Lack of C class availability to Europe

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by manfromkrypton, Mar 5, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. manfromkrypton
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    manfromkrypton Silver Member

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    So not sure if anyone else is seeing this, but have been hunting for C class availability (so I can use my SWU to upgrade from Economy to Business) from ORD/DFW/JFK to some of the destinations that AA flies in Europe - namely, Rome/Milan/Zurich/Paris/Dublin. I've looked for pretty much all of May, July, August, September, October - and I am just not finding anything - or if I do find something, the dates dont work for a quick trip (i.e. the dates between available space going and back is a week or more, and I cant take off that much time from work)

    Anyone know why this might be? are they just blocking off all upgrades? There are plenty of regular seats available, so perhaps they are holding off on allowing confirmed SWUs till they sell more seats?

    I know I could probably book my ticket and pray my waitlisted SWU clears, but I really want to be able to confirm the upgrade at the time of booking.
     
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  2. DestinationDavid
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    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    This doesn't seem odd to me really. In my 4 years as EXP I've waitlisted my SWUs about 70% of the time. They've all cleared except one, and that is when I asked to upgrade 3 days prior to travel.

    It's nice to be able to confirm at booking, but it's by no means "how it's done". I understand the trepidation, but I think perhaps you have to accept some level of uncertainty. ;)

    Find a flight with a good price and a decent lead time and you'll most likely get upgraded. :)
     
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  3. newbluesea
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    newbluesea Gold Member

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    Is this the first time you have looked for C upgrades? This situation has been quite common for awhile now and for number of reasons some which include:
    1) You started looking too late.
    2) The four month period you want is by far the highest demand annually for Europe.

    As who plans their upgradable trips well in advance so that I can use C inventory I start looking from 332 days out,
    to try and identify the release pattern and secure the upgrade at purchase.

    Its being drummed into even the causal travellers' consiousness by the seemly myriad of "frequent flyer experts" on the internet and other publications that one needs to start looking a year or so out. Consequently awards are being claimed by flyers much earlier than in the past.
     
  4. manfromkrypton
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    manfromkrypton Silver Member

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    Awesome thanks for your help. Yes, this is the first time I've looked - I am a new EXP as of this year, so the first time I am actually looking for SWU availability. From a lot of the trip reports I had read in the past, it appeared as if a lot of people were getting C confirmed right away when booking their tickets, but I guess I had never really looked to see how far in advance they were booking.

    Another thing I was converned about was - with the DEQ promos, I met a ton of people who were getting EXP for the first time, and with so many EXPs in the system this year, thats a larger population to contend with - for example, coming back from Boston a few weeks ago, on a Thursday afternoon, there were 18 EXPs on the flight waiting for upgrades - ACK!!

    I was curious to know what other people were experiencing, and these responses definitely help, so thank you both!
     
  5. Sweet Willie
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    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    as well as be thankful you are not on UA and paying up to a W fare just to have a shot at the upgrade lottery.
     
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  6. Counsellor
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    Counsellor Gold Member

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    Arguably that's the case, since (as already noted) that's "high season" for travel to Europe.

    However, I had a Europe RT Jan-Feb purchased a month in advance, and couldn't confirm my SWUs either way before check-in even though a week out there were still 8 or more "C" seats available for each TATL segment; instead I was waitlisted for the upgrade. But, when I checked in, I was told all were taken and indeed were oversold! So, there were apparently a lot of last-minute buyers in each case.
     
  7. Skye1
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    Skye1 Silver Member

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    Are your departure dates on or around a weekend?

    As someone who flies to/from "my" current city of London quite often, and often on weekend days, I have been told countless times by EXP agents that revenue management does not clear upgrades for weekend departure dates until the day prior, or as late in the game as possible. And that has indeed been my repeated experience. They've almost always cleared, 'tho. Closest I've come in potentially not clearing was receiving the "new" boarding pass literally at the gate, by the agent, as I boarded. The ONLY time I haven't cleared is on a Friday evening, LHR-JFK, and was told that business was completely sold out, revenue-paying passengers, and that on that particular flight, this happens often, on a Friday night after work when all are heading back to the US, and the trip was booked just a few days prior.
    (The purser did invite all non-cleared EXPs to the back-galley for a bit of a happy hour/round or three of free drinks, 'tho).
     
  8. DestinationDavid
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    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    I almost always depart on Saturdays and I've had quite a few SWUs clear much sooner than the day prior. :)

    I think the key word there is arguably. I'd argue that they weren't blocked as indicated, but more that they were snatched up at a much earlier date as newbluesea hinted at above.
     
  9. Skye1
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    Skye1 Silver Member

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    Indeed. Saturdays aren't so bad, but it's the Fridays & Sundays I was referring to.
     
  10. DestinationDavid
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    I'm confused? So the EXP agents told you revenue management doesn't clear upgrades on weekends, or they said Fridays & Sundays?
     
  11. Skye1
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    Skye1 Silver Member

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    I did not say that the EXP desk said that Revenue Management said they don't clear upgrades on weekends. I said that the EXP desk said that Revenue Management said that they (Revenue Management) does not clear upgrades for weekend departure dates (as in, departing to or from a weekend, departing to a weekend on Friday, departing from a weekend on Saturday...yep, I probably could have clarified that to mean any departure date falling on a weekend day....) until the day prior.
     
  12. DestinationDavid
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    I understood you from the get-go, and I believe my use of the word "on" in my post can be interpreted as the departure date. I am just curious about this factoid because my experience has been contrary to what you've heard from these AAgents.
     
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  13. schnitzel
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    schnitzel Gold Member

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    Very interesting discussion here. I'm using my first and only SWUs to go to London. They cleared for me and my wife.

    We're on the waitlist for our return trip, on a Sunday in late July. If I knew they wouldn't clear, I'd upgrade my kids on the way to London to use the SWUs. Otherwise, I doubt I'll be able to use them before they expire.

    I guess I just need to take the risk, but it's tricky - the longer I wait, I might not get to use them.
     
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  14. Skye1
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    Skye1 Silver Member

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    I wouldn't worry about it at this point. I been flying to/from London several times a year for nearly 4 years and as best as can remember, have had all but one upgrade clear into/out of LHR. (see above post re: recent LHR-JFK flight on a Friday night). Pure speculation, but I should think the additional LHR-DFW flight coming in soon might help as well. (either coming from the nix'd NYC-BUD or the nix'd ORD-DEL, can't recall....). That, or MAYBE they'll have the new 777's on line by then, in/out of LHR with "Main Cabin Extra" in case in doesn't.

    That said, are you flying around the time of the Olympics??
     
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  15. schnitzel
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    schnitzel Gold Member

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    Yeah - July 29 back to LAX. Early in the Olympics, but if Londoners are trying to get out of town, it could be busy.
     
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  16. Skye1
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    Skye1 Silver Member

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    Many are. I am. The Jubilee line (the tube line that goes to the Olympic park) has either been shut down, suspended, or experienced severe delays more times than I can count in just the last couple of weeks. I spent nearly two hours sitting on it today, just going a few stops..... That's just a normal work week in London....I cringe to think of what the additional mutlitudes may bring.....
     

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