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Companion upgrade issues including "link" / split PNR for status etc. (master thread)

Old Jan 23, 16, 7:13 pm
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Last edit by: JDiver
Companion upgrade issues - separate / split / "link" PNRs, etc.
For general questions about 500 mile upgrades and upgrade protocols, please see this thread:Sticker / 500-mile Electronic Upgrades Protocols (as of 2009, consolidated)

For specific questions about the new upgrade priority and policy, see Upgrade Priority Changes to Status, Rolling 365 Day EQD Spend May 20 2017

Upgrade Priority Change to Status, Rolling 365 Day EQD Began 20 May 2017
Upgrade priority is now based on Status held first, then by rolling Elite Qualifying Dollar spend over the last 365 days
within upgrade types; see below for new upgrade priority listing and companion policies.

As of May 20 2017 upgrade prioritization is:
  • Elite status
    1. Concierge Key
    2. Executive Platinum
    3. Platinum Pro
    4. Platinum
    5. Gold
  • Upgrade type
    1. Miles and copay award upgrades and systemwide upgrades (SWU)
    2. Business Extra and some other instruments
    3. 500 mile upgrades on purchased tickets
    4. 500 mile upgrades on upgrade eligible awards)
  • Elite qualifying dollars in the past 12 months

  • Booking class

  • Time of request"

  • Through passengers no longer receive priority over originating passengers

No- or lower status companion and effect on upgrade position (Also read Linking and Plitting PNRs below)

WAIT LIST, SAME PNR: Prior to upgrade request going to airport list
  • 500 mile / UDU: lower status passenger "borrows" higher status, but breaks at airport; must be re-established.

  • SWU, Miles & Copay, Business Extra: lower status passenger "borrows" higher status. (BX is unsure, stated as least of priorities, likely to up D-24 only)

  • Award travel (only available on 500 mile upgrade flights): lower status passenger "borrows" higher status

WAIT LIST, SEPARATE PNR: Prior to upgrade request going to airport list
  • 500 mile / UDU: lower status passenger "borrows" higher status IF PNRs "linked"

  • SWU, Miles & Copay, Business Extra: lower status passenger DOES NOT "borrow" higher status under any circumstance

  • Award travel (only available on 500 mile upgrade flights): lower status passenger "borrows" higher status IF PNRs "linked"

AIRPORT LIST, SAME PNR:
  • 500 mile / UDU: lower status passenger "borrows" higher status

  • SWU, Miles & Copay, Business Extra: lower status passenger "borrows" higher status. (BX is unsure, but is least of priorities, likely to up D-24 only)

  • Award travel (only available on 500 mile upgrade flights): lower status passenger "borrows" higher status

AIRPORT LIST, SEPARATE PNR:
  • 500 mile / UDU: lower status passenger "borrows" higher status IF PNRs "linked" by edit

  • SWU, Miles & Copay, Business Extra: lower status passenger DOES NOT "borrow" higher status under any circumstance

  • Award travel (only available on 500 mile upgrade flights): lower status passenger "borrows" higher status IF PNRs "linked"

NOTES:
  1. Traveling companion 500 mile upgrades (even for those pax using UDU) "stickers" must pull from higher status passenger's account. 500 mile upgrades are not needed for those with AAdvantage status if the segment to be upgraded is under 500 miles in distance.

  2. Lower status passenger previously "borrowing" higher status may require human processing at the airport to re-establish "borrowed status" linkage
(Companion information thanks to DW)

Splitting and "Linking" of PNRs

Splitting PNRs: If two people on one PNR request an upgrade, they will not get upgraded (even if they hold higher priority than others on the upgrade list) unless two or more seats become available. Some choose to split their PNR at the airport so the first available single seat will go to one of them. But please note the Companion retains the "borrowed" status only on 500 mile upgrades and the newly split PNRs must be "linked".

