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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 23, 18, 4:04 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Mostly DCA with a bit of SDF, DFW, and LAX
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Speculation: survey about upgrades 23 Jul 2018 -- changes on the way?

Folks, I just got an email with a survey and went ahead and clicked through it. Lots of apparently very well thought out questions but unfortunately my takeaway is that some of the following are being considered fairly seriously:
(1) consider Y-->MCE an "upgrade" in some form or fashion
(2) rein in unlimited comp upgrades for EXP
(3) add some sort of confirmable-at-booking last-seat-available upgrade system (which would be good, but maybe not if it replaced regular upgrades entirely).
(4) extending TOD or discounted miles upgrade offers to elites after booking

The survey asked about my OAL status and asked a lot of questions about my United experience (including their TOD offers).

I've captured and replicated some of the salient questions below, numbered 1-6 to facilitate discussion (but these were out of 20+ questions total). For background, I'm EXP, DCA-based, ~25k EQD and ~150 EQS in last 12 months.



1


2


3


4


5


6


Edited to add my comments on some of the survey questions:

Unfortunately, the biggest letdown was that the survey had no free-response area at all. On #1 , I would have clarified that I prefer MCE aisle to PE middle, but PE middle to MCE window (for bathroom access on int'l longhaul, not that I would willingly fly one on AA anyhow!)

On #2 , my rationale was that I value the 7 items, in order, at approximately the following dollar amounts, based on what I would pay to secure the benefit upfront for a year (and based on my current segment-heavy travel pattern where I cleared ~100 comp domestic upgrades last year): (1) $3000, (2) $800, (3) $400, whoops, meant to switch this with #4 , (4) $500, (5) $120, (6) $75, (7) $1.

On #4 , I would change my mind if I started flying more transcons and fewer regionals. On my transcons last year, I bought discounted business and easily used BXP1s to clear into 3-class F. Having the option for 10 of those would be useful, but no way I would presently give up UDUs for it.

On #5 , I must say that it cuts both ways. I had some mid-con on UA and saw myself drop to 4th on the upgrade list as the number of open seats dwindled to 2. The TOD upgrade price was high at first, maybe $400, but once it got to within 45 or 60 minutes of scheduled departure (I don't recall, but before any upgrades cleared), it dropped down to a reasonable $150. I bought, and the top person on the upgrade list cleared, and that was it. Because I had near-certainty that I wouldn't get the free upgrade (I suppose folks could have missed their flight), I didn't hesitate to buy as #4 on the list. But if I were #2 on the list, I sure wouldn't have been happy, unless I happened to check the upgrade display at the gate in time to buy up into the last remaining seat. That's a monetization game that, on the whole, would make AA more money at little cost (after all, if UA does it, what's the harm in AA's doing it?) but that would totally change the battlefield upgrade game.

Last edited by platbrownguy; Jul 23, 18 at 4:54 pm Reason: Add comments
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Old Jul 23, 18, 4:09 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: FLL
Programs: delta pm, aa exp, hilton diamond
Posts: 410
I received the same survey only skewed a little different based on my Delta status. I hope they don't make any changes.
I moved from delta because of the lack of upgrades.

Last edited by Traveling Salesman; Jul 24, 18 at 2:27 am
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Old Jul 23, 18, 4:11 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
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Was just coming on here to post something similar. Different questions here obviously for Plat, but some included...

Preferring that factors like recent upgrade success rate, recent seating, past flight delays, etc. were considered in the upgrade priority process

Similar question on PE middle or MCE aisle/window

Kill the 500-mile upgrade program to open up complimentary upgrades for everyone.

Given that I'll probably qualify for EXP this year, just a tad concerning based on the questions I saw.
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Old Jul 23, 18, 4:21 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
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There are some scary questions on there
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Old Jul 23, 18, 4:24 pm
  #5  
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I got one as a PLT that revolves around sticker upgrades and what I want out of the program. In reality Iím not sure where this might lead.
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Old Jul 23, 18, 4:27 pm
  #6  
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Originally Posted by asf-07 View Post
There are some scary questions on there
Surveys like this only compile questions so they get the answers they want.
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Old Jul 23, 18, 4:33 pm
  #7  
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Originally Posted by newyorkgeorge View Post
I got one as a PLT that revolves around sticker upgrades and what I want out of the program. In reality Iím not sure where this might lead.
If there were a free-response area, I would have said "don't you dare, to all of this."
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Old Jul 23, 18, 4:44 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: South Florida, USA
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Received this as well as an EXP. Your questions in 1 were slightly different than mine. I didn't have the option of the 3 fee free changes per year (forget what my other option was) and had the 15 upgrade certificates confirmable at booking ("subject to upgrade availability") rather than your 4. Maybe they're throwing different numbers out there to see who bites on the lowest number they'd settle for?

I think I would still rather roll the dice with 4 SWUs per year rather than go down to only 2 even if they can be confirmed at booking. (It was hard enough going from 8 down to 4). I do too much international travel and that would also rule out using them with a travel companion. Also I don't like the way they phrase the question about preferring unlimited upgrades to 15 upgrades confirmable at booking "provided upgrade availability." Even though I don't travel a lot domestically that just sounds like them taking away unlimited upgrades and still holding back upgrade availability. As this is exactly what they do today.

Obviously Discount Dougie has made the command decision that we are receiving entirely too many elite benefits as is and changes must be made!




Last edited by rollthere; Jul 23, 18 at 7:08 pm
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Old Jul 23, 18, 4:55 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
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I'm afraid these idiots might finally realize just how much they don't have their elites by the balls
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Old Jul 23, 18, 5:17 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: May 2013
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How did AA know your elite statuses on other airlines?
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Old Jul 23, 18, 5:27 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Originally Posted by keitherson View Post
How did AA know your elite statuses on other airlines?
It was one of the first questions they ask what other airlines do you have elite status on.
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Old Jul 23, 18, 5:33 pm
  #12  
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I bet TOD upgrades are coming....
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Old Jul 23, 18, 5:35 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
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Some scary questions, indeed.

And, also very annoyed at the inability for any free-form comments whatsoever. Specifically, why do $ co-pays for upgrades (whether requested ahead of time, or last-minute offerings at check-in) NOT count toward EQD?

And I hate survey questions that, on purpose, lack the response selection that one would obviously make if it were there. Forced to choose from two crappy options.
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Old Jul 23, 18, 6:20 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
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Originally Posted by yoganeck View Post
Some scary questions, indeed.

And, also very annoyed at the inability for any free-form comments whatsoever. Specifically, why do $ co-pays for upgrades (whether requested ahead of time, or last-minute offerings at check-in) NOT count toward EQD?

And I hate survey questions that, on purpose, lack the response selection that one would obviously make if it were there. Forced to choose from two crappy options.
Agree 100%. On TATL and TPAC leisure travel, if my choice was PE middle or MCE coach, then my choice is to stay at home.

All the choices suck given current upgrade availability (for other than CK on the routes I fly).

Clearly cuts are coming. This is only to figure out how deep they can cut.

It will make my life simpler -- zero upgrades means Jet Blue, here I come.
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Old Jul 23, 18, 6:20 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
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Duplicate
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