AA Executive Platinum Check-In @ LAX

Old Jan 6, 18, 2:15 am
  #1  
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AA Executive Platinum Check-In @ LAX

[Disclaimer: I realize that I am probably late to the party here, and apologize if a thread already exists for this topic.]

I have been living abroad for quite some time and have maintained Executive Platinum status for several years in a row. I recently returned to the U.S. for a holiday and was astonished to discover that AA has morphed all elites into a single "Priority" queue. Whereas I would formerly have had perhaps 2-4 people ahead of me to check in at LAX, there is now a horde of what are presumably any number of Rubys, not to mention whomever decided to purchase Priority boarding that day. What used to take me under 10 minutes with two checked bags now takes well over half an hour. (It didn't help that the ticketing agents all seemed almost willfully slow, as if taking delight in some sort of passive aggressive cosmic revenge.)

From a commercial perspective, and after years of loyal EXP status with AA, I find this transformation absolutely staggering. Who thought that consolidating all of the "priority customers" was a good idea? And why? Can anyone provide some insight? Why does AA value all premium customers equally when from a revenue perspective we are clearly nothing alike? And why would they implement this when nearly all of their foreign counterparts maintain separate check-in counters?

What I saw and experienced during my check-in was not greater efficiency or productivity, and whatever marginal increase to utility that was not plainly apparent couldn't possibly be worthy of anything remotely close to the value erosion that the new process now delivers. I can only assume that this is part of some broader industry trend that "Discount" Doug Parker has decided to follow, or perhaps something that he and his cohorts practiced at USAirways. I'm very glad that AA is now profitable, but I am discouraged that AA senior management perceives it as necessary to squeeze out every red penny through the never ceasing dilution of core value to high-paying, loyal, premium customers.
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Old Jan 6, 18, 5:42 am
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Was there not a first or business class lane you could use, or did this single priority lane also include F/J? (I'm not familiar with LAX, hence my question.)
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Old Jan 6, 18, 8:34 am
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I personally have no problems with AA offering priority lane to other pax, even though they might just be Ruby.

Or OP could try Flagship check-in at LAX with qualifying flights, or other available airports: https://www.aa.com/i18n/plan-travel/...t-check-in.jsp
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Old Jan 6, 18, 8:35 am
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Originally Posted by Djokison View Post
Was there not a first or business class lane you could use, or did this single priority lane also include F/J? (I'm not familiar with LAX, hence my question.)
It's been a few months since I last flew out of LAX, but my recollection is that it is now one single priority lane for all F/J/elites--long-haul international F/EXP/Emerald and transcon F can use Flagship Check-In, but EXPs flying domestic are relegated to the same line as GLDs, etc. Some number of years ago, there used to be separate lines at LAX for international F/EXP/Emerald, J/domestic F/PLT/Sapphire, and GLD/Ruby.

I've also noticed the consolidation of priority lines at other airports. ORD used to have an international F/EXP line, and JFK used to have the same three-line set up above, among others. I agree that this is a somewhat substantial devaluation of EXP, made worse by the overall reduction in priority check-in staffing (based on anecdotal observations at LAX, ORD, and JFK, for example). The priority queue at JFK on the evening of 1/2 (a busy time with TATL and deep SA departures, in addition to all the domestic transcons) had only three agents working it, with about 10 parties in line.
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Old Jan 6, 18, 9:19 am
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Originally Posted by dkc192 View Post
It's been a few months since I last flew out of LAX, but my recollection is that it is now one single priority lane for all F/J/elites--long-haul international F/EXP/Emerald and transcon F can use Flagship Check-In, but EXPs flying domestic are relegated to the same line as GLDs, etc. Some number of years ago, there used to be separate lines at LAX for international F/EXP/Emerald, J/domestic F/PLT/Sapphire, and GLD/Ruby.

I've also noticed the consolidation of priority lines at other airports. ORD used to have an international F/EXP line, and JFK used to have the same three-line set up above, among others. I agree that this is a somewhat substantial devaluation of EXP, made worse by the overall reduction in priority check-in staffing (based on anecdotal observations at LAX, ORD, and JFK, for example). The priority queue at JFK on the evening of 1/2 (a busy time with TATL and deep SA departures, in addition to all the domestic transcons) had only three agents working it, with about 10 parties in line.
I guess my question is this: Who is Group #2 ? Is this Exec Platinums?

When I was a Plat Pro last year (big wup -- not much value in it frankly), I always boarded as part of Group 3.

I get that the order looks like this:

Concierge Keys
Group 1 -- First Class and Military in Uniform
Group 2 -- I assume these are EXP?
Group 3 -- Plat Pro and "just Platinums"?
Group 4 -- Gold / other
Group 5 - 9 Everyone else -- likely by row / seat area

Is this correct?
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Old Jan 6, 18, 9:44 am
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Originally Posted by SuperBuck27 View Post
I guess my question is this: Who is Group #2 ? Is this Exec Platinums?

When I was a Plat Pro last year (big wup -- not much value in it frankly), I always boarded as part of Group 3.

I get that the order looks like this:

Concierge Keys
Group 1 -- First Class and Military in Uniform
Group 2 -- I assume these are EXP?
Group 3 -- Plat Pro and "just Platinums"?
Group 4 -- Gold / other
Group 5 - 9 Everyone else -- likely by row / seat area

Is this correct?
Yes, that is correct. However OP was talking about check-in counter not boarding.
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Old Jan 6, 18, 10:13 am
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I was at LAX yesterday, I think the OP is correct. There used to be a Flagship/EXP type of check-in area, by the TSA Pre-Check entrance escalator at T4. That's gone, now it's one big premium area, where they make you print out your own luggage tags. In other better news, the QF F lounge remains outstanding, and we have to thank that new airside connector between TBIT and T4 as a major gain.

I guess the Flagship Check-in in LAX is there, but that doesn't work for LAX-BOS even if you're flying the A321T 3-class.
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Old Jan 6, 18, 10:57 am
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Originally Posted by Pickles View Post
II guess the Flagship Check-in in LAX is there, but that doesn't work for LAX-BOS even if you're flying the A321T 3-class.
Unless you are non-AA Emerald, then you can use it for any domestic flight. This is where my Qantas WP card comes in handy, as well as the QF F lounge...
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Old Jan 6, 18, 11:07 am
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At ORD, there is still a separate check-in lane for EXPs flying domestic (if flying international you can use the Flagship check in, obviously). It is not a visibly open lane, you have to say "EXP" to the attendant, and she will remove the rope and get you into the secret EXP priority lane. I occasionally get dirty looks and comments from other passengers in the regular elite lane, at whom I gaze with sympathy and compassion...
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Last edited by nk15; Jan 6, 18 at 11:12 am
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Old Jan 6, 18, 12:50 pm
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Even at outstations, I've had agents block us from appraching even "Priority" marked counters, demanding that we use the kiosks first. It's insane. Sometimes I'm feeling lazy and want to check in with an agent, but apparently that's a crime to AA bean counters these days.
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Old Jan 6, 18, 1:19 pm
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Things are getting out of control these days with the automation. I was trying to check in at ORD with United a year ago for international Business, and they insisted I used the kiosk, the only had humans checking in people for Global Services (CK level) or International First only.

I also checked in with Air France in Economy once last year, I couldn't figure out how to use their bag tag machine, and the attendants were running away when I was trying to ask for help...insane...
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Old Jan 6, 18, 1:50 pm
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I noticed that the other day in LAX that they have added kiosks and consolidated the F/EXP line with the elites line. It was still pretty quick.

Perhaps its the kiosks and perhaps its the additional expanded checkin area at terminal 5 (which should be avoided at all costs during busy times as precheck have to wait in line for quite a while before being split from the non-precheck crowd).

The :LAX terminal 4 elite check in process is still very good. It's split from the masses and pre-check can go straight up the escalator to security and into the terminal. It's much better than many airports.
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Old Jan 6, 18, 2:09 pm
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CLT seems to have gone this route as well. Unless I am missing something, the last few times I have been there, there is just a priority kiosk area where you print your own bag tags. Seems there should be something more for International J out of CLT at the very least.
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Old Jan 6, 18, 2:23 pm
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PHL is like this for a long time.
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Old Jan 6, 18, 2:43 pm
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I’m far from an EXP, but the last time I had to check bags, the one couple in front of me in the priority line was taking forever, so I just went over to the automated bag check area to check my bags and print luggage tags. I find most “elite” recognition at check in and in the security lane lacking nowadays regardless of airline

Last edited by Adelphos; Jan 6, 18 at 4:51 pm
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