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ARCHIVE: 2016 Sticker" / 500-mile & EXP "UDU" Complimentary Upgrade Policy / FAQ

ARCHIVE: 2016 Sticker" / 500-mile & EXP "UDU" Complimentary Upgrade Policy / FAQ

Old Aug 9, 16, 1:39 pm
  #451  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Programs: AA EXP, DL FO, UA Silver, SPG Plat, Hyatt Diamond, Avis Pres Club
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Originally Posted by GregL View Post
Per the Great Circle route, ORD-MCO is 1005 miles.

AA.com shows that distance as well.

Hmm where can I look up mileage distances on AA.com? The reservation itself clearly states 994 miles, right next to 3 upgrades per person.
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Old Aug 9, 16, 1:47 pm
  #452  
 
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I could have sworn it was listed in the flight availability matrix when you clicked on the + to get more information on the flight.

It definitely is on the "Request a 500 mile upgrade" section of the Trip Options page. For ORD-MCO, it says "Upgrades Required - 3 - 1005 miles".
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Old Aug 9, 16, 1:56 pm
  #453  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
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Interesting. Looks like AA needs to figure out their mileage definitions and keep a standardized source!
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Old Aug 9, 16, 1:59 pm
  #454  
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
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Originally Posted by Superguy View Post
Then AA should fix their site to show that, rather than give the appearance of taking 3 500s for what should be 2.

If it's 1005, say so and call it good.

And the no grace for a few miles over on a sticker is still crap. Taking another 500 for 5-10 miles?
I don't have a chart of AA flight distances handy, but the line has to be drawn somewhere. When there was a 50 mile grace, people complained about flights of 1055 miles needing 3 UGs.

Arguably, it would make sense to base the # of upgrades required on the level of service offered on that flight- make snack basket flights comp, plated snack 2 UGs, standard meal 3, etc.

Last edited by captaink; Aug 9, 16 at 2:42 pm Reason: fixed typo
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Old Aug 9, 16, 2:30 pm
  #455  
 
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They apparently DID fix their site. Out of curiosity, I priced out a r/t ORD-MCO flight just now for a random weekend in October and it showed 1005 miles on the same screen OP posted above. Possibly just a temporary glitch with AA.com.........or a tiny wormhole is temporarily open on your day of travel which shortens the trip by 11 miles but AA still wants your stickers for the "wow" factor.
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Old Aug 9, 16, 2:46 pm
  #456  
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Originally Posted by captaink View Post
I don't have a chart of AA flight distances handy, but the line has to be drawn somewhere. When there was a 50 mile grace, people complained about flights of 1055 miles needing 3 UGs.

Arguably, it would make sense to base the # of upgrades required on the level of service offered on that flight- make snack basket flights comp, plated snack 2 UGs, standard meal 3, etc.
I think the 50 mile grace was reasonable. I mean yeah, 5 miles outside of the threshold is crap on say 555 mi, but it's pretty bad going from 0 certs for < 500 to 2 certs for 501-999. 551 would sting a lot less.

My last upgrade was a 507 mile SLC-PHX. I had specifically asked NOT to be put on the upgrade list as it was rebooked due to IRROPS and I was flying back with my stepson. So, I was quite surprised and a bit miffed when I found out I was upgraded and had to take it because my seat was given away. I otherwise wouldn't have wasted the upgrade on such a short flight.
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Old Aug 9, 16, 2:57 pm
  #457  
 
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Originally Posted by Superguy View Post
Then AA should fix their site to show that, rather than give the appearance of taking 3 500s for what should be 2.

If it's 1005, say so and call it good.

And the no grace for a few miles over on a sticker is still crap. Taking another 500 for 5-10 miles?
AA used to provide such grace, but dropped it not too long ago; as part of the overhaul when they combined programs with USAir, I think. That really was painful (TPA-CLT: 508; TPA-ORD: 1012).
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Old Aug 11, 16, 7:03 pm
  #458  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
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How to get back E500's, how to complain

Two E500's were pulled last week for CLT-MKE, even tho upgrade not requested. (was called to gate agent - "here's your new seats")

Realized a few days later that E500's were pulled for my SO, on same PNR.

Called EXP line - the AAngel was puzzled at my request for the return of the purloined instruments, since I'd flown in F. She said she couldn't help, and the only thing to do was to send an email to customer service.

Called EXP line today, got transferred to customer service, rep seemed to understand my concern and agreed to put 2 E500's back (they haven't appeared yet, but presume they will).

This is 3rd time this has happened in recent years. So far, AA pulled 6, have gotten only 2 back...

Not sure what's the best thing to do - once new seats are assigned, trying to restore the status quo may get you bounced far back to a middle seat, as your original seat assignment is presumably no longer there.

AAngels used to resolve this over the phone (the one time I quickly got my E500's back was pre-merger call to EXP line), but now you'll get puzzlement and some misdirection, to email customer service.

Think the best way to handle is call the EXP (or other status line) and ask to be transferred to customer service, where you can talk to a person. Suggest that in addition you take the next step.

