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-   -   Has AA seriously dropped upgrade availability? (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/american-airlines-aadvantage-pre-consolidation-usair/853614-has-aa-seriously-dropped-upgrade-availability.html)

smilee Aug 8, 08 3:56 pm

Has AA seriously dropped upgrade availability?
 
With the upcoming award changes, I was looking at booking some flights for next spring/summer. There is just about 0 availability for 4 upgradeable seats :( for the months of February, March, April, May, and June of next year. I looked at routes

DFW/ORD/JFK -- LHR
DFW/ORD/ JFK - FRA
MIA - MAD
LAX - LHR

After a good 4 hours, I quit.

I used to think AA was one of the most generous with providing upgradeable seats which is why I switched my loyalty over. I was sure that I used to see pretty darn good upgrade availability on AA. I know some routes like DFW/LAX-NRT or LAX-LHR are tough.

Does anyone have any insight into this. Is this just a bad time to be looking for next year?
Has AA seriously reduced the upgrade inventory?
HELP

Ajohn Aug 8, 08 4:44 pm


Originally Posted by smilee (Post 10172925)
With the upcoming award changes, I was looking at booking some flights for next spring/summer. There is just about 0 availability for 4 upgradeable seats :( for the months of February, March, April, May, and June of next year. I looked at routes

DFW/ORD/JFK -- LHR
DFW/ORD/ JFK - FRA
MIA - MAD
LAX - LHR

After a good 4 hours, I quit.

I used to think AA was one of the most generous with providing upgradeable seats which is why I switched my loyalty over. I was sure that I used to see pretty darn good upgrade availability on AA. I know some routes like DFW/LAX-NRT or LAX-LHR are tough.

Does anyone have any insight into this. Is this just a bad time to be looking for next year?
Has AA seriously reduced the upgrade inventory?
HELP

Is there business (or first -- I'm not sure to which you're trying to upgrade) availability with a Mile SAAver award? If you couldn't find a premium award for any of those routes over a four month time frame, I'd be significantly surprised. Upgrade availability, on the other hand, often opens up closer to the leave time. I know it's frustrating when you want to get things sorted before the increases, but remember that if you put in your request before Oct. 1 and it clears afterwards (I know, not ideal), you'll be charged the old rate. Here's to you getting your comfortable seat!

Night Flyer Aug 8, 08 4:54 pm

I've never known AA to make more than 3 business award seats available on the LAX-LHR route when the schedule loads; more recently it seems to be 2. I have seen 4 such seats loaded on the ORD-LHR and JFK-LHR routes in the past but again, more recently when I've looked there seem to be fewer.

Also some of the months you're looking at have been loaded for several months so the rest of the world has had a headstart on you grabbing those seats. We're into the first week in July loading now.

I have the same problem with a family of 4, sometimes I will book 2 on the earlier flight and 2 on the later flight and consolidate (or not) in the week before the flight if unsold seats get dumped into award inventory. Barring irregular operations you get there a few hours apart.

bdemaria Aug 8, 08 5:02 pm


Originally Posted by smilee (Post 10172925)
With the upcoming award changes, I was looking at booking some flights for next spring/summer. There is just about 0 availability for 4 upgradeable seats :( for the months of February, March, April, May, and June of next year. I looked at routes

DFW/ORD/JFK -- LHR
DFW/ORD/ JFK - FRA
MIA - MAD
LAX - LHR

After a good 4 hours, I quit.

I used to think AA was one of the most generous with providing upgradeable seats which is why I switched my loyalty over. I was sure that I used to see pretty darn good upgrade availability on AA. I know some routes like DFW/LAX-NRT or LAX-LHR are tough.

Does anyone have any insight into this. Is this just a bad time to be looking for next year?
Has AA seriously reduced the upgrade inventory?
HELP

I'm not sure where you are looking. I just did a quick search of EF, for DFW-LHR w/random dates in late April. Yes, in certain cases I see C0 but I'm seeing a lot of C4 via ORD for example.

Gandhi90s Aug 8, 08 10:10 pm


Originally Posted by smilee (Post 10172925)
Has AA seriously reduced the upgrade inventory?

Yes.

We need to band together.

Blumie Aug 8, 08 10:14 pm


Originally Posted by Gandhi90s (Post 10174263)
Yes.

We need to band together.

