach who had his seat stolen from some seat swapping friends...

    Is it a problem that I'm already wondering if I'll clear my flight back home? :).
     
    AnthonyB1609 likes this.
  23. DestinationDavid
    Original Member

    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

    Messages:
    6,846
    Likes Received:
    12,715
    Status Points:
    11,770
    In this forum it's a problem if you aren't thinking about your next upgrade. ;)
     
    AnthonyB1609, Jason and John777 like this.
  24. Microwave
    Original Member

    Microwave Silver Member

    Messages:
    271
    Likes Received:
    340
    Status Points:
    500
    Then I'd suggest calling to "refresh" the reservations which have had status changes, to ensure they reflect the correct status.
     

Share This Page