Same Day Upgrade Fee? Weird- Bad day of flying..

 
Old Feb 27, 06, 5:32 am
  #1  
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Same Day Upgrade Fee? Weird- Bad day of flying..

So, I have a couple questions for ya'll.. and to see if this is worth sending to AA to let them know I wasnt to please at ALL!

I just did KIX- DFW- LAX. ( A longggg day of flying I might add) At KIX, I decided that I would upgrade my coach seat (I'm a PLT) using the $250 and 25,000 miles upgrade. There were 6 open seats in Business, figured this would be no problem. I went to the Business check in line like I always do. It was operated by JAL since AA only runs one flight a day out of KIX. There the gentlewoman, who spoke bad English.. but hey, I know she was trying... greeted me kindly and things went downhill from there.

I explained what I wanted to do... thought easy enough. She then whips out the AA Manual that is half in English half in Japanese... she pokes around in the computer and says I can't upgrade because I am only Admirals Club and not AAirpass..... which, I then explained what Admirals Club was, and that I wasn't an AAirpass member.. but this was something that was done before. She then goes to her supervisor... for about 15 minutes... comes back and says they can do it.. but it is $250 plus the miles... but an extra $100 same day processing fee. Does anyone know if this same day processing fee really exsists? Or was this a misreading of using miles and cash for upgrades policy?

So, I decide.. for $350, I can take another weekend trip... so I kept my exit row in coach. (yes, painful as it was). However, the agent didn't put the premium slip on my luggage.. which has always been done for me... when I asked, she said that because I wasn't booked in First or Business, I don't get the marking... even though I had elite status. Is this a true policy? Have agents just been always nice to me and marked them premium before?

Then the arriving flight from DFW-KIX is a good 40 minutes late... putting us out a little over an hour later than expected. Flight went great... wonderful FA's who kept the humor going. But, we were 40 mins late into DFW... not usually a problem, but my connecting flight to LAX was only an hour away and in Terminal C.

Clear customs and wait for luggage.... and this is where the premium tags come into play.. if it was marked, would of had my bag first and been on my way on time, but instead, had to wait and wait and wait... 15 mins after the premium bags are out, then comes coach. I run to recheck my bag, and notice i have 5 mins till my plane departs. I tell the gentlemen this.. he says, "Run, if you miss it, they'll rebook you but your bag will already be there." I asked if he could call and hold it or make sure it was on time... he shrugged me off and just pointed to the Skylink.

Being the dedicated person I am.. I ran, re-entered security in D, did Skylink, got to my gate in C... to find my plane was DELAYED 40 mins..... which fine, at least my plane was there, but if the agent would of been nice enough to look, I wouldn't of killed myself.

Board the flight, get to LAX.... guess what... no bag... it didn't make it on the plane and better yet, they dont know if it is on the next plane. I thought they scanned bags so they knew where they were?? The luggage agent was pretty "not friendly" and not in the slightest concerned to even look to see if there was a way to see if it was on that flight. Deciding it is pointless to go home and have it delivered.. I wait the hour and a half for the next flight.... and find my bag.

And to think this would of all been avoided if I had that orange premium tag.. would of given me an extra 20 mins!!

Do the JAL employees get a full training about AA and their fees and such? Is it worth mentioning to AA about the what happened to KIX to get clarification about the fees and premium tags?

Sorry to ramble and rant.. after 17 hours of flying.. I just wanted my bag and my bed. In that order!

FutureCEO1982
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Old Feb 27, 06, 7:35 am
  #2  
 
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In my experience, the Orange "premium" tag does absolutely flop all when arriving in the US...
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Old Feb 27, 06, 7:37 am
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Originally Posted by stratofortress
In my experience, the Orange "premium" tag does absolutely flop all when arriving in the US...
Everytime I have flown.. they are the first bags out on the baggage claim.....saves me sometime, so I enjoy it!

FutureCEO1982
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Old Feb 27, 06, 7:39 am
  #4  
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AA does not use the bar code to track your bag. Apparently, the fact that they could does not occur to them. I guess they never send a package by Fedex or UPS. So the guy at the lost baggage booth had no idea where your bag was, and was just telling you the truth. Sometimes they will fib to you, and tell you it is on the next flight, but they really have no idea.

It must be impossible to translate between Japanese and English. Check out the assembly instructions that come with anything from Japan. If the manual they gave the JL staff in KIX was translated by the same translation service, I can understand why they had a problem.
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Old Feb 27, 06, 7:52 am
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The agent who was checking you in was correct in the fees she was quoting you. The $250 was the co-pay for the mileage upgrade, while the $100 was the expedite fee for using you miles less than 7 days prior to departure.