Perhaps we should start a petition and insist that AA stop flying with so many empty seats in F. I don't know about the rest of you, but I haven't scored an upgrade since I last flew last week.

oklAAhoma Aug 8, 08 11:29 pm


Originally Posted by Blumie (Post 10174278)
I don't know about the rest of you, but I haven't scored an upgrade since I last flew last week.

My situation is not quite that dire... but almost. I haven't been upgraded since this morning. :eek: :eek:

smilee Aug 9, 08 12:19 am

Sorry, should have clarified, I was looking at upgradeable economy to business so I was looking for C availability. I did see one or two "C4" in that time but very few.

Last year I remember seeing many dates which is why I shifted my business to AA, now that we have some miles that we can use, I do not see the availability :(

tt7 Aug 9, 08 1:01 am


Originally Posted by smilee (Post 10174556)
Sorry, should have clarified, I was looking at upgradeable economy to business so I was looking for C availability.

No need to clarify - everybody knew that.

Despite the pointless and unhelpful sarcasm from some, your point is well-taken. There appears to be somewhat of a reduction in the advance availability of upgrade inventory, particularly on certain routes. Unfortunately, that means that no matter how flexible you may be able to be, you may be increasingly forced to play the 'lottery' and hope that you've picked the 'right' flight on the 'right' day and that your upgrade eventually clears.

DENROC Aug 9, 08 7:20 am

It's a given and it will only get worse; unfortunately.

wlciii Aug 9, 08 7:26 am

In the long run, the only thing that changes upgrade inventory on AA is people's buying behavior. Just before a plane departs, all unoccupied business or first class seats are available for you to upgrade into. If AA holds those seats longer than they used to because they think they have a chance of selling them and thereby helping their profit margin, more power to them--in case you haven't noticed international business and first are the lifeblood of AA and many other airlines and to expect them *not* to protect that would be crazy.

Remember that, if AA does not reduce overall capacity as fast a people stop buying tickets, upgrade inventory will actually increase.

Deltahater Aug 9, 08 8:30 am


Originally Posted by tt7 (Post 10174616)
No need to clarify - everybody knew that.

Despite the pointless and unhelpful sarcasm from some, your point is well-taken. There appears to be somewhat of a reduction in the advance availability of upgrade inventory, particularly on certain routes. .

Why do you think sarcasm is unhelpful? :)

UncleDude Aug 9, 08 9:05 am

Perhaps you could split into 2 Parties of 2, its not the end of the world for a family/friends to have to fly seperately. After all you will be in seperate seats on the aircraft anyhow.

TooMuchTravel73 Sep 1, 08 2:17 pm

So my wife wants to go back to Thailand with me.. and I was hunting for C upgrades from XXX to NRT... Curiously I'm seeing frequently that there are "zero" C upgrades from LAX/DFW/ORD to NRT (using Expert Flyer) Called the Exp Desk (just to make sure EF wasnt broken) and alas they confirmed that there were no C class seats.

I seem to recall the day (which has apparently passed) where there were almost always 3 C's per plane.

I was on one FRA to JFK flight, where my C didn't process; but alas, business wasn't full. Now that makes little sense to me, unless AA really isn't wanting us to use the C upgrades as easily. Whats the logic in having empty seats in business and a Exp in coach wanting to use the eVIP upgrade?

Two thoughts come to mind, they want me to pay the $$ and the miles to do it; and they know that there isn't a better FF program out there (with the upgrade seats out there) so I can't switch...

JDiver Sep 1, 08 2:27 pm

It's really difficult to comment, given you haven't provided any dates, etc. But RM affects all of that, so how many C seats might exist would depend on seasonality, day of week, others grabbing them up - whether using VIPs or miles + copay.


Originally Posted by TooMuchTravel73 (Post 10293091)
So my wife wants to go back to Thailand with me.. and I was hunting for C upgrades from XXX to NRT... Curiously I'm seeing frequently that there are "zero" C upgrades from LAX/DFW/ORD to NRT (using Expert Flyer) Called the Exp Desk (just to make sure EF wasnt broken) and alas they confirmed that there were no C class seats.

I seem to recall the day (which has apparently passed) where there were almost always 3 C's per plane.

I was on one FRA to JFK flight, where my C didn't process; but alas, business wasn't full. Now that makes little sense to me, unless AA really isn't wanting us to use the C upgrades as easily. Whats the logic in having empty seats in business and a Exp in coach wanting to use the eVIP upgrade?

Two thoughts come to mind, they want me to pay the $$ and the miles to do it; and they know that there isn't a better FF program out there (with the upgrade seats out there) so I can't switch...



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