Anyone know details of AA employees standby policy?

 
Old Feb 26, 06, 12:17 pm
  #1  
Suspended
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Programs: All of 'em
Posts: 683
Anyone know details of AA employees standby policy?

I'm booking travel for a group of six of us going to Colorado in a couple months. One of the nice young ladies is family of an AA employee (mom's manager of an AC) and so she gets to standby and fly for free on any flight she wants, though of course he getting on the flight depends on quite a bit. Though she's done it many times in her life she really has no idea how it works, she's always just gone to the airport in the morning, said I want to go to XXX, and seen what happens, which almost invariably is that she gets there at some point. Lives in NYC, family in california, so she just budgets a day to get home and always has.

This time though she's in a group of us, and I'm buying tickets for everyone. Though we'll deal with whatever happens, given the driving involved once we land it would sure be good to not have 5 other people wait around for hours at the airport if she doesn't fly with us. On the other hand we don't want to send her to the airport at 6am and have her wait for us, etc.

So the question -- for those here who are in the same boat (someone, presumably?) -- is what's the best strategy here. I figured checking EF in the morning to see how bad things are would be a start. But what I'm curious about is what priority for standby a non-rev family member has, are they ahead of EXPs or at the absolute back of the line? And other tips that people in this position have used, needless to say having her on our flights would be ideal. We're going to fly mid-day flights, most likely... this far out it's impossible to know which ones will be more full than the others. It's probably unethical but would it make sense to buy a refundable ticket for the flight we're all on and then just refund it while she's standing there trying to get cleared off the list? Any other ideas?

TIA
Flailey is offline  
Old Feb 26, 06, 12:35 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Nashvegas
Posts: 863
Originally Posted by Flailey
Any other ideas?
She could pay for her ticket, like the rest of us do.

Seriously - if it were me, the thought of possibly inconveniencing so many others would force me very quickly to the conclusion that I need to dig into my pocket and book a seat, ensuring my fate and theirs would be the same. How much can a ticket to Colorado cost? Coupla hundred bucks? Just because she can ride free doesn't mean she should if it causes inconvenience to others.
eamus is offline  
Old Feb 26, 06, 12:41 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Programs: AA EXP, DL Plat, US Chairman, SPG Plat, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Gold, IC RA
Posts: 1,430
AC employees might have a different arrangements. Twice now I've seen AC employees (once from AUS AC once from ORD AC) sitting in first class on flights where they have denied an upgrade to an EXP (once me, once a friend).
stratofortress is offline  
Old Feb 26, 06, 12:44 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Programs: AA lt gold, HH Diamond, marriott pl
Posts: 324
Way back when ... employees of AA also got 10% any published fare, so if I really wanted to travel with a group I would not do standby...spent 48 hours trying to get home more than once. With less flights, fuller flights these days I would not risk it
Krysia is offline  
Old Feb 26, 06, 12:48 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: USA & UK -- AA EXP 3.5MM, Hyatt Diamond, SPG Plat, Avis President's Club
Posts: 6,412
Originally Posted by Flailey
... and I'm buying tickets for everyone.
Enroll in Business ExtrAA, especially if you'll be doing this stunt often. You'll get (an teeny tiny amount) of credit for the total purchase amount.
CloudCoder is offline  
Old Feb 26, 06, 12:50 pm
  #6  
Suspended
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Programs: All of 'em
Posts: 683
Originally Posted by eamus
She could pay for her ticket, like the rest of us do.

Seriously - if it were me, the thought of possibly inconveniencing so many others would force me very quickly to the conclusion that I need to dig into my pocket and book a seat, ensuring my fate and theirs would be the same. How much can a ticket to Colorado cost? Coupla hundred bucks? Just because she can ride free doesn't mean she should if it causes inconvenience to others.
You're going to quote JS Mill to me? Um, how about the idea that she DID pay for her ticket, in the sense that her mother has worked for AA for 20 years and the ability to get free flights for family members is a clear and specific part of her compensation. What the hell are you talking about? By the same logic we shoudn't book award travel, just because we can fly for free doesn't mean we should. Oh wait we earned that because we paid money for tickets that got us the miles. And her family earned this right because her mother contributed years of labor to American Airlines. Jeez.

I mentioned the refundable ticket as being unethical because it seems to me that it is actually unethical, and I would just as soon head off that line of responses as a possible solution, and focus on things that do make sense.

