Did OLCI, no stickers for upgrade, can I be passed over?

 
Old Aug 9, 12, 2:41 pm
  #1  
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Did OLCI, no stickers for upgrade, can I be passed over?

It's been a while, and now I'm back with AA.

2 of us traveling tonight, companion is Plat and we requested upgrades about 2 months ago.

Things looked pretty good this afternoon, with 7-8 available seats, though availability has been fluctuating based on seat map and ExpertFlyer.

So I went to OLCI, it asked me if I wanted to be added to the airport upgrade standby list and I checked yes.

Then I got a notification that I couldn't be added as we didn't have enough stickers, and I'd have to see an agent at the airport. I was expecting it to ask me to purchase the upgrades at that point.

I called AA but wasn't sure I got the right information. Did doing OLCI completely remove me from the advance upgrade procedure? I think e500 upgrades can clear until T-3h or 4h. Agent on the phone said I wouldn't be passed over, but I'd have to buy the stickers and then speak to someone at the airport to get on the list there.

Well now flight is showing only 1 available seat and it looks like some more upgrades cleared from Y (also saw what appeared to be a bunch of upgrades from Y at the EXP window).

Obviously I know this doesn't mean I was necessarily passed over, there could have been mileage upgrades that cleared before they opened up sticker inventory and/or there could still have been others with higher priority.

But AA's system is a bit of a black box. And if I was in fact passed over, I'd like to at least try to request a reversal of the sticker purchase.

Insight appreciated.
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Old Aug 9, 12, 2:45 pm
  #2  
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Despite what you were told, I think it may be possible that you were passed over. If the upgrade clears and you don't have stickers, you can't check in, as you know. It sounds like you did actually OLCI, and received the message sort of after-the-fact. Inasmuch as they don't seem to allow one to be checked-in, upgraded and not have stickers (and you are checked-in and don't have stickers) it is possible that this is impacting the upgrade.

Just speculation on my part based on some known facets of the program, of course.

Cheers.
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Old Aug 9, 12, 3:03 pm
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My unofficial gut feeling response is "no, not unless the seat would have cleared in the 3 hours before the flght." In other words, OLCI or not, the "advance" upgrade system works until (officially) 3 hours before flight time. Then it goes to the airport upgrade system. So even if you did OLCI and were not added to the airport list, that is no different in effect than if you didn't do OLCI and weren't added to the airport list until you got there.

BUT, brp is correct. Black box with some room for doubt.
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Old Aug 9, 12, 3:17 pm
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Originally Posted by sbrower View Post
My unofficial gut feeling response is "no, not unless the seat would have cleared in the 3 hours before the flght." In other words, OLCI or not, the "advance" upgrade system works until (officially) 3 hours before flight time. Then it goes to the airport upgrade system. So even if you did OLCI and were not added to the airport list, that is no different in effect than if you didn't do OLCI and weren't added to the airport list until you got there.
I agree with you completely about the way this works in general with the handoff between the systems. I just wonder if the regular system knows how to deal with "want to upgrade" + "already" checked-in" + "doesn't have stickers" since this is different from the normal case where checking in doesn't matter to the regular system.

Cheers.
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Old Aug 9, 12, 8:50 pm
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Well, I can't say for sure whether or not we were passed over.

But I'm having it up to here with something else. He's #3 on the list (as Plat) and I'm #11 (as Gold). I thought as his companion, booked on the same PNR, that we were supposed to have the same priority. It looks like there's a chance he'll make it, but not me.

And I purchased 1 sticker for him and 5 for me for this flight, and now I have no chance of getting the upgrade. I've been trying all over the Admiral's Club and they keep telling me that we each get listed at our own priority (him Plat, me Gold).

So what's the story here? Are "companion" upgrades completely bogus now?

I was told that I could write customer service with an explanation and get the stickers refunded.

But to add insult to injury, the flight is 2+ hours late, we won't arrive until 2am local time, and neither of us got PreCheck at JFK (we're both Global Entry).

Not liking my return to AA so far...
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Old Aug 9, 12, 9:10 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by ijgordon View Post
Well, I can't say for sure whether or not we were passed over.

But I'm having it up to here with something else. He's #3 on the list (as Plat) and I'm #11 (as Gold). I thought as his companion, booked on the same PNR, that we were supposed to have the same priority. It looks like there's a chance he'll make it, but not me.

