Group 1 Boarding Insanity

Old Apr 12, 23, 2:15 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2022
Programs: AA EXP; SQ Gold
Posts: 96
Group 1 Boarding Insanity

4/12 AA803 DCA-DFW. Just some comments on how ridiculous the number of people in Group 1 has become. Iím EXP with approx 250-280k rolling LP. Was upgraded 48 hours prior. There are at least 50 people attempting to board in Group 1. All are in Group 1 because the agent is actually proactively preventing Group 2 passengers from boarding (one guy was told to wait behind the counter after his boarding pass scanned). Now, there could be a lot of military given the route, but looking at the age and weight profiles of everyone boarding, I doubt it. Further, nobody is in military uniform.

I know AA now funnels PP into Group 1, but I have a question: are there really THAT many PPs and low LP EXPs now? Itís just quite surprising to me because Iíve never seen such a throng of folks in Group 1 before.

On another note, relating to big 3 marketing tactics Ö I canít help but think that devaluing top tier status in the way each of the big 3 have done it (though each do it differently) isnít actually helpful to driving loyalty in the LONG RUN. In the short term, it may pay off. But CC companies are eventually going to run out of new customers to sign up, so the gravy train will not last forever, especially as the population ages. There used to be something aspirational about being a PP or Plat and wanting to just fly a little bit more to achieve that next tier of status. This is not the case anymore. If indeed all of these extra PP/ EPs in this trip are CC spend who fly fairly infrequently (almost 95% of my LPs are from flying), I just cannot help but feel that AA has left behind loyal business flyers to satisfy CC chumps who actually have no reference point or no idea what a premium experience should look like. This latter fact allows AA to get away with continuing to devalue their loyalty program and premium experiences, to the point that loyalty will ultimately, in the LONG RUN become worthless, and the premium experience priced lower but only enough to capture the margin of flyers willing to pay to upgrade on domestic flights. Maybe that is what they are driving at to ultimately reduce costs (though I doubt anyone at any of these companies can think very dynamically) ó an intra-European version of business class which is only marginally better than an economy experience.
Brandontheflyer likes this.
npretnar is offline  
Old Apr 12, 23, 2:23 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Washington, DC
Programs: AA Executive Platinum/Million Miler, Marriott Titanium Elite-Lifetime, Hilton Gold
Posts: 3,048
Group 1 should be only First class passengers and EPs, not PPs. See https://www.aa.com/i18n/travel-info/...ng-process.jsp.

I have a feeling there were fewer elites than AA had planned given they credited LPs to those with CCs for any spend between their February closing date and 2/28. This was unexpected and would only have served to increase the number of customers that (re)qualified for the next tier.

Domestic first class hasn't been "premium" on any carrier for at least 15 years. Those days are long gone. Domestic first class is a nicer seat with food that used to be served in coach 20+ years ago.
SF1K, hedoman, Concerto and 16 others like this.
USFlyerUS is online now  
Old Apr 12, 23, 2:48 pm
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2022
Programs: AA EXP; SQ Gold
Posts: 96
Originally Posted by USFlyerUS
Group 1 should be only First class passengers and EPs, not PPs. See https://www.aa.com/i18n/travel-info/...ng-process.jsp.

I have a feeling there were fewer elites than AA had planned given they credited LPs to those with CCs for any spend between their February closing date and 2/28. This was unexpected and would only have served to increase the number of customers that (re)qualified for the next tier.

