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OLCI purchased upgrade offer to non-elite before elite upgrades processed

OLCI purchased upgrade offer to non-elite before elite upgrades processed

 

Old Aug 19, 12, 1:16 pm
  #1  
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OLCI purchased upgrade offer to non-elite before elite upgrades processed

I'm heading to Denver tomorrow afternoon from DFW with a non-elite companion and have been on the upgrade list for about a month. I'm first on the upgrade list, with 4 seats remaining. I've been checking and there were 7 seats available a few hours ago, but I noticed that the # in coach has decreased as the flight was oversold by 1. This seemed odd to me so I checked in my companion since I made his reservation and he was offered an online upgrade for $90 to First. I assume this was offered to others and that's why the # in coach decreased with the increase in F.

I'm on the airport upgrade list, along with a Plat through passenger so far.

I think it kinda sucks that AA is putting non-elites before it's elite travelers. I'm sure their reasoning is that it's additional revenue but it's at the cost of the elites. You would at least think that they would offer this to the Elites as well for a confirmed upgrade, but this essentially puts us at the back of the line for upgrades.

Here's the screenshot (sorry about the quality)-


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
MODERATOR'S NOTE


Additional key posts in this thread:

Post #5: Additional info from OP

Post #15: Current AA LFBU policies published on AA.com

Post #16: Initial response to OP from EXP desk

dstan
AA Forum Co-Moderator

Last edited by dstan; Aug 20, 12 at 10:42 pm Reason: added mod note
wesmanz is offline  
Old Aug 19, 12, 1:26 pm
  #2  
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Did you call EXP desk and see if they can upgrade you?

If not, you should call AAdvantage and ask them why this is happening. This does not sound right.
alhcfp is offline  
Old Aug 19, 12, 1:27 pm
  #3  
 
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Definitely do some investigating at the gate tomorrow, including:

-How many elites do you see on the upgrade monitors
-Asking the GA if everyone will clear. If not, how many did clear.
-Asking the GA how many in total were on the upgrade list prior to the 24-hr. mark

AA claims it only offers LFBUs online if it knows it can also accommodate everyone on the upgrade list. I find a lot of BS in this claim because what is to prevent the flight from getting sold out in F due to walk-up sales, irrops, cancellations, etc. that take place after the LFBUs are offered to non-elites online?

Furthermore, AA knows that plenty of elites do not add themselves to the upgrade list (for whatever reason) until they arrive at the airport.
sukn is offline  
Old Aug 19, 12, 1:31 pm
  #4  
 
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If you'd care to post a flight number there are some around here who can look into exactly what has happened.

Can't seem to spot the flight you are talking about though as all the PM flights to Den are showing 7's in coach so nothing looks 'oversold'.

How do you know who else is on the airport list right now?
Mark_T is offline  
Old Aug 19, 12, 1:32 pm
  #5  
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Originally Posted by sukn View Post
Definitely do some investigating at the gate tomorrow, including:

-How many elites do you see on the upgrade monitors
-Asking the GA if everyone will clear. If not, how many did clear.
-Asking the GA how many in total were on the upgrade list prior to the 24-hr. mark

AA claims it only offers LFBUs online if it knows it can also accommodate everyone on the upgrade list. I find a lot of BS in this claim because what is to prevent the flight from getting sold out in F due to walk-up sales, irrops, cancellations, etc. that take place after the LFBUs are offered to non-elites online?
They are definitely not telling the truth.

I have access to jetnet, so I can see the airport upgrade list.

As of now, it's me at #1, an UPG2T, an UPG2 and a UPGE. This is with 22+ hrs until flight time still, so most people haven't even checked in to be added to the list yet.

I haven't called the EXP desk, but I will when I return home later this evening if I haven't cleared.

--wes
wesmanz is offline  
Old Aug 19, 12, 1:36 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by Mark_T View Post
If you'd care to post a flight number there are some around here who can look into exactly what has happened.

Can't seem to spot the flight you are talking about though as all the PM flights to Den are showing 7's in coach so nothing looks 'oversold'.

How do you know who else is on the airport list right now?
It's flight AA1223 departing at 1pm.

