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Why no last minute U class (Biz milesaver) on AA?

Why no last minute U class (Biz milesaver) on AA?

Old May 18, 15, 8:56 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: NYC
Programs: AA EXP; SPG PLT
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Why no last minute U class (Biz milesaver) on AA?

Flying CDG-JFK today and on coach miles. I spent 2 months looking for business class milesaver awards, and kept close track of J.

I was surprised that the plane went out with J2 or J3 (and C2). There wasn't too much interest in helping (or maybe their hands are truly tied). The EXP desk this morning said they can't request anything from rev mgmt and that the airport can do an upgrade (which was surprising to me). The airport said that they in fact do have upgrades that can be applied on the spot, but not for T (coach milesaver) tickets. They used to do this and got reprimanded by AA in Dallas.

So my question is this: with AA trying to fill their business seat as:

1. A paid business ticket
2. An Op-up in case Y is full
3. For IRROPs on paid J from earlier flight
5. An upgrade in C for EVIPs
6. An upgrade using miles + copay
7. An upgrade using straight cash at check in ($436)

and despite almost every human being on the plane at some point being offered at shot at the 2 or 3 open business seats, they were still unoccupied.

Here I was as an EXP literally asking to pay the upgrade flat fee, use an EVIP, do miles+copay, or reticket in U as a milesaaver, and AA was not interested in any of these- the check in agent, who was nice enough, added insult to injury by telling me to prepare for a rough ride in the 757 as there is no personal entertainment. Thanks buddy

Instead, they used the 2 biz seats for drink service on the flight. I'm not kidding, they had the orange and coffee trays on on the arm rests.

It wasn't a bad flight, we had the more room seats with an empty between us, but after all the paid flying we do on business, why not offer a last minute (three hours before flight?) option for EXPs to burn more miles and look good infront of their significant others.

The winner was BA openskies. On the outbound, with exactly the same scenario, BA gladly accepted $550 of our dollars to move us up from coach to Premium economy, even thought it was the same T miles ticket that AA refused to touch.
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Old May 18, 15, 9:22 pm
  #2  
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It's been said before here that AA wants you to redeem for AAnytime. Frustrating, sure, but such is life.
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Old May 18, 15, 9:29 pm
  #3  
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I agree and see why they would want to. At this point, though, they haven't been able to sell the seat, and are offering $430 (cash only/tax included) upgrades.

It doesn't seem that the pricing engine is particularly clever at that point if it equates that to the same purchasing decision logic as switching a ticket from 30K miles to 180K miles one way, per seat?

I can hear an arguments like not eroding the value of the premium cabin (used for F on the 321T for example), or not wanting to train the consumer to expect last minute miles sales. Given what they are offering, just not to a particular kind of (in this case their best) customers, I think it's plain old pricing inefficiency.
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Old May 18, 15, 9:32 pm
  #4  
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Oh come on - AA invented revenue management! They can't be inefficient!
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Old May 18, 15, 9:37 pm
  #5  
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Join Date: Jan 2005
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Ha! Yes that's what I'm wondering about - there may be an obscure or perfectly logical reason that folks can come up with here on FT!

I was reading one of JonNYC's threads on TB and noticed a similar line of thought around petitioning/shopping QMAX. Though now restricted to NOT allow what we're talking about here, one thing it does allow is completing a booking. I wonder if that logic extends to opening up U if another pax in family is traveling in J or C.
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