Not able to use SWU on Premium Economy?

Old Jul 12, 18, 10:34 am
  #1  
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Not able to use SWU on Premium Economy?

Hi,
Flew DFW-LHR return a couple of weeks ago. Outbound was Economy, return Premium Economy (paid). Called AA after booking and asked for SWUs on both legs, which were applied and showed in my record.

Got the SWU on the DFW leg the day before (yes!), but the return never cleared, and I didn't show on the upgrade list. When I got to the airport, ticket counter said I wasn't eligible for an upgrade, but couldn't tell me why. They called AA Customer Service and they couldn't help.

I emailed Customer Service when I got back and the result was confusing emails and a phone call - with the message being,"If you use an SWU on an outbound flight, you can't upgrade a Premium Economy on the return - but you can upgrade an Economy ticket.".

The guy who called me made no sense and clearly didn't understand what was going on.

Anyone else ever run into this? Doesn't make any sense to me, except that they haven't fully upgraded their systems to support PE.
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Old Jul 12, 18, 10:44 am
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I'm curious about this as well as I am waitlisted for SWU upgrade on a premium economy ticket LAX-HKG-LAX. The current status on my reservation says 'Upgrade Requested' but I'm not sure what that means.

Seems pretty obvious that folks who purchase PE class should be prioritized for SWU's over those who purchase Y. If AA's system can't handle this, it's a pretty serious glitch.
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Old Jul 12, 18, 10:53 am
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Originally Posted by kabroui View Post
I'm curious about this as well as I am waitlisted for SWU upgrade on a premium economy ticket LAX-HKG-LAX. The current status on my reservation says 'Upgrade Requested' but I'm not sure what that means.

Seems pretty obvious that folks who purchase PE class should be prioritized for SWU's over those who purchase Y. If AA's system can't handle this, it's a pretty serious glitch.
A problem if it can't be applied, but definitely not obvious that PE should be prioritized. If fact, I disagree that there is a need to given AA clearly has chosen 12 month EQD as the tiebreaker within class.
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Old Jul 12, 18, 11:08 am
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From an IT perspective, AA's rollout of Premium Economy seems really bad. It's pretty shocking that it's taking them much longer to update their computer systems than to physically roll out the product across the fleet.

I've used an SWU on a PE ticket before, but it was for travel to/from Hawaii rather than Europe and didn't have the "outbound in economy; return in premium economy" so I guess it's possible that that's the actual explanation, but seems pretty unlikely to me.
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Old Jul 12, 18, 11:17 am
  #5  
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I upgraded to PE on a DFW-NRT-DFW trip about a month ago. I applied SWU and was upgraded on the way out and was on the list on the way back. I was third on the list but only one upgrade cleared. It worked the way I expected so I don't know why the agent said this. I have a subscription to EF and it never showed an alert, J was full when I looked at it. Strange explanation.

Last edited by JTK; Jul 12, 18 at 11:18 am Reason: Forgot to put in SWU
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Old Jul 12, 18, 11:18 am
  #6  
 
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I am PE on both legs on my upcoming trip MIA-LHR-MIA. No issue here applying my SWUs and getting on the wait list. My return has cleared, waiting on the outbound. Sounds like if the itinerary has Eco one way and PE on the other, then it seems like they have an IT issue.
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Old Jul 12, 18, 11:48 am
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Originally Posted by airmarc View Post
Sounds like if the itinerary has Eco one way and PE on the other, then it seems like they have an IT issue.
That's my thinking as well, maybe it reads it as if you where already upgraded already.
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Old Jul 12, 18, 11:53 am
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Originally Posted by airmarc View Post
I am PE on both legs on my upcoming trip MIA-LHR-MIA. No issue here applying my SWUs and getting on the wait list. My return has cleared, waiting on the outbound. Sounds like if the itinerary has Eco one way and PE on the other, then it seems like they have an IT issue.
Originally Posted by arollins View Post
That's my thinking as well, maybe it reads it as if you where already upgraded already.
I flew a trip to Brazil in May that was ticketed Economy on the way down, and Premium Economy on the way back. Had absolutely no problem applying and clearing a SWU Y--->J on the way down. Did not try to upgrade the way back (daylight flight GRU-MIA in PE, no need to burn an SWU on that.)

So if mixed class is the problem - it's not a consistent problem. Or it's only a problem in upgrading the PE portion of the ticket.
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Old Jul 12, 18, 11:54 am
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Originally Posted by lloydbishop View Post
Hi,
Flew DFW-LHR return a couple of weeks ago. Outbound was Economy, return Premium Economy (paid). Called AA after booking and asked for SWUs on both legs, which were applied and showed in my record.