I have access to loads as well, it's presently sitting at 122/124 in coach, this was 125/124 a few hours ago when there were 7 seats available in F. There are now 4 avail in F and the flight is listed at 12/16 in F and 122/124 in Y. This is way too much of a coincidence not to mention the fact it offered the $90 upgrade to my non-elite companion.

--wes
wesmanz is offline  
Old Aug 19, 12, 1:41 pm
  #7  
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This is indeed of significant concern. Please keep us informed about the status of your inquiry.


We already have proof that a substantial portion of our previously Q-blocked seats on each flight are being coded differently and sold for cash prior to date of departure. Now, it looks like potential e-upgrade inventory is being sold as well.
ESpen36 is offline  
Old Aug 19, 12, 1:56 pm
  #8  
 
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Thanks to the OP for taking the time to post here with this situation. Like others, I am very concerned about this development.

OP, please let us know if the upgrade comes through when you call the EXP desk later today. What I've gained from this is that I now need to monitor my upgrade more carefully and make sure that I am calling the desk rather than relying on automatic procedures.

It appears that AA is adopting some of UA's procedures about selling upgrades before offering them to elites.
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Old Aug 19, 12, 2:30 pm
  #9  
 
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Really worrisome. Might be worth a Tweet to get their attention, though that might backfire now that I think about it.
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Old Aug 19, 12, 2:47 pm
  #10  
 
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Originally Posted by aa213bb View Post
Really worrisome. Might be worth a Tweet to get their attention, though that might backfire now that I think about it.
Can't see how it would backfire. At this point, it can only be good news. However, a Tweet will be a corporate-sanctioned answer - and we know the corporate position at this time - so it is unlikely to lead to any hard answers.

This is worrisome, but I'm hoping (perhaps against reality at this point) that it's another one-time "glitch" and the policy has not changed.

I'm still 100% on UGs, so will start to complain more once I begin to lose them and see a lot of Kettle-looking folks in F
nickflies is offline  
Old Aug 19, 12, 3:30 pm
  #11  
 
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Originally Posted by wesmanz View Post
I'm heading to Denver tomorrow afternoon from DFW with a non-elite companion and have been on the upgrade list for about a month. I'm first on the upgrade list, with 4 seats remaining. I've been checking and there were 7 seats available a few hours ago, but I noticed that the # in coach has decreased as the flight was oversold by 1. This seemed odd to me so I checked in my companion since I made his reservation and he was offered an online upgrade for $90 to First. I assume this was offered to others and that's why the # in coach decreased with the increase in F.

I'm on the airport upgrade list, along with a Plat through passenger so far.

I think it kinda sucks that AA is putting non-elites before it's elite travelers. I'm sure their reasoning is that it's additional revenue but it's at the cost of the elites. You would at least think that they would offer this to the Elites as well for a confirmed upgrade, but this essentially puts us at the back of the line for upgrades.

Here's the screenshot (sorry about the quality)-
Do you mind sharing at what time (T- x hours) your companion received the offer?
phlashba is offline  
Old Aug 19, 12, 4:27 pm
  #12  
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Originally Posted by phlashba View Post
Do you mind sharing at what time (T- x hours) your companion received the offer?
I checked myself in right before him at ~ T - 23.5hrs, it gave me the choice to choose a seat and the paid row 7 and 8 were opened up so I opted to move from a normal aisle seat to 7. I then went to his reservation in my list so I could move him to 7 as well and that's when he was offered the upgrade.

As of now there is one seat in F left so this has obviously continued, I'm about to call AA and see what their lack of explanation is.

--wes
wesmanz is offline  
Old Aug 19, 12, 4:34 pm
  #13  
 
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This also occurred on Flight 1121 today. There were 7 open seats in first and Y was oversold by 8. Now Y is oversold only by 6 and only 5 seats left in first. Typically they assign all first seats but 1 by now. New trend? Only 90 minutes until take off / 60 until boarding.

None of the elites got the UG. There is one 1T in front of me.
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Old Aug 19, 12, 4:39 pm
  #14  
 
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Just to add a data point, on 8 August, I checked my daughter (no status) in at t-23 and she was offered a paid upgrade from LFA-DFW. I was stunned to see that. The ongoing flight, DFW-SAT had no such offer.

