Has AA seriously dropped upgrade availability?

 
Old Aug 8, 08, 3:56 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
Hyatt Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Victoria, B.C.
Programs: Hyatt Globalist, AA Gold LT
Posts: 1,712
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
smilee is offline  
Old Aug 8, 08, 4:44 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Programs: AA Plt
Posts: 345
Originally Posted by smilee View Post
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!
Ajohn is offline  
Old Aug 8, 08, 4:54 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 515
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.
Night Flyer is offline  
Old Aug 8, 08, 5:02 pm
  #4  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: SJC/VCE
Programs: AA PLT (2.9+ MM), HH GLD, Hyatt Diamond, SPG PLT
Posts: 10,161
Originally Posted by smilee View Post
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.
bdemaria is offline  
Old Aug 8, 08, 10:10 pm
  #5  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: NYC
Programs: AA PLT
Posts: 1,615
Originally Posted by smilee View Post
Has AA seriously reduced the upgrade inventory?
Yes.

We need to band together.
Gandhi90s is offline  
Old Aug 8, 08, 10:14 pm
  #6  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: MSY (finally); previously BOS, NYC, AUH
Programs: AA EXP, 5MM; BA GLD
Posts: 16,069
Originally Posted by Gandhi90s View Post
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.
Blumie is offline  
Old Aug 8, 08, 11:29 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: OKC/DFW
Programs: AA EXP/2 MM
Posts: 9,999
Originally Posted by Blumie View Post
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.
oklAAhoma is offline  
Old Aug 9, 08, 12:19 am
  #8  
Original Poster
Hyatt Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Victoria, B.C.
Programs: Hyatt Globalist, AA Gold LT
Posts: 1,712
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
smilee is offline  
Old Aug 9, 08, 1:01 am
  #9  
tt7
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: MEL
Posts: 2,441
Originally Posted by smilee View Post
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.
tt7 is offline  
Old Aug 9, 08, 7:20 am
  #10  
Original Member
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: Goshen,New York
Programs: AA 2 Million-miler , SPG Platinum, Marriott Gold, Hyatt Diamond
Posts: 1,000
It's a given and it will only get worse; unfortunately.
DENROC is offline  
Old Aug 9, 08, 7:26 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Dallas, TX
Programs: AA EXP, SPG Plat, Marriott Plat, Hertz 5*
Posts: 234
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.
wlciii is offline  
Old Aug 9, 08, 8:30 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: SAT
Programs: AA PLT, BA Gold, TK Gold, Hyatt Gold, Hilton Gold, Gold SPG, AS 75K, QR PLT
Posts: 5,823
Originally Posted by tt7 View Post
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?
Deltahater is offline  
Old Aug 9, 08, 9:05 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: AA Lifetime PLT , BA Silver , BD RIP , HH Gold, SPG / Marriott PLT , EF Subscriber
Posts: 6,631
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.
UncleDude is offline  
Old Sep 1, 08, 2:17 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: A City near you, at least for right now.
Programs: LT Platinum Marriott/Starwood; Exec Plat AA; LT Plat AA
Posts: 365
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...
TooMuchTravel73 is offline  
Old Sep 1, 08, 2:27 pm
  #15  
Moderator: American AAdvantage, TAP, Mexico, Technical Support and Feedback, and The Suggestion Box
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: NorCal - SMF area
Programs: AA LT Plat; HH LT Diamond, Maître-plongeur des Muccis
Posts: 62,789
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 View Post
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 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: