Just made gold

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by WindyCityJ, Dec 3, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. WindyCityJ

    WindyCityJ Active Member

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    So after this weekend's mileage run from ORD-SFO I finally made gold. I know its not much but its my first time making status.Anyway. I have a trip to Vegas (ORD-LAS) in a week and a half. I'm traveling at off-ish times Depart ORD Wednesday at 7:50, return Sunday at like 8:30 or something sick early for leaving Vegas.

    Since this is my first shot at upgrading I'm going to try. Right now, 9 days out from departure there are 11 seats open in First. Same for my return. I have the 500 mile stickers for both flights and have requested the upgrade on aa.com. But as a lowly gold do I stand a chance of getting upgraded?

    Just curious because I'm wanting to take advantage of my first upgrade opportunity.

    Yeah I know the flights are on S80's and not the greatest first class but still, I want to try.

    Thanks
     
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  2. Tracy T.

    Tracy T. Silver Member

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    First, congratulations on reaching the Gold level! I got Gold for the first time back in August, so from personal experience I can tell you out of the 6 segments I've flown on AA since then I've been upgraded twice (RNO-DFW & DCA-MIA both early morning flights on Saturdays.) I think your best shot is really on off-peak time flights. Of course, YMMV.
    Honestly, I think Priority Access and free Preferred Seat choices are the best perks of Gold. Good luck, and enjoy your travels!
     
  3. malikguy

    malikguy Silver Member

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    Congrats on Gold! I agree with Tracy, the upgrades are harder to get as Gold, but the other perks are very nice. Make sure you request refunds on any Preferred seats you may have purchased on future bookings since you are now Gold. Good luck!
     
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  4. olmangsr

    olmangsr Silver Member

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    i've been lucky lately,was upgraded on JFK-CUN and even on a JFK-LAX 9am transcon both on saturdays...good luck!
     
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  5. phraktur

    phraktur Silver Member

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    Congrats on making Gold! As a lower level elite earlier in 2012, I would actually say that I received approximately 60-70% of the upgrades I requested. I will say that in many instances I felt extremely lucky to get some of the upgrades, but choosing the correct flights and plane type seemed to help. I also fly out of ORD, and I cleared upgrades on ORD-MIA, ORD-RNO, ORD-STL, ORD-LAX, and ORD-DFW routes.

    As Tracy T. mentioned, the greatest elite benefit, in my opinion, is the preferred seating options. Even if an upgrade didn't clear, I was always in an window exit row seat with plenty of space.

    Again, congrats! And safe travels.
     
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  6. WindyCityJ

    WindyCityJ Active Member

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    Oooh, I didn't know I could do that. Thanks for the tip.
     
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  7. DestinationDavid
    Original Member

    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    I'm guessing you're using the seat map to see how many seats are free? That's not a good idea, since there are various reasons why someone might have a reservation without having selected a seat.

    Regardless, congratulations on your first status and best of luck on your upgrade. It's far from guaranteed, but since AA requires lower tier elites to use stickers, you're not competing with every elite on the plane like DL/UA.
     
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  8. WindyCityJ

    WindyCityJ Active Member

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    Thanks David. Is there a better way to find first class seat availability?
     
  9. DestinationDavid
    Original Member

    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    Sites like Expertflyer or KVS which allow you to look at available inventory for sale. You can search for available F inventories.

    Inventories listed here on the Flyerguide: LINK. :)
     
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  10. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    You too? Awesome.

    Honestly I think MCE > Preferred right. But good luck on the stickers
     
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  11. basiface

    basiface Silver Member

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    Welcome to the club... I don't have nearly as much insight as these folks, but from my experience the off days and times should help you out, especially the early Sunday. My rule of thumb is to avoid the business flyers since they are the majority of your higher elite folks that'll bump you down the upgrade list (Avoid early Monday and Friday before 5pm especially). So I focus on my arrival times at my destination and try to arrive before or after they normally would like to. My best advice is to put in your request and hope for the best, but in the mean time grab an exit row or main cabin extra seat and stretch out in that. That's what I do. Those seats are first come, first serve for all elites!
     
