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AirPass Prepaid Travel (née AAirpass, not Lifetime Airpass) Master Thread

Old Dec 1, 2015, 8:52 am
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Last edit by: Shawn02139
American Airlines AirPass PrePaid Travel

NOTE: The program is Airpass; no longer named "AAirpass"
Link to AirPass front page

Link to aa.com AirPass contact and links page.

Prepaid, Unrestricted Air Travel at a Fixed Rate

As an AirPass member, you won’t have to search for fares or pay extra for last-minute trips. Your airfare is pre-paid at a fixed rate and your account is ready when you need to travel to any of the more than 350 destinations in the combined American Airlines and US Airways network.
AirPass offers significant savings on fares (as well as guaranteed last seat availability) for flyers who know they will fly a lot but find themselves buying expensive last minute walk-up level fares.

AirPass, depending on level of purchase, includes status and may include up to Executive Platinum status and Admirals Club membership, or even Concierge Key, which includes both.

AirPass members get a courtesy drink and a snack if they're traveling in Coach, much as Executive Platinums do; unlike Executive Platinums, their traveling companion does also.

14 Jan 2016 jmappleby said: "...they take credit via wire transfer at $10k (Gold), $20k (Platinum), $30k (EP). Concierge Key is available for $50k individual spend or $75k team spend."
AirPass can be for different classes of service, and except for "PlanAAhead Economy", book into Y, J or F classes (and in 2016 will earn AA Elite Qualifying Miles at Y, J or F levels) and for Economy AirPass flyers offers "instant upgrade" fares that book into A for First or D for Business. These may not be available on all routes, however, and the legal routes may change during your contract.

Contact AirPass

AirPass Customer Service
800-433-6355
817-931-9029 - Fax

Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 5 p.m. (CT)

Send us a letter
FedEX / UPS / Overnight mail
American Airlines
AirPass Customer Service
4255 Amon Carter Blvd.
MD 4106
Fort Worth, TX 76155

U.S mail
American Airlines, Inc.
AirPass Customer Service
P.O. Box 619616
MD 4106
DFW Airport, TX 75261-9616
You can get indicative pricing here: https://airpass.aa.com/vt-customer/c...ervations.html
The best deal seems to be the -UP fares, where you pay the standard economy, but book a confirmed seat into business
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AirPass Prepaid Travel (née AAirpass, not Lifetime Airpass) Master Thread

Old May 31, 2021, 9:55 pm
  #751  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: STL/ORD/MCI/SAN
Programs: AA CK MM, AC SE100K, UA 1K, DL Plat, Hyatt Globalist, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Platinum
Posts: 1,986
Originally Posted by Centurion
So could someone clarify or verify the other poster who state you do not get your elite benefits if I buy a non air-pass ticket or on a award ticket?
The only restriction I mentioned was that SWUs are apparently not allowed on NextGen Airpass tickets.

AKAIK, you can still use all your other elite benefits, including 500 mile upgrades if you happened to have an Airpass ticket in Y.

Of course, on non-Airpass tickets, you still get all your elite benefits, including upgrades on award tickets for CK and EP. Being an Airpass member doesn’t somehow cancel all your other benefits.
metallo is offline  
Old May 31, 2021, 10:00 pm
  #752  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: STL/ORD/MCI/SAN
Programs: AA CK MM, AC SE100K, UA 1K, DL Plat, Hyatt Globalist, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Platinum
Posts: 1,986
Originally Posted by BlooJoo
Is this confirmed and official? A YUP/D cannot be upgraded to three-class F? Is this stated anywhere? Sucks because I do that a lot. Edit to add: I do not have a new contract; I've just been forced onto NexGen portal. I always called the CK desk to upgrade my YUP/D's with a SWU or miles. Would CK even know they're not upgradeable?
Take a look at my post above (#726) where I described what happened when I spoke with the CK desk about my J to F SWU never re-ticketing. That’s how I found out it’s no longer allowed on Airpass tickets.

When I called in to apply the SWU, the CK agent did it (apparently not being aware of the new rule). The ticket was never re-issued, so I contacted them again (did it via email and got the policy in writing from the CK “manager on duty” that SWUs are no longer allowed for Airpass).

