Impact of AA clearing upgrades later than in the past

 
Old Jan 27, 12, 4:19 pm
  #286  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Programs: AA Plat
Posts: 3,752
OP assumes that his wife is next in line for one of the empty seats, since he doesn't see anyone else. In fact the priority order for any seats that are empty some days or weeks before a flight contains the following types of people, all invisible to the OP:

(a) People who have paid for a J ticket but for some reason haven't been assigned a seat
(b) People who might pay for a J ticket
(c) Some people who have paid or might pay for an economy ticket, if economy ends up overbooked. AA will certainly try to overbook economy if business is not full, since this brings in more revenue than a SWU
(d) people with higher status than you who have already requested, or might request, an SWU or miles upgrade
(e) you

So "I have an SWU and there are empty seats, gimme one" isn't a defensible request.
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Old Jan 27, 12, 4:33 pm
  #287  
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Programs: AA EXP, 3MM AA, Admirals Club
Posts: 461
That answers part of the question - maybe. Since you are not EXP, AA at times holds seats back for EXPs who bought coach tickets and have requested to upgrade using SWUs. Once their (EXP) SWUs clear, then the SWUs clear of everyone else on down the line in order of status. (Directly above AND directly below posts make it even more clear).

As to your other questions: EXP's - do you guys typically end up waiting till the very last day to get your SWU's cleared? And a better question would be does anyone have a low success-ratio using their SWU's?

#1, it all depends on the flight number/route, time of year (season), equipment flown on route.

#2, in 15 years I have never NOT received an upgrade when requesting via SWUs.


Originally Posted by Duffman View Post
As mentioned, a friend of mine helped me with this. He is EXP and gave me 2 SWU's to use. I expect to get to EXP shortly (thanks to DEQM's!).

Last edited by laxconnorw; Jan 27, 12 at 4:38 pm
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Old Jan 27, 12, 4:33 pm
  #288  
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Join Date: May 2000
Location: NorCal - SMF area
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Sometimes it would seem folks forget the object for AA is to sell seats. SWUs are instruments, prioritized by status, allowing those with highest status and their designees, to move up from the class of service they purchased originally when there is (or is predicted to be) unsold F or J seat stock.

There are no guarantees, and as this thread going back two years implies, many of us feel AA Revenue Management is waiting a bit longer than before to allocate seats for those using SWUs in hopes they may sell more F and J seats to late-purchasing revenue passengers. Not much of a mystery, not much reason to feel miffed, IMO.
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Old Jan 27, 12, 11:24 pm
  #289  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
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Originally Posted by laxconnorw View Post
That answers part of the question - maybe. Since you are not EXP, AA at times holds seats back for EXPs who bought coach tickets and have requested to upgrade using SWUs. Once their (EXP) SWUs clear, then the SWUs clear of everyone else on down the line in order of status. (Directly above AND directly below posts make it even more clear).

As to your other questions: EXP's - do you guys typically end up waiting till the very last day to get your SWU's cleared? And a better question would be does anyone have a low success-ratio using their SWU's?

#1, it all depends on the flight number/route, time of year (season), equipment flown on route.

#2, in 15 years I have never NOT received an upgrade when requesting via SWUs.

In the last 5 years:

EZE - DFW I cleared in the AAdmirals club in the last hour. Might have 'stolen' the seat as EF alert came up and I walked to the desk and asked if 'UG" was available. Mrs. Deac83 (no status) didn't clear as there I got the last seat. Gave Mrs. Deac83 the seat and I rode in the back. Also booked this flight only two weeks out, so we would not have been high on the list.

ORD-BRU neither of us cleared, our record was split so we both didn't have to clear at the same time. Reservation was made 6 months out when J was nearly empty. At the gate they offered $1000 vouchers for volunteers. Unfortunately our plans were very set and we couldn't take those especially since the EVIPs didn't clear.

DFW-LHR Mrs. Deac83 on her own as a gold, while I was flying ORD-LHR (with a cleared EVIP). We were doing DFW/ORD - LHR - MUC all in for $450 ea, so sacrifices had to be made.

So, 3 non-clears for Mrs. Deac83 (with maximum of Gold) and one for me.

I say it's not quite correct to imply everything clears all the time. If it's just me yes 90%+ eventually clears, but when it's 2 people not so much.

As others have said flexibility, many times, can get you cleared at booking.

DFW-BCN - work schedule allowed us to fly two days earlier with two confirmed UG's two weeks before travel.

Instead of DFW-BRU (any routing), took the DFW-CDG, spend the week-end in Paris and took the train to BRU. Again confirmed UG's at time of booking.

DFW-HAM, instead of DFW to LHR, took DFW-BOS-LHR-HAM and returned TXL-MAD-DFW, all confirmed UG at time of booking.

So the message, as others have said, is that if you say 'I need to fly on day X and back on day Y on the most direct routing' your chances of confirmed UG's at time of booking are reduced, but if you can fly on alternate dates and are willing to take alternate routings your chance go up dramatically.
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