Is AA being nice re SWUs?

Old Oct 10, 18, 10:44 pm
  #16  
 
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Originally Posted by pbd456 View Post
i have looked at a few months for LAX HKG, only 2 or 3 days have U space and zero date has C space
I resisted the "extra step", but am now a believer in using ExpertFlyer to set notifications when C space opens up, and then calling AA to snag the upgrade. That procedure has worked twice for me to move from Premium Economy to Business on the LAX-HKG segment within one week of originally purchasing the ticket.
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Old Oct 10, 18, 10:53 pm
  #17  
 
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Originally Posted by enviroian View Post
Have you looked at the routes you used to take that showed C space then now for up coming or distant travel dates?

What did you find?
I used one in September LHR-RDU (had a multi city to Asia, then to Europe, and booked J on both of those but Y from Europe back to US), and one already confirmed for next week on DFW-HKG. Return is on CX though.

I have two upcoming trips to Europe in November and expect Iíll use a SWU on one and book J on the other.
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Old Oct 11, 18, 4:56 am
  #18  
 
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I'm convinced that most of the "SWU are useless" complaints are either domestic-only travelers or people who insist that if you can't confirm the upgrade at booking that upgrades might as well not exist. I have better than 80% eventual Y->J clearance on my transatlantic flights, and I'm a bottom-of-the-EQD-barrel EXP. And I fly when I have to fly - I don't get to rearrange schedules to maximize SWU chances.
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Old Oct 11, 18, 5:21 am
  #19  
 
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Originally Posted by pbd456 View Post
i have looked at a few months for LAX HKG, only 2 or 3 days have U space and zero date has C space
The past 2 years I found many dates that were immediately UPG'able on my HKG-LAX RT's, but I fly midweek and book way out. I used all our 1/19's SWU's (10 between my GF and I,) and probably will end up only getting 4 this year for use in 2019. My March 2019 trip dates don't show immediate UPG's available, but appears wide open in J. I'll wait until CX announces their Black Friday sale as last year it was pretty good and better for requalification than flying AA.

I wouldn't say they're worthless, but they are worth less than before. At least they're not UA. Keep your expectations in check and get used to it.
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Old Oct 11, 18, 8:08 am
  #20  
 
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Originally Posted by superweak View Post
I'm convinced that most of the "SWU are useless" complaints are either domestic-only travelers or people who insist that if you can't confirm the upgrade at booking that upgrades might as well not exist. I have better than 80% eventual Y->J clearance on my transatlantic flights, and I'm a bottom-of-the-EQD-barrel EXP. And I fly when I have to fly - I don't get to rearrange schedules to maximize SWU chances.
I concur. Since making EXP (3 years ago) 100% of my SWU have cleared even when waitlisted. Only once did I "attempt" to use it on a domestic leg but was discouraged by the EXP CS agent when I called in to have it applied, but I insisted (online indicated that I could be confirmed into F for entire trip). Don't know if it was just sheer luck or not, but soon after the called ended call, no more than 10 mins later, I was upgraded and the flight was a week away. No SWU was ever deducted. Shhhhh!!! LOL
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Old Oct 11, 18, 9:00 am
  #21  
 
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As a data point, the trip I am currently on (LHR/JFK return, Y>J SWUs both ways confirmed immediately after purchase as C inventory was available) was booked in April. (Now if you can plan ahead 6 months, currently there's a mid-week paid J fare of £1300, which is, to my mind, not too bad.)