When an EXP contributes hours of their life flying and thousands of dollars to AA and gets upgraded or free tickets for their friends or family it's a hard-earned right. But when someone contributes all day every single workday for decades to AA and that also grants them the ability to get free travel then it's an abomination in your eyes.

Think about that for a second. Who's loyalty is greater to AA and more worthy of reward, you and your family members, or her mother and her family members? Right. JS Mill notwithstanding.

Would be curious to answer the question though, of how a family member on standby fits into the strata of people on the standby list, as it will make it easier to plan the day when we set out on this trip. Also curious if there are quirks to this program that I wouldn't be aware of.
Flailey is offline  
Old Feb 26, 06, 12:51 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: USA & UK -- AA EXP 3.5MM, Hyatt Diamond, SPG Plat, Avis President's Club
Posts: 6,412
Originally Posted by stratofortress
AC employees might have a different arrangements. Twice now I've seen AC employees (once from AUS AC once from ORD AC) sitting in first class on flights where they have denied an upgrade to an EXP (once me, once a friend).
I flew with a DFW AC employee recently in FC. Nice lady. She happens to be AAdvantage Platinum. Prefers to buy a ticket instead of take chances with standby. The AC employees you saw might have been on a bought ticket using their own upgrades.
CloudCoder is offline  
Old Feb 26, 06, 12:57 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: USA & UK -- AA EXP 3.5MM, Hyatt Diamond, SPG Plat, Avis President's Club
Posts: 6,412
Originally Posted by Flailey
Would be curious to answer the question though, of how a family member on standby fits into the strata of people on the standby list, as it will make it easier to plan the day when we set out on this trip. Also curious if there are quirks to this program that I wouldn't be aware of.
The question is only pertinent if the flight is totally full. If there's even one empty seat, the non-rev gets it.

I worked with a colleague whose wife was an SAS employee. He could fly standby free on any Star Alliance flight. In the priority scheme he was always after all revenue pax, and always after all active employees. Being a husband he was higher in priority than third cousins, gardeners, mistresses, etc.

Out of consideration for his colleagues (WOW, what a concept!) he would go to the airport earlier, sometimes even the day before travel. Making five other people wait until you clear standby is akin to expecting the world to revolve around oneself.
CloudCoder is offline  
Old Feb 26, 06, 12:58 pm
  #9  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: LAX; AA EXP, MM; HH Gold
Posts: 31,790
I think the very idea that you're even considering buying five tickets instead of six for a business trip to Denver from NYC in a couple of months (ever heard of "Spring Break?") and having one person in the group attempt to standby instead of paying $250 or $300 for a confirmed seat tells me just about everything I need to know.

As to your original question: Why not have her ask her mom? Or why don't you ask her mom? I'm certain she'll be able to explain the ins and outs.

As for boarding priority: She'll be at the back of the line. Behind lots and lots of other people. Maybe she'll get on, and maybe she won't.
FWAAA is offline  
Old Feb 26, 06, 12:59 pm
  #10  
Suspended
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Programs: All of 'em
Posts: 683
Originally Posted by SquareDanceGuy
Enroll in Business ExtrAA, especially if you'll be doing this stunt often. You'll get (an teeny tiny amount) of credit for the total purchase amount.
Thanks, that's a program I've been meaning to investigate and haven't gotten around to. Typically though, to be fair, I usually put reservations on hold or just confirm that an intinerary has enough tickets and have everyone go charge them to their own credit cards. The joys of extra miles, etc from charging them myself are heavily outweighed by my desire not to deal with getting money back from friends (this is personal travel).

Quick question though -- if I make arrangements for multiple people and they add that business extraa number when they book I'll get credit for it right, even if we use all sorts of credit cards, etc? That's also an issue since my wok travel has to be on the businesses amex (I'm not self employed) no matter what. If all it takes to get credit for other people's booking that I make is entering that number though let me know, I'll get off my ... and do a lot of reading on it. Thanks for the great tip.
Flailey is offline  
Old Feb 26, 06, 1:06 pm
  #11  
Suspended
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Programs: All of 'em
Posts: 683
Originally Posted by FWAAA
I think the very idea that you're even considering buying five tickets instead of six for a business trip to Denver from NYC in a couple of months (ever heard of "Spring Break?") and having one person in the group attempt to standby instead of paying $250 or $300 for a confirmed seat tells me just about everything I need to know.

As to your original question: Why not have her ask her mom? Or why don't you ask her mom? I'm certain she'll be able to explain the ins and outs.

