Executive Platinum Expectations

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by garyst16, Mar 14, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. garyst16
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    garyst16 Silver Member

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    I've posted about this previously but this is becoming all too common place when sitting in coach. There was a time when the FAs new if an EXP was sitting in coach. They would usually greet you by name, offer you a cocktail at no charge, and even some of their yummy food... However, over the last few months, none of this has happened on at least 5 flights, including 263 (IAD-LAX) today. Not only was I asked to pay for my cocktail, but after I identified myself as an EXP and showed the FA my boarding pass, I was told I would have to pay for the mixed nuts I requested....

    So my question to the wise men and women of the board, and especially, Destination David, what should my expectations be as an EXP traveling in Y? Am I asking for too much? Was I previously spoiled by the few FAs that actually cared about those of us that fly regularly for work? I would really like to hear from others about their expectations.
     
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  2. garyst16
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    garyst16 Silver Member

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    And... I have an upcoming trip from LAX to LHR next month that isn't yet booked... While I have always tried to stay on AA, with the level of service I've received lately, I don't know that my quest will continue...
     
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  3. DestinationDavid
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    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    A personal shout out! I feel honored. :)

    While we've vocally disagreed on a few issues here in the forum, I actually can confirm that I have also experienced huge service issues regarding this benefit. My personal experience over the past few years with regards to FAs acknowledging my EXP status and subsequent food/beverage perks while stuck in Y has been abysmal. Admittedly my times in Y are a much smaller percentage of my flying time on AA than my time in F. But out of the past few years in Y on both AA mainline and AE, I've only been able pro-actively offered the benefit twice. In fact, on my last trip MSP-ORD, I was in Y and the FA denied me the benefit even after I actively identified myself as an EXP and explained the policy. She told me I was making it up and then as an aside to the other FA working the cart said, "Some of these elites think they know so much about our programs....".

    That was just the icing on the cake on what was likely my worst experience flying AA in some time.

    The fact that this is a problem for us, especially recently, is interesting since with the use of the new FA tablets, EXPs are highlighted on their seatmaps. Elites show up as different colored seats when they open the tablet and scan the aircraft map. There really shouldn't be any issues regarding the FAs finding their elites and offering the specified benefits, save for the rare occasions when someone switches seats while on the aircraft.

    So from my personal experience, I wholeheartidly agree that FAs need more training on this policy as it's the most glaring service failure I've experienced with AA as an elite over the years.

    On the other hand, I've seen others state that this benefit has worked for them without issue on multiple occasions. Just like the overall FA service issue you've been vocal about (which I disagreed with you on), I think this also can be a YMMV issue. This one just happens to be an issue that we both have had bad luck with. :)

    I'm curious, do you often wait for the FA to identify you as an EXP or do you proactively self-identify? If the FA doesn't identify you, do you typically take the opportunity to address the issue with the FA (as you did above) or do you often just stay quiet?
     
  4. gleff
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    gleff Co-founder

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    Indeed, it's worked for me without fail over the past year. On the occasions I am in coach I am usually proactively greeted and thanked and offered the drink and snack. Sometimes I have had to ask for the snack and when asked for payment have mentioned I'm an executive platinum, I offer to pull out my boarding pass but no FA has ever had me show it to them. So very much a YMMV sort of thing.
     
  5. Aktchi
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    Aktchi Silver Member

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    As far as FAs recognizing me proactively it has been hit and miss on AA, mostly miss; I have better luck on partner airlines like CX. During the past year, only 2 or 3 FAs have proactively offered complementary beverage and snack. My usual MO is to order what I want and, when they'd expect a credit card, show them my EXP card. Has worked smoothly every time.

    David, I hope you remembered to take that FA's name and report the incident. Not knowing the policy, offering to look it up, etc., would be understandable, but a snarky comment within your earshot is entirely different.
     
  6. perryplatypus

    perryplatypus Gold Member

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    My last flight from DFW/MCO the FA was great. She greeted me and one other EXP in coach and served us our snacks and drinks before they served the rest of the main cabin. To me she really seemed that she took pride in the service that she was providing. BTW, my FA was old school and was using 1980s style printer paper to identify us ;)
     
  7. DestinationDavid
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    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    I'm notoriously slow to anger, and despite the brush-off and comments by the FA I didn't even bother to look at her name tag. As I noted above, this was part of a rather awful travel day with AA. The worst I've had since Jan 1, 2011.

    If anything was going to make me complain it would be this, but I was too focused on getting home and talking to my rather chatty seat mate to take it too serious. Probably should have. :)
     
  8. garyst16
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    garyst16 Silver Member

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    I believe it was late 2011 when I noticed the FAs greeting me by name and thanking me for saying with AA. They would always offer me a snack and drink when I as in Y. Late last year, I noticed a significant change where there was no EXP recognition or offers of free snacks or drinks.

    To answer your question, I wait to see if they are going to ask me to pay, and then I let them know I am an EXP. so no, I am not proactive in my approach on this topic. I guess I got spoiled when they seemed to care...

    And like you and Gleff, I am usually in F so it's usually not an issue... I guess I feel that EXPs should be recognized since they are the airlines bread and butter.
     
  9. garyst16
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    garyst16 Silver Member

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    AA needs more FAs like this one!
     
