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AA Gate Agent Refuses to Upgrade EXP using SWU into Business

AA Gate Agent Refuses to Upgrade EXP using SWU into Business

Old Jul 2, 22, 8:15 am
  #91  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: PHL
Programs: AA Executive Platinum; Hilton Diamond
Posts: 2,488
Originally Posted by Hoosbest View Post
I put these SWUs and companion certificates in the same bucket - worthless. I have so many SWUs and rhey never work. Even with both CK and EP status in our house - AA is not upgrading folks now all that much - and upselling most seats. The days of 7 days out upgrades and ability to use a $99 companion ticket no longer exist. My latest on companion ticket was the fare class wasn’t available - so I couldn’t use it. I was just trying to fly coach and flight was wide open. Upgrades have been far a few this year.
I am always amazed at comments like this. Maybe unusable for you but not for me. My wife and I earned 12 SWUs last year and I applied every one well in advance, mostly to LHR. And I used my companion cert last week to fly RT PHL-IAH because my fare was $812 and wife was $99 plus tax. No complaints from me.
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Old Jul 2, 22, 11:30 am
  #92  
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: BOS
Programs: AA EXP, Hilton DMD, Hertz Presidents' Circle
Posts: 208
This is very true. Probably not a good plan if I had accomplices, or if it would be bad to miss the flight.
Never got anything in writing from AA of what the policy actually is - Executive Liaison was purely over the phone.
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Old Jul 2, 22, 11:41 am
  #93  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Madison WI
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Booking Code Priority?

Just a question from the sub-section on "Upgrade prioritization" found HERE. The first statement is:Upgrade requests will be prioritized by AAdvantage® status level, then:
  1. Type of upgrade
  2. 12-month Rolling Loyalty Points
If the upgrade type and 12-month Rolling Loyalty Points value are the same, we’ll look at the booking code then date / time of the request to determine prioritization.

It also mentions the difference between early upgrade and gate upgrade. So, in this scenario we are talking about LAX -> LHR, it's ITNL, no 500-miler upgrades, only SW and Mileage upgrades, which APPEAR to have the same weight. (That is, SWUs do NOT appear to trump miles+copay in the wording.)

"Type of upgrade

Before you get to the airport, requests for systemwide and mileage award upgrades are processed independently from 500-mile upgrade requests.

At the airport, upgrades requested will be prioritized in this order:
  1. Systemwide and mileage award upgrades
  2. 500-mile upgrades on purchased tickets
  3. 500-mile upgrades on award tickets"
So, only #1 applies, and assuming equal weight. So then, assuing #3 and #4 are also EXP, they all a chance for the J seat as as others have pointed out, the "Next class of service" in this case is indeed PE -OR- Y to J. So it should look at rolling loyality points. IMO, it would be very odd for these to be the same, but if they were, it stated above we then move onto booking code prioritization. Here they say:

"Booking code priority:

  • From Business to First (for systemwide and mileage award upgrades only): J, R, D, I, C
  • From Main Cabin to the next class: W, P, Y, H, K, M, L, V, G, S, N, Q, O, T"
So, IF all four requestors were the same status level (EXP here) and IF they had the same rolling point amounts (seems quite unlikely to me!), then in this case it seems a ticket purchased in PE (W or P class) would in fact trump ANY Econ class. NOT because SWUs only move PE to J (they do in fact move Y or PE to J), but because a lower, seldom-used tie-breaker is being used. Of course, the computer should also be programmed for this, so that still does not explain why the listing was they way it was if this is what happened. But it appeas booking code apparently CAN (sledom, under unique circumstances) come into play. Or am I missing something?
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Old Jul 2, 22, 11:49 am
  #94  
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Boston, MA
Programs: AA EXP, DL Diamond, Hilton Diamond, Bonvoy Ambassador (RIP SPG), Aeroplan 75K
Posts: 426
Originally Posted by Madison Guy View Post
Just a question from the sub-section on "Upgrade prioritization" found HERE. The first statement is:Upgrade requests will be prioritized by AAdvantage® status level, then:
  1. Type of upgrade
  2. 12-month Rolling Loyalty Points
If the upgrade type and 12-month Rolling Loyalty Points value are the same, we’ll look at the booking code then date / time of the request to determine prioritization.

It also mentions the difference between early upgrade and gate upgrade. So, in this scenario we are talking about LAX -> LHR, it's ITNL, no 500-miler upgrades, only SW and Mileage upgrades, which APPEAR to have the same weight. (That is, SWUs do NOT appear to trump miles+copay in the wording.)

"Type of upgrade

Before you get to the airport, requests for systemwide and mileage award upgrades are processed independently from 500-mile upgrade requests.

At the airport, upgrades requested will be prioritized in this order:
  1. Systemwide and mileage award upgrades
  2. 500-mile upgrades on purchased tickets
  3. 500-mile upgrades on award tickets"
So, only #1 applies, and assuming equal weight. So then, assuing #3 and #4 are also EXP, they all a chance for the J seat as as others have pointed out, the "Next class of service" in this case is indeed PE -OR- Y to J. So it should look at rolling loyality points. IMO, it would be very odd for these to be the same, but if they were, it stated above we then move onto booking code prioritization. Here they say:

"Booking code priority:

  • From Business to First (for systemwide and mileage award upgrades only): J, R, D, I, C
  • From Main Cabin to the next class: W, P, Y, H, K, M, L, V, G, S, N, Q, O, T"
So, IF all four requestors were the same status level (EXP here) and IF they had the same rolling point amounts (seems quite unlikely to me!), then in this case it seems a ticket purchased in PE (W or P class) would in fact trump ANY Econ class. NOT because SWUs only move PE to J (they do in fact move Y or PE to J), but because a lower, seldom-used tie-breaker is being used. Of course, the computer should also be programmed for this, so that still does not explain why the listing was they way it was if this is what happened. But it appeas booking code apparently CAN (sledom, under unique circumstances) come into play. Or am I missing something?
The ordering you laid out is accurate, and I believe date of request factors in after booking code. Then, I think there’s a tie breaker for whether the ticket was booked via a corporate program (that may be DL).

