using VIP vs Milage for upgrades

 
Old Oct 1, 06, 10:53 am
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using VIP vs Milage for upgrades

Does anyone know of a difference between using VIP06 (really a VIP07 since I am are ready using them) and Milage for upgrading LHR->ORD. I returned on Friday, checked in early to make sure that I was first on upgrade list (even though I did Thurs night w/ EP desk). I was first on list, I do this leg enough to know I should pay the 20 tax to be sure there are no problems at the gate. I went to the Flagship lounge to work (4hrs), when getting to the gate early I found out was now 8th on the list. The gate agent explained that the Miles upgrade trumps the VIP upgrade. This the first time I have heard this. Is this true?

tia,
michael
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Old Oct 1, 06, 11:37 am
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I do think that C trumps the VIP in this case. I have heard this before; yet have not run into it personally.

Congrats. on the 6.7 million -

Wow.....
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Old Oct 1, 06, 11:49 am
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Priority within VIPs?

So if your VIP hasn't cleared, is the waitlist priority for VIPs at the airport just determined by check in time?
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Old Oct 1, 06, 11:57 am
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If going from Y->J, maybe AA gives miles priority since they also (usually) get a copay?
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Old Oct 1, 06, 5:09 pm
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Originally Posted by BenjaminNYC
If going from Y->J, maybe AA gives miles priority since they also (usually) get a copay?
This certainly makes sense from a financial standpoint for AA. Does anyone know if this is standard upgrade procedure, processing mileage upgrades before eVIPs?
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Old Oct 1, 06, 5:12 pm
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Originally Posted by Paul3456
This certainly makes sense from a financial standpoint for AA. Does anyone know if this is standard upgrade procedure, processing mileage upgrades before eVIPs?
I do know that sometimes when purchasing an advance fare coach ticket, business class is offered for miles/copay and VIP is offered only on waitlist. Makes sense from AA's point of view.
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Old Oct 1, 06, 5:27 pm
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Originally Posted by michaelFL
Does anyone know of a difference between using VIP06 (really a VIP07 since I am are ready using them) and Milage for upgrading LHR->ORD. I returned on Friday, checked in early to make sure that I was first on upgrade list (even though I did Thurs night w/ EP desk). I was first on list, I do this leg enough to know I should pay the 20 tax to be sure there are no problems at the gate. I went to the Flagship lounge to work (4hrs), when getting to the gate early I found out was now 8th on the list. The gate agent explained that the Miles upgrade trumps the VIP upgrade. This the first time I have heard this. Is this true?

tia,
michael
The agent is wrong or trying to make some extra cash for AA, but if I were you I would complain to AA as there is no such thing.

C inventory is C inventory. There is no C1 or C2.


Reporting from Anchorage Hilton
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Old Oct 1, 06, 5:29 pm
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Originally Posted by Paul3456
This certainly makes sense from a financial standpoint for AA.
Yes, pi55ing off your best customers - most likely EXPs using those VIPs - makes lots of sense. This presumes that non-EXPs using mileage upgrades are higher on the priority list. It isn't clear from the original post, and I would think that 7 other EXPs on an upgrade waitlist would be highly unusual.
Does anyone know if this is standard upgrade procedure, processing mileage upgrades before eVIPs?
See my comments above. I could maybe understand processing mileage upgrades before eVIPs off the airport upgrade standby list within an elite level, but my understanding is that ALL EXPs are supposed to be processed before Plat's and Plat's before Golds, etc. If not, there is a serious breakdown in the system, IMHO.

Originally Posted by AA53
I do know that sometimes when purchasing an advance fare coach ticket, business class is offered for miles/copay and VIP is offered only on waitlist. Makes sense from AA's point of view.
OK, this is incorrect. Both types of upgrades are taken out of "C" inventory (for coach to business). If there is "C" inventory available, then the upgrade can be confirmed, no matter what the currency used is. If there is no "C" inventory available, then it must be waitlisted. And in fact, contrary to your statement, there is often "hidden" C inventory available for EXPs only. So it's possible (quite probable, actually) that an EXP using a VIP can confirm an upgrade while a Plat using miles/copay will have to waitlist.
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Old Oct 1, 06, 5:35 pm
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michaelFL welcome to FlyerTalk...I think...1 post with a registration date of Aug '04 ?...
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Old Oct 1, 06, 5:56 pm
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Back in February 2005 I did a mileage run ORD-DFW-LGW-DFW-ORD. I was waitlisted for the segment LGW-DFW Y>C on a B777 and was Platinum at the time.

