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FAQ: American Airlines and AAdvantage - Please check here first!

FAQ: American Airlines and AAdvantage - Please check here first!

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Frequently Asked Questions: American Airlines and AAdvantage
Please check here first: resources, thread links, etc.

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Old May 28, 09, 11:21 pm
  #61  
Moderator: American AAdvantage and New York City
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Programs: AA PLT, Natl EC
Posts: 10,463
• What are the chances that my flight will be overbooked or oversold?

It’s important to recognize that, just because you do not have a seat assignment does not necessarily mean your flight is overbooked; AA sets aside a certain number of seats on each aircraft (often bulkhead and last row) for ‘airport control’, and those seats are generally only assigned upon arrival at the airport or even at the gate. A more useful way to judge overbooked flights is to check inventory using tools such as the subscription services ExpertFlyer or KVS Availability Tool. If Full Fare Economy inventory is zeroed out (Y0) or close to it, then the flight is probably overbooked. Of course, this may change at any time!

All airlines generally overbook flights knowing that a certain fraction of passengers will no-show, misconnect, or cancel. AA will overbook the Y cabin but not F or J. A flight only becomes oversold when more passengers show up at the gate than there are seats on the plane. In some cases, weight restrictions may further limit the number of passengers that can be accommodated. The gate agent will then ask for volunteers to take a later flight (VDB, Voluntarily Denied Boarding), in exchange for a dollar-denominated voucher, redeemable for any AA flight within one year. The offered compensation amount may increase if not enough initial volunteers are found, but all VDB passengers should receive the same amount in the end. Some suggest that, if you are seeking a bump, you can volunteer proactively with the gate agent in case the flight becomes oversold. It is also advisable to get your boarding pass for your new flight prior to giving up your seat on your oversold flight.

Subsequently, if enough volunteers are not found, the gate agent will involuntarily bump passengers from the flight (IDB, Involuntarily Denied Boarding), according to a specific priority order. Each is entitled to compensation under U.S. Department of Transportation rules, based on the length of the delay.

At some point during the overall process, the gate agent may also ‘roll forward’ one or more cabins, giving operational upgrades to open up more seats in Economy. This is not necessarily done based on elite status but may instead be done in any way necessary to expedite departure, the gate agent's primary responsibility.

FT: What are my chances of VDB / overbooking / bump? (consolidated)
FT: Involuntary Denied Boarding (IDB) order and compensation (consolidated)

Last edited by dstan; Aug 14, 11 at 4:25 pm Reason: -m
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Old May 28, 09, 11:21 pm
  #62  
Moderator: American AAdvantage and New York City
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Programs: AA PLT, Natl EC
Posts: 10,463
• How are miles and points calculated?

This is a frequent source of confusion, as the View My Miles page on AA.com does not provide a detailed breakdown of miles and points credited for each flight. There are three important terms to understand:
EQM = elite qualifying miles
EQP = elite qualifying points
RDM = redeemable miles
AAdvantage members can qualify for annual elite status based on EQM, EQP, or segments. In general, the only way to earn EQM and EQP is by flying (butt-in-seat). Conversely, RDM are miles from all sources (flying, bonuses, credit cards, etc.) and these are the miles that can be redeemed for awards. Note especially that Challenges are based solely on EQP (not EQM). Lifetime status is currently based on RDM, but will begin adding only base flight miles to existing totals as of December 1, 2011.

A detailed explanation of mileage and point calculations can be found in the wiki page below. The basics are as follows: Passengers earn one EQM and one RDM for each mile flown on AA; elite members receive a minimum of 500 EQM and 500 RDM per segment. Passengers also earn EQP based on the fare class purchased (not flown), resulting in a de facto minimum of 250, 500, or 750 EQP for elite members. Elites and those purchasing premium fares also receive bonus RDM.

Passengers can also receive EQM, EQP, and RDM on oneworld partners and Alaska Airlines, subject to certain fare restrictions and accrual rules. Passengers on other non-oneworld partner airlines receive RDM only, and no EQM or EQP.

For flight entries on the View My Miles page, the Mileage column shows actual miles flown while the Bonus column shows elite minimum and bonus RDM lumped together. Many FlyerTalkers maintain their own spreadsheets and save intermediate versions of their AA statements (or YTD values) to ensure that all of their flights post correctly.

To make things a bit easier, FlyerTalk member McFlyPHL has created a Excel spreadsheet for tracking AAdvantage miles and points, and another version includes some enhancements by member brp:
AAdvantage Miles Tracker v1.9.xls
AAdvantage Miles Tracker v1.3brp.xls
Wiki: Miles and Points
AA.com: EQP Accrual Chart | RDM Accrual Chart | Airline Partner Accrual Rules
AA.com: 2009 Changes to Minimum Mileage Guarantee
FT: Help Desk: AA miles and points math

Last edited by dstan; Jan 24, 13 at 10:59 pm Reason: bniu app no longer available
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Old May 28, 09, 11:21 pm
  #63  
Moderator: American AAdvantage and New York City
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Programs: AA PLT, Natl EC
Posts: 10,463
• How do I request compensation for a problem or compliment an AA employee?