As for the Premium tags, I am not aware of any "rule" that says that Elite passengers in Y should be given the tags. That said, there have been a couple of occasions where it was done for me -- but not usually.

Exit row on a 777.... as long as it was 31ABHJ, and not something in the middle, it sounds like your flight could have been a lot less comfortable . Welcome home.

Cheers.
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Old Feb 27, 06, 11:49 am
  #6  
 
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Originally Posted by FutureCEO1982
So, I have a couple questions for ya'll.. and to see if this is worth sending to AA to let them know I wasnt to please at ALL!
No, this matter does not warrant a letter.
... says I can't upgrade because I am only Admirals Club and not AAirpass.....
She was wrong (with this first answer). Glad you asked again.
... they can do it.. but it is $250 plus the miles... but an extra $100 same day processing fee. Does anyone know if this same day processing fee really exsists?
Yes, there is a $100 fee for mileage upgrades and award tickets inside the 21-day (maybe it's 7-day?) window. I don't remember the details, 'cause EXPs are exempt.
So, I decide.. for $350, I can take another weekend trip... so I kept my exit row in coach.
Great decision. Why spend $350 plus $500 worth of miles for 12 hours in a slightly less crummy seat? For that same $850 you can fly anywhere in the world.
However, the agent didn't put the premium slip on my luggage.. which has always been done for me... when I asked, she said that because I wasn't booked in First or Business, I don't get the marking... even though I had elite status. Is this a true policy? Have agents just been always nice to me and marked them premium before?
Orange tags are supposed to go on First and Biz bags only.
Clear customs and wait for luggage.... and this is where the premium tags come into play.. if it was marked, would of had my bag first and been on my way on time ...
Not in my experience. The premium bags seem to come out at random. They're -supposed- to be loaded in a special compartment inside the 777. That compartment is -supposed- to be delivered first. Yet in fact the best you can hope for is random delivery.
15 mins after the premium bags are out, then comes coach.
Then it was a slow day and the baggage handlers had nothing better to do than process the premium bags correctly for a change. I've NEVER seen the premium bags come out in the first batch like they're supposed to.
I run to recheck my bag, and notice i have 5 mins till my plane departs. I tell the gentlemen this.. he says, "Run, if you miss it, they'll rebook you but your bag will already be there."
Here's where an AA employee goofed up. They're not supposed to tell folks to "run". Someone might have a heart attack or somethin'.
I asked if he could call and hold it or make sure it was on time... he shrugged me off and just pointed to the Skylink.
They almost never hold flights, especially if there's another flight to that same city soon (as was the case here). He was probably already aware you didn't have much time so your getting to the Skylink was more important than asking a bunch of questions.
... my plane was DELAYED 40 mins..... which fine, at least my plane was there, but if the agent would of been nice enough to look, I wouldn't of killed myself.
Fair observation. This one part might be deserving of a SHORT letter to customer service. In all fairness, the airport displays may have been incorrect, so maybe the guy wouldn't know even if he did look. Also, you could have looked yourself. Airport displays are everywhere. You could have also called AA from your cell phone while in the Skylink to find out if your flight was on time.
Board the flight, get to LAX.... guess what... no bag... it didn't make it on the plane and better yet, they dont know if it is on the next plane. I thought they scanned bags so they knew where they were??
Other airlines do. AA doesn't.
The luggage agent was pretty "not friendly" and not in the slightest concerned to even look to see if there was a way to see if it was on that flight.
They have no way of knowing.
Deciding it is pointless to go home and have it delivered.. I wait the hour and a half for the next flight.... and find my bag.
Good decision. Almost all bags go exactly to where they are tagged. It's a grand idea, just before waving bye-bye to your bag at the ticket counter, to visually check that the bag's tag has the right airport code.
And to think this would of all been avoided if I had that orange premium tag.. would of given me an extra 20 mins!!
Maybe in isolated cases. As a rule, the orange premium tag means nothing.
Sorry to ramble and rant.. after 17 hours of flying.. I just wanted my bag and my bed. In that order!
Completely understandable! Some of my best rants have been immediately after a long flight!
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Old Feb 27, 06, 12:03 pm
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Originally Posted by FutureCEO1982
And to think this would of all been avoided if I had that orange premium tag.. would of given me an extra 20 mins!!
Count me as another who thinks this is highly doubtful. Sure sometimes the premium tags actually come out first, but IMO that's merely a coincidence. Too many times in the past my premium tags have been last to unload for me to believe they have any magical powers.
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Old Feb 27, 06, 12:22 pm
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I'm also in agreement that the orange tags really don't do that much for you. I've had agents refuse to put them on both when flying in J and in Y as a PLT (I only have asked when flying internationally). It didn't seem to make a difference- sometimes my bag was one of the first out ahead of the orange tagged bags, other times I had to wait.