COMPLAIN TO DOT:

Suggest that when it happens, in addition to asking for a "refund", let DOT know of this practice, file an on-line complaint - the link is:

http://airconsumer.dot.gov/escomplaint/ConsumerForm.cfm


AA likely will review the DOT complaint, but the DOT is not going to make AA do anything, unless they see a pattern...
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Old Aug 12, 16, 8:11 am
  #459  
 
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your complaint appears to fall under the Department's rules

Just received this from DOT in response to my complaint, filed yesterday.

Of some interest - AA must provide a substantive response to me and cc to DOT. DOT may take action against AA, if they detect a pattern.

***************

Dear (bucketlist)

This responds to your communication regarding American Airlines. The U.S. Department of Transportation seeks to ensure that all airline passengers are treated fairly. Complaints from consumers are helpful to us in determining whether the airlines are in compliance with our rules and to track trends or spot areas of concern that warrant further action.

Based on the information you have provided, your complaint appears to fall under the Department's rules. We will forward your complaint to the airline and ask the company to respond directly to you with a copy to us. Airlines are required to acknowledge receipt of a consumer complaint within 30 days and provide a substantive response to the complainant within 60 days. We will review the airline's response. If you need to contact me, please include your name and case number (see above). I will make every effort to reply to your message within one business day.

If our review of your complaint and the response from the company discloses a potential violation of our rules, we may pursue enforcement action. Generally, we pursue enforcement action on the basis of a number of complaints which may indicate a pattern or practice of violating our rules. Your complaint may be among those considered and may lead to appropriate enforcement action including the assessment of civil penalties. However, we have no authority to order compensation for individual complainants.

We have entered your complaint in our computerized industry monitoring system, and it will be counted among the number of complaints filed against this airline in our monthly Air Travel Consumer Report. This report allows consumers and air travel companies to compare the complaint records of individual airlines and tour operators. The data in this report also serve as a basis for rulemaking, legislation and research. Consumer information for air travelers, including the Air Travel Consumer Report and our pamphlet Fly-Rights, a Consumer's Guide to Air Travel, can be found on our website: www.dot.gov/airconsumer. Thank you for taking the time to contact us.

xxx yyyy
U.S. Department of Transportation
Aviation Consumer Protection
[email protected]
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Old Aug 12, 16, 10:26 am
  #460  
 
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Maybe due to these complaints AA will go to complimentary upgrades and eliminate e500 process. If you want confirmed upgrade use points and cash. If not, then comp to elites based on status priority. Non-status and elite companions get op ups only after all elites upgraded.
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Old Aug 12, 16, 2:26 pm
  #461  
 
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Originally Posted by dungeonlurker View Post
Hey guys,

I'm not used to using 500-mile upgrades since I'm an EXP, but my gf is a Gold. I tried to request a 500-mile upgrade for her, and it appears that it's asking for three for ORD-MCO, when the flight is 994 miles.

Anyone know why?



Thanks!
I've got the same thing for an upcoming ORD-MCO trip. I'm not really mad about it because I had previously seen the distance listed as just above 1000, and definitely felt like that was not worth it. If the distance is 994 miles I would feel like I was getting the most value out of it and might request the upgrade.
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Old Aug 16, 16, 8:11 am
  #462  
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 584
How long does it take for 500 mile upgrade usage to post in the AA.com account activity? Does this happen immediately after the flight is upgraded?

I had requested a 500 mile upgrade for a flight today, but later called to cancel the request. The reservations page looked normal (with the check mark to request it as if it was not requested already). Now, a few hours before the flight I have been upgraded, but I see no account activity corresponding to the upgrade. Never really paid attention before.

Thanks!
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Old Aug 21, 16, 5:09 pm
  #463  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: 12 stops from ORD
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Is there any way to upgrade a companion who's on the same flight but a different PNR? I'm guessing no, but would be happy to be wrong.
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Old Aug 21, 16, 8:57 pm
  #464  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
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Originally Posted by tlott View Post
How long does it take for 500 mile upgrade usage to post in the AA.com account activity?
It can take a few days; occasionally even a week. This is very annoying if you get upgraded on several flights in a short time period as you can't trust the balance on the website. The balance in the mobile app seems to get updated more reliably.

Originally Posted by XLR26 View Post
Is there any way to upgrade a companion who's on the same flight but a different PNR? I'm guessing no, but would be happy to be wrong.
Not using 500-mile upgrades. You can at least get them an MCE seat assignment if they are in the same cabin as you, but you have to call.
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Old Aug 21, 16, 9:47 pm
  #465  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: 12 stops from ORD
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Originally Posted by _kurt View Post
It can take a few days; occasionally even a week. This is very annoying if you get upgraded on several flights in a short time period as you can't trust the balance on the website. The balance in the mobile app seems to get updated more reliably.



Not using 500-mile upgrades. You can at least get them an MCE seat assignment if they are in the same cabin as you, but you have to call.
Well that's better than nothing. Good to know. THanks.
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