AA Reportedly Harmonizes Upgrade Priority

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by Mike Reed, Aug 2, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,414
    Likes Received:
    3,574
    Status Points:
    2,025
    From my blog post about a post on TOBB:

    Before this, if your upgrade request hadn’t cleared by check-in time (24 hours before flight), the order of check-in took precedence within an award group like EXP/sticker space-available upgrades, so you had to make sure to check in as early as possible. This obviates the need for that and has upgrades work as expected on AA – ordered by time of request.

    Anyone seen this in the field?
     
    zphelj, jbcarioca, zpaul and 2 others like this.
  2. tommy777
    Original Member

    tommy777 Co-founder

    Messages:
    2,674
    Likes Received:
    6,596
    Status Points:
    4,570
    I rarely fly AA over water, so I don't have much EVIP waitlist experience, but I have a flight today to LHR. The overwater segment cleared at booking, but the ORD-JFK leg did not and was waitlisted. Last night I logged on to check the status of things and I noticed the little box for requesting a domestic upgrade was not checked. Called EP desk and indeed, I was not on the list.

    Any tricks/advice here?
     
    jbcarioca, zpaul and Travelsavant like this.
  3. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,414
    Likes Received:
    3,574
    Status Points:
    2,025

    From my understanding if you have a SWU wait listed for that flight you have priority over non-SWU'ers, but I can't confirm that. Best advice? Get to the airport early and see if an AAngel in the club can help. I've been pleasantly surprised by what they can do.
     
    jbcarioca and zpaul like this.
  4. DestinationDavid
    Original Member

    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

    Messages:
    6,846
    Likes Received:
    12,715
    Status Points:
    11,770
    Sticker upgrades (the ones denoted by the check box) come from a different inventory (X) than SWU inventory (A). So it's entirely possible you were not on the wait list for X space but were for A space, thus you being able to request X space on AA.com.
     
    jbcarioca and zpaul like this.
  5. tommy777
    Original Member

    tommy777 Co-founder

    Messages:
    2,674
    Likes Received:
    6,596
    Status Points:
    4,570

    Thank you. According to the EP agents I spoke with yesterday all agree I was not on the waitlist at all and put me on the sticker upgrade list.

    The website crapped out and I was not able to check in online either, so I was not on the upgrade list on the app. Of course I ended up at the bottom of the list when I got to the airport and finally got checked in.

    The upgrade did not clear. To top it off, I had preselected 8D, but was handed 19C, the check in agent claimed there was an equipment change and the seat didn't exist. Well. the guy who got my seat, did not show up I got my seat back. :p

    Not an experience that makes me want to fly AA overseas again if the SWU doesnt clear at booking
     
    zpaul, Aktchi and jbcarioca like this.
  6. jbcarioca
    Original Member

    jbcarioca Gold Member

    Messages:
    17,507
    Likes Received:
    57,455
    Status Points:
    20,020
    IME the domestic segments invariably clear when the LH A inventory does. Several people know the practices better than do I, but I have waited to clear international legs with as little as a day before flight, and immediately cleared domestic legs once the international has cleared. Multiple international legs have had to clear one by one IME.

    I'm curious to have someone like DestinationDavid explain how it really works because i have been limited to only a handful of routes, although I use all the ones I receive. For the record I also have SWU's for DL which have been useless because paid C is often cheaper than the upgradable fares. The US ones I also have have never been used because none of them have ever cleared. Thus AA is the only carrier that actually has been usable for SWU's for me.
     
    zpaul, Aktchi and tommy777 like this.
  7. tommy777
    Original Member

    tommy777 Co-founder

    Messages:
    2,674
    Likes Received:
    6,596
    Status Points:
    4,570

    Yeah, that's exactly how I feel. Davis, you've got a big job ahead of you ;)

    IMHO it's a HUGE weakness that a human has to manually do your upgrades. Say what you want about Uniteds system, but at least the agent who made the mistake with my upgrade is taken out of the equation. And it's annoying to call to manually having this done.

    I don't like things I can't "see" ("oh, you can't see yourself on the list, but you're there"), sorry. This is such a bad experience compared to how domestic upgrades are done.
     
    zpaul, zphelj and jbcarioca like this.
  8. Pizzaman
    Original Member

    Pizzaman Co-founder

    Messages:
    4,518
    Likes Received:
    8,755
    Status Points:
    7,270
    Are you talking about your domestic or international upgrade needing to be done manually?
     
    zpaul and jbcarioca like this.
  9. legalalien
    Original Member

    legalalien Gold Member

    Messages:
    4,536
    Likes Received:
    9,301
    Status Points:
    7,770

    eVIPs have to applied manually and result in an actual ticket reissue (and a loss of access to the original ticket receipt).
     
    zpaul and jbcarioca like this.
  10. Pizzaman
    Original Member

    Pizzaman Co-founder

    Messages:
    4,518
    Likes Received:
    8,755
    Status Points:
    7,270
    I know, but that's why I asked for clarification whether it was the international or domestic portion that he was concerned about in relation to the manual portion. My recollection is that even if you apply a SWU to a reservation for a domestic leg you can (and should) still check the box for a sticker upgrade since they are separate buckets as noted above. I was curious whether he did request a sticker upgrade and it disappeared or if he never requested it in the beginning.

    My general thought is that an EXP agent should generally know to request the sticker upgrade as well, but it's also possible he didn't know that you should confirm that was done as well. I'm in the exact same situation with an overseas flight now where the SWU hasn't cleared but I've requested the sticker upgrade online (and the EXP agent did NOT put the request in when I called up to apply a SWU).
     
    zpaul and jbcarioca like this.
  11. JonNYC
    Original Member

    JonNYC Silver Member

    Messages:
    224
    Likes Received:
    403
    Status Points:
    495
    With regard to the OP, the information originally reported on FT, then on Mike's blog, is confirmed.
     
    Aktchi, tommy777, zpaul and 3 others like this.
  12. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

    Messages:
    2,414
    Likes Received:
    3,574
    Status Points:
    2,025

    Thanks, Jon. If you happen to post/confirm that on TB, I'll be happy to link to you there, too. Your word might as well be AA's word in every case. Much respect! :)

    Edit: Found it.

    Since these require different fare classes does this mean that A/X are interchangeable once the list goes to airport control? Is the only defining criteria time stamp at that point, meaning that the order is:

    1) Elite level / through passenger
    2) Timestamp

    regardless of upgrade type at 24 hours?
     
    zpaul and jbcarioca like this.
  13. JonNYC
    Original Member

    JonNYC Silver Member

    Messages:
    224
    Likes Received:
    403
    Status Points:
    495
    I wouldn't say that any interchangeability has come about-- in my mind A and X (as examples) still are different in that the respective inventories are still needed and that will in most cases mean A would often be available when X might not be. Only difference is that with SWU and miles+co-pay check-in time is no longer determiner of rank within elite tier-- date of request is.

    I must add this is a complicated subject and I would -not- claim to be the final word here, until/unless I get a chance to see some new upgrade lists operating under the new scheme.

    But for sure, AA is confirming the change from check-in time to request-date for SWU and miles+co-pay upgrades.

    Thanks for the kind words
     
    zpaul and jbcarioca like this.
  14. Gtitan
    Original Member

    Gtitan Gold Member

    Messages:
    7,069
    Likes Received:
    12,437
    Status Points:
    12,520
     
    zpaul and jbcarioca like this.
  15. traveller_ord

    traveller_ord New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    2
    Status Points:
    15


    I had a similar experience with the return TATL segment clearing but the domestic segment did not. The agent had already waitlisted me for the free domestic upgrades at the time the upgrade was requested, so was on the waitlist for X-inventory. When I arrived, I checked at the Admirals Club to see where I was and was told that I was quite a ways down on the list. I then asked if SWU based upgrades do have a priority - and the agent entered this in. Not sure what the priority is, but ended up getting upgraded at the gate first. Overall, great service at the Admirals Club and Flagship lounge.
     
    tommy777 and zpaul like this.
  16. tommy777
    Original Member

    tommy777 Co-founder

    Messages:
    2,674
    Likes Received:
    6,596
    Status Points:
    4,570
    I find it pretty disconcerting that every AA expert in this thread are not 100% sure how things really work.
     