Didn't check loads, but I would have never suspected that she would get an offer on that flight.
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Old Aug 19, 12, 4:43 pm
  #15  
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Thanks for posting this info, wesmanz - please keep us updated on your discussions with AA. I wasn't aware that these upgrades were now being offered during OLCI, and parts of AA.com indicate (incorrectly) that they are still restricted to self-service kiosks.


Here is the current info on AA.com regarding LFBUs and accommodating elite upgrades (provided by B7e7US in the main LFBU thread):

B7e7US's Post in the LFBU thread: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/18896121-post366.html

AA.com LFBU Terms: https://www.aa.com/i18n/fragments/me.../LFBUTerms.jsp
Paid LFB Upgrade Terms and Conditions

* Paid LFB Upgrades are only available on flights operated and marketed by American Airlines and American Eagle
* Paid LFB Upgrades are only offered when premium class seats are available based on premium class load factor and AAdvantage elite upgrade accommodation
* Paid LFB Upgrades will be offered to eligible passengers during check-in, which is 24 hours prior to departure through the check-in window. Eligibility shall be determined based on, but not limited to, the following factors: AAdvantage or OneWorld status, purchased fare class, existing upgrades, ticketing status, and purchase history.
* Paid LFB Upgrades are purchased per passenger per flight
* Paid LFB Upgrades must be purchased at the time the offer is made
* Paid LFB Upgrades are non-transferable and only valid for the flight purchased
* Customers who purchase Paid LFB Upgrades and are unable to use them due to an involuntary seat change, equipment change, routing change, flight cancellation, or missed connection due to a late incoming flight are eligible for a refund. Refunds can be requested at www.aa.com/refunds
* Customers who are late for a flight for reasons other than those listed above are not eligible for a refund of the Paid LFB Upgrade
* Customers who purchase Paid LFB Upgrades and elect to change to another seat in a lower class of service will not be entitled to a refund of the original upgrades purchase
* Passengers that have purchased a Paid LFB Upgrade will not receive a refund if the price decreases, nor incur a charge if the price increases
* Refunds of Paid LFB Upgrades will be made to the original form of payment
* Purchases made in cash will be refunded via check
* Paid LFB Upgrades are subject to cancellation unless you have checked in and obtained a boarding pass within the check in window. You must be present at the departure gate and ready to board at least 15 minutes prior to scheduled departure time to retain your reservation and upgrade.
* American Airlines expressly reserves the right in its absolute discretion to discontinue Paid LFB Upgrades at any time. American Airlines will not be liable for any loss or damage suffered by a purchaser resulting from such refusal, cancellation or denial
* American Airlines reserves the right to remove any customer for inappropriate behavior, including, but not limited to, conduct that is disruptive, abusive or violent. Such customers will not be entitled to a refund.
* American Airlines reserves the right to move any customer who has purchased an upgrade from any seat for operational or security reasons. This includes customers who do not meet exit row eligibility requirements. The customer may request a refund of the Upgrade at www.aa.com/refunds

AA.com Service Charges Chart
(where LFB Upgrade Term sheet above was found): http://www.aa.com/i18n/utility/aacom...es_charges.jsp

AA.com Self-Service Check-in (kiosk, which does mention "Confirmed Upgrades"): http://www.aa.com/i18n/urls/selfServ...le=selfservice

...and associated Self-Service FAQ entry that states that "Confirmed Upgrades" are only available via kiosk: http://www.aa.com/i18n/utility/FAQs/...jsp#question28
Q: If I don't use the Self-Service machine for check-in, can I still use the Confirmed Upgrade option? What if I check-in at home using AA.com?
A: The Confirmed Upgrade option is only offered via the Self-Service machine. If you first check in on AA.com, you can still use the Self-Service machine at the airport. If the Confirmed Upgrade option is offered for your flight, you can choose to upgrade, following the usual procedures.
...and reiterates that elites will be accommodated before LFBU:
Q: Will the Confirmed Upgrade option reduce the number of premium class seats available to full-fare and AAdvantage elite customers?
A: No. Upgrades via Self Service will be offered only after we've determined that sufficient premium seats are available to accommodate customers who want to buy full-fare tickets and to AAdvantage elite members who wish to upgrade.
AA.com Online Check-in (no mention of LFB Upgrades): http://www.aa.com/i18n/urls/checkin....&title=checkin
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