Domestic first class hasn't been "premium" on any carrier for at least 15 years. Those days are long gone. Domestic first class is a nicer seat with food that used to be served in coach 20+ years ago.
So to understand your argument, you think AA expected MORE elites than they have so they tried to juice the ranks by crediting LPs after Feb closing but before Feb 28? Is there some policy where LPs are only credited at closing and wouldnít count toward status if closing is prior to Feb 28? How do we know that AA crediting LPs for partial month spending in Feb wasnít originally intended when transitioning from EQM/EQD to LP?
npretnar is offline  
Old Apr 12, 23, 2:59 pm
  #4  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: RDU <|> MMX
Programs: AA EXP 2MM, SK EBS
Posts: 11,679
A route like DCA-DFW has always been elite heavy so I think it's a little misguided to assume that the high number of EXP/PP/Whatever is solely due to credit card spenders and/or infrequent travelers. Especially so given this was a midweek flight.
JJeffrey is online now  
Old Apr 12, 23, 3:06 pm
  #5  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: RDU <|> MMX
Programs: AA EXP 2MM, SK EBS
Posts: 11,679
Originally Posted by USFlyerUS
I have a feeling there were fewer elites than AA had planned given they credited LPs to those with CCs for any spend between their February closing date and 2/28. This was unexpected and would only have served to increase the number of customers that (re)qualified for the next tier.
Originally Posted by npretnar
So to understand your argument, you think AA expected MORE elites than they have so they tried to juice the ranks by crediting LPs after Feb closing but before Feb 28? Is there some policy where LPs are only credited at closing and wouldnít count toward status if closing is prior to Feb 28? How do we know that AA crediting LPs for partial month spending in Feb wasnít originally intended when transitioning from EQM/EQD to LP?
AA credits LP's for credit card spend based on the statement closing date. But AA made a special adjustment for anyone with credit card spend in February but whose statement wouldn't close until March, posting these LP's so they would count towards '22-'23 qualification.

But I don't think that special adjustment had anything to do with bumping up the number of elites, but rather was just the result of some unintended consequences of the somewhat confusing timing regarding their new LP scheme and when things would post, etc. Rather than field endless calls of confused or complaining folks that their spend on February 25 didn't count they just made one big adjustment for everyone to be done with it and move on.
JJeffrey is online now  
Old Apr 12, 23, 3:13 pm
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2022
Programs: AA EXP; SQ Gold
Posts: 96
Originally Posted by JJeffrey
A route like DCA-DFW has always been elite heavy so I think it's a little misguided to assume that the high number of EXP/PP/Whatever is solely due to credit card spenders and/or infrequent travelers. Especially so given this was a midweek flight.
Iíve flown plenty of hub-hub routes on weekdays pre-LP era and of course there are usually 20-30 in Group 1. This route was > 50. It could be a one off and Iím extrapolating too much, which I concede. However, I partially wanted to start the convo to see if other frequent flyers have noticed similar quantities of top tier elites at boarding and whether this exceeds what we had pre-COVID and pre-LP.
npretnar is offline  
Old Apr 12, 23, 3:21 pm
  #7  
formerly wchinchen
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Honolulu
Programs: AA CK, UA 1K, Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 975
I really believe the crowding is due to the following: 1)Infrequent fliers who absolutely have no clue what groups are 2) people who donít really care they are in a different group, and try to board anyway 3) speakers/Announcements that canít be heard 4) FT classic gate lice who inch closer waiting for their group to be called 5) herd mentality of seeing boarding starting, especially seeing wheelchair people preboard.

HNL to DFW is a classic case study: when CKs are called, everyone in group 1 rushes to the ticket scanner
HaleiwaFlyer is offline  
Old Apr 12, 23, 3:27 pm
  #8  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: RDU <|> MMX
Programs: AA EXP 2MM, SK EBS
Posts: 11,679
Originally Posted by npretnar
Iíve flown plenty of hub-hub routes on weekdays pre-LP era and of course there are usually 20-30 in Group 1. This route was > 50. It could be a one off and Iím extrapolating too much, which I concede. However, I partially wanted to start the convo to see if other frequent flyers have noticed similar quantities of top tier elites at boarding and whether this exceeds what we had pre-COVID and pre-LP.
I feel like we have a more recent thread but couldn't find it, but in any event going back pre-covid there have always been these cases on certain routes which have a seemingly crazy number of elites.