Basically, if you want three class F, you have to buy the full fare F, or you could buy full fare J and get the F instant upgrade for the same price that books into A. You can’t book instant upgrade J and use a SWU for F anymore, though.
metallo is offline  
Old May 31, 2021, 10:10 pm
  #753  
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 222
Originally Posted by BlooJoo
Is this confirmed and official? A YUP/D cannot be upgraded to three-class F? Is this stated anywhere? Sucks because I do that a lot. Edit to add: I do not have a new contract; I've just been forced onto NexGen portal. I always called the CK desk to upgrade my YUP/D's with a SWU or miles. Would CK even know they're not upgradeable?
Yes, this is confirmed. It has nothing to do with agent/representative knowledge or willingness to help. In fact, read up thread a few days. CK/EP agents (which are the same agents that handle Airpass calls) apparently have mistakenly applied SWU/Mileage upgrade instruments to new NextGen tickets and despite the reservation showing the first class cabin the ticket will never re-issue and the upgrade never actually occurs because a new ticket number cannot be generated. These new NextGen Airpass tickets are automatically flagged as non-reissue-able and non-changeable by the ticketing system. To use a SWU or mileage upgrade (ie to book into A class) a reissue is required. No re-issue means no new ticket with the upgraded cabin which means no boarding pass in the ground control system which means no flying in the first class cabin. The original issued ticket in business class will prevail. It really sucks.

This is not spelled out anywhere in the new or old contracts but the internal AA M&Ps said that legacy Airpass reservations were upgradable up to issuance (which usually occurred a day prior to travel) either by miles, SWU or BizExtra (BE upgrades actually happen after issuance via a backend sabre loop process which has also now be fully automated/locked down by AA) but the AA M&Ps for the NextGen tickets say upgrades and/or changes/reissues are not allowed (which really defeats the original intention of Airpass which was suppose to be selling flexibility at a premium). The reason 500 miles/sticker upgrades (for non Y-UP economy to business upgrades) are still working (at least for the cardholder) is because those types of upgrades are handled quite differently and do not require a re-issued ticket (they are handled by the ground operations or 'day of travel' systems which actually kick in at around T-120ish prior to departure).

Any AA program (whether it be Airpass, Business Extra or AAdvantage) is based on mutual trust between the company and the customer to do the right thing. Sadly I think AA has severely breached that trust with the changes it's forced upon its once valuable Airpass customers.
_kurt and metallo like this.
FleyeSkyHigh is offline  
Old May 31, 2021, 10:17 pm
  #754  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: STL/ORD/MCI/SAN
Programs: AA CK MM, AC SE100K, UA 1K, DL Plat, Hyatt Globalist, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Platinum
Posts: 1,986
Originally Posted by FleyeSkyHigh
Yes, this is confirmed. It has nothing to do with agent/representative knowledge or willingness to help. In fact, read up thread a few days. CK/EP agents (which are the same agents that handle Airpass calls) apparently have mistakenly applied SWU/Mileage upgrade instruments to new NextGen tickets and despite the reservation showing the first class cabin the ticket will never re-issue and the upgrade never actually occurs because a new ticket number cannot be generated. These new NextGen Airpass tickets are automatically flagged as non-reissue-able and non-changeable by the ticketing system. To use a SWU or mileage upgrade (ie to book into A class) a reissue is required. No re-issue means no new ticket with the upgraded cabin which means no boarding pass in the ground control system which means no flying in the first class cabin. The original issued ticket in business class will prevail. It really sucks.

This is not spelled out anywhere in the new or old contracts but the internal AA M&Ps said that legacy Airpass reservations were upgradable up to issuance (which usually occurred a day prior to travel) either by miles, SWU or BizExtra (BE upgrades actually happen after issuance via a backend sabre loop process which has also now be fully automated/locked down by AA) but the AA M&Ps for the NextGen tickets say upgrades and/or changes/reissues are not allowed (which really defeats the original intention of Airpass which was suppose to be selling flexibility at a premium). The reason 500 miles/sticker upgrades (for non Y-UP economy to business upgrades) are still working (at least for the cardholder) is because those types of upgrades are handled quite differently and do not require a re-issued ticket (they are handled by the ground operations or 'day of travel' systems which actually kick in at around T-120ish prior to departure).

Any AA program (whether it be Airpass, Business Extra or AAdvantage) is based on mutual trust between the company and the customer to do the right thing. Sadly I think AA has severely breached that trust with the changes it's forced upon its once valuable Airpass customers.
More excellent info... thanks for posting.
metallo is offline  
Old Jun 1, 2021, 7:02 am
  #755  
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Join Date: Sep 2019
Programs: AA: CK
Posts: 2,230
Originally Posted by metallo
Take a look at my post above (#726) where I described what happened when I spoke with the CK desk about my J to F SWU never re-ticketing. That’s how I found out it’s no longer allowed on Airpass tickets.

When I called in to apply the SWU, the CK agent did it (apparently not being aware of the new rule). The ticket was never re-issued, so I contacted them again (did it via email and got the policy in writing from the CK “manager on duty” that SWUs are no longer allowed for Airpass).

Basically, if you want three class F, you have to buy the full fare F, or you could buy full fare J and get the F instant upgrade for the same price that books into A. You can’t book instant upgrade J and use a SWU for F anymore, though.
This feels like a contract violation to me.
BlooJoo is offline  
Old Jun 1, 2021, 7:21 am
  #756  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: STL/ORD/MCI/SAN
Programs: AA CK MM, AC SE100K, UA 1K, DL Plat, Hyatt Globalist, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Platinum
Posts: 1,986
Originally Posted by BlooJoo
This feels like a contract violation to me.
The whole program seems to me to be in a state of limbo (but that doesn’t mean it’s all bad).

They hammered me with email and snail mail ads the past two years, perhaps because I mostly book last-minute premium cabin tickets. When I ramped up my travel again at the beginning of the year, and they were doing the discounted membership, I decided to try it out.

I found what I felt were reasonable fares for last minute J on routes I fly, and I pulled the trigger. I’ve even supplemented my funds since my initial contact (which, per the contract, actually costs you a slight % surcharge on additional tickets booked), because there are things I like about the program.

However, I certainly never would have expected a program with this sort of contact that has explicit, bilaterally agreed upon terms (both contractually and based on more informal pre-contract phone discussions), to be modified so significantly and unilaterally mid-contract.

If their intention is to be flexible with the rules, then I guess if I requested to modify a few terms, it would fairly equitable.

Question is... how will all this turn out? I could see some higher contract spend corporate customers hating some of the NextGen changes and considering their options.
metallo is offline  
Old Jun 1, 2021, 7:56 am
  #757  
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Join Date: Sep 2019
Programs: AA: CK
Posts: 2,230
Originally Posted by FleyeSkyHigh
Yes, this is confirmed. It has nothing to do with agent/representative knowledge or willingness to help. In fact, read up thread a few days. CK/EP agents (which are the same agents that handle Airpass calls) apparently have mistakenly applied SWU/Mileage upgrade instruments to new NextGen tickets and despite the reservation showing the first class cabin the ticket will never re-issue and the upgrade never actually occurs because a new ticket number cannot be generated. These new NextGen Airpass tickets are automatically flagged as non-reissue-able and non-changeable by the ticketing system. To use a SWU or mileage upgrade (ie to book into A class) a reissue is required. No re-issue means no new ticket with the upgraded cabin which means no boarding pass in the ground control system which means no flying in the first class cabin. The original issued ticket in business class will prevail. It really sucks.

This is not spelled out anywhere in the new or old contracts but the internal AA M&Ps said that legacy Airpass reservations were upgradable up to issuance (which usually occurred a day prior to travel) either by miles, SWU or BizExtra (BE upgrades actually happen after issuance via a backend sabre loop process which has also now be fully automated/locked down by AA) but the AA M&Ps for the NextGen tickets say upgrades and/or changes/reissues are not allowed (which really defeats the original intention of Airpass which was suppose to be selling flexibility at a premium). The reason 500 miles/sticker upgrades (for non Y-UP economy to business upgrades) are still working (at least for the cardholder) is because those types of upgrades are handled quite differently and do not require a re-issued ticket (they are handled by the ground operations or 'day of travel' systems which actually kick in at around T-120ish prior to departure).

