The last upgrade...

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by Mike Reed, Jan 7, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    I should feel bad, but I don't. I snagged the last upgrade tonight on the SFO-DFW flight (the redeye, 1742). I was fourth on the upgrade list and there was one seat open. A quick look at EF showed F1A1.

    I'm tired. This will be 9972 miles THIS WEEK. It's a redeye. I'm a big guy. I'm not horking it home in coach, sleeping in a cramped seat, bumped by the drink cart and those that can't seem to avoid the lav.

    I called the EXP desk and burned a SWU. Yeah, I know, it's an SWU... it's best used for international flights or transcons. I don't do those - at least I don't have any planned this year, and if it's business, they're buying me business class.

    So I burned the SWU. And took the seat. And if you were ahead of me, I'm almost sorry. You should've called before I did.

    My longer blog post about it.
     
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  2. tom911
    Original Member

    tom911 Gold Member

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    4th on the list as an EXP? That's not good. I've cleared three of the midnight SFO-ORDs this week but know that can't go on forever. Last year in January and February, I didn't clear two of those midnight SFO-DFWs so it does happen (one of them was behind a medical convention). Those were two of my three misses in 2011.

    When they called for EXP boarding on my 1245 DFW-SFO yesterday five of us got in line. Fortunately for me my upgrade had cleared 3 hours before (flight was zero across the board so I wasn't even looking for it to clear and didn't bother the agent). Boarding pass was rejected and they had my replacement on the counter.

    Hope you're able to sleep.
     
  3. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    Slept okay. Not great... but better than in coach. The jet stream got us into DFW early, so I'm stuck here longer wanting nothing more than to just get home. 1 hour until boarding, I think.
     
  4. DestinationDavid
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    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    I couldn't bring myself to do it. I just... couldnt.
     
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  5. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    Oh I know. It all depends on flight patterns, though, and I'll re-qual mid-year this year anyway. Those four (three, now) were just sitting there, so I'd rather use them than have them expire.

    It was more about denying #1 his upgrade. :)
     
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  6. estnet
    Original Member

    estnet Gold Member

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    Well I'm doing 3x rt sfo-ord in 2 days, but at least I've got exit rows on most. Just hoping that some ug clear, but as a plat not counting on it. I expect it will take me a few days to recover
     
  7. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    It's not that the flights are horrible. Normally and iPad and a movie makes it simple.

    It's that after getting back from Tokyo-SFO-AUS at 1AM Thursday, leaving AUS-DFW-SFO on Thursday morning (plus going mechanical on AUS-DFW and missing my DFW-SFO connection), then SFO-DFW-AUS on the Friday redeye... I just wasn't ready for coach on that flight. I was worn out and sore, and the flight was FULL.

    FWIW, there were two others on that flight (at least) that I met who WERE doing MR's for the DEQM through the end of January. It was good to meet readers of my blog (especially when I posted from the gate area, they commented, and we met because of it)... but that was simply a long end to a 10,000 BIS mile three day stretch.
     
  8. estnet
    Original Member

    estnet Gold Member

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    I totally get it :) It's just that I'm not looking forward to 10k miles in 30ish hours on 6 flights. I highly prefer longer flights (of course preferably not in Y) where if I manage to fall asleep after an hour or so I don't have to wake up, get to a new gate, etc. in 2 hours. Of course with 1 hour turns it would be ideal if it was the same plane and I could just stay on board (yes I dream a lot), but that's not happening.

    If u needed the ug enough to use a swu - well u really needed it!
    There are some impt points for me though 1 - conf ug trumps comp even at the gate (which gives some value to the domestic ug I get on UA which clearly are superior to unlimited ug for exec on AA)
    2- If I happen to be 1 on the ug list it can go away for a legitimate reason not b/c the ga gave it to a friend (as has been known to happen on UA
     
  9. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    Yep. That's rough. Did it last year... but it's worth it when you need the miles for EXP. This year, it's all from work for me, so I'm "luckier."
     
  10. Aktchi
    Original Member

    Aktchi Silver Member

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    Funny how experience conditions us. I am so used to 12-15 hour ORD-Asia flights that almost all domestics, except maybe true transcons, seem short. I decided not to request ug on ORD-SFO's, preferring to save the stickers for my wife's use later. Nor did I bother with the terrible movie they were showing. Basically, I just took a short nap and then we landed. :)

    I am doing quick turnarounds, so ~8 hours of rt flying in any one trip. After that, instead of back to back runs, I have scheduled at least one night of real sleep in my own bed before starting another similar trip. That helps greatly.
     
  11. gemac
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    gemac Silver Member

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    All EXPs know that upgrades are tough in January and February, as other EXPs have SWUs available that expire at the end of February, and are likely to burn them on domestic flights. It's one reason why I don't like to travel a lot in January and February (except international flights where I would use a SWU anyway). This year, with DEQM, it's worse. But it isn't the fault of whoever is using the SWU - EXPs get them, and should use them to make their travel more bearable. It's the way the world is. So don't feel bad - everybody who was on the upgrade list ahead of you had the opportunity to do what you did, and chose not to.
     
  12. tom911
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    tom911 Gold Member

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    I met a flyer this morning that used a systemwide to upgrade SFO-ORD next weekend (flight I'm on, actually, with zero availability in F right now). He's the third one I know of now that has used systemwides from SFO to either DFW or ORD this month.
     
  13. Elusive

    Elusive Silver Member

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    I have upgraded transcon flights with systemwides but never shorter legs. If I don't clear with my exp status I figure it wasn't meant to be. Everyone is different though and every situation is different - if I really wanted the space and comfort I would do it and not stress about the potential value of having used it elsewhere. There is nothing worse than letting them expire..
     
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  14. gemac
    Original Member

    gemac Silver Member

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    I've never used them on anything domestic short of 4,000 BIS miles, and rarely on that.
     
  15. Mike Reed

    Mike Reed Gold Member

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    Interestingly, on every other flight, my EXP upgrade has cleared - including DFW-ATL last night which was F0/Y0 hours before the flight. Turns out it was oversold significantly, so they zero'ed F knowing they'd do upgrades and have space (it was 6 oversold, ended up being F5 so they upgraded 5 of us on the list to F (I was #2), opening 5 seats in Y, with one no-show so an exactly full flight).

    At this point in the year, most of my upgrades are clearing before the 24-hour checkin window, and many at the 100-hour mark. The ones that don't, though, typically don't clear before the gate.

    Revenue management at it's best (and that's not a joke)!
     
  16. TheBeerHunter
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    TheBeerHunter Silver Member

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    My husband and I did a MR SFO-ORD this past Saturday. The outbound cleared at 100 hours (which is actually a first in a long time for me, regardless of destination!) but the return was a nail-biter. At the club in SFO, they told us we were #1 and 2 on the list, with 3 seats open. When we checked in at the ORD lounge, they told us it was down to 1 seat in F, though 3 hadn't checked in yet. We had a 4 hour layover, and were actually contemplating moving our return to a flight 4 hours later than that, because that one showed X inventory -- so we'd be sure to get the upgrade if we did that. So, we dithered a bit about heading into town for a hot dog and a look around (it was a nice clear day in Chicago on Saturday)...but in the end, decided we'd rather get home 4 hours earlier, so we chanced it...and miracle of miracles, we were both upgraded at the gate. :D
     

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