AA Customer Relations (not to be confused with AAdvantage Customer Service) is the appropriate contact point for all complaints and compliments, and can be reached easily via the AA.com website. Passengers experiencing problems generally achieve best results when providing a concise, factual, and dispassionate explanation of the problem rather than a long, emotional rant. Passengers can expect to receive an initial automated response within a few minutes, followed by a specific response within a few days. Sometimes, the passenger will receive a boilerplate response that does not address the specific issue, in which case, another email should be sent with a polite request to reread the complaint. AA will sometimes provide compensation proactively to passengers that experience major delays or problems with onboard equipment. Compensation may be in the form of a dollar-denominated voucher, redeemable for any AA flight within one year, or in the form of a mileage credit, and there is no set formula for the compensation instrument or amount.

AA provides its elite members with AApplause certificates that can be given to any AA employee for exceptional service. These are essentially raffle tickets for a monthly drawing for AAdvantage miles. AA employees report that, while they appreciate the sentiment of those giving AApplause certificates, a more meaningful way to express compliments to an AA employee is via an email or letter to AA Customer Relations.

Wiki: Compensation
AA.com: AA Customer Relations
FT: AApplause Certificates employee recognition program
FT: Kudos / Compliments to AA employees (consolidated)
FT: Guide to, and listing of, compensation 2012-present (consolidated) [AA Guide to Compensation.xls (2003–2007 by JGR01)]

Last edited by dstan; Mar 4, 12 at 4:25 pm Reason: new 2012-present compensation thread
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Old May 28, 09, 11:22 pm
  #64  
Moderator: American AAdvantage and New York City
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Programs: AA PLT, Natl EC
Posts: 10,463
• I was rerouted, can I still get my AA miles?

Yes! Although officially cited as a one-time exception, passengers routinely receive their originally planned AA mileage credit when rerouted involuntarily onto another AA flight or even onto another airline. At the time of rerouting, the passenger should ask the agent to make a notation in the PNR that this is an ‘involuntary reroute’ and that ‘original routing credit’ is to be granted. After the flight is complete, the passenger should then call AAdvantage Customer Service (+1 800-882-8880) and request ‘original routing credit due to an involuntary reroute’. Of course, there is no need to do this if the passenger ends up receiving more miles than originally planned due to the reroute!

FT: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/ameri...solidated.html
FT: Original routing credit denied – Is there anything else I can do? (consolidated)

Last edited by JY1024; Feb 7, 14 at 3:03 pm
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Old May 28, 09, 11:22 pm
  #65  
Moderator: American AAdvantage and New York City
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Programs: AA PLT, Natl EC
Posts: 10,463
• How long does it take for miles and points to post to my account?

Miles and points for AA flights generally post to your account within 24 hours after a flight. Previously, it took 2-3 days for AA flights to post, and this new system was phased in beginning in May 2010.

Miles and points earned from partners, including other airlines, may take a week or longer to post. See the wiki page below for links to individual threads on mileage posting from some airline partners.

Wiki: Miles and Points
FT: Miles now posting right away (May 2010, phasing in)
FT: How long does it take for AAdvantage miles to post?

Last edited by dstan; Nov 6, 10 at 2:43 pm Reason: AA flights now posting faster
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Old May 28, 09, 11:22 pm
  #66  
Moderator: American AAdvantage and New York City
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Programs: AA PLT, Natl EC
Posts: 10,463
• Why is my AAdvantage account showing all zeroes?

AA uses a rather archaic computer system. As a result, during regular monthly account updates, often on Saturdays, some accounts will appear to be zeroed out. This situation is completely normal and rectifies itself within a day or two after the update is complete.

FT: 0 miles / gone / missing in AAdvantage account? [2014 master thread]

Last edited by JDiver; Apr 4, 14 at 10:11 pm Reason: add new thread link
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Old May 28, 09, 11:22 pm
  #67  
Moderator: American AAdvantage and New York City
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Programs: AA PLT, Natl EC
Posts: 10,463
• How do I keep my miles from expiring?

It’s very easy to prevent AAdvantage miles from expiring! You don’t need to fly – simply have any activity (earning or redemption) in your account at least every 18 months. There are many ways to do this, including carrying and using an AAdvantage credit or debit card, dining at a participating restaurant in the AA Rewards Network, or buying something online through AAdvantage eShopping.

Wiki: Earning Non-Air Mileage
AA.com: Mileage Expiration Policy | Partners and Mileage Programs
FT: Best ways to prevent miles from expiring (consolidated)
FT: How to prevent miles expiring -- without thinking about it
FT: Preventing mileage expiration for Canadian AAdvantage members
FT: Preventing mileage expiration for UK and other non-US AAdvantage members

Last edited by dstan; Dec 31, 13 at 10:42 am Reason: no more iTunes miles
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Old May 28, 09, 11:22 pm
  #68  
Moderator: American AAdvantage and New York City
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Programs: AA PLT, Natl EC
Posts: 10,463
• My miles expired, can I get them reinstated?

There are currently two ways to reinstate expired miles. First, members can pay a fee to Reactivate Miles immediately. Second, members can register for a Reengagement Challenge and complete certain requirements within 12 months. After that, be sure to see “How do I keep my miles from expiring?” above!

