Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Discontinued Programs/Partners > American Airlines | AAdvantage (Pre-Consolidation with USAir)
Reload this Page >

Lost My Upgrade and Confirmed Seat 25' prior to delayed departure

Lost My Upgrade and Confirmed Seat 25' prior to delayed departure

 
Old Mar 6, 15, 5:37 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Programs: AA EXP, UA 1P, Marriott Platinum, SPG Platinum, Avis First
Posts: 43
Lost My Upgrade and Confirmed Seat 25' prior to delayed departure

I had a flight from JFK to LAX today. I arrived at AC around T-45 and found out that my upgrade has been cleared. The agent printed me the new boarding pass showing Business class cabin Ė everything seemed to be good so far. I then went to the restroom and changed for more comfortable clothes for the 6-hour flight. When I arrived at the departure gate at T-25, the GA told me that I lost my upgrade and confirmed seat. I canít believe what I heard. Following is our conversation continuedÖ

GA: I called you for a couple of times but you did not show up
Me: But my upgrade is confirmed and I have my boarding pass printed out already
GA: You should come to the gate earlier. Itís already 23 minutes prior to departure
Me: I believe AA recommends confirmed passengers arrive at the gate 15 minutes prior to departure

The GA finally realized she made a mistake. She handled me a boarding pass with a coach seat far back in cabin. She said thatís the last seat she has on the plane. She did apologize but she said there is nothing she can do at that moment. I was very upset. However, since I have a connection to make in LAX, I had no choice but to take the seat.

I noticed that AA recently intends to start the boarding process earlier than T-30. Thatís inconvenient but I can live with it. However, losing a confirmed seat at T-25 is just not too much.

Do we need to forget about the AC and always appear at the gate 45 minutes before departure? I donít mind of doing so if I travel a few times a year. However, with 120+ flights a year, I really donít want to do soÖ
dclocation is offline  
Old Mar 6, 15, 5:54 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: SFO
Programs: AA EXP
Posts: 5,271
Sounds like the gate agent didn't realize you'd rechecked and received your boarding pass at the AC, and gave your seat to the next person on the list. If your upgrade had cleared in advance, it probably wouldn't have been necessary to get to the gate at T-45 or T-30.

It's interesting that we're seeing multiple reports of this happening lately, though:
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/ameri...e-counter.html
rjw242 is offline  
Old Mar 6, 15, 6:06 pm
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Programs: AA EXP, UA 1P, Marriott Platinum, SPG Platinum, Avis First
Posts: 43
This is likely the case. However, shouldn't the GA being able to see that my PB has been re-issued in AC?
dclocation is offline  
Old Mar 6, 15, 6:08 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Palm Beach/ New England
Programs: AA EXP 3MM, DL GM, Marriott Platinum
Posts: 3,934
The agent at the gate does not see if the boarding card has been duplicated in the Admirals Club. Since the flight is under airport control, s/he may assume that all pax awaiting upgrades are present in the boarding area, and start to page them right before boarding at T-30 (and maybe soon T-40 like DL).

Technically, the gate agent shouldn't un-board anyone until T-15, but I understand the confusion, particularly while paging someone and the next guy in line is standing at the gate making comments like, "he's not here, I'd like that upgrade so I can board."

I've seen JFK-LAX pax be fully processed through the gate (although largely standing on the jetway) at T-20 because the agent boarded early, and I've had to hustle to board. JFK has such long taxi timings that I think the gate agents there try to close-out their flights as soon as possible.

Best practice when the upgrade has cleared during airport control (within a couple hours before departure): go to the gate at the beginning of boarding.
fastflyer is online now  
Old Mar 6, 15, 6:13 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: LAX
Programs: AA Lifetime Gold but Plat for a year (yippie)
Posts: 4,296
Originally Posted by dclocation View Post
When I arrived at the departure gate at T-25, the GA told me that I lost my upgrade and confirmed seat. I canít believe what I heard. Following is our conversation continuedÖ
Just out of curiosity, when did you arrive the gate in relation to the printed boarding time? Were you there before, at or after the printed boarding time?
QueenOfCoach is offline  
Old Mar 6, 15, 6:20 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Chicago
Programs: AA Exec Plat, Hilton Diamond, SPG Platinum
Posts: 288
Not sure they don't know you're in the club. I was upgraded last week while in the club at Philadelphia (noticed it on my phone) and usually would stop by to get a new boarding pass before leaving the club but the club desk was busy. I went to the gate and handed the gate agent my old boarding pass and she gave me a new one. Someone had written in rather large letters on the boarding pass the word 'club'. So it appears to me that they knew I was there. Now maybe they don't know if a passenger has picked up a new boarding pass at the club.
ChiFlyer is offline  
Old Mar 6, 15, 6:21 pm
  #7  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: LAX; AA EXP, MM; HH Gold
Posts: 31,790
Originally Posted by dclocation View Post
Me: I believe AA recommends confirmed passengers arrive at the gate 15 minutes prior to departure
It's not a recommendation, it's an absolute requirement.

Minimum Check-In Times

Customers must comply with minimum check-in requirements to retain their seats on the flight on which they are confirmed.

Pre-reserved seats are subject to cancellation unless you have checked in (obtained a boarding pass) at least 30 minutes before scheduled departure. 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 a seat. American does not guarantee to provide any particular seat on the aircraft.
https://www.aa.com/i18n/customerServ...ge.jsp#Minimum

Originally Posted by dclocation View Post
The GA finally realized she made a mistake. She handled me a boarding pass with a coach seat far back in cabin. She said thatís the last seat she has on the plane. She did apologize but she said there is nothing she can do at that moment. I was very upset. However, since I have a connection to make in LAX, I had no choice but to take the seat.
There was something she could have done, and that's admit her mistake to the passenger she mistakenly upgraded and restore your upgraded seat to you.

AA needs to fix its IT so that the agents can see that passengers have claimed their upgrades, either via reprinting the boarding passes themselves or via the mobile phone boarding pass system. Either that or the Admirals Clubs agents need to be locked out of reprinting upgraded boarding passes in situations like yours.
FWAAA is offline  
Old Mar 6, 15, 6:25 pm
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Programs: AA EXP, UA 1P, Marriott Platinum, SPG Platinum, Avis First
Posts: 43
Originally Posted by fastflyer View Post
The agent at the gate does not see if the boarding card has been duplicated in the Admirals Club. Since the flight is under airport control, s/he may assume that all pax awaiting upgrades are present in the boarding area, and start to page them right before boarding at T-30 (and maybe soon T-40 like DL).

Technically, the gate agent shouldn't un-board anyone until T-15, but I understand the confusion, particularly while paging someone and the next guy in line is standing at the gate making comments like, "he's not here, I'd like that upgrade so I can board."

I've seen JFK-LAX pax be fully processed through the gate (although largely standing on the jetway) at T-20 because the agent boarded early, and I've had to hustle to board. JFK has such long taxi timings that I think the gate agents there try to close-out their flights as soon as possible.

Best practice when the upgrade has cleared during airport control (within a couple hours before departure): go to the gate at the beginning of boarding.
Good suggestion. Will definitely do it next time.

Originally Posted by QueenOfCoach View Post
Just out of curiosity, when did you arrive the gate in relation to the printed boarding time? Were you there before, at or after the printed boarding time?
I arrived at T-25. The flight was delayed for 2 hours. I was in the AC all the time.

Last edited by JY1024; Mar 7, 15 at 9:59 pm Reason: merged consecutive posts
dclocation is offline  
Old Mar 6, 15, 7:41 pm
  #9  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: DCA
Programs: UA US CO AA DL FL
Posts: 46,076
And there is the problem. AA requires (not recommends) that pax be at the gate by T-15 from scheduled departure. That does not change because the flight is delayed. What OP states is T-25 is actually T+95. The agent had not only downgraded OP, but off-loaded as well and, but for the vacant seat, OP would have been SOL.

This would also account for the unapologetic GA who likely figured that he was doing OP a solid.

The best practice during a delay is to confirm with the GA that it's OK to leave the gate.
Often1 is online now  
Old Mar 6, 15, 7:47 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: New York, NY
Posts: 3,531
Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
And there is the problem. AA requires (not recommends) that pax be at the gate by T-15 from scheduled departure. That does not change because the flight is delayed. What OP states is T-25 is actually T+95. The agent had not only downgraded OP, but off-loaded as well and, but for the vacant seat, OP would have been SOL.

This would also account for the unapologetic GA who likely figured that he was doing OP a solid.

