Switching from eVIP to Complimentary upgrade

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by unclesam, Jul 9, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. unclesam

    unclesam Active Member

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    I recently bought 4 tickets for the entire family to travel from DFW to Hawaii and also used my eVIPs to upgrade all of us. However, being an Exec Plat I am entitled to complimentary upgrade since it considered a domestic flight. However, complimentary upgrades can happen max 100 hours before departure.and I did not want to take a chance of being left alone in coach. Hence, I am wondering that if space is available at anytime in the last 100 hour window is there any way I can switch over to using complimntary upgrade and deposit the eVIP back into my account for future travel.
     
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  2. tom911
    Original Member

    tom911 Gold Member

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    I've never tried this, but I know that AA issues new ticket numbers when you upgrade with systemwides. If you want to swap upgrade instruments after you've cleared with a systemwide, do they then have to issue a third ticket number so you can get on the domestic upgrade list? If you have any challenge, that's probably where it's going to be. Also, by having a new ticket number assigned, do you drop to the bottom of the domestic upgrade list or retain your place based on when you booked? I don't know the answers but they're items you should check on before you change anything.
     
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  3. DestinationDavid
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    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    As a side comment, keep in mind you can't upgrade 4 people with your status, only 2.
     
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  4. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    It would seen like this should not be allowed without some penalty. First you use an upgrade instrument to guarantee the upgrade, then when it's clear that you would have gotten the upgrade for free, you switch and save the upgrade instrument? Imagine if every top elite were to do this on every flight? Normally the free upgrade comes bundles with the risk of not getting it.
     
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  5. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    I don't see an issue with it. By doing this, you're taking risk, too - that you'll use your SWU! This is a reasonable cost, which, coupled with the administrative burden, makes this not attractive to most pax.

    You can try to optionally downgrade (returning your SWU), but can only do it (on DL) if seats in your original fare class are available. If it isn't, you're 'stuck' in first. ;) I don't know what AA's downgrade rules are, but I suspect they're similar.

    I've done this successfully on DL a few times.
     
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  6. Elusive

    Elusive Silver Member

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    If it's 4 people meaning you, your partner and two kids then do two upgrades with eVips, 1 with 500 mile upgrades and 1 with your ExPlat comp upgrade. If you all clear then great! If only the eVip's clear then stick your kids in coach :)
     
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  7. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Depending on the ages of the kids, they might not be permitted to fly in a different cabin than a parent or other "adult" without payment of UM fees.
     
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  8. beachfan

    beachfan Silver Member

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    I believe you can do that but you pay a change fee and maybe book at the current airfare.
     
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  9. JohnDeere19
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    JohnDeere19 Gold Member

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    I don't think there should be any additional fees or charges...just say you don't want to use an eVip, have it removed, call another agent, and ask why your auto upgrade didn't go through!
     
  10. DestinationDavid
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    Yes I'm sure the AAgent will have no record of what had happened with the ticket previously..... ;). Might as well just ask the agent who takes the eVIP off!
     
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  11. JohnDeere19
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    JohnDeere19 Gold Member

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    I guess that would be easier! :p
     
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  12. Skye1
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    Skye1 Silver Member

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    DFW-HNL is in the ballpark of, say, JFK-LHR, or ORD-LHR, and few would question using an eVIP for those. I think for the HNL flights, it's not a bad use of an eVIP, especially for the peace of mind of not having to wait in hopes for that 100 hour mark with your complementary's. Sure, it's domestic F vs. an international service, but it still beats the back of the bus for a flight of that length. Sure, if one could swap out an eVIP for a cleared complementary, great....I guess I'd want to make sure I didn't "lose" the confirmed seat either if it didn't work, or if it was grabbed up during the process.
     
  13. tw116
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    tw116 Gold Member

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    i think you are correct beachfan. that has been my experience. the cost of changes and current prices usually doesn't warrant the change.
     
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  14. unclesam

    unclesam Active Member

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    I wanted to share my personal experience since I just came back from Hawaii as it might be useful to others. I called within 100 hours of departure time and they found 1 seat available in "X" class so they were able to reinstate the eVIP back into my account, reticket and apply the electronic upgrade while I was on the phone with the EXP agent. On the return I had to try 3 times before a seat opened up in X" class then repeated the same process of redepositing the eVIP and applying the electronic upgrade.

    Now I still have enough upgrades to take another trip with the entire family.
     
  15. JohnDeere19
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    JohnDeere19 Gold Member

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    Well done and great work staying on top of it!
     
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  16. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    Good for you; I'm glad this worked.

    To my earlier post regarding my prior success doing this on DL, there's some chatter on TOBB suggesting that DL tightened its policies on this earlier this year. I haven't done a switch in upgrade in a while on DL. Assuming those posts are correct, while I doubted this tactic was pervasive enough to rise to the level of being abused, perhaps it in fact was. Against that, I do note that it takes a bit of finesse to work with an agent to do this. I don't know the posters who made the assertion, perhaps they didn't ask correctly, either.
     

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