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  12. perryplatypus

    perryplatypus Gold Member

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    Congrats on making Gold!
     
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  13. kansaskeith

    kansaskeith Gold Member

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    Congratulations on making "Gold." That was a status I had for several years and actually I had uncanny luck in getting upgrades to clear, though sometimes not until right before the flights. Part of it may have been that this was a few years ago, but another part might have been that much of my travel was shorter haul, including MD-80s like you mention. So it is worth trying, and if nothing else "Gold" should let you lock in a coach exit row and Main Cabin Extra for about a year (announced to go to "Platinum" after that) while you are waiting for the upgrades to clear. With the frequent fliers on these forums, you will see a lot of talk that "Platinum" and expecially "Executive Platinum" are better -- and clearly they are. But I found that "Gold" was nothing to sneeze at, and wish you the best.
     
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  14. WindyCityJ

    WindyCityJ Active Member

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    Hi all.

    Another question.

    It's now less than 24 hours before my flight and even though ExpertFlyer shows two seats (3A and 4F) available in First, my upgrade has yet to go through.

    I called the AA desk and inquired about this and the woman said that my upgrade has not yet cleared and that's all the information she had.

    I don't understand. My understanding is, if seats are available 24 hours out, and I qualified for the upgrade (I have more than enough 500 mile coupons in my account and requested the upgrade weeks ago) it would go through.

    Does anyone know why my upgrade might not yet clear if seats are available less than 24 hours out?

    Thanks
     
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  15. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

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    I think it's 24h till it clears as in the max. It's not guarantee to clear by 24 hr
     
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  16. perryplatypus

    perryplatypus Gold Member

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    There could be other people with higher status ahead of you on the upgrade list and EXPs could go ahead of you when they check in at the airport. Even as an an EXP I have had to wait till the flight was boarding before I was able to clear. Best thing to do is to check at the airport where you are on the upgrade list.
     
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  17. kansaskeith

    kansaskeith Gold Member

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    Your situation is not at all uncommon. Check back about 4 hours before departure. The airline quite often holds a few seats for last-minute paid F customers, or because of cabin oversells and the like. When I was 'Gold' I was quite used to going up to a few hours before departure before clearance. While less common ong the higher-ranking elites, we even had an 'Executive Platinum' on here who went within an hour last week before his upgrade requested in April cleared. I am not saying you are or aren't gonna get an F seat, but there certainly is a chance.
     
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  18. WindyCityJ

    WindyCityJ Active Member

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    ahh this makes sense.

    Thanks
     
  19. WindyCityJ

    WindyCityJ Active Member

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    Thanks for this very useful information.
     
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  20. rwoman
    Original Member

    rwoman Gold Member

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    Congrats on making gold, WindyCityJ! :)
     
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  21. kansaskeith

    kansaskeith Gold Member

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    So, WindyCityJ, did it clear? :)
     
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  22. WindyCityJ

    WindyCityJ Active Member

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    Ha! I was just coming to report about my experience. Thanks for following up.

    When I arrived at the airport I was still not cleared for my upgrade even though it appeared that one F seat was still available. When I arrived at the gate my name was second on the upgrade list. So, given that I was just barely gold and put in for my upgrade fairly late I figured I didn't really stand much of a chance.

    There were a lot of names on the stand by list too so while I was waiting names were being called quite frequently and I had no idea if the names being called were for upgrade or stand by.

    So eventually pre-boarding begins and I figure I'm out. Just then my name is called and I got my upgrade at boarding time.

    On the way home my upgrade cleared exactly 24 hours before flight time so there was no sweat there.

    Like many folks ITT said, the great benefit of gold is priority security and priority boarding.

    Thanks for all of you input.

    I have 12 K of flying already planned for Jan/Feb this year so hopefully I can make PLT this year!
     
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  23. ahcajr103

    ahcajr103 Active Member

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    Congrats on the upgrades! Sure makes flyif a whole lot better.

    That, and booze.
     

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