Any AA program (whether it be Airpass, Business Extra or AAdvantage) is based on mutual trust between the company and the customer to do the right thing. Sadly I think AA has severely breached that trust with the changes it's forced upon its once valuable Airpass customers.
This is awful and seems like an oversight on their part.
BlooJoo is offline  
Old Jun 2, 2021, 9:38 am
  #758  
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Join Date: Sep 2019
Programs: AA: CK
Posts: 2,230
Is there a way to "force" the Upgrade to First option (on a three class)? I only see it come up when R/D/I are sold out.
BlooJoo is offline  
Old Jun 2, 2021, 11:04 am
  #759  
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 222
Originally Posted by BlooJoo
Is there a way to "force" the Upgrade to First option (on a three class)? I only see it come up when R/D/I are sold out.
There is no way to see it online. The only way is to call in to reservations and even with that there is some confusion with the reps as to what inventory these should be booked into as "J-UP" is more of an implied concept. J-UP doesn't really exist in principal but what you are getting is Airpass' interpretation of a discount F fare (which most times books into A inventory and a fare basis that begins with the letter A). The problem is that these fare basis work very differently than J-UP fares (which are unambiguous for point to point and thru fares). In trying to book a 'J-UP' for a three cabin flight it will most likely result in the itinerary and billing broken down to point to point (albeit all in one PNR) as opposed to start to end of journey Airpass pricing. To complicate matters AA has drastically limited point to point A inventory availability (in their quest to squash upgrades) but for a few days prior to the flight departure. This exacerbates the problem with NextGen airpass tickets as to they have to be rebooked into A class when inventory becomes available 48-72 hours out (for example JFK-LAX) the ticket must be cancelled, you must wait for a refund (if low on funds) and then rebook.

Also, there is nothing in the Airpass contract that says AA has to offer J-UP (or Y-UP) for that matter but in practice D, I, R are Economy to Business upgrade bookings and A inventory are Business to First but again there is no M&P for the J-UP A-> F and it's hit or miss getting it booked.
FleyeSkyHigh is offline  
Old Jun 2, 2021, 12:11 pm
  #760  
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Join Date: Sep 2019
Programs: AA: CK
Posts: 2,230
Originally Posted by FleyeSkyHigh
There is no way to see it online. The only way is to call in to reservations and even with that there is some confusion with the reps as to what inventory these should be booked into as "J-UP" is more of an implied concept. J-UP doesn't really exist in principal but what you are getting is Airpass' interpretation of a discount F fare (which most times books into A inventory and a fare basis that begins with the letter A). The problem is that these fare basis work very differently than J-UP fares (which are unambiguous for point to point and thru fares). In trying to book a 'J-UP' for a three cabin flight it will most likely result in the itinerary and billing broken down to point to point (albeit all in one PNR) as opposed to start to end of journey Airpass pricing. To complicate matters AA has drastically limited point to point A inventory availability (in their quest to squash upgrades) but for a few days prior to the flight departure. This exacerbates the problem with NextGen airpass tickets as to they have to be rebooked into A class when inventory becomes available 48-72 hours out (for example JFK-LAX) the ticket must be cancelled, you must wait for a refund (if low on funds) and then rebook.

Also, there is nothing in the Airpass contract that says AA has to offer J-UP (or Y-UP) for that matter but in practice D, I, R are Economy to Business upgrade bookings and A inventory are Business to First but again there is no M&P for the J-UP A-> F and it's hit or miss getting it booked.
Thanks. So when you call and ask, do you call the Airpass desk and do you ask for "discounted First"?

Also, have you noticed that it always seems easy to book an A fare even if a flight is A0, so long as F is available? I have. For instance, I just booked A class JFK-LAX on a flight that was showing F6 A0, and it's now showing F5 A0. (Of course, R/D/I was 0 when booking, so the website offered it.)

Last edited by BlooJoo; Jun 2, 2021 at 12:17 pm
BlooJoo is offline  
Old Jun 2, 2021, 1:33 pm
  #761  
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 222
Originally Posted by BlooJoo
Thanks. So when you call and ask, do you call the Airpass desk and do you ask for "discounted First"?