As for boarding priority: She'll be at the back of the line. Behind lots and lots of other people. Maybe she'll get on, and maybe she won't.
1) I'm buying the tickets, I'm not paying for them, everyone's paying for themselves. She's in grad school and has zero money at all and a couple hundred bucks is a real burden and her family is not wealthy and she has student loans? Ever been that person? Remember when money was a real issue? I do...

2) It's not business, it's vacation travel.

3) Because her mom wasn't really sure, and she wasn't either. Yeah her mom works for AA, but not in a ticketing way. And the implication that people on FT obviously know less than an average AA employee about these kind of nuances should bring a smile to everyone's face.

4) Now's the answer to the question -- you say she'll be at the back of the standby line. Someone in another response said she'll be right at the top of the standby line but just behind actual employees, and ahead of regular pax on standby. Those two contradict each other. Would be nice to find out for real.

5) Again, she's not going to take anyone's seat. She'll get to the airport very early for an empty flight if need be. The question is about how we can best judge what her chances of getting on a flight are, and knowing her position in the standby order is a key part of that.
Flailey is offline  
Old Feb 26, 06, 1:11 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: USA & UK -- AA EXP 3.5MM, Hyatt Diamond, SPG Plat, Avis President's Club
Posts: 6,412
Originally Posted by FWAAA
I think the very idea that you're even considering buying five tickets instead of six for a business trip ...
Did OP say it was a business trip?

Edited to add: never mind. Answered in the post just above.

Last edited by CloudCoder; Feb 26, 06 at 1:12 pm Reason: Flailey must be the world's fastest typist
CloudCoder is offline  
Old Feb 26, 06, 1:14 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: USA & UK -- AA EXP 3.5MM, Hyatt Diamond, SPG Plat, Avis President's Club
Posts: 6,412
Originally Posted by Flailey
Quick question though -- if I make arrangements for multiple people and they add that business extraa number when they book I'll get credit for it right, even if we use all sorts of credit cards, etc?
They can make their own reservations, or you can make 'em. All it needs is that little Business ExtrAA number.

Since you don't have one, you're welcome to borrow mine.
CloudCoder is offline  
Old Feb 26, 06, 1:22 pm
  #14  
Suspended
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Programs: All of 'em
Posts: 683
Originally Posted by SquareDanceGuy
They can make their own reservations, or you can make 'em. All it needs is that little Business ExtrAA number.

Since you don't have one, you're welcome to borrow mine.
Thanks for the tip. Can you add the number retroactively? I have scads of already ticketed flights coming up this year but not flown. If I sign up now can those get credited? Oh hell... answer if you want but we're way off topic. Next project for Flailey has been established, read every FAQ on Business ExtrAA.

And if anyone actually knows what standby priority for the daughter of an AA employee is, and has any nuances to that program that I should look out for, I'll really appreciate the help.
Flailey is offline  
Old Feb 26, 06, 1:35 pm
  #15  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: FLL -> Where The Boyars Are
Programs: AA EXP 1.7 M, Hilton Gold, Hertz 5*, AARP Sophomore, 14-time Croix de Candlestick
Posts: 18,669
On the point of trying to predict the load for the desired flight, I would guess that AA employees have access to see the booking totals.

When I used to non-rev on CO, the ability to look at what CO calls the "PBT" was the single most valuable tool in maximizing my flight benefits. The PBT showed how many seats were booked, along with the actual and "oversell-up-to" totals in the F and Y cabins. A second screen, the "go show factor" screen, was a historical -trending screen that showed how many people showed for this flight in the past week or so (detailed by day of the week). Using these two together, you could get a fairly realistic estimate of your chances.

So I'd find out if the AA employee has access to this or similar information in AA's in-house system (or if they can ask some who does have access to take a look for them.



As for her boarding priority, understanding that every carrier is different, here's the way CO did theirs about 6 years ago:

1. Rev pax
2. Positive space Employees on company Business also vendors & applicants)

Space-Available (in sequence)

3. Management Employees (with their accompanying spouse/dependents/buddy)
4. Non-Management Employee (with their accompanying spouse/dependent/buddy)
5. Pass-Eligible Spouse/Dependent travelling without the employee
6. Buddy travelling without the employee
7. Other Airline employees flying on ID-90s, etc.

Obviously AA's policies could be quite different, the above is intended to give a very generalized look as how CO did it.


BTW - my gut feeling is that on most airlines (UA being a known exception), pass-eligible travellers are not upgraded until all Rev passengers who are eligible for upgrades have been accomodated.
Non-NonRev is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread