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ARCHIVE: Airport Upgrade and Standby Priority List (“PALL”) Order (master thread)

ARCHIVE: Airport Upgrade and Standby Priority List (“PALL”) Order (master thread)

Old Dec 22, 06, 1:27 am
  #1  
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ARCHIVE: Airport Upgrade and Standby Priority List (“PALL”) Order (master thread)

OBSOLETE INFORMATION: For the current thread, see here. Moderator
On another thread, someone asked about information regarding stand bys and upgrade lists. The all controlling element in this, and I am sure sometimes the bane of your lives and many airline employees.. the 'PALL list".

The Pall list.

This is the name of the list that agents use to see who is standing by and who is requesting an upgrade. What you see on the monitors at each gate is an abbreviated list of what the agents see and use to award upgrades on good days, or solicit volunteers on bad days.

This is influenced by two factors, status and time. Status is everything, and if you are Executive Platinum, Platinum or Gold, you go on the list above all else, which is the way it should be. The only people that go on the list before the top three tiers are over sales. As you will see, the pall list is all acronyms (it wouldnt be an airline otherwise) and numbers.

I hope that the following information will give you some ideas of how the list works, and what the agent can and cannot do.

Lists can be as long as your arm, or on quiet days, non-existent. Once coming out of Heathrow as a non-rev, I was number 56 on the list, with five other non-revs in front of me. I figured I had no chance of getting on the flight and the gate agent told me so, but to wait around until she had taken care of the revenue passengers and she would look at other options for me. I waited and the non-rev gods must have been in a good mood that day as I managed to get a seat in first class. Just goes to show that sometimes it is worth waiting until the very last moment as things can change by the second.

As mentioned above the Over sales go straight to the top of the list. Therefore, before we get to the stand by lists I thought I would take a moment to go a little deeper in to that, apologies to those of you who might already know this.

Those of you who have received a "priority card” when checking in at the airport and are told you are on the list for a seat will be familiar with this. Just because you have a priority card, it does not mean there have been over sales. AA's seat control dept block a certain number of seats on all flights for a number of reasons. They block these seats for customers with disabilities. DOT regulations require all airlines to provide confirmed seats to these customers. The DOT has fined airlines up to $25000 for each occurrence. Certain seats are also blocked off (depending on the equipment type ) for any of the following reasons : Unaccompanied minors, crew rest, the seats have removable arms, bassinet seating for infants, or the seats have been blocked by Premium Services for top tier members.

There are at least 10 different codes used to identify blocked seats, some of these seats can be unblocked by the airport agents from 24 hours before departure time, some can only be unblocked by the gate agent from 30 minutes before departure time. Once all customers with any special requirements have been accommodated, the agent may then start giving these blocked seats to the people with priority passes, starting with the top tier passengers. Here again, status comes in to play. If you are Executive Platinum, you will be OS1, Platinum will be OS2, and Gold will be OS3, regular AAdvantage and normal revenue passengers will be just OS.

That is a brief bit of info on over sales, on to the standby/upgrade list.

There are three upgrade codes according to tier, UPG1, 2 and 3 . UPG1 is Executive Platinum, UPG2 is Platinum, and UPG3 is gold, UPG is for regular AAdvantage members. Your place in the upgrade list depends on your status and the time you went on the list. The amount of miles compared to another flyer in your tier is irrelevant, if they listed before you did, they will be above you on the list. The list will always be in numerical order, so even if you were Platinum who listed before Executive Platinum, you will still be a UPG2.

Here are some examples:

1/ I am an Executive Platinum and you are a Platinum. You listed before I did for the upgrade, but my code is UPG1, and yours is UPG2. So regardless of when you listed, I will be higher up the list. Your friend on the same flight is an Executive Platinum, and even though he has flown more miles than I have, I am still above him on the list as I listed before he did.

2/ You are a Platinum and so am I, we are both at the ticket counter and ask to be listed for an upgrade, you are in front of me in the line. You will be UPG2, and I will be UPG2, but you will be higher on the list than I will as you listed before I did, despite the fact that I have flown 10000 more miles than you have this year.

I have heard from people at the check in counter that they called in to the help desk right at the 100/72/24 hr mark to list and found out that they still weren’t close to the top of the list. One of the reasons that this might happen is that you can actually put your request in when making the reservation up to 330 days out. Sabre will store the UPG request and automatically try to upgrade you at the threshold time. Sabre stores the requests in the order they are received so if you made a reservation 300 days out and requested the UPG, you will be in front of the person who made their reservation at 200 days out. Remember, the system runs on its own time, so your watch may not match "sabre time”.