And I purchased 1 sticker for him and 5 for me for this flight, and now I have no chance of getting the upgrade. I've been trying all over the Admiral's Club and they keep telling me that we each get listed at our own priority (him Plat, me Gold).

So what's the story here? Are "companion" upgrades completely bogus now?

I was told that I could write customer service with an explanation and get the stickers refunded.

But to add insult to injury, the flight is 2+ hours late, we won't arrive until 2am local time, and neither of us got PreCheck at JFK (we're both Global Entry).

Not liking my return to AA so far...
The other stuff is under AA control, but being selected to use pre-check is NOT. When you looked at your profile for that flight, did it show pre-check under your GE number?
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Old Aug 9, 12, 9:28 pm
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Originally Posted by sbrower View Post
My unofficial gut feeling response is "no, not unless the seat would have cleared in the 3 hours before the flght." In other words, OLCI or not, the "advance" upgrade system works until (officially) 3 hours before flight time. Then it goes to the airport upgrade system. So even if you did OLCI and were not added to the airport list, that is no different in effect than if you didn't do OLCI and weren't added to the airport list until you got there.

BUT, brp is correct. Black box with some room for doubt.
Not really in this case. AA sent the OP a clear message you cannot be added to the airport upgrade list so the OP was not. And AA.com clearly states:
** Note: In order to be added to the Airport Upgrade Standby List, you will need to have the required number of upgrades in your account at the time of check-in.

So someone that got added to list first at the airport with the same status will get the upgrade first

Last edited by grahampros; Aug 9, 12 at 9:33 pm
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Old Aug 10, 12, 1:13 am
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Originally Posted by grahampros View Post
Not really in this case. AA sent the OP a clear message you cannot be added to the airport upgrade list so the OP was not. And AA.com clearly states:
** Note: In order to be added to the Airport Upgrade Standby List, you will need to have the required number of upgrades in your account at the time of check-in.

So someone that got added to list first at the airport with the same status will get the upgrade first
Well, it also says that if you check in at a kiosk that you'll be asked if you want to purchase the stickers at that time. I figured it would do the same thing on AA.com, is that so far-fetched? Plus, while I'm not 100% sure of the exact sequence, I believe that after I checked the box to be added to the list, I hit "Next" or something similar, expecting then to be prompted to purchase the stickers. Instead, the very next screen was essentially "check-in complete, you couldn't be added to the list, you'll have to see an agent." No "complete check-in" button/warning. And all completely irreversible, unlike AA's apparently more tech-forward competitors that have the ability to in-check in a passenger.

But putting that aside, the priority at the airport is still based on original time of upgrade request, NOT time added to the airport standby list, no?

I still maintain this upgrade procedure is at least as bad of a black box as at UA, with the added hassle of having to purchase stickers (if you don't have them) without having any idea where on the list you might end up.
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Old Aug 10, 12, 1:17 am
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Originally Posted by nrr View Post
The other stuff is under AA control, but being selected to use pre-check is NOT. When you looked at your profile for that flight, did it show pre-check under your GE number?
Well, I think it did at one point but I didn't check more recently. But neither of us got it, I've never been denied in the past, and not a single person went through while we were waiting in the regular (elite) line. So I really don't know for sure what the deal was, and I gather we'll never find out. We'll see what happens on the return.
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Old Aug 10, 12, 1:24 am
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Originally Posted by ijgordon View Post
Well, it also says that if you check in at a kiosk that you'll be asked if you want to purchase the stickers at that time. I figured it would do the same thing on AA.com, is that so far-fetched? Plus, while I'm not 100% sure of the exact sequence, I believe that after I checked the box to be added to the list, I hit "Next" or something similar, expecting then to be prompted to purchase the stickers. Instead, the very next screen was essentially "check-in complete, you couldn't be added to the list, you'll have to see an agent." No "complete check-in" button/warning. And all completely irreversible, unlike AA's apparently more tech-forward competitors that have the ability to in-check in a passenger.

But putting that aside, the priority at the airport is still based on original time of upgrade request, NOT time added to the airport standby list, no?