  10. Aktchi
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    Aktchi Silver Member

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    Considering that I qualified with TEQM, I hesitate to regard myself as being in the bread and butter group. :) However, I do agree that a one sentence greeting does not take too much effort/time and would be nice.
     
  11. legalalien
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    legalalien Gold Member

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    I've had pretty good luck with AA FAs over the last year and a half that I've been EXP. Never been denied a drink and/or snack and most of the time I have been greeted by name and offered those proactively.
     
  12. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    I will chime in with the fact that once in the last ten flights I have flown have I been acknowledged as an EXP. The flights were all is first, but in the past I have been acknowledged in first and thanked for my business. That truly seems to be a thing of the past in my experiences. As I have previously stated in another forum I do not see the quality of service that I was previously used to.
     
  13. Betty Boop

    Betty Boop Gold Member

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    And I will add to this that sometimes (not frequently but occasionally ) I find that the men in F class get greeted more by name and are 'attended' to more.
    Also to the point of the ExP perks in coach - I flew CVG to DFW yesterday on embraer jet so one class and the very nice FA said 'four dollars' for the cheese plate' but as I hesitated she said unless you are platinum. So all was well.
     
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  14. wrxmom

    wrxmom Gold Member

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    If I'm not greeted by name when the cart comes around I go with the proactive approach and have my boarding pass in hand and when asked what I'd like respond with "As an EXP, what can I have?"
     
  15. krkxAAHH

    krkxAAHH Active Member

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    In the three segments this year that I I haven't been upgraded, there was no acknowledgement of my EXP status, and the one segment where I didn't have mine available, I showed the FA My card, and she didn't even look at it, and tried to swipe it as a CC! I fly a lot of Alaska code share fights, and their FA's ALWAYS recognize their top tier members sitting in coach (by name), and graciously offer them a drink.
     
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  16. ballardFlyer

    ballardFlyer Gold Member

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    Only 5 Y flights in last year. Usually acknowledged as EXP without prompting. Always comped both full sandwich and beverage - normally without showing anything, but on 2 flights I had to show my ticket. One of those times I was on a tcon where they after seeing my tix proceeded to give me one of everything in the snack cart and apologized for not getting me in F. :)
     
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  17. flyforawg

    flyforawg Silver Member

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    What were the routes for these? Did either of you submit a report to customer service? I've had 100% on 4 segments so far this year, but my travel is about to heat up and will be on routes where I'm assuming I'll probably spend at least some time in the back, so should probably start planning my strategy now.

    Actually printed the web page stating the benefit to carry with me. We'll see if that heads off this behavior:
     
  18. Aktchi
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    Aktchi Silver Member

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    Various routes from short hop AE to long haul international. To be honest, I didn't think it rises to the level of filing a complaint if they didn't greet or offer beverages/snacks proactively. To me that would be at par with sending a written complaint that someone didn't smile.

    Not once has any FA even hesitated, let alone argued or refused to honor this benefit, once I showed them my EXP card. (BTW, even if the information is there on BP, I have noticed that the EXP card itself has better effect.) Typically they just say, "Thank you", to which I respond, "No, Thank you!" and then they move on to the next row. That may not be my dream scenario, but it is adequate enough for me.
     
  19. OceanBreezes

    OceanBreezes Gold Member

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    [QUOTE="]

    Not once has any FA even hesitated, let alone argued or refused to honor this benefit, once I showed them my EXP card. (BTW, even if the information is there on BP, I have noticed that the EXP card itself has better effect.[/QUOTE]

    My experience has been better with the boarding pass. 90% of the time I have provided the EXP card, the FA swipes the card thinking it was a credit card. I have had a FA ask for the boarding pass, but now I proactively show it and have not had a problem in the last year...but, I have only been in coach a few times on AA in the last year but I have been on Eagle without a first class about 10 times without an issue. On Eagle, the FA served the EXPs first a few times.
     
  20. TRYING2BPLAT

    TRYING2BPLAT Silver Member

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    Do you think this is a culture thing? thats why FA are having a hard time acknowledging EXP because Asian airline do recognize you if you are in Y and make an effort but somehow US airline pretends you are not.
     
  21. legalalien
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    legalalien Gold Member

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    Maybe that's because FAs are on board "primarily for your safety" and recognizing you as an EXP has nothing to do with safety? :oops:
     
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  22. marypetr

    marypetr Member

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    As executive platinum, I always ask for a snack when traveling in coach (because the plane is too small to get an upgrade or I did not get one which is rare) and the FAs are always helpful. I never had to pay and the FA even have offered something to someone who might be traveling with me. In the future, I would get the FA names and report it to customer service or print something out from aa.com and bring it with you. And I always use the extra coupons provided to us via AA to thank the FA. So complaints when appropriate and complaints when necessary!
     
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  23. marypetr

    marypetr Member

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    I meant to say compliments when appropriate and complaints when necessary ... sorry about that!
     
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  24. Aktchi
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    Aktchi Silver Member

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    You know that can just edit that post too? :)
     
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  25. Aktchi
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    Aktchi Silver Member

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    I don't think it is "Asian culture" v "American culture" thing at the larger society level.

    However, it is also more than just individual FAs doing or not doing something. You do see a pattern.

    I guess I would go along with the idea that Asian carriers have a different culture from American carriers, so yes in that sense we can regard it as a culture issue.
     

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