  17. DestinationDavid
    Original Member

    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

    Messages:
    6,846
    Likes Received:
    12,715
    Status Points:
    11,770
    It's not that bad at all. There's very little mystery to the process, though yes there is room for error as you need to call an agent to apply SWUs. I don't exactly understand what the pending question is that everyone is giving various accounts on though... :)
     
    JonNYC likes this.
  18. Aktchi
    Original Member

    Aktchi Silver Member

    Messages:
    609
    Likes Received:
    668
    Status Points:
    720
    Well, that's what makes us experts. Those who don't know what they don't know will give you some wrong answer with great confidence. :)
     
    Misplaced Texan likes this.
  19. JonNYC
    Original Member

    JonNYC Silver Member

    Messages:
    224
    Likes Received:
    403
    Status Points:
    495
    Me neither.
     
  20. Pizzaman
    Original Member

    Pizzaman Co-founder

    Messages:
    4,518
    Likes Received:
    8,755
    Status Points:
    7,270
    Me three. Despite the element of agent error the process is pretty binary.
     
  21. Aktchi
    Original Member

    Aktchi Silver Member

    Messages:
    609
    Likes Received:
    668
    Status Points:
    720
    OK, I'll take a stab at the only question I could find in your posts upthread. Here is what I do:

    (A) For purely domestic flight -

    (A1) Choose coach seats as if I may actually need to fly in them. :)
    (A2) Request sticker ug (complementary for EXP) at the time of booking.
    (A3) Place ExpertFlyer (EF) alerts for my own coach seats,* and also keep checking PNR manually starting around -100 hr mark (for EXP).
    (A4) As soon as I get EF alert or notice that an ug cleared, go select my own FC seat.**

    (B) For international + domestic itinerary, call to apply SWU. If all flights clear, select seats;* we are done!

    If SWU does not clear immediately -

    (B1) Choose coach seats carefully as I may actually need to fly in them. :)
    (B2) Wait-list the SWU only for intl segments (don't want it used up for domestic ug if intl doesn't clear).
    (B3) At the same time, request sticker ug for domestic segments.
    (B4) Place EF alerts for currently assigned coach seats on all flights.*
    (B5) When intl ug clears, call to ug domestic legs under the same SWU. Otherwise wait for the -100 hr mark.
    (B6) As soon as any ug clears, go select my own seat.**

    That's it. :) SWU related actions need calling AA. Sticker upgrades can be requested online.

    It is good to keep checking your PNR occasionally just in case AA had one of those moments and things got messed up. EXP desk can fix most issues if caught in time.

    * EF is convenient but should not be relied on exclusively. If your coach seat becomes available as a result of ug but re-assigned within a few minutes, EF may not catch it.

    ** For seat selection in premium cabins, I am still guided by FEBO---which is AA's procedure of taking meal orders from Front in Even numbered flights and Back on Odd ones---but it may become increasingly less important in future as we are able to pre-select our meals.
     
    brodyf likes this.
  22. garyst16
    Original Member

    garyst16 Silver Member

    Messages:
    963
    Likes Received:
    1,028
    Status Points:
    825
    Glad to say it is working! Checked in last night on line and went through at the airport.
     
  23. brodyf

    brodyf Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,017
    Likes Received:
    2,864
    Status Points:
    1,425

    What is EF?
     
    Aktchi likes this.
  24. DCtrAAveler
    Original Member

    DCtrAAveler Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,186
    Likes Received:
    3,633
    Status Points:
    1,970
    ExpertFlyer
     
    Aktchi likes this.
  25. flyforawg

    flyforawg Silver Member

    Messages:
    551
    Likes Received:
    872
    Status Points:
    770
    Surprised it's not in the glossary yet. EF = expert flyer
    http://www.expertflyer.com/

    DCtrAAveler's post was there when I clicked the button. :oops:
     
    Aktchi and DCtrAAveler like this.

Share This Page