On to stand bys then.

As with OS and UPG, stand bys have their own code, R, with a 1, 2 or 3 according to status. Again, your listing depends on status and the time you listed. After the “R “ other codes appear, usually beginning with a D , these are AMR and other airline employees, their family or friends.

The stand by list you see on the screen at the airport, is nothing like the screen the agent sees in Sabre. While I cant give you a screen shot, I can give you some idea of what it looks like.


1 OS1 DOE JOHN
2 0S2 SMITH JOHN
3 OS GREEN TOM
4 UPG1 WHITE JOHN AG2
5 UPG1 SMITH MARY AG2
6 UPG3 JOHNSON MARK
7 R1 HERNANDEZ BILL
8 R2 SEGAL PAM
9 DRX KING LARRY
10 D1 SIMPSON MARGE
11 D2 KINNER NEIL
12 D2 SKINNER AMANDA
13 D3 ONEAL RONALD

From the above list you can see that :
Pasenger 1 is an Executive Platinum who is waiting for a seat number.
Passenger 2 is a Platinum who is waiting for a seat number.
Passenger 3 is a non AAdvantage member waiting for a seat number. Passengers 4 and 5 are Executive Platinum waiting or an upgrade.
Passenger 6 is an aadvantage Gold member waiting for an upgrade. Passenger 7 is an Executive Platinum hoping to go standby.
Passenger 8 is a Platinum hoping to go stand by.
Passenger 9 is a discount revenue passenger hoping to stand by for an earlier flight.
Passengers 10 thru 13 are non revs trying to catch the flight.

There are about 5 or 6 other columns to the right of the names. in these columns would be information such as what class of service you are booked in, which class you are upgrading to, destination code. There is also a remarks column, in which the ticket counter agent or the gate agent can put in such things as “intl connection” ‘medical emergency”.

If you look at passengers 4 and 5 you will see a code after thier names, this is to tell the gate agent that they are travelling together. This is handy for the GA to know as there might not be enough seats to upgrade both passengers and the GA can then ask if they still want the upgrade for one of them, or if they want to stay sitting together in coach.

Any transacton in the pall list is recorded in the history file. Who put the person on the list, who gave them a seat etc. This allows the company to review pall lists to ensure that people are processing the requests correctly, and to ensure they are taking care of premium passengers, not giving away seats to non-rev friends.

I hope that this attempt at explaining the pall list is of benefit to you all, I am open to any questions you might have, I know I came up with a few whilst reading it myself.

Last edited by JDiver; Jan 4, 20 at 3:28 pm Reason: add moderator note
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Old Dec 22, 06, 4:37 am
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How sure are you of your facts?

Originally Posted by jrhone View Post
I have heard from people at the check in counter that they called in to the help desk right at the 100/72/24 hr mark to list and found out that they still weren’t close to the top of the list. One of the reasons that this might happen is that you can actually put your request in when making the reservation up to 330 days out. Sabre will store the UPG request and automatically try to upgrade you at the threshold time. Sabre stores the requests in the order they are received so if you made a reservation 300 days out and requested the UPG, you will be in front of the person who made their reservation at 200 days out.
If it's at the check in desk with less than three hours until flight time, they'll find they are not on any list. The automated upgrade request list expires three hours prior to flight time.

Originally Posted by jrhone View Post
You are a Platinum and so am I, we are both at the ticket counter and ask to be listed for an upgrade, you are in front of me in the line. You will be UPG2, and I will be UPG2, but you will be higher on the list than I will as you listed before I did
The airport upgrade standby list is sorted by status, time of check in and/or travel disruption. The timing of when you requested to be put on the airport list doesn't really matter (assuming you get yourself on it before it starts to clear).

For more info:

https://www.aa.com/aa/reservation/vi...RulesPopup.jsp

Last edited by Top Tier; Dec 22, 06 at 4:45 am
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Old Dec 22, 06, 6:40 am
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This is not correct

Originally Posted by jrhone View Post
I have heard from people at the check in counter that they called in to the help desk right at the 100/72/24 hr mark to list and found out that they still weren’t close to the top of the list. One of the reasons that this might happen is that you can actually put your request in when making the reservation up to 330 days out. Sabre will store the UPG request and automatically try to upgrade you at the threshold time. Sabre stores the requests in the order they are received so if you made a reservation 300 days out and requested the UPG, you will be in front of the person who made their reservation at 200 days out. Remember, the system runs on its own time, so your watch may not match "sabre time”.