The morning of my departure from ORD I did a last minute check on ExpertFlyer and saw a C2 for AA51, LGW-DFW. I immediately called AA to grab the upgrade for the flight. This reservation had been booked before the co-pay and I always wondered if this had anything to do with me not being automatically upgraded and having to call. The agent still tried to charge me the co-pay and wanted to know how I knew that there were 2 C class available (asked if I was a travel agent).

My point here is that there are a lot of things that AA can do to enhance revenue and 99% of the flyers will not know that they got screwed. I hope that this is not what is going on with their reservation upgrading system.
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Old Oct 1, 06, 6:06 pm
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Originally Posted by ijgordon
Yes, pi55ing off your best customers - most likely EXPs using those VIPs - makes lots of sense. This presumes that non-EXPs using mileage upgrades are higher on the priority list. It isn't clear from the original post, and I would think that 7 other EXPs on an upgrade waitlist would be highly unusual.
See my comments above. I could maybe understand processing mileage upgrades before eVIPs off the airport upgrade standby list within an elite level, but my understanding is that ALL EXPs are supposed to be processed before Plat's and Plat's before Golds, etc. If not, there is a serious breakdown in the system, IMHO.

OK, this is incorrect. Both types of upgrades are taken out of "C" inventory (for coach to business). If there is "C" inventory available, then the upgrade can be confirmed, no matter what the currency used is. If there is no "C" inventory available, then it must be waitlisted. And in fact, contrary to your statement, there is often "hidden" C inventory available for EXPs only. So it's possible (quite probable, actually) that an EXP using a VIP can confirm an upgrade while a Plat using miles/copay will have to waitlist.
I only know that on a trip to GLA this summer, a very high revenue EXP I know was told he could upgrade immediately when he purchased his ticket if he used miles but not with VIP. Maybe he got the wrong agent. I also thought they both came from C inventory. As for the first comment about alienating the best customers, I think it is all about the revenue. Many PLTs generate more revenue than EXPs. The truth is no one knows how the upgrade system REALLY works. I know gate agents have discretion.
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Old Oct 1, 06, 6:12 pm
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Originally Posted by AA53
I do know that sometimes when purchasing an advance fare coach ticket, business class is offered for miles/copay and VIP is offered only on waitlist. Makes sense from AA's point of view.
I just think that's so wrong. The point of a VIP is to be the same as miles+copay. The make it worth less degrades the value of a VIP, and that degrades the value of EXP.
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Old Oct 1, 06, 6:52 pm
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Originally Posted by BenjaminNYC
I just think that's so wrong. The point of a VIP is to be the same as miles+copay. The make it worth less degrades the value of a VIP, and that degrades the value of EXP.
I agree--I think it may be in keeping with AAs increasing focus on the infrequent traveler/those seeking "cAAttle cAAr" trAAnport (Southwest with assigned seating). I get a distinct impression at AA that providing a premium experience for loyal customers is so "90s".

In contrast, my experience at UA the past few weeks is just the opposite-earnest attempts to thank the most loyal customers for their business, staff going out of their way to enhance the experience, and even the 1K reservations agents doing way better than the past few years..
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Old Oct 1, 06, 7:07 pm
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Originally Posted by nbevan
So if your VIP hasn't cleared, is the waitlist priority for VIPs at the airport just determined by check in time?

As far as I can tell. The LHR upgrade needs to have the tax paid for after check-in
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Old Oct 1, 06, 7:10 pm
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Originally Posted by Paul3456
This certainly makes sense from a financial standpoint for AA. Does anyone know if this is standard upgrade procedure, processing mileage upgrades before eVIPs?
While checking on my FRA flight this week, I asked the EP desk about the VIP07 vs. miles question. To my surprise, miles trump VIP's. The reason is that miles are considered $$$, either miles w/ copay or just miles. VIP's are 'free upgrades'.....
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