The best practice during a delay is to confirm with the GA that it's OK to leave the gate.
That's absurd. With a two hour delay posted in advance, there won't even be a GA until T+60.
jordyn is offline  
Old Mar 6, 15, 7:56 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: MSP
Programs: AA EXP, DL PM (FO soon), A3 Gold, TK Classic Plus, SPG Plat, HH Gold, Hyatt Diamond, National EE
Posts: 1,003
What is accomplished by calling people up anyway? Just give them the new bp as they board.
mattsteg is offline  
Old Mar 6, 15, 7:57 pm
  #12  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Benicia CA
Programs: Alaska MVP Gold 75K, AA 3.8MM, UA 1.1MM, enjoying the retired life
Posts: 31,439
Originally Posted by dclocation View Post
When I arrived at the departure gate at T-25, the GA told me that I lost my upgrade and confirmed seat.
Complain, please. I frequently pick up my upgraded boarding pass in the Admiral's Club and show up at the gate after boarding has commenced, just like you did. Never a problem. Something is wrong with the system if the gate agent will not honor a boarding pass that has been properly issued for a seat in business class. When you write AA, ask them how it's possible for an upgraded passenger to be downgraded when you're at the gate in plenty of time. This should not have happened.

Originally Posted by FWAAA View Post
There was something she could have done, and that's admit her mistake to the passenger she mistakenly upgraded and restore your upgraded seat to you.
Agree. The passenger should not be blamed for AA's issues, be they with a gate agent or technology, once they have a boarding pass in hand.

Originally Posted by Often1 View Post
The best practice during a delay is to confirm with the GA that it's OK to leave the gate.
The best practice during a delay is to look at your boarding pass that says "business class" and show up at the gate for the new boarding time. You should not have to jump through any other hoops. Why should a plane full of passengers have to all go up and check with the agent? Listen to the announcements made and just follow the instructions.

Last edited by JY1024; Mar 7, 15 at 9:58 pm Reason: merged consecutive posts
tom911 is offline  
Old Mar 6, 15, 8:25 pm
  #13  
A FlyerTalk Posting Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: DCA
Programs: UA US CO AA DL FL
Posts: 46,076
Originally Posted by jordyn View Post
That's absurd. With a two hour delay posted in advance, there won't even be a GA until T+60.
If you think it's absurd, just do what OP did. Give the GA who is looking for a reason to UG someone else a basis to do it and you get this.
Often1 is online now  
Old Mar 6, 15, 8:49 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Feb 1999
Location: San Jose, California, USA
Programs: AS 75K, UA MM, AA MM, IC Plat Amb, Marriott Gold, Hilton Gold
Posts: 3,069
Originally Posted by fastflyer View Post
Best practice when the upgrade has cleared during airport control (within a couple hours before departure): go to the gate at the beginning of boarding.
The problem is that, IME, it's impossible to know when boarding begins unless you are already at the gate! This is difficult when flights are on time and nearly impossible when flights are delayed.

Yes, there is a boarding time printed on the bp. I try to schedule my arrival at the gate for that time, but there is an 80% chance that either (1) everyone is still standing around waiting for boarding to begin, which might or might not happen for another 5, 10, or 15+ minutes; or (2) the gate area is nearly empty and the GA are already inviting Boarding Group 3 to board.

I'd gladly be at the gate when boarding begins if only I had accurate information when that will be!
mikew99 is offline  
Old Mar 6, 15, 9:05 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: MEX
Posts: 940
Lost My Upgrade and Confirmed Seat at T-25

Had a somewhat similar experience. On a recent DFW-JFK flight I checked in about 20hrs before my flight. At an airport kiosk.

The next day, about 3hrs before the flight I checked the upgrade list on my phone and as EXP was first.

About 60mins out, I dropped the rental car and on the shuttle I was happy to see my upgrade had cleared and I was assigned the last seat available in F.

I used my phone to go through TSA and 35mins before departure I go to the gate to get a paper copy of my new boarding pass and I'm giving a seat in coach. Saying an "EXP showed up."

Obviously I complained but the agent didn't care.

Why confirm an upgrade and then take it back 30mins before departure? The person was not an Air Marshall and once on the plane I checked the upgrade list and I was magically 2nd.

Is there any official policy on this? Can/should I complain?
Viajero Millero is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: