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OW Sapphire: Can I swap out my AB number for AA?

OW Sapphire: Can I swap out my AB number for AA?

Old Mar 19, 16, 2:05 pm
  #1  
was WWads
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Join Date: May 2015
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OW Sapphire: Can I swap out my AB number for AA?

I have gold status through AB (OW Sapphire). Once I've selected MCE seats for free, can I take my AB number off and put my AA number back on? I'd of course rather earn AA miles than AB.

What about for lounge access? Is showing my AB card enough, or do I actually need to have my AB FF number on the boarding pass?

I understand that I wouldn't get Priority Access, but the most important benefits for me are the complimentary preferred/MCE seating, and the lounge access. I'm content with the single checked bag and the group one boarding that my AA credit card provides.

I have read through some older threads with info about this, but didn't want to bump them. The info provided seemed uncertain/inconsistent, so I wanted to see if anyone had any recent experiences.
KDCAflyer is offline  
Old Mar 19, 16, 2:40 pm
  #2  
 
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You can just have them change to AA once inside the Admirals Club. (If you hold on to your original boarding pass e.g., on your phone you won't have trouble with priority boarding, either.)
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Old Mar 19, 16, 3:20 pm
  #3  
was WWads
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Originally Posted by jamespvg View Post
You can just have them change to AA once inside the Admirals Club. (If you hold on to your original boarding pass e.g., on your phone you won't have trouble with priority boarding, either.)
That's good to hear. With DL, you generally can't change your FF after check-in. Not without having to deal with an agent who would then automatically print you a new boarding pass to reflect the change.
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Old Mar 19, 16, 3:58 pm
  #4  
 
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Yeah, the AA systems are much more flexible than DL about this.

I've done it a fair number of times, and typically they just ask my name and flight number. But if you did hand over your boarding pass, I suspect they would reflexively print you a new one.
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Old Mar 20, 16, 11:05 am
  #5  
 
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Also interested in the seat assignment question that was never answered - any one have experience on this? Looking to do a MR want to make sure if I change my FF numbers back to AA that it won't kick me out of my seat when I try and check in.
perkerkeem is offline  
Old Mar 20, 16, 11:17 am
  #6  
 
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Originally Posted by perkerkeem View Post
Also interested in the seat assignment question that was never answered - any one have experience on this? Looking to do a MR want to make sure if I change my FF numbers back to AA that it won't kick me out of my seat when I try and check in.
why not change it after you check in either at the Admiral Club if not at the gate (arrive early) or just do it yourself online (go to rj's website and make you have the booking reference not the record locator)
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Old Mar 20, 16, 11:33 am
  #7  
 
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Originally Posted by jkuok View Post
why not change it after you check in either at the Admiral Club if not at the gate (arrive early) or just do it yourself online (go to rj's website and make you have the booking reference not the record locator)
I'm not a Sapphire, just a lowly Ruby looking to get a pref seat assignment so there's no element of waiting to get into the lounge. I'm just wondering if I change the FF number from AB to AA today, then check-in, will my preferred seat assignment kick me out upon check in since the AB number is no longer attached? I'd prefer to have it done and out of mind by changing it well in advance, patience has never been my strong suit.
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Old Mar 20, 16, 1:12 pm
  #8  
 
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Originally Posted by perkerkeem View Post
I'm not a Sapphire, just a lowly Ruby looking to get a pref seat assignment so there's no element of waiting to get into the lounge. I'm just wondering if I change the FF number from AB to AA today, then check-in, will my preferred seat assignment kick me out upon check in since the AB number is no longer attached? I'd prefer to have it done and out of mind by changing it well in advance, patience has never been my strong suit.
My guess is that it wont change, but no guarantee you could actually test it out by choosing ur seats as AB and change it back to AA and check if u still have the seats u choose.

If u dont i would suggest u to keep ur AB number until after checkin with ur boarding pass and then either change it at gate or try calling AA.

Also if the gate agent cant print a new BP with AA number on it remember to take a picture of the screen showing ur AA number and ur personal/flight details.
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Old Mar 21, 16, 8:12 am
  #9  
 
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Originally Posted by WWads View Post
I have gold status through AB (OW Sapphire). Once I've selected MCE seats for free, can I take my AB number off and put my AA number back on? I'd of course rather earn AA miles than AB.

What about for lounge access? Is showing my AB card enough, or do I actually need to have my AB FF number on the boarding pass?

I understand that I wouldn't get Priority Access, but the most important benefits for me are the complimentary preferred/MCE seating, and the lounge access. I'm content with the single checked bag and the group one boarding that my AA credit card provides.

I have read through some older threads with info about this, but didn't want to bump them. The info provided seemed uncertain/inconsistent, so I wanted to see if anyone had any recent experiences.
Originally Posted by perkerkeem View Post
Also interested in the seat assignment question that was never answered - any one have experience on this? Looking to do a MR want to make sure if I change my FF numbers back to AA that it won't kick me out of my seat when I try and check in.
I was AB Gold before I reached AA Plat and here's my experience doing exactly what you're proposing:

1. I'd book tickets on AA.com using my AB Gold number in the PNR. AA.com allowed me to select MCE seats at booking due to the AB Gold status.

2. I would check in at the airport, check any bags (up to 2 free as a AB Gold) and leave my AB number on the BP.

3. I would go to the lounge and present the BP and my AB Gold card.

4. I would go to the gate and have a gate agent swap my AA number in for the AB number.

A few notes:

I found I had better luck getting a gate agent to change the FF number from AB to AA compared to lounge agents. The gate agents did it 100% without issue while the club agents either flat out refused (claiming it had to be done at the gate) or occasionally had issues and gave up. It was always fast and easy at the gate (just get there a bit before boarding so the GAs have time).

Once the first GA entered my AA number into the reservation that number became the defacto FF number for the PNR from then on. I did not lose the originally assigned MCE seats on any flight in the PNR, but I also could not change them on-line without paying for them.

The one big impact of having the AA number in the PNR was checked baggage allowances for the return trip. I was forced to use the AA allowance (which was fine for me since I rarely check bags but it did hit me once). I did not attempt contacting AA between the outbound and return trips to re-insert the BA number into the PNR.

Any time I want to use the lounge I just present my AB gold card and it works regardless of which FF number is on the BP. The agents just swipe the AB card and it works.
StarlightSusan is offline  
Old Mar 21, 16, 11:45 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Originally Posted by perkerkeem View Post
Also interested in the seat assignment question that was never answered - any one have experience on this? Looking to do a MR want to make sure if I change my FF numbers back to AA that it won't kick me out of my seat when I try and check in.
Sorry, I had answered implicitly rather than explicitly. No, you won't lose selected seats.
jamespvg is offline  
Old Mar 22, 16, 8:38 am
  #11  
 
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I have the opposite question: I booked a AA flight through my account at aa.com, but I cannot seem to change the frequent flyer number on the purchased reservation. I want to switch it to AB for better seats and bags, then switch it back to AA at the gate.

Under "Add / edit passenger information" the ability to change the FF number is greyed out.
Wollstonecraft is offline  
Old Mar 22, 16, 8:41 am
  #12  
 
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Originally Posted by jamespvg View Post
Sorry, I had answered implicitly rather than explicitly. No, you won't lose selected seats.

Thanks!
perkerkeem is offline  
Old Mar 22, 16, 8:42 am
  #13  
 
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Originally Posted by Wollstonecraft View Post
I have the opposite question: I booked a AA flight through my account at aa.com, but I cannot seem to change the frequent flyer number on the purchased reservation. I want to switch it to AB for better seats and bags, then switch it back to AA at the gate.

Under "Add / edit passenger information" the ability to change the FF number is greyed out.
A call to customer service can change it, though probably best to avoid the phone lines today.
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