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Speculation: survey about upgrades 23 Jul 2018 -- changes on the way?

Speculation: survey about upgrades 23 Jul 2018 -- changes on the way?


Old Jul 25, 18, 3:07 pm
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: AUS
Programs: AA PLT, Amex Plat
Posts: 3,864
Originally Posted by Wingtipflyer1 View Post
Gordo once said It's the old adage: You can make a pizza so cheap, nobody will eat it. You can make an airline so cheap, nobody will fly it."

Wingtipflier1 once said" You can make loyalty mean nothing, so you get no revenue from them"
And yet... there seem to be more loyalty members and more full planes than ever...

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Old Jul 25, 18, 4:01 pm
Join Date: Oct 2004
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Originally Posted by enviroian View Post
None here either. Perhaps it's geographically targeted? No survey for Metroplex flyers?
I'm in dfw and received the survey.
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Old Jul 25, 18, 4:31 pm
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Thousand Oaks, Ca., USA
Programs: AA Ex Plat; Bonvoy Titanium Lifetime Elite;Hyatt Globalist; HHonors Diamond; United Silver
Posts: 5,632
Originally Posted by ElCaminoReal View Post
I'm assuming poster pays for J and is referencing inability to use stickers/UDU for J->F on transcons.
I agree with your interpretation, however, three class transcons are a very small subset of all the transcons.

Last edited by beachfan; Jul 25, 18 at 5:05 pm
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Old Jul 25, 18, 4:48 pm
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Denver, CO, USA
Posts: 384
My company's preferred airline is Delta, so I go out of my way to fly American. I'm already on the edge, so taking away the upgrades (either) would push me over. It probably isn't greener, but would be easier. F
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Old Jul 25, 18, 5:13 pm
Join Date: May 2007
Location: San Francisco, CA
Programs: AA Exp. SPG Platinum, UA 2MM, Hyatt Plat, others of no/little significance
Posts: 510
I think you're right

Originally Posted by platbrownguy View Post

1) i was mostly joking
2) it sounds like you're buying premium cabin already for all your flights, which means that status generally will provide little or no value to you (bonus miles and luggage tags, maybe a little extra baggage allowance?) -- but the point of airline loyalty programs for many (I'd maybe even say most) on this board is to get benefits for flights that we have to book in Y, whether it's business travel where OPM won't cover J/F or leisure travel for which we'd like to pay Y and travel J/F. As a non-DFW AA flyer, I find that AA does a great job of that for me.
OK, I get it

I think you're right. To the extent that I have a message at all for AA, that message is this: your bean counters have already wrung the value out of your loyalty scheme. While there is some marginal benefit to being able to use the first class check-in at Heathrow when flying business, AA's mileage program already took away everything that could have made me loyal. Their customer service is appalling, their domestic first a joke and they can't even remember my phone number when I call. They've turned their airline into something that might pass for an alternative sentencing program (okay, slight exaggeration).

I can't think of a reason to choose AA except where my choices are totally constrained and unappealing. In that narrow case, the minor level of recognition that AA hands out to people like me is worth something, however little it turns out to be.

I want AA management to hear it: for a high revenue traveler (last year, it was about $40K on AA; my partner and I spent closer to $60) there's no further value to cut from this program. Chop away at benefits, but don't be surprised when I'm loyal only to American Express or Nordstrom.

BTW, I flew Air Canada's new business class from NYC to SYD. it's really outstanding. And at under $5K, it was a decent fare for a leisure trip (I realize how lucky I am to say that, but AA needs to up their game). I won't go near United unless snowballs freeze in hell, but AC is better than it used to be, at least up front.
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Old Jul 25, 18, 8:05 pm
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Programs: American, Iberia, Air Niugini
Posts: 121
Originally Posted by rossmacd View Post
Going against the grain here.......the number of upgrades handed out on AA reduces my ability as a paid Domestic F flyer to standby on earlier services and retaining my F seat. Therefore, if the number of upgrades handed out are reduced, I would actually be quite happy.
More importantly, it would increase the chances that an F seat is available when I mis-connect due to a late flight. I'm non-hub based, so always connecting.

Sick and tired of getting downgraded when you just know that F is full because of upgrades! It's infuriating... They need to push upgrades to boarding time. 3 times in the last 3 trips.
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Old Jul 26, 18, 5:22 am
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: New York, NY, USA
Programs: AA3MMEXP, BAGold, UA1MMPremGold, Marriott PlatPremAmb, AccorPlat, HHGold, IC PlatAmb, HyattExplorist
Posts: 4,287
I did not get the survey.

This thread just confirms my decision to give up on EXP next year. I have LT Plat and I plan to keep my BAEC Gold status, so should be okay when I need to fly AA. I do relatively little domestic flying nowadays; I'll probably use B6 or maybe DL for most of it.
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Old Jul 26, 18, 6:14 am
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: NYC
Programs: AA EXP, SPG Gold, Hyatt Platinum
Posts: 1,247
I didn't get the survey. Multi-year EXP, but the number of times I have purchased Y on a flight with F is near zero so I rarely experience UDUs. At this point, AA is down to about 70% of my flying as I switch to whomever has better times, non-stop routes, or a marginally better aircraft. As a NY-based traveler, AA, B6, and DL all are viable choices on most transcon routes. And for mid-con routes they all tend to suck, but some suck with a connection vs. without. AA seems determined to wring the last shred of value out of EXP, which wrings the last drop of loyalty out of me.
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Old Jul 26, 18, 8:23 pm
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: Miami
Programs: AA EXP
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I seriously think this is an edge case and very bad luck. Most flights seem to hold at least 1 seat for gate upgrades (unless someone else purchases it within T-24).
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Old Jul 27, 18, 3:38 am
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: ASE
Programs: AA EXP, UA Silver, Hertz 5*, National Executive, Hyatt DSC, HHonors/SPG/Marriott Gold, IHG PLT
Posts: 2,634
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe LAA typically held back 2 seats in F (unless all were sold) until the gate. This was great for mis-connects, and alleviated many of the problems posters have posted above. I believe AA should go back to this system. As an LAA EXP, despite mis-connects/OSO, I was still able to keep my seat in F, which was a HUGE selling point for me on AA irrops and maintaining status versus my experience at UA.
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Old Jul 27, 18, 11:10 am
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Austin, Texas, USA
Programs: AA Plat Pro, Hilton Silver, Marriott Plat Premier, AS MVP Gold 75K
Posts: 49
I think giving options for what benefits YOU want for your status would be a huge step forward. We all know one size does not fit all, and that is even more obvious looking at the comments above. Delta already does a little of this "Choose your adventure" idea, and I think if AA were to implement something like that...where YOU had a choice of what kind of upgrades you wanted (i.e. 4 SWU's if available OR 2 SWU confirm at booking) it would be a tremendous step forward. As a multi-year plat staring firmly at pro for this year, all of my travel is for business, all of my travel is domestic, all of my travel is booked <14 days out, and all of it HAS to be booked in Y. That said, domestic upgrades are a valuable benefit, and even flying out of AUS and through DFW, I have been somewhat successful at getting the upgrades. I have also bought-up to first after the initial purchase. THIS is what I most wish American would change...I want to be able to do that transaction online...and I want more visibility of it...like United does. When you go into a reservation on United, if there are seats up front, it gives you an offer (any time prior to departure) presumably to buy up to the lowest available F (or J) fare. To upfare an AA res, you HAVE to call. You can change online (if it even lets you choose the right flights ---often it doesnt) but you're also on the hook for a $200 change fee.

For me, the MCE at booking is very important, and the recently implemented drink policy in MCE carries a lot of sway with me.

I'm not sure that I would want everyone to have UDU. Maybe keep UDU for EXP, then let plat and pro decided UDU or 10 one-way upgrade confirmations and then keep gold with 500's.
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Old Jul 27, 18, 1:22 pm
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Originally Posted by fastflyer View Post
I did receive the survey.

I do not understand the "problem" that AA is trying to fix. ?
I don't believe the metric AA wants to report is your specific success or failure rate. Delta started reporting the fraction of F cabin that is paid, and has announced a near term target of 70%. UA thought their fraction - a bit behind Delta, and no target stated - was good enough to report, too. If AA isn't reporting it, it's because it lags its competitors. Call me a cynic.
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Old Jul 27, 18, 1:23 pm
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Old Jul 27, 18, 1:54 pm
Join Date: May 2013
Location: NYC
Programs: DL GM, AAdvantage EXECPLAT, Hyatt Plat, HHonors Diamond, Avis First
Posts: 5,662
no survey for me
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Old Jul 27, 18, 2:33 pm
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: RDU
Programs: AA CK
Posts: 1,750
View from the Wing posted the italicized commentary below 3 years ago, and it's 100% true today. https://viewfromthewing.boardingarea...5/12/17/42581/

Bottom line is that the airlines are trying to sell first class. This is no longer a loyalty play which will = revenue over time... it's a direct revenue play. And if the Big 3 all share this strategy, they are betting that nobody will defect, and if you do decide to defect from AA, someone will defect from DL/UA over to AA. It's also clear that they are looking at PE and MCE as definite improvements to the coach experience, and likely will be using those cabins (with enhanced benefits and more comfort than traditional coach) as the loyalty incentive as F class becomes more elusive.

There’s little question that upgrades are harder than they were 5 years ago and 10 years ago.
  1. Airlines are selling discounted first class fares far more than they ever used to.
  2. Airlines are making aggressive buy up offers to first class.
  3. The economy is doing better than it was (hey, the Federal Reserve even raised interest rates!)
  4. Airlines aren’t expanding as quickly as they used to. As air travel grows, and airlines ‘practice capacity discipline’, there’s more demand for a dwindling number of available upgrade seats.
  5. Lots of people confirm their upgrades in advance – in part because of all the miles that are out there, and in part because of how tough the competition is

Last edited by dave_261; Jul 27, 18 at 2:43 pm
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