Travel voucher use affects DFW-NRT upgrade request???

 
Old Aug 26, 03, 9:12 pm
  #1  
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Travel voucher use affects DFW-NRT upgrade request???

I used a $250 travel voucher so generously given to me by AA (after I volenteered to get off a flight) to pay for a DFW-NRT flight in late September.

When the Gate Agent at the terminal counter at DFW was finally finished booking my flight, we started working on the two 25k miles upgrades to get to Business class. She said "over 20 empty Business class seats open to NRT, should be no problem"

She calls the AAdvantage help desk to coordinate the upgrade request, and to make sure they are entered as 2x25k instead of one 50k, she starts saying "oh really, OH really, OH REALLY"..finishes and hangs up.

I am puzzled...I ask what happened.

She said "I am not supposed to tell you this, but by using the voucher, you are now last on the list"

Me: Dumbfounded silence....

I tell her to just give me the voucher back, and I will use it for another flight...

Nope - no can do...

Anyone want to shed some light on this

------------------


[This message has been edited by DallasAudiGuy (edited 08-26-2003).]
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Old Aug 26, 03, 9:20 pm
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sounds silly to me - my understanding has been that the wait list is based on request time and status.
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Old Aug 26, 03, 9:24 pm
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Very surprising-- and very stupid if true. Maybe just another case of an AAgent who likes to say stuff?
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Old Aug 26, 03, 9:45 pm
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Sounds like a load of BS to me. AFAIK, upgrades are based on status and then request date. What you used to pay for your tix should have no effect whatsoever.
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Old Aug 27, 03, 6:45 am
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by honu:
Sounds like a load of BS to me. AFAIK, upgrades are based on status and then request date. What you used to pay for your tix should have no effect whatsoever.</font>
Don't shoot the messenger, but the agent was correct for international upgrades. Any discounts off the published fare send you to the back of the line on AA now.

Upgrade priority is also based on the source (miles vs. coupon). All mile upgrades are supposed to clear before any VIP03's.

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Old Aug 27, 03, 8:18 am
  #6  
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This thread contains the VIP03 star file:

www.flyertalk.com/forum/Forum71/HTML/017224.html

No mention there, of course, about the pecking order; no mention about it on my VIP03s, either.

If true that int'l mileage upgrades have to clear first, this is a major devaluation in the VIP03s.
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Old Aug 27, 03, 8:33 am
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Not shooting the messanger, but there was no discount off the published fare.

What if I had paid for it 1/2 on a credit card and 1/2 with cash?

Is a voucher considered a discount?
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Old Aug 27, 03, 9:04 am
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by millionmiler:
Don't shoot the messenger, but the agent was correct for international upgrades. Any discounts off the published fare send you to the back of the line on AA now.

Upgrade priority is also based on the source (miles vs. coupon). All mile upgrades are supposed to clear before any VIP03's.
</font>
While I'm not sure about the discount thing, I can tell you the multiple AA agents on multiple dates have told me it makes no difference whether I use miles or VIP03's. In fact, airport agents prefer to process VIPOW/VIP03 upgrades because it doesn't require the ticket to be re-issued. Much eaiser to do.
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Old Aug 27, 03, 9:06 am
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I think you missed the point of my post.

The agent said that my ability to upgrade, based on my place in line, was affected by which method of payment I used.
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Old Aug 27, 03, 9:43 am
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by DallasAudiGuy:

Is a voucher considered a discount?
</font>
Perhaps not in general, but for the purpose of international upgrades, yes.

[This message has been edited by millionmiler (edited 08-27-2003).]

[This message has been edited by millionmiler (edited 08-27-2003).]
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Old Aug 27, 03, 9:54 am
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by Plato90s:
While I'm not sure about the discount thing, I can tell you the multiple AA agents on multiple dates have told me it makes no difference whether I use miles or VIP03's. In fact, airport agents prefer to process VIPOW/VIP03 upgrades because it doesn't require the ticket to be re-issued. Much eaiser to do.</font>

I can also cite the opposite - told this twice at CDG this year, once at SJC this year, twice at LHR this year, once at SCL this year. In two of those cases I switched from VIP03s to miles and went from no upgrade to upgrade (i.e., it worked). Before this year I don't recall asking. I started asking this year sparked by a conversation with the AC agent at CDG mid January. She even let me walk around the desk and read the file on her screen.

I can believe that other people have been told other things, but my history on this issue is enough to convince me. If I'm wrong somehow or if they have recently changed the policy I appologize.


[This message has been edited by millionmiler (edited 08-27-2003).]
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Old Aug 27, 03, 11:37 am
  #12  
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On both issues - treating vouchers as a discount and affording VIPOW's lower priority than miles - I think AA shows an unfortunate predisposition to bite the hand that feeds them. In the case of vouchers the airline has asked you to do them a favor -help them out in a difficult situation that they are responsible for in return for the voucher. If you help them out it seems foolish to devalue their thank you - it leaves a bad taste in the mouth rather than leaving you happy that you helped out.

As to the VIPOW's which are rewards, awards, given only to AA's very best customers - it is inconceivable to me that AA would then turn around and devalue this award. Other than the absolutely marvelous ExecPlat desk and the rarely observed 72hr e-upgrade clearance there is precious little that AA does for its explats to distinguish them from the lower tiers. Although I can understand the rationale for preferring first money then miles then other forms of payment it seems that the loss of goodwill amongst AA's most dedicated customers simply does not make sense. At a minimum AA owes it to its best customers to make it very, very clear the relevant priorities. I, for one, would not want to lose an upgrade opportunity at certain simply because I didn't know the pecking order. As a very frequent AA traveler I always have enough miles to pay and would hate to lose the opportunity.
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Old Aug 27, 03, 11:54 am
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<font face="Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif" size="2">Originally posted by millionmiler:
Perhaps not in general, but for the purpose of international upgrades, yes.
</font>
Millionmiler--

How sure are you about the voucher thing? Two EXP AAgents I have spoken to-- one of who was a very, very knowledgeable one-- said this was news to them.

[This message has been edited by JonNYC (edited 08-27-2003).]
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Old Aug 27, 03, 11:57 am
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BTW, if your info was accurate, the on-line fares purchased using a 5% or 10% off code would also be at the bottom of the list for VIP upgrade-- and that doesn't comport with my experience in the least.
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Old Aug 27, 03, 12:01 pm
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My understanding has been that mileage upgrades and VIP03 upgrades come from the same inventory (i.e. generally A on domestics and C for intls.). Can anyone confirm this is true (I think its even in T&C's on back of cert.).

i have not used miles to upgrade in years - so maybe I am wrong.

I have used the VIPs numerous times (thanks AA) and have never, ever been told that someone with miles might get the seat "before" someone using a VIP03.

the only time I have heard where the miles "pull rank" over VIP03's is in the event of an equipment change (i.e. 757 to Silly 80) - if anyone gets downgraded it will be people using VIP03's as AA considers this a 'complimentary" upgrade.

Well, my opinion is I EARNED it - however, that's another story...(and yes, it is technically complimentary).
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