I still maintain this upgrade procedure is at least as bad of a black box as at UA, with the added hassle of having to purchase stickers (if you don't have them) without having any idea where on the list you might end up.
Your're gonna have to learn the AA system. You're off in two areas. No they dont prompt you online to buy the upgrades. 2. No, once on the airport uprade list it goes by time of request that you actually had stickers in your account to process the upgrade. You loose your priority if requested and no stickers there to process.

None of this is anything new on AA. But i do get if you're relatively new to AA you dont get the system yet. Every airline has it's nuances you have to work around.
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Old Aug 10, 12, 2:08 am
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Originally Posted by grahampros View Post
No, once on the airport uprade list it goes by time of request that you actually had stickers in your account to process the upgrade. You loose your priority if requested and no stickers there to process.
This is not correct to the best of my knowledge.

You can't get onto the Airport List without the stickers, but once on the list it is still ordered by elite status level then date and time of the original request.

... or are you suggesting that attempting and failing to be added to the Airport List deletes your original upgrade request?

Last edited by Mark_T; Aug 10, 12 at 4:16 am
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Old Aug 10, 12, 8:09 am
  #12  
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Originally Posted by grahampros View Post
Your're gonna have to learn the AA system. You're off in two areas. No they dont prompt you online to buy the upgrades. 2. No, once on the airport uprade list it goes by time of request that you actually had stickers in your account to process the upgrade. You loose your priority if requested and no stickers there to process.
I've never seen any indication that "sticker purchase time" would cause the requester to lose the original request time. Perhaps there's something you can cite to support this? From everything I know, once the requester can finally be added to the airport list, it should still go by original request time.

Cheers.
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Old Aug 10, 12, 10:12 am
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You can still get upgraded until T-3 even if you are not allowed to go onto the airport list due to lack of stickers. If you get the upgrade, you need to buy the stickers ASAP because you might be denied boarding if you do not have them.

However, to be placed on the airport list, you need to have the needed stickers already in your account. At T-3, the upgrade list goes to the gate agent and nobody at this point gets upgraded until close to departure. Checkin time does not affect position on the list. It is still based on original request time.

So you will not be passed over.

I know this because I always help out of a friend who is PLT.
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Old Aug 10, 12, 10:48 am
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Originally Posted by ijgordon View Post
Well, I can't say for sure whether or not we were passed over.

But I'm having it up to here with something else. He's #3 on the list (as Plat) and I'm #11 (as Gold). I thought as his companion, booked on the same PNR, that we were supposed to have the same priority. It looks like there's a chance he'll make it, but not me.

And I purchased 1 sticker for him and 5 for me for this flight, and now I have no chance of getting the upgrade. I've been trying all over the Admiral's Club and they keep telling me that we each get listed at our own priority (him Plat, me Gold).

So what's the story here? Are "companion" upgrades completely bogus now?

I was told that I could write customer service with an explanation and get the stickers refunded.

But to add insult to injury, the flight is 2+ hours late, we won't arrive until 2am local time, and neither of us got PreCheck at JFK (we're both Global Entry).

Not liking my return to AA so far...
Is this a domestic leg following an international leg? Your post is confusing as stickers only apply to domestic travel, and for a domestic U/G without stickers, you would have the higher priority. With stickers, since they are coming from two different accounts, I can see why your own status would stick.
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Old Aug 10, 12, 10:48 am
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Companion linking on airport upgrade waitlist

Originally Posted by ijgordon View Post
But I'm having it up to here with something else. He's #3 on the list (as Plat) and I'm #11 (as Gold). I thought as his companion, booked on the same PNR, that we were supposed to have the same priority. It looks like there's a chance he'll make it, but not me.

And I purchased 1 sticker for him and 5 for me for this flight, and now I have no chance of getting the upgrade. I've been trying all over the Admiral's Club and they keep telling me that we each get listed at our own priority (him Plat, me Gold).

So what's the story here? Are "companion" upgrades completely bogus now?

I was told that I could write customer service with an explanation and get the stickers refunded.
I'd like to follow up on this for the FAQ, as this has happened to us many times. My impression is that companion linking is not (or at least not always) transferred from the auto-waitlist to the airport waitlist.

Would appreciate anyone else with experiences & info reporting in.

(I have just updated the title of the pertinent FAQ entry that covers when stickers must be purchased for increased clarity:
• How many 500-mile electronic upgrades / stickers do I need and when must I have them?)
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