Earning PLAT on 2nd to last leg of international Trip - Lounge Access?

 
Old Nov 12, 08, 9:03 am
  #1  
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Earning PLAT on 2nd to last leg of international Trip - Lounge Access?

Hello,

I signed up for the Plat Challenge last week (one month too late to do it for free). I then jumped on a plane to Thailand. On the return trip, I fly to HKK, followed by SFO, then finally LAX.

I will earn the neccesary points to reach my plat challenge on the flight from HKK to SFO - And while in SFO i have a 3.5 hour layover. Since at that time i would technically be a PLAT - would i be able to get lounge access? Or will i need to wait until my flights post? (I fly back out to BKK 1 week later, so I should be good by then).

Thanks in advance!

Jeremy
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Old Nov 12, 08, 9:06 am
  #2  
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You'll need to wait for the miles to post.

You can try persuasion, but the agent at the AC would be following the rules correctly if she denied you lounge access.
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Old Nov 12, 08, 9:07 am
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Originally Posted by jcooper90 View Post
Since at that time i would technically be a PLAT - would i be able to get lounge access? Or will i need to wait until my flights post?
Sorry, but you're a Plat when the AAdvantage systems says you're a Plat - within 3 or 4 business days of taking the qualifying AA flight. It will be longer if it's a partner operated AA codeshare that gets you the needed points on a challenge. Enjoy the benefits of newly gained status - just not as quickly as you hoped.
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Old Nov 12, 08, 9:12 am
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Thats what i was afraid of. At least ill be back in the air heading overseas again right after thanksgiving..

Thanks for the quick replys!
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Old Nov 12, 08, 9:18 am
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Originally Posted by jcooper90 View Post
Thats what i was afraid of. At least ill be back in the air heading overseas again right after thanksgiving..

Thanks for the quick replys!
If you're doing the challenge and you want lounge access on a flight the week after, you should call AA right after the miles post and make sure that your status gets updated.

AA's system does periodic sweeps to change status based on the various criteria, and it wouldn't do you much good if the challenge wasn't properly registered as completed by the time you check in for your flight to BKK.
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Old Nov 12, 08, 11:14 am
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Plato - Great suggestion - Do you know if these "sweeps" are automated, or if the are manually initiated? The reason i ask is the week i am back is thanksgiving, and I imagine staffing levels will be reduced.

I have heard very good stories about the international lounge in HKK with Cathay, and am looking forward to vistiting.

I'll give them a ring mid week, and check to see if they can update.

Thanks again from BKK!
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Old Nov 12, 08, 12:20 pm
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Originally Posted by jcooper90 View Post
Plato - Great suggestion - Do you know if these "sweeps" are automated, or if the are manually initiated? The reason i ask is the week i am back is thanksgiving, and I imagine staffing levels will be reduced.
Automated, on a schedule. There will probably be reduced staffing, but you don't want to take the chance that the status isn't updated when you check in. Call at least 3 days before departure, and double check the day after on AA.com to verify status has updated. If it hasn't - call again.
Originally Posted by jcooper90 View Post
I have heard very good stories about the international lounge in HKK with Cathay, and am looking forward to vistiting.
There are 2 lounges in HKG, and if you have enough transit time, it'd be interesting to see both to see which one you like better. The layout is very different since the Wing is in an open air space but the Pier is fully enclosed.
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Old Nov 12, 08, 3:35 pm
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The AAngels at the SFO AC are extremely friendly and helpful but they also play by the rules. You could throw yourself on the mercy of the court but, odds are, you won't get in (without shelling out $50). If it eases the pain, the lounge itself is nothing to get excited about. Incredible staff, very good drinks at the bar, but not much in the way of amenities. There's a bar right next door and it is just as good a place to kill a few hours.

I'm not a huge fan of the Cathay lounges in HKG but the little soup bar is a nice touch.

Just one other note, a few years back, I flew right after making Plat the first time (it had already processed and appeared on AA.com) but when I got to the airport, my boarding pass still had Gold on it and I obviously didn't have the Plat card yet. I went to the JAL lounge (at NRT), told them I had just become Plat, and they called over to AA and I got in without a problem. Happy ending in my case, but it is something you might want to be aware of since you're flying so soon after your status updates.
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Old Nov 12, 08, 5:01 pm
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Won't help you for the SFO-LAX leg, but for your return, bring a hardcopy of your account statement from AA.Com showing Platm or better yet, the email you get when your status kicks in. The card can take a few weeks, and the partners computers probably don't update for a week or so after it's showing updated with AA.

I made ExPlat while on a trip last month, and fortunately had the email from AA with me on the iPhone. Check-in agent gave me a little bit of hard time because their computers weren't updated yet, but proof helped resolve that.
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Old Nov 13, 08, 1:15 am
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Best of luck to the OP but it really comes down to the discretion of the AAngel. If you wanna give yourself a fighting chance, bring a printed copy of your AAdvantage account and the boarding passes from your other flights that haven't yet posted. Don't expect anything but it can't hurt to try!
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Old Nov 13, 08, 5:25 am
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Technically you are supposed to produce the elite card itself for access, not just what the boarding pass says. So that would be a wait of a couple weeks after the flight posts online (usually 3 days after the actual flight).

There are always a chance for a softiy that lets it slide, just so you know you don't have room to complain if the (proper) answer is "no".

Steve
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Old Nov 13, 08, 8:26 am
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Originally Posted by steve32 View Post
Technically you are supposed to produce the elite card itself for access, not just what the boarding pass says. So that would be a wait of a couple weeks after the flight posts online (usually 3 days after the actual flight).

There are always a chance for a softiy that lets it slide, just so you know you don't have room to complain if the (proper) answer is "no".

Steve
Maybe 2-3% of the lounge staff agents (AC+oneworld) actually asks to see the card. If the status is printed on the BP or in their computer system, that's good enough.

That's why it would be best for the OP to make sure it's in the system even if he doesn't have his card.
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Old Nov 13, 08, 10:44 am
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I happened to call the gold line today to get some seat assignments on my next trip, and happened to pose this question to the gold operator. She flat out told me that Plat's and Exec Plats do not get lounge access unless they buy a membership -

I was shocked! Unfortunately, my internet connection is slow, (VOIP taking all the bandwidth) and i couldn't pull up the benefits doc - but she was so very adament about it!

I was polite, and said, "I hope you are wrong!", and thankfully was able to verify that she was wrong (i didnt think all you you would be wrong as well!).

So if AA is reading this - Let the folks at the Gold desk know a little more about the oneworld benefits of platinum status!!

Thanks again for everyone's quick responses!
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Old Nov 13, 08, 11:02 am
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Originally Posted by jcooper90 View Post

So if AA is reading this - Let the folks at the Gold desk know a little more about the oneworld benefits of platinum status!!
You do have to realize that one agent not being familiar with a particular rule is not indicative of the "Gold desk" being unaware. If you read more here you will see innumerable stories about agents at all "desks" (GLD, PLT, EXP) being unaware of particular rules are particular times. Not everyone will know everything. That's why the FT mantra is "if you don't like the answer you get, politely hang up and call again."

I can't count the GAs who were not aware that EXP were not charged stickers for upgrades. Why? Because they just put in the requests and have nothing to do with the debiting system. Similarly, reservation agents should know just about everything regarding the reservation process...but may not know about flight-related rules.

Cheers.
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Old Nov 13, 08, 12:43 pm
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Originally Posted by jcooper90 View Post
I happened to call the gold line today to get some seat assignments on my next trip, and happened to pose this question to the gold operator. She flat out told me that Plat's and Exec Plats do not get lounge access unless they buy a membership
Isn't she's sorta right, though? Status alone doesn't get you lounge access for purely domestic travel in the US/Canada.
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