Question on AA Gold upgrades on travel to London

 
Old Jan 21, 01, 8:28 am
  #1  
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Question on AA Gold upgrades on travel to London

Wondering if any of you in the know can answer a question. Looking to take my girlfriend to London for Valentines Day. I was recently comped an AA Gold due to my elite status on CO and wanted to take AA this time around. I currently have no upgrade points and a zero mile balance.

1.) Can I upgrade to First/Business class on a transatlantic flight (Coach Ticket)? If so what is the cost($)of the upgrade?
2.) Can I upgrade a traveling companion? If so whats the cost?
3.) How long do I have to wait before getting the upgrade? At the time of reservation? Check-In? Etc..

Thanks in advance for the info!
Joe
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Old Jan 21, 01, 10:14 am
  #2  
 
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Make sure you sign up for the EUR00 bonus. Got a free upgrade when the flight from Brussels was overbooked. By being gold you will get points in your upgrade bank, but you need 10,000 before 3/1 to get 4 upgrade domestic stickers which can be exchanged for 10,000 miles. Threads elsewhere explaining this. Otherwise - I don't like to pay for upgrades either my miles, stickers or money.

------------------
DtG
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Old Jan 21, 01, 10:33 am
  #3  
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I didn't think you could upgrade international trips except with miles or ExcePlat certificates. Domestic upgrades which can be purchased or earned are not combinable for travel outside NAmerica. Only way would be to build up enough earned threshold upgrades to convert them to points, then cash the points in for the appropriate upgrade award, number o f miles required being based on the fare of the original ticket.

Otherwise, you are at the luck of the draw: if you flight is oversold in Y, you may be upgraded based on your status, but there are likely to be Plats and ExecPlats ahead of you. And getting two seats upgraded on a deeply discounted ticket at Gold status may also be tricky, though not impossible.
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Old Jan 21, 01, 11:10 am
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Shareholder is correct. Your gold status won't help you upgrade in advance for any flight outside of North America. It will give you a bump on the list of people who get upgraded if they are overbooked and have to do operational upgrades.

If you want to upgrade over the water, you'll have to use miles.
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Old Jan 21, 01, 1:13 pm
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Joe,

What it WILL get you is access to the elite seats, which is a HUGE plus these days. And you can get on early to store your bags, go to the elite line to check-in, get 25% bonus miles, etc. Have a great trip!

FF
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Old Jan 21, 01, 2:05 pm
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IMHO:
There is no "sure" way for you now since you siad you don't have miles for upgrade.
but:

1. arrive to the gate early and ask the gate agent nicely.

2. try fly on a 777 exit row so even you don't have UG you still get the best seat in coach.

3. But in terms of "inspiring" your GF, find a time to check-in that you know many people will be checking-in, instead of going through the 30mins queue, walk up the the less than 5mins Buz line. This is already impressive.



Good Luck
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Old Jan 21, 01, 7:00 pm
  #7  
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Thanks for all your information. It has really helped a bunch. I think the best deal would probably be something Domestic. How do the rules/options work for that?

Sorry for the novice questions but I am new to the program.

Joe
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Old Jan 21, 01, 8:01 pm
  #8  
 
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Originally posted by HK-UMICH:
try fly on a 777 exit row so even you don't have UG you still get the best seat in coach.
On AA 777's exit row (27) is a bulkhead next to the toilets, while providing good legroom, not necessarily the best choice, IMHO.
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Old Jan 21, 01, 10:36 pm
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Originally posted by Eugene:
On AA 777's exit row (27) is a bulkhead next to the toilets, while providing good legroom, not necessarily the best choice, IMHO.
Just returned tonight from a mileage run to LHR and had 27B each way; to my mind it's the best seat (along with 27H) in Economy on AA's 777's that do not have Flagship Suites and MRTB - these are represented in the timetables as the "International/Pacific" configuration.

Row 27 has only seats A/B and H/J and they're not really "bulkhead" nor are they next to the lavs. They're aft of the exit door and the lavs are forward of the door. Bulkhead row is 26 and has only seats 26C/D/E/F/G...of those, only 26C/G offer any decent legroom. Seats 20C/G are also not bad.
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Old Jan 21, 01, 10:49 pm
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bbinchi -- Different strokes for different folks, I guess. You're right about the toilets located forward of row 27. Still, quite close, with plenty of traffic around that seat. Also, row 26-center in bulkhead often has parents with infants. But if the legroom is really important for you - row 27 provides the most of it (or at least until 777's will be refurbished for MRTC).
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Old Jan 22, 01, 12:00 am
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Originally posted by Eugene:
[/b]On AA 777's exit row (27) is a bulkhead next to the toilets, while providing good legroom, not necessarily the best choice, IMHO. [/B]
joebeen,
I'm with bbinchi, the best coach seats on the 777 are 27AB or 27HJ. No other seats come close. You and your girlfriend will appreciate the extra room. As for the lavs they are a good 10 feet away at least. I've flown these seats several times when I haven't been able to upgrade and they are the best. They sometimes open up late as they are initially reserved by elites who are upgraded.
jerry



[This message has been edited by jerry a. laska (edited 01-21-2001).]
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Old Jan 22, 01, 4:51 am
  #12  
 
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Whilst en route LHR/LAX, I went back to check this out and bbinchi is right (I have come to expect nothing less!). His suggestions have the most leg room.
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Old Jan 22, 01, 8:55 am
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Paul, you give me WAY too much credit but thanks for your vote of confidence! (please check out my post under FlyerTalk Itineraries for February...I'm headed your way on another mileage run.)

Eugene makes a very good point that I had not addressed: when the 777's are reconfigured the exit row number will change. In fact, he brought up a *very* interesting point:

Already the AA timetable shows the two 777 configurations as "International/Pacific", which is the standard config with neither Flagship Suites nor MRTB and the "Transatlantic/International" config with both enhancements. In the latter, the exit row becomes 29 (29A/B/H/J) and what is now row 26 becomes row 28 (28C/D/E/F/G).

However, it is unclear whether the latter configuration takes into account MRTC. So my question (rhetorical unless there is someone from AA who can provide an answer): Will MRTC be implemented on 777's only at the same time as MRTB or could there possibly be a third configuration we should watch out for, i.e. MRTC without Flagship Suites or MRTB? Inquiring minds want to know!

In any event, if you flying on a 777 and you are expecting your seat to be in an exit row, it's a good idea to double check the configuration with AA Res. or the airport personnel on day of departure to make sure the configuration has not changed.
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