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AA offers TOD “tens of dollars” First Class & Upgrades

AA offers TOD “tens of dollars” First Class & Upgrades

Old Apr 26, 19, 12:29 pm
  #1  
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AA offers TOD “tens of dollars” First Class & Upgrades

On today's earnings call a question came up regarding an IT improvement going live. The response was that the initiative was "post purchase but pre flight" and involved an upsell of the premium cabin "by the end of May".

Anyone else hear this? It was around 49:15 in the call.

Oh boy............

Last edited by IADCAflyer; Apr 26, 19 at 12:43 pm
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Old Apr 26, 19, 12:31 pm
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Originally Posted by IADCAflyer
On today's earnings call a question came up regarding an IT improvement going live. The response was that the initiative was "post purchase but pre flight" and involved an upsell of the premium cabin "by the end of May".

Anyone else hear this? It was around 49:15 in the call.

Oh boy............
ha ha ha FCM a comin'!

Called this one a while ago

LOL
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Old Apr 26, 19, 12:32 pm
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Gary Leff reporting as well, probably from the same info:

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Old Apr 26, 19, 12:38 pm
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Originally Posted by IADCAflyer
AA moving to TOD model for upgrades and F class??
Originally Posted by enviroian
ha ha ha FCM a comin'!

Called this one a while ago

LOL
TOD? FCM?
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Old Apr 26, 19, 12:39 pm
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I'm about it if you get EQD for it.
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Old Apr 26, 19, 12:42 pm
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Originally Posted by deeruck
TOD? FCM?
TOD = Tens of Dollars

https://viewfromthewing.boardingarea...5/12/17/42581/
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Old Apr 26, 19, 12:45 pm
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Originally Posted by IADCAflyer
Got it, thanks. It had to happen, probably surprising it took so long when you see that Delta was doing it in 2015.
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Old Apr 26, 19, 12:47 pm
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Originally Posted by deeruck
Got it, thanks. It had to happen, probably surprising it took so long when you see that Delta was doing it in 2015.
I actually don't even care as I don't get upgrade really much of the time anyway. Not much left to scour away from the AA program anymore
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Old Apr 26, 19, 12:58 pm
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Originally Posted by IADCAflyer
Garys article is in that oldie but goodie, and it certainly does lead to further devaluation of SWU, 500 mile and miles plus copayment. Upselling to the airline hoi polloi is more attractive than granting upgrades to elites. Loyalty is for chumps seems to be a common attitude today, and besides, if Delta did it, can AA be far behind?

Theres little question that upgrades are harder than they were 5 years ago and 10 years ago.
  • Airlines are selling discounted first class fares far more than they ever used to.
  • Airlines are making aggressive buy up offers to first class.
  • The economy is doing better than it was (hey, the Federal Reserve even raised interest rates!)
  • Airlines arent expanding as quickly as they used to. As air travel grows, and airlines practice capacity discipline, theres more demand for a dwindling number of available upgrade seats.
  • 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.
  • All of these things combine to depress your upgrade percentage.
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Old Apr 26, 19, 1:22 pm
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This "upsell" could simply be the fare difference between what people paid and the current premium cabin price. Right now, people have to call AA to upfare to a premium cabin after booking. Maybe AA will start offering upfare option online after booking a ticket.
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Old Apr 26, 19, 2:23 pm
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Since upgrades are seldom predictable I'm on board with this. I frequently buy up now when the price is right on other airlines. I have been waiting for AA to launch this.
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Old Apr 26, 19, 2:39 pm
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Originally Posted by Austin787
This "upsell" could simply be the fare difference between what people paid and the current premium cabin price. Right now, people have to call AA to upfare to a premium cabin after booking. Maybe AA will start offering upfare option online after booking a ticket.
Originally Posted by FLYDCA
Since upgrades are seldom predictable I'm on board with this. I frequently buy up now when the price is right on other airlines. I have been waiting for AA to launch this.
Exactly. Plenty of people, myself included, are willing to selectively upfare an employer purchased ticket out of pocket. Very easy to do on UA, for example. Yes, another blow to top tier elites but a win for those of us below EXP who never have a regular shot at F anyhow.
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Old Apr 26, 19, 2:45 pm
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Originally Posted by arlflyer
Exactly. Plenty of people, myself included, are willing to selectively upfare an employer purchased ticket out of pocket. Very easy to do on UA, for example. Yes, another blow to top tier elites but a win for those of us below EXP who never have a regular shot at F anyhow.
Yep, I've done this on Delta (and been very happy with the value I got). I have been bouncing around between Gold and Platinum for years. It was always earned organically (no MRs) but it required effort to concentrate travel on AA. I'm no longer making any effort to put all my travel in one place. Price, schedule, and product are my only factors going forward. So as a future non-elite, I welcome the opportunity for TOD upgrades at AA!
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Old Apr 26, 19, 2:48 pm
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Yes, this has been in the works for a bit. My understanding is they are going to implement a way to upfare the ticket without impacting the underlying ticket. I'm curious if/how this ends up being the case.

Regardless, upgrades have been worthless for a while. I just upfare on any flight over 2.5 hours. It's far easier than playing upgrade roulette, is usually a reasonable price, and is a lot less stress and hassle. Worth every penny to me.
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Old Apr 26, 19, 2:50 pm
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Originally Posted by wetrat0
So as a future non-elite, I welcome the opportunity for TOD upgrades at AA!
Bingo. And to be clear, AA is embracing its non elites - what was that figure, 86% of pax flying once per year? If AA can get revenue lift out of those one off flyers or less frequent flyers, then at current load factors it is going to be more for them than a bunch of high volume, low price passengers.

It is pretty clear as a bystander that AA really only cares about two customer segments: the high value exec or rock star who buys F out of pocket on a regular basis, and the one off flyer that it can incrementally monetize. AA's actions seem to indicate that it views the common road warrior as a high cost to serve, low margin hassle (and I say that as one of those myself).
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