The only time premium tagging worked out well was on QF in my pre-elite/pre-FT days. Apparently the minimum connection time does not take into account that in BNE you clear immigration/customs, then take a train, with your bags, to the domestic terminal about a mile away. I was stressing about missing my onward flight, so I jumped in the shortest line, which happened to be the J line. The agent was super-helpful: she quickly put me on the next flight which was only 40 mins. away, gave me an exit row seat on the 767, and premium tagged my bag. It was the first bag out. Oh and if you ever lose access to a lounge, try the showers at BNE for a real interesting experience.
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Old Feb 27, 06, 12:25 pm
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Originally Posted by Peatisback
Oh and if you ever lose access to a lounge, try the showers at BNE for a real interesting experience.
You just GOTTA explain this!
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Old Feb 27, 06, 1:00 pm
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Originally Posted by SquareDanceGuy
You just GOTTA explain this!
Completely OT, sorry-

A few years back when I was still an undergrad, I didn't have my act together when it came to travelling. I was flying LAX-BNE-SYD, and I think I used this trip for a GLD challenge. Alas, I had yet to reach any elite status.
When I got off my LAX-BNE flight, I was pretty nasty to begin with, but it did not help that I was wearing very, very warm clothing in the 90 degreeish weather. I must have looked pretty crappy and not smelling so nice when I finally reached the domestic terminal. I was desperate for a shower.

Many of the restrooms in BNEs have showers. At the time I thought they were a brilliant convenience, but that idea quickly faded once I gained status.

The showers at BNE are very small metal vestibules, right in the regular restroom. There was no light inside the shower, and it was barely private (the shower curtain barely spanned the shower, and the main door was directly across from the shower- anytime it opened people had a clear view of me in all my glory). The drain didn't work well at all, so the water oveflowed and minorly flooded the restroom. After I finished showering, I was standing around shaving/brusing my teeth etc in nothing but a towel and flip flops (and a few inches of soapy water); all the while people are coming and going using the restroom and what not. I got some really interesting looks. In short, I definitely overcame any shyness about being half naked in public. It was almost like being in a really, really bad hostel.
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Old Feb 27, 06, 2:13 pm
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Originally Posted by Peatisback
The only time premium tagging worked out well was on QF in my pre-elite/pre-FT days. Apparently the minimum connection time does not take into account that in BNE you clear immigration/customs, then take a train, with your bags, to the domestic terminal about a mile away. I was stressing about missing my onward flight, so I jumped in the shortest line, which happened to be the J line. The agent was super-helpful: she quickly put me on the next flight which was only 40 mins. away, gave me an exit row seat on the 767, and premium tagged my bag. It was the first bag out.
1. It is more likely that your bag was first out because it was last in. Were bags 2-100 all equipped with Orange Tags?

2. The only places that I have seen the Orange Tag work are outside the U.S.

3. Never, ever, under any circumstances let anyone put an orange tag on your bags if that bag will be at JFK - either originating, connecting, or terminating. It is an invitation to the baggage handlers, who seem to have periodic spats with AA management, to "enhance" your luggage experience.
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Old Feb 27, 06, 2:24 pm
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Originally Posted by gemac
3. Never, ever, under any circumstances let anyone put an orange tag on your bags if that bag will be at JFK - either originating, connecting, or terminating. It is an invitation to the baggage handlers, who seem to have periodic spats with AA management, to "enhance" your luggage experience.
That's interesting. I was just about to post that having the tag has never done a damm thing for me. Perhaps that's why.
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Old Feb 27, 06, 2:30 pm
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Originally Posted by gemac
Were bags 2-100 all equipped with Orange Tags?
I was only around long enough to see about 10-15 of the bags come out, but they did have the orange tags... Maybe I was lucky...
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Old Feb 27, 06, 2:44 pm
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"Do the JAL employees get a full training about AA and their fees and such? Is it worth mentioning to AA about the what happened to KIX to get clarification about the fees and premium tags?"

Seems to me that they have been well versed. Other than the initial mistake to do with Aairpass, they did exactly what they should have

The fee for upgrading being $250 + 25k miles + $100 same day expedite fee and premium luggage tags are not a benefit provided by AA to members travelling economy regardless of status. Any you have received before are a matter of luck

Dave
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Old Feb 27, 06, 3:13 pm
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Originally Posted by Peatisback
I was only around long enough to see about 10-15 of the bags come out, but they did have the orange tags...
Those orange-tagged bags, which appear to be coming out first, are probably the -last- bags from the previously arriving flight.
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