As you said, the system has all of this programmed into the ordering.
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Old Jul 2, 22, 11:52 am
  #95  
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: BOS
Programs: AA EXP, Hilton DMD, Hertz Presidents' Circle
Posts: 208
This is all true. But:
If the system used the tiebreaker, which is booking code, that would be reflected in the generated list. Had the folks booked in PE been tied with the OP for LP (and status level,) they would have been #1 and #2, and the OP would have been #3 and #4.
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meechyathere is offline  
Old Jul 2, 22, 12:33 pm
  #96  
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Posts: 8,481
I don't understand why people are trying to invent reasons for what happened. The GA gave the reasoning.
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Old Jul 2, 22, 1:06 pm
  #97  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Originally Posted by apeortdz View Post
I am always amazed at comments like this. Maybe unusable for you but not for me. My wife and I earned 12 SWUs last year and I applied every one well in advance, mostly to LHR. And I used my companion cert last week to fly RT PHL-IAH because my fare was $812 and wife was $99 plus tax. No complaints from me.
I wish I had that kind of luck. In 10+ years, I've only ever applied one, and then that flight got cancelled due to COVID in 2020. They've all gone to waste - every last one of them.

Last edited by USFlyerUS; Jul 2, 22 at 1:14 pm
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Old Jul 2, 22, 1:25 pm
  #98  
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
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Originally Posted by USFlyerUS View Post
I wish I had that kind of luck. In 10+ years, I've only ever applied one, and then that flight got cancelled due to COVID in 2020. They've all gone to waste - every last one of them.
I've applied 4 (2 round trips) in the past few months. Flexibility helps (picking the dates, and possibly even the destinations, at least partially based on when upgrade space is available)
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Old Jul 2, 22, 1:40 pm
  #99  
 
Join Date: Aug 2021
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Originally Posted by nk15 View Post
There is often not enough time for this, as the upgrades are being processed right before boarding begins, and it is very stressful to leave the gate at that moment. Another option is to print out the email you just mentioned from Executive Liaison and bring it with you, although it may not be sufficient. We all need to print out a couple of answers from authoritative sources and carry them with us at all times, lol...
A screenshot of AA's app showing how SWUs work should also suffice. The pop-up, when an SWU is available on a given itinerary, clearly shows both Y and PE being upgraded to J or F.

Of course, often nothing works when dealing with an idiot on a power trip.
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Old Jul 2, 22, 2:28 pm
  #100  
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Programs: Top Tier with all 3 alliances
Posts: 8,333
Originally Posted by Madison Guy View Post
  • From Main Cabin to the next class: W, P, Y, H, K, M, L, V, G, S, N, Q, O, T"
Another proof that PE (W, P) is considered main cabin for upgrade purposes.
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Old Jul 2, 22, 2:41 pm
  #101  
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
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Originally Posted by nk15 View Post
Another proof that PE (W, P) is considered main cabin for upgrade purposes.
Is there any doubt about that? It's a separate class of service but for upgrade purposes (and only for upgrade purposes) it's part of economy.
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Old Jul 2, 22, 2:45 pm
  #102  
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Programs: Top Tier with all 3 alliances
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Originally Posted by VegasGambler View Post
Is there any doubt about that? It's a separate class of service but for upgrade purposes (and only for upgrade purposes) it's part of economy.
We are looking for explicit written rules that you can show to an idiot GA that does not know that...
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Old Jul 2, 22, 5:43 pm
  #103  
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
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Originally Posted by nk15 View Post
We are looking for explicit written rules that you can show to an idiot GA that does not know that...
Prolly the best course of action here would be for one of the bloggers to post about this and solicit a response and commitment to retraining from AA.
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Old Jul 2, 22, 5:57 pm
  #104  
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
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Originally Posted by work2fly View Post
Prolly the best course of action here would be for one of the bloggers to post about this and solicit a response and commitment to retraining from AA.
Or AA needs a Q&A on their website that explicitly addresses that. Maybe AA elites can write in and request it?
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Old Jul 2, 22, 6:03 pm
  #105  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
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Originally Posted by VegasGambler View Post
I don't understand why people are trying to invent reasons for what happened. The GA gave the reasoning.
IF you were referring to my post: I already said that was not the case in this scenario based on the fact the computer placed them in the order it did. I was simply pointing out that PE CAN, IF FACT, UNDER SOME CIRCUMSTANCES, be the deciding factor about an upgrade over an economy tkt. I was more than careful (IMHO) to not "invent" anything, just call attention to what I believe, based on many posts in this thread and others, may not be widely known.

EDIT: As to the issue of this upgrade, certain members on here used to have access to the PALL list and could review what the GA actually did. I haven't seen that kind of post for a while though - perhaps not so suprising after all!
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Last edited by Madison Guy; Jul 2, 22 at 6:09 pm
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