Before the airport takes control of the flight, this is correct. However, once the airport takes control (usually at 4 hours) the standby lists are driven by [B]check-in[B] time within each category. This is true for upgrades, non-revs etc. The airport standby list is a different list than the 100/72/24 list mentioned above and you must activate yourself onto the list. It is not automatic. The airport standby list is sorted by check-in time (from aa.com for example) within each category..
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Old Dec 26, 06, 11:19 am
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How about checkin for domestic connection to intntl flight?

All of the above is very interesting information, but it appears to apply only to standby/upgrade for domestic flights.

In another thread I asked whether checkin for a domestic flight connecting to an international flight prior (or even after) the 3-4 hour window opens for gate listing for a requested mileage upgrade that has not previously cleared.

Specifically, does the domestic checkin with issuance of the BP for both legs automatically register as checkin time for the international flight? Can the airport ticket agent at the origination city put in the request for the mileage upgrade on the international flight?

How does a Pall List work for International?
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Old Dec 26, 06, 12:33 pm
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Originally Posted by jrhone View Post
Once coming out of Heathrow as a non-rev, I was number 56 on the list, with five other non-revs in front of me. I figured I had no chance of getting on the flight and the gate agent told me so, but to wait around until she had taken care of the revenue passengers and she would look at other options for me. I waited and the non-rev gods must have been in a good mood that day as I managed to get a seat in first class. Just goes to show that sometimes it is worth waiting until the very last moment as things can change by the second.

This story, true or not, sure ain't gonna make you many friends 'round these parts.
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Old Dec 26, 06, 12:49 pm
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Originally Posted by jrhone View Post

4 UPG1 WHITE JOHN AG2
5 UPG1 SMITH MARY AG2
6 UPG3 JOHNSON MARK

Passengers 4 and 5 are Executive Platinum waiting or an upgrade.
Passenger 6 is a regular aadvantage member waiting for an upgrade.
Wouldn't passenger 6 be a gold?
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Old Dec 26, 06, 1:01 pm
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Thanks to the OP for posting. As to how sure he/she is of his/her facts, I would ascertain from the OP's language that he/she is an AA employee, likely a gate agent or someone with a job that requires familiarity with what happens at the gate.

Everyone has had the experience of one agent who is more or less informed than another, and we're always hearing that rule of "if you don't like what one agent tells you, just call back and get a different one." Who knows, maybe another AA employee will chime in with something different to it, something confirming of it, or something additional. In this case, it's easy to see the effort put into explaining it clearly...and, at least it explains a lot of what's going on that the average pax. can't see.
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Old Dec 26, 06, 2:05 pm
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thanks for the crashcourse lesson^
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Old Dec 27, 06, 1:27 am
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Originally Posted by DillMan View Post
Wouldn't passenger 6 be a gold?
Correct, sorry for the error !
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Old Dec 27, 06, 1:32 am
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Originally Posted by Fly AA J all the way View Post
This story, true or not, sure ain't gonna make you many friends 'round these parts.
Why not ?

The gate agent followed the correct policy and took care of all the Elite members, then the regular revenue passengers, then processed the non revs. There was no one else waiting to standby on the list , nor was there anyone waiting for an upgrade .

Just enjoying one of the perks of my job .
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Old Dec 27, 06, 1:41 am
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Originally Posted by skye1 View Post
Thanks to the OP for posting. As to how sure he/she is of his/her facts, I would ascertain from the OP's language that he/she is an AA employee, likely a gate agent or someone with a job that requires familiarity with what happens at the gate.

Everyone has had the experience of one agent who is more or less informed than another, and we're always hearing that rule of "if you don't like what one agent tells you, just call back and get a different one." Who knows, maybe another AA employee will chime in with something different to it, something confirming of it, or something additional. In this case, it's easy to see the effort put into explaining it clearly...and, at least it explains a lot of what's going on that the average pax. can't see.

Yes I do work for AA, its a job I love .

I think , like any large company , there are people who say what they think the customer wants to hear, rather than what they need to be told.

There are many tools that an agent can use to get the correct information , there are web based reference files, plus the reference system built in to Sabre. I never guess the answer a passenger wants to hear, I just use the information the company provide me.

Better to tell them the bad news and get chewed out by an irate passenger then lie to them to get them out of the way.
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Old Dec 27, 06, 3:18 am
  #12  
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Originally Posted by jrhone View Post
Here are some examples:

You are a Platinum and so am I, we are both at the ticket counter and ask to be listed for an upgrade, you are in front of me in the line. You will be UPG2, and I will be UPG2, but you will be higher on the list than I will as you listed before I did, despite the fact that I have flown 10000 more miles than you have this year.

