Upgrade question

 
Old Feb 24, 06, 10:10 pm
  #1  
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Upgrade question

I'm about to book a DCA-PVG ticket and am attempting to strategize how to upgrade.

I currently don't have status with AA due to not flying with them last year, but will be doing the plat challenge to re-up with this fare.

My question is about using miles or a friend's eVIP to upgrade from a W-class ticket. Should I buy the ticket and apply either the miles or the eVIP ASAP? I think that there is an advantage to doing this, but I don't remember. Also, do the points + cash upgrades clear instantly if there is availability, or am I waitlisted?

Thanks for the advice. I'm just trying to ensure that I don't have to sit in coach for 17 hours.
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Old Feb 24, 06, 10:48 pm
  #2  
 
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It's all about whether or not there is immediate availability in C class. You can check this through Expertflyer. If there is availbility immediately then your upgrade (whether eVIP or miles) will clear instantly. If not then you yiwll be put on a waitlist ordered by status/request time.
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Old Feb 24, 06, 11:38 pm
  #3  
 
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You guys can correct me if I wrong, but I believe if you are waitlisted, all things equal the eVIP upgrade will have higher priority than the miles upgrade
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Old Feb 27, 06, 1:22 am
  #4  
 
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Correct

Originally Posted by hotstepper
You guys can correct me if I wrong, but I believe if you are waitlisted, all things equal the eVIP upgrade will have higher priority than the miles upgrade
I believe that is correct.
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Old Feb 27, 06, 1:41 am
  #5  
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Originally Posted by hotstepper
You guys can correct me if I wrong, but I believe if you are waitlisted, all things equal the eVIP upgrade will have higher priority than the miles upgrade
Originally Posted by am2220
I believe that is correct.
Based on what?

I've never seen any evidence of that. In fact, several members have posted the exact opposite (which I don't accept as fact either.) But with equal status (in this case, none) I'd like to know where the evidence for this theory comes from-- that eVIP trumps miles + co-pay.
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Old Feb 27, 06, 10:47 am
  #6  
 
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Although it could have been a fluke, in May 2005 I was waitlisted MIA-MAD on AA68. The upgrade didn't clear before I got to MIA and the Admiral's Club agent informed me that there was one seat left for sale, and everyone had checked in for the others. She said there were 3 eVIPs on the list but that since I was doing a copay, I (a PLT) had priority. It took around 15 minutes and several phonecalls for her to get the last seat released and then get the miles from my account, but I got the last seat. When I went to the gate, a passenger (presumedly one of the three eVIPS she had mentioned) was complaining to the gate agent about not being getting off the waitlist. I didn't hear the whole conversation, but the gate agent said what the AC agent had said - that copays had priority. He added "American is desperate for money right now."
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Old Feb 27, 06, 11:36 am
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Originally Posted by DCAstudent
It took around 15 minutes and several phonecalls for her to get the last seat released and then get the miles from my account, but I got the last seat.
Several FTers have reported similar experiences. Although I don't recall seeing any documented proof of such, the anecdotal evidence here seems to indicate that co-pays trump eVIPs.
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Old Feb 27, 06, 11:41 am
  #8  
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Originally Posted by oklAAhoma
Several FTers have reported similar experiences. Although I don't recall seeing any documented proof of such, the anecdotal evidence here seems to indicate that co-pays trump eVIPs.
I've seen those reports as well and I don't buy it. It -could- be, but personally I've seen nothing convincing one way or the other.
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Old Feb 27, 06, 11:45 am
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I have a hard time understanding why AA wouldn't publish the upgrade priority rules... It seems it would save a lot of discussion/argument if an agent was able to whip out a priority list and show a customer. It gives the whole system a little more credibility compared to individual agents seemingly doing different things...
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Old Feb 27, 06, 11:46 am
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There's always the leech factor

Looking at it another way ...

Using your friend's eVip trumps using one's own miles and moola
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Old Feb 27, 06, 11:55 am
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Originally Posted by JonNYC
I've seen those reports as well and I don't buy it. It -could- be, but personally I've seen nothing convincing one way or the other.
I agree that anecdotes do NOT equal proof.

But being one who upgrades with eVIPs, not co-pays, and being somewhat of a pessimist, I guess I have tended to believe it's possible that it's true. That would be just my luck.
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Old Feb 27, 06, 6:07 pm
  #12  
 
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Unless you had remarkable knowledge of all the other waiting upgrades, status and if VIP or not and how every person in J got there if they did and you did (or didn't) it is pretty hard to conclude anything.
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Old Feb 27, 06, 6:54 pm
  #13  
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Originally Posted by Peatisback
I have a hard time understanding why AA wouldn't publish the upgrade priority rules... It seems it would save a lot of discussion/argument if an agent was able to whip out a priority list and show a customer. It gives the whole system a little more credibility compared to individual agents seemingly doing different things...
Similar to the sticker upgrade/fares paid debate. A while back we argued extensively with an EXP who swears that sticker upgrades are prioritized by fare paid (something for which he has been lobbying for quite a while now) yet it defies logic that AA wouldn't come out and publish that rule if it were true.

After all, if higher fares were upgraded first, wouldn't AA trumpet that fact in an attempt to motivate passengers to buy up to higher fares? If anything, skeptical me would think that AA might publish such a rule and then not follow it. But to use such a rule and not publicize makes no sense.

Same thing with miles+copay v. eVIP. If paying $250 cold hard cash (and 25k miles) caused your request for A availability to be granted yet an eVIP did not - I'd think that AA might let us in on such important trivia.
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Old Feb 27, 06, 7:26 pm
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Originally Posted by FWAAA
Same thing with miles+copay v. eVIP. If paying $250 cold hard cash (and 25k miles) caused your request for A availability to be granted yet an eVIP did not - I'd think that AA might let us in on such important trivia.
Good point. If it were truly AA's policy to give priority to co-pays, it seems it would be to their benefit to publicize that in some manner.

BTW, thanks. You've given me cause to feel uncharacteristically optimistic (for the moment anyway).
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