Wiki: AAdvantage Program Basics: Mileage Reinstatement
AA.com: Reactivate Expired AAdvantage Miles (through December 31, 2011)
FT: Reactivate expired miles for a fee (consolidated)
FT: Reengagement Challenges to reactivate / restore expired miles (consolidated)

Last edited by dstan; Aug 14, 11 at 4:26 pm Reason: -m
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Old May 28, 09, 11:22 pm
  #69  
Moderator: American AAdvantage and New York City
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Programs: AA PLT, Natl EC
Posts: 10,463
• Where can I get my complete AA account history?

AA.com only retains account records online for six months. Thus, many AAdvantage members will save a PDF copy of their account statement each month for their records. Older statements are available for a fee by calling AAdvantage Customer Service. An 18-month summary report requires 2-3 weeks to deliver. Statements from the last 3 years are provided in the form of screen shots. Older statements may be available on microfiche.

Individual flight histories can also be tracked using FlightMemory.com, a free website with attractive graphical displays and annual summaries. Extensive data can be uploaded from spreadsheets for a fee.

FT: Any way to get AA flight / account history? (consolidated)

Last edited by dstan; Oct 1, 10 at 6:04 pm Reason: New entry
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Old May 28, 09, 11:22 pm
  #70  
Moderator: American AAdvantage and New York City
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Programs: AA PLT, Natl EC
Posts: 10,463
• How can I get AA.com to remember my AAdvantage number and password?

Currently, AA.com only offers a checkbox that will enable the website to remember your AAdvantage number on the next login only. You will need to select the checkbox each time you log in and, as of several years ago, the website no longer allows password remembering features that are built into many browsers.

There is a workaround for the browser-based account number and password remembering issue, involving the installation of a Greasemonkey script for Firefox called “Allow Password Remembering”. Note that use of this workaround is at the individual’s own risk and is not supported or endorsed by AA or FlyerTalk! Of course, it is not recommended for use on public and/or shared computers.

FT: AA.com Website: Glitch, bug, fix reports and more (consolidated)

Last edited by dstan; Dec 31, 10 at 1:56 pm Reason: new entry
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Old May 29, 09, 12:26 am
  #71  
Moderator: American AAdvantage and New York City
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Programs: AA PLT, Natl EC
Posts: 10,463
Exclamation This thread is now open!

On behalf of the AA Moderator team, welcome to the new AA FAQ!

As stated in the OP, if you have suggestions, corrections, etc. for this FAQ, please post them here and quote the relevant FAQ entry. We're interested in feedback on all aspects of the FAQ, including questions we've missed, incorrect or incomplete information, readability, and ease of navigation. Please note that these trailing posts will be removed eventually to keep this thread focused and concise.

Please do not post your specific travel questions here, but rather continue to direct them to the relevant dedicated threads on those topics.

Many thanks,
dstan
AA Forum Co-Moderator
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Old May 29, 09, 12:40 am
  #72  
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: SNA, LAX
Programs: AA EXP
Posts: 1,291
dstsan, Thank you and an excellent start. We should add a section just on upgrade priority since this is a often asked question. My novice list so far:

1. Paid F
2. EXP
3. EXP Companion?
4. PLT - using stickers
5. PLT - using miles?
...?
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Old May 29, 09, 8:24 am
  #73  
brp
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: SJC
Programs: AA EXP (through 2018, anyway, then...?)
Posts: 32,312
Originally Posted by dstan View Post
• Does AA offer status matches or Challenges?


FT: AA GLD & PLT Elite Status Challenges
I'm not sure if something is in the works with regard to the existing Challenge thread, but it's no longer useful, IMO. I'd sent a PM to JDiver about this a few weeks back, and he said things were underfoot- and I assume that he was referring to this fantastic main thread. Kudos to you, dstan!

The challenge thread is so long and unwieldy, though, as to have little value. All of the answers are in there, they're just hard to find. I realize that it is a fair amount of work, but a streamlined thread would be more useful as a sticky, I think.

Cheers.
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Old May 29, 09, 8:53 am
  #74  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Programs: AA 1.1 MM/LT Gold
Posts: 2,593
Kudos to you, dstan! This is an excellent resource for newcomers and seasoned FT'ers alike. Well done!
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Old May 29, 09, 3:10 pm
  #75  
Moderator: American AAdvantage and New York City
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Programs: AA PLT, Natl EC
Posts: 10,463
Originally Posted by riteshraja View Post
dstsan, Thank you and an excellent start. We should add a section just on upgrade priority since this is a often asked question. My novice list so far:

1. Paid F
2. EXP
3. EXP Companion?
4. PLT - using stickers
5. PLT - using miles?
...?
Thanks, riteshraja. I think that one is addressed here:

How does the upgrade waitlist work?

AFAIK, miles vs stickers is entirely dependent on which inventory becomes available first, and that is mentioned in the latter part of that post.

In general, we don't want to go into too much gorey detail in the FAQ - there are links to the wiki that should address the finer points, like -T status, etc.

Keep 'em coming!
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