Are you sure about this? The AA website indicates check-in time matters for standby and upgrades. If I checked in 24 hours before flgiht time and you checked in at the airport 2 hours before, wouldn't I get the upgrade, if we are both PLT? Of course, there is some other misinformation in your post, so that does prove that AA employees are not always the best sources of information.

Last edited by mvoight; Dec 27, 06 at 3:24 am
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Old Dec 27, 06, 4:15 am
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Originally Posted by mvoight View Post
Are you sure about this? The AA website indicates check-in time matters for standby and upgrades.
Where on the AA website is this written?
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Old Dec 27, 06, 8:21 am
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The way I read the post, there is no mention of anyone checking in or requesting an upgrade prior to queuing up, checking in and requesting at the ticket counter, sensu stricto.

Originally Posted by mvoight View Post
Are you sure about this? The AA website indicates check-in time matters for standby and upgrades. If I checked in 24 hours before flgiht time and you checked in at the airport 2 hours before, wouldn't I get the upgrade, if we are both PLT? Of course, there is some other misinformation in your post, so that does prove that AA employees are not always the best sources of information.

Another example, this one from hharotz at Airline Forums:

Agents are supposed to work the PALL list (also known as the Priority List) from top to bottom.

If you are holding a "Y" (or other economy class ticket) which has been upgraded to First Class and choose to standby for an earlier flight, then you are on the priority list as an "SB" for a Y class seat (ticketed cabin) and not a "UP" (upgrade to f/c).

The priority list looks something like this (and in this order, bear in mind there are more classifications):

FLIGHT 637 PHL-BWI
G*L637/PALL

MR USCREWA 9A
MR USCREWB 9B
MR USCREWC 9C
OS1 HAWKINS
OS4 LEE
OS4 CHAN
V1 SMITH 6A
UP1 PINEYBOB 17C
UP3 HOWARDS 19D
UP3 JOHNSON 14E
SB2 HHAROTZ
SB4 CALDWELL
SB4 HOWARDMAN
SB4 COWANS
S3 LIGHTYEARS
S7 COHEN
S7 DOBBS

MR= Mustride crew...we will InvolDB pax to accomodate such crewmembers.

OS1/2/3/4= Customers on an oversold flight without seat assignment. OS1=US1,OS2=US2,OS3=US3,OS4=all nonstatus

V= Volunteers. Can be a V1 or V2 or V3 based on the volunteers 'expense to US for reaccomodation. V1 is least expensive, V3 most expensive. Determined V1/2/3 at gate agents discretion. Not correlated to status

UP= Pax waiting for upgrades. UP1/2/3/4 based on status. Place on list within dividend miles status is determined by checkin time, not time palced on the list. Based on this list, Pineybob is first on the list for an u/g because he is a US1. Howards and Johnson are number 2 and three on the list as US3s. Howards would get the upgrade before Johnson because he checked in first.

SB= Revenue Standby pax, based on status (SB1=US1, SB2=US2, SB3=US3, SB4=everyone else).

S= Non-revenue standby...S1/S2/S3/S4/S5/S6/S7/S8/S9 based on various criteria.


According to this list (working the list from top to bottom), if FC has 2 open seats, Pineybob (a US1) and Howards (a US3) would get the FC seats because they are confirmed on the flight. HHarotz would get a coach seat (even though he is a US2 because he is further down on the list and was not originally confirmed on the flight). If a third FC seat opened up at last minute, it would then go to Johnson because he has higer standing on the priority list. If (by chance) a 4th FC seat would open up at last minute, then HHarotz could get the seat ony if there is no one else higher than him on the priority list eligible for the upgrade (in which case there isn't)...but this would be done only after he has recieved a coach seat assignment for the flight first.

Last edited by JDiver; Aug 24, 16 at 12:39 am
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Old Dec 27, 06, 8:56 am
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upgrade companions

I have read the post twice and still have one question. Where does the system take into account companions for whom an EXP or a PLT have requested upgrades? Similarly, if an EXP give a spouse or a coworker a VIPOW for a flight and the VIPOW is in the record, where does the spouse or coworker fall on the list? Does the priority follow the priority of the EXP or PLT or does is the AAdvantager status of the passenger for whom the upgrade is sought? Is there a linking of records to those of the requesting EXP or PLT so the spouse / coworker or whatever rides on requesting passenger's priority?
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