My bugbear this year with AA is that on both previous bookings using SWUs the EQDs awarded were wrong, short-changed by about 30%. My guess is something about the ex-LHR tax co-payment upsets the EQD logic. I don't think it's related to $/£ since I've had non-SWU trips credited correctly. Both times it was corrected eventually following email prods to CS. It looks like it's happening again on this trip, but can't be sure till I've flown the return leg.
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Old Oct 11, 18, 9:06 am
  #22  
 
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Originally Posted by swingaling View Post
SWUs are of limited value for me personally. I've only been able to use three of mine this year and the fourth will probably expire unused. I'll end the year with around 145k EQM (assuming QR ever credits flights to my account). While it wouldn't be hard to snag an extra 5k for the extra SWUs, I just don't see the point.
I always chuckle when someone says this. Looking at your own words, on 3 occasions you were able to move from presumably a Y seat to a J seat. Now if used on international or transcon (which is what should be done), you moved from a $100's seat to a $1,000's seat. So you either saved money, personally, or were able to personally fly in a nicer seat that what you business pays for. I see value there.

Originally Posted by superweak View Post
I'm convinced that most of the "SWU are useless" complaints are either domestic-only travelers or people who insist that if you can't confirm the upgrade at booking that upgrades might as well not exist. I have better than 80% eventual Y->J clearance on my transatlantic flights, and I'm a bottom-of-the-EQD-barrel EXP. And I fly when I have to fly - I don't get to rearrange schedules to maximize SWU chances.
Very well put.

I wouldn't say they're worthless, but they are worth less than before. At least they're not UA. Keep your expectations in check and get used to it.
Agreed. No one ever brings up the the ability to use SWU on any fare (outside of BE).
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Old Oct 11, 18, 1:44 pm
  #23  
 
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Originally Posted by ACSBill View Post
I always chuckle when someone says this. Looking at your own words, on 3 occasions you were able to move from presumably a Y seat to a J seat. Now if used on international or transcon (which is what should be done), you moved from a $100's seat to a $1,000's seat. So you either saved money, personally, or were able to personally fly in a nicer seat that what you business pays for. I see value there.
Ideally, I'd use them to upgrade a TPAC. Since AA is killing off their ex-ORD TPAC flights, I'd have to go to DFW or LAX to use an SWU. Not really worth it when JL and CX both fly from BOS.

The first two I used were applied to a TATL trip in April. I booked the trip at that time on AA (despite the weather) only because there was open C space. My destination was HEL, which necessitated some pretty inconvenient routings (BOS-PHL-ZRH-HEL//HEL-CDG-ORD-BOS) to make it work. Absent the SWU, I'd have flown BA instead (for convenience). It all worked out and was nice to be up front for cheap, but there were definitely trade-offs. I could have just as easily upgraded each TATL for 25k + $350; that's closer to what the SWU is actually worth, not 1000's.

The third SWU was used to upgrade paid J to F on LHR-JFK. Based on how poor F is on AA, it was a complete waste of an SWU. I only used it because I knew I'd have no further opportunities to use one this year. The remainder of my planned travel is on BA, QR and NZ.

So, yes, there is value in SWUs. But given that I don't live at an AA hub, the value is more limited for me.

Last edited by swingaling; Oct 11, 18 at 7:18 pm
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Old Oct 11, 18, 2:32 pm
  #24  
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Originally Posted by swingaling View Post
only because there was open C space
Based on your email this appears to be the only reason they have value.
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Old Oct 11, 18, 2:47 pm
  #25  
 
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Not sure we need another thread debating the "value" of SWUs but for me, this year alone, all Y-->J:

LHR-ORD
ORD-NRT
LHR-DFW
AMS-PHL
LAX-HND
NRT-DFW (* this was a BXP - but its the same inventory as SWU)
CLT-LHR
ORD-LHR

All cleared. Some at booking, some off the waitlist, all before the gate. Most on fare classes which wouldn't have been eligible for a UA GPU.

I don't particularly care when they clear - I care that they clear. And my experience is that they do clear. And that's what I'll judge the "value" based on.
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Old Oct 11, 18, 3:33 pm
  #26  
 
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Originally Posted by bse118 View Post
I don't particularly care when they clear - I care that they clear. And my experience is that they do clear. And that's what I'll judge the "value" based on.
With the right EQD, there's no doubt that SWUs can clear.

It was relatively less stressful when they used to be confirmed so far in advance on a regular basis for long hauls.
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