Got the SWU on the DFW leg the day before (yes!), but the return never cleared, and I didn't show on the upgrade list. When I got to the airport, ticket counter said I wasn't eligible for an upgrade, but couldn't tell me why. They called AA Customer Service and they couldn't help.

I emailed Customer Service when I got back and the result was confusing emails and a phone call - with the message being,"If you use an SWU on an outbound flight, you can't upgrade a Premium Economy on the return - but you can upgrade an Economy ticket.".

The guy who called me made no sense and clearly didn't understand what was going on.

Anyone else ever run into this? Doesn't make any sense to me, except that they haven't fully upgraded their systems to support PE.
Welcome to FT. Unfortunately it looks like some sort of a glitch kept you off the waitlist for the return portion, who knows. But the answers you received are complete nonsense by AA. Of course there is no requirement that you can only upgrade one way or the other of a PE roundtrip or anything like that (what if you buy a one-way?). Last month I bought a RDU-MXP roundtrip in PE and had no issues whatsoever upgrading both outbound and return with SWUs.

Also, in a lot of cases at an international outstation it can be the blind leading the blind when it comes to clueless agents, as an ill-trained check-in agent calling AA for help at what will usually be middle of the night US time, when you're just a likely to get an equally clueless agent on the phone.
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Old Jul 12, 18, 12:00 pm
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Originally Posted by kabroui View Post
Seems pretty obvious that folks who purchase PE class should be prioritized for SWU's over those who purchase Y. If AA's system can't handle this, it's a pretty serious glitch.
This is not an IT issue. This is not American's policy.

SWUs can be used from Y and PE however waitlist and clearing priority is based on Status and rolling EQD. That is it.
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Old Jul 12, 18, 12:25 pm
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Originally Posted by bse118 View Post
I flew a trip to Brazil in May that was ticketed Economy on the way down, and Premium Economy on the way back. Had absolutely no problem applying and clearing a SWU Y--->J on the way down. Did not try to upgrade the way back (daylight flight GRU-MIA in PE, no need to burn an SWU on that.)

So if mixed class is the problem - it's not a consistent problem. Or it's only a problem in upgrading the PE portion of the ticket.
Well, you describe the exact same scenario as OP right up to the point you decided not to upgrade on the way back whereas OP did. So we really don't know if it is inconsistent or not--if you would have successfully upgraded on the way back it would contradict OP's experience, but for all we know you would have had the exact same problem had you tried.
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Old Jul 12, 18, 12:37 pm
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I haven't had any experience but will be booking a Europe trip for October. I think the safe thing right now for me is to either book just Economy or just Premium Economy and not mess with mixing it.
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Old Jul 12, 18, 12:48 pm
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I booked a mixed DFW-LHR. PE outbound and E back. My SWU for out cleared a week out. Return hasn’t cleared yet. Tried to book PE on return and it is not showing for sale on July 28th.
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Old Jul 12, 18, 12:53 pm
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Originally Posted by jordyn View Post
Well, you describe the exact same scenario as OP right up to the point you decided not to upgrade on the way back whereas OP did. So we really don't know if it is inconsistent or not--if you would have successfully upgraded on the way back it would contradict OP's experience, but for all we know you would have had the exact same problem had you tried.
Hah - point. I should read more carefully I guess. I'd inverted the order of the OP's flights in my head...

Re-reading the OP, I now wonder if this actually has little or nothing to do with Y/PE but is more likely just incompetent agents looking for an excuse.

I've had SWU and upgrade requests disappear from return legs of international flights drop off after check-in at outstations, and have required a fair amount of work by phone agents or club agents to get them restored. Never been clear to me why this happens but often - not exclusively - involves check-in with contracted agents or with an initial flight on a partner carrier (this doesn't seem to be the case here)

Or - and just speculating here - given that this seems to involve a flight originating at LHR - maybe someone didn't know how to handle (or there's an IT issue with) charging (or setting up to charge) ADP for PE to J?
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Old Jul 12, 18, 12:53 pm
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As indicated clearly in the Upgrade Priority: Status, Upgrade Type, Rolling 12 Month EQD Spend thread, upgrade priority is based on

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

  4. Booking class (in order, J, D, I, W, P, Y, H, K, M, L, V, G, S, N, Q, O, T)

  5. Time of request
If an agent tells you you can’t upgrade from PE, HUCA. You can’t upgrade to PE using instruments, and IMO we might hope we will never be able to do so, as that could well be the harbinger of a Y -> PE -> J -> F upgrade path.

As to the rollout of PE, the 772 J45 seem to be the sticky point, though AA hasn’t told us why the big delay.
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