Also, have you noticed that it always seems easy to book an A fare even if a flight is A0, so long as F is available? I have. For instance, I just booked A class JFK-LAX on a flight that was showing F6 A0, and it's now showing F5 A0. (Of course, R/D/I was 0 when booking, so the website offered it.)
Booking J-up is ever easy with Airpass (and often times it bills wrong - ie if there is a schedule change for example). If it was just a single JFK-LAX segment I would be suspicious and check the booking to make sure it booked into A. If so, then I can't really explain it (unless they overbooked the inventory for you which they will say that they can't do but they really can - however every overbooking of premium cabin triggers an audit and the rep can get in trouble). If it was JFK-LAX with a connecting segment then that makes more sense. For example, if it was DCA-JFK-LAX then its more like that a thru A fare was available. A inventory can be available as a married segment for DCA-JFK-LAX but not available as JFK-LAX stand alone. However, my experience is airpass will not allow you to book a married A segment (unless both cabins are three class) but maybe things have changed.
FleyeSkyHigh is offline  
Old Jun 2, 2021, 5:26 pm
  #762  
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Join Date: Sep 2019
Programs: AA: CK
Posts: 2,230
Originally Posted by FleyeSkyHigh
Booking J-up is ever easy with Airpass (and often times it bills wrong - ie if there is a schedule change for example). If it was just a single JFK-LAX segment I would be suspicious and check the booking to make sure it booked into A. If so, then I can't really explain it (unless they overbooked the inventory for you which they will say that they can't do but they really can - however every overbooking of premium cabin triggers an audit and the rep can get in trouble). If it was JFK-LAX with a connecting segment then that makes more sense. For example, if it was DCA-JFK-LAX then its more like that a thru A fare was available. A inventory can be available as a married segment for DCA-JFK-LAX but not available as JFK-LAX stand alone. However, my experience is airpass will not allow you to book a married A segment (unless both cabins are three class) but maybe things have changed.
It's a simple JFK-LAX single segment. Priced as my negotiated full J price, booked into A, ticketed, seat confirmed in F. Nothing looks weird in the booking on AA.com or app. I've been seeing this since NexGen implementation. I've yet to fly one, so we'll see!!!

Last edited by BlooJoo; Jun 2, 2021 at 5:39 pm
BlooJoo is offline  
Old Jun 3, 2021, 2:12 pm
  #763  
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Join Date: Sep 2019
Programs: AA: CK
Posts: 2,230
So what's this penalty for excess charges referenced by FleyeSkyHigh above?
BlooJoo is offline  
Old Jun 3, 2021, 3:46 pm
  #764  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: STL/ORD/MCI/SAN
Programs: AA CK MM, AC SE100K, UA 1K, DL Plat, Hyatt Globalist, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Platinum
Posts: 1,986
Originally Posted by BlooJoo
So what's this penalty for excess charges referenced by FleyeSkyHigh above?
Take a look at your contract. It will specify the penalty. I suspect this will be less of an issue now with NextGen, as flight purchases are immediately debited. I think this contract provision was to discourage people from going over their contract balance when flights weren't debited until they were flown (so you could book travel that cost more than the total funds in your account, with the assumption that you wouldn't actually be flying all the flights, but if you did, and you accidentally spent more than your balance, there is a significant penalty spelled out in the contract).

Now, with the latest changes, I'm not sure you can actually spend more than is left in your contract balance, since the payment is debited at the time of booking, so it should be less relevant for all Airpass members as of last week.
metallo is offline  
Old Jun 3, 2021, 4:31 pm
  #765  
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Join Date: Sep 2019
Programs: AA: CK
Posts: 2,230
Originally Posted by metallo
Take a look at your contract. It will specify the penalty. I suspect this will be less of an issue now with NextGen, as flight purchases are immediately debited. I think this contract provision was to discourage people from going over their contract balance when flights weren't debited until they were flown (so you could book travel that cost more than the total funds in your account, with the assumption that you wouldn't actually be flying all the flights, but if you did, and you accidentally spent more than your balance, there is a significant penalty spelled out in the contract).

Now, with the latest changes, I'm not sure you can actually spend more than is left in your contract balance, since the payment is debited at the time of booking, so it should be less relevant for all Airpass members as of last week.
Interesting! Wonder what happens if I ticket one for after contract expiration! I know the tickets can't be reissued now, so I guess no changes would be allowed post expiration (but before flight).
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