Linking PNRs: PNRs can not be recombined nor actually strictly linked as we usually think of it. The "linking" is actually a "TCP note" ("To Complete Party" note) placed as an annotation in the OSI (Other Supplemental Information) field to each PNR. For the note to be useful, an agent must open the PNR and read it.

https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/amer...solidated.html.

hillrider Googled and found some public info at http://hualin58.blogspot.com/2011/05...ay-delete.html

Companions summary: ONE passenger traveling with you can borrow your status for upgrade purposes. They do not have to be on the same PNR. When this is done, youll not be upgraded unless sufficient upgrade seats become available to upgrade two (or more) people. This link often is broken when the flight control goes to the airport, and it can be reestablished there (e.g. at the gate). A good clue that the link has broken is if youre #1 or 2 and your companion is significantly below that on the upgrade list, such as #11. Finally, because of IT flaws, the 500 mile upgrades for your traveling companion will by necessity come from your account, even if your companion has their own stickers.

Older posts relating to policies in effect prior to 20 May 2017 may be read here: ARCHIVE: Companion upgrade issues including "link" / split PNR, etc. (<20 May 2017)

Updated 9 June 2017 by JDiver
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Companion upgrade issues including "link" / split PNR for status etc. (master thread)

Old Nov 28, 14, 1:35 pm
  #1  
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EXP companion upgrade when EXP already in Business?

Weird situation.. I'm already in J on a future flight thanks to a SWU upgrade. My partner is now thinking of booking the same flight. If he does, can I still put in for a companion upgrade, since I'm still on the same flight, just not also in economy?
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Old Nov 28, 14, 2:38 pm
  #2  
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I've been told by agents it is possible - but both times I've attempted it, my partner's name didn't show up at the 4 hr mark, gate agent had no record of it, upgrade didn't clear etc
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Old Nov 28, 14, 3:16 pm
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Why not?
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Old Nov 28, 14, 3:21 pm
  #4  
 
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As I learned the hard way this past week, if you are on separate record locators, the companion will NOT inherit your status for an SWU upgrade. It will go by their elite status (if any) and time stamp.
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Old Nov 28, 14, 4:46 pm
  #5  
 
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Originally Posted by Phasers View Post
As I learned the hard way this past week, if you are on separate record locators, the companion will NOT inherit your status for an SWU upgrade. It will go by their elite status (if any) and time stamp.
Confirmed. My companions not in the same PNR have never gotten my status on the list when I'm on the flight.

The only time it has worked is when we all booked in the same record.
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Old Nov 28, 14, 4:59 pm
  #6  
 
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We are mixing issues here. The OP was asking about N. American 500 mile upgrades, not SWUs. For these upgrade instruments for purposes of priority on the upgrade waitlist the travel companion of an elite does get to coattail the elite member's status. Manual intervention might be necessary to ensure the records are properly noted, if on different PNRs and the companion has their own lesser AA status that the system could pick up on as a default.
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Old Nov 28, 14, 5:16 pm
  #7  
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I thought that if the EP member was upgrading , then another passenger could upgrade at same priority with the member at the same time, but that this does not apply if the EP member is already in the higher cabin

Last edited by Dave Noble; Nov 28, 14 at 5:22 pm
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Old Nov 28, 14, 5:49 pm
  #8  
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There's two questions- one can you upgrade someone not on your PNR-

Yes

Will they get your status-

no
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Old Nov 28, 14, 6:09 pm
  #9  
 
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Originally Posted by VickiSoCal View Post
There's two questions- one can you upgrade someone not on your PNR-

Yes

Will they get your status-

no
The above answer only applies to SWUs, not stickers.

For stickers you do not have to be on the same PNR, and you can also choose split or no split at time of request. Split means you and companion will get upgraded separately as each seat opens up (companion will inherit status). No split means two seats need to open up or you get skipped.

As for the OP's question, yes, you can upgrade your companion using stickers even though you are already upgraded using a SWU. They will inherit your status.
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Old Nov 28, 14, 11:27 pm
  #10  
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Originally Posted by sukn View Post
As for the OP's question, yes, you can upgrade your companion using stickers even though you are already upgraded using a SWU. They will inherit your status.
That assumes you can find an agent who knows what they are doing. I can't tell you how many agents have told us that I cannot inherit husband's status on separates PNR's. Many just do not know how to do it. Hang up and call back. We are almost never on same PNR due to his usually being paid for by work, and mine not.
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Old Nov 29, 14, 12:09 am
  #11  
 
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Originally Posted by SJC AA View Post
Weird situation.. I'm already in J on a future flight thanks to a SWU upgrade. My partner is now thinking of booking the same flight. If he does, can I still put in for a companion upgrade, since I'm still on the same flight, just not also in economy?
If you're already in Business (not First), does it mean that it's not a domestic (North American) flight? A lot of uncertainty could have been cleared out by being more specific about what kind of flight and upgrade we're talking about. In many cases granting your companion a SWU is good enough for his or her upgrade regardless of whether your companion "inherits" your status.
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Old Nov 29, 14, 6:38 am
  #12  
 
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Originally Posted by grrizzli View Post
If you're already in Business (not First), does it mean that it's not a domestic (North American) flight? A lot of uncertainty could have been cleared out by being more specific about what kind of flight and upgrade we're talking about. In many cases granting your companion a SWU is good enough for his or her upgrade regardless of whether your companion "inherits" your status.
The use of the term "companion upgrade"- and reference to "same flight"- makes it clear what s/he is referring to.

500 mile upgrades are to business class on international destinations with AA's definition of N America.
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Old Nov 29, 14, 9:05 pm
  #13  
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Originally Posted by grrizzli View Post
If you're already in Business (not First), does it mean that it's not a domestic (North American) flight?
No, why would it? This is a domestic three-class flight.

Originally Posted by grrizzli View Post
In many cases granting your companion a SWU is good enough for his or her upgrade regardless of whether your companion "inherits" your status.
I don't want to spend an SWU on this upgrade if I can avoid it. (My SWU upgrade covered multiple segments, not just this one in question.)
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Old Feb 7, 15, 10:36 am
  #14  
 
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble View Post
I thought that if the EP member was upgrading , then another passenger could upgrade at same priority with the member at the same time, but that this does not apply if the EP member is already in the higher cabin
That has not been my experience for domestic sticker upgrades. Even if on paid F ticket, my companion has received my status. At least prior to the PALL.
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Old Apr 15, 16, 11:16 am
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Companion upgrade issues including "link" / split PNR for status etc. (master thread)

Originally Posted by Youngtraveldude View Post
Hey all, I'll be flying tonight with my girlfriend and we are both on the upgrade list. I'm EXP and she's flying with me. This is my first experience having someone else on my reservation that has an upgrade request in through me. My question is will they only upgrade both of us or neither of us; or is there a chance they would upgrade just 1 of 2 if only 1 seat is available? Same question for SWUs as I have SWU requests in for us for flights to Tokyo next week.
I fly a lot with my wife. I am EXP and she has no elite status at the moment but was GLD last year.

The situation you describe has come up numerous times... only 1 upgrade seat available.

Here is what we have found by experience:

1) Upgrading is easier and less likely to get screwed up if you and your fiend are on the same PNR. If you are not on the same PNR, phone the EXP desk immediately and ask the records to be "linked".

(2) When you check in if you have not been upgraded already, ask the check-in agent to make sure they are still linked (this often get lost) and where you are in the upgrade list. This will give you some idea of what the likelihood of getting upgraded is but may not be accurate...

(3) Then after security go to the gate agent and ask the same questions. The gate agent is in charge of the upgrade list... Best advice is to arrive early enough that you can get to the gate agent as they are opening up and before that get occupied with the 25 people waiting for standby...

2) In our experience, if there is only seat available the gate agent will ask you if one of you wants the F seat (or J or F seat on international flights). At this point it is irrelevant whether you are on the same PNR. My wife and I prefer to sit together so often we decline. At this stage all may not be lost. For example once a party of three was offered two seats, that they declined and we were upgraded.

Last edited by nonesuch flyer; Apr 15, 16 at 8:27 pm Reason: Changed "note" to "not"
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