What is the Longest Upgrade List Ever????
wrp96 likes this.
JJeffrey is online now  
Old Apr 12, 23, 3:33 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Long Beach, CA
Programs: AA PLTPRO, HH Diamond, IHG Plat, Marriott Plat, Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 3,540
Originally Posted by HaleiwaFlyer
3) speakers/Announcements that canít be heard
I don't want to be a gate louse so I stand back but try to be close enough to hear the announcement (I'm usually the lonely PP in Group 2).
However, it's often so very difficult to hear the announcement. I also know it's not my hearing because I can usually very clearly hear the agent at the adjacent gates.
What is it with how the announcements seem to overshoot their gate areas? The whole process is very sloppy.
Frankly, it would be nice if the scanner just rejected people who weren't in the correct group. The agent can override if it's a companion of a earlier group. Otherwise, it's "please step aside until your group is called."
Daze, AAway, njvandy and 11 others like this.
OskiBear is offline  
Old Apr 12, 23, 3:36 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: DAY
Programs: Rapid Rewards, Skymiles, Hilton HHonors, SPG/Marriott Rewards
Posts: 4,691
I think many on this website vastly overestimate the number of people that are getting their status through accumulating LP's via bonsai trees, etc.
Cledaybuck is offline  
Old Apr 12, 23, 3:44 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: ASE
Programs: UA 1MM, Hertz PC, National EXC, Hyatt Explorist, Hilton/Marriott Gold, AA/IHG Platinum
Posts: 3,334
I and my companion were upgraded at the window as a newly minted Gold (former EXP until this year) PHX-DFW earlier this week so YMMV.
asnovici, 355F1 and spiritkat09 like this.
UAPremierGuy is offline  
Old Apr 12, 23, 3:50 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 7,801
Originally Posted by HaleiwaFlyer
I really believe the crowding is due to the following: 1)Infrequent fliers who absolutely have no clue what groups are 2) people who don’t really care they are in a different group, and try to board anyway 3) speakers/Announcements that can’t be heard 4) FT classic gate lice who inch closer waiting for their group to be called 5) herd mentality of seeing boarding starting, especially seeing wheelchair people preboard.

HNL to DFW is a classic case study: when CKs are called, everyone in group 1 rushes to the ticket scanner
I bet you're right. Maybe at least #1 - #4 could be improved with new signage, something like "First Class" and "Economy" instead of what they have now. People know what first class means. Underneath in smaller letters it can say executive platinum, priority, or whatever. By doing this maybe some of the no clue passengers will at least pile up on the same side.
ValleyEarl likes this.
rrgg is offline  
Old Apr 12, 23, 3:57 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: IAD/DCA/BWI
Programs: AA Plat Pro
Posts: 510
Originally Posted by JJeffrey
A route like DCA-DFW has always been elite heavy so I think it's a little misguided to assume that the high number of EXP/PP/Whatever is solely due to credit card spenders and/or infrequent travelers. Especially so given this was a midweek flight.
Totally agree... DCA-DFW is in a class of its own, far beyond just the usual boarding group issues. DCA is extremely EXP-heavy to begin with, but couple that with the perimeter rule limiting the destinations (with the limited exceptions) served nonstop from DCA, DFW gets the brunt of that as that traffic (especially during the week) as the hub that serves the most destinations not served by DCA. I've definitely seen DCA-DFW flights with dozens and dozens of EXPs, based on the upgrade lists and relative positions of PPs in my party.
njvandy, wrp96, BarryAZ and 4 others like this.
BWISkyGuy is offline  
Old Apr 12, 23, 4:18 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Washington, DC
Programs: AA Executive Platinum/Million Miler, Marriott Titanium Elite-Lifetime, Hilton Gold
Posts: 3,048
Originally Posted by npretnar
Is there some policy where LPs are only credited at closing and wouldn’t count toward status if closing is prior to Feb 28?
Yes. It's in the fine print of the AA credit cards, at least as far as Citi is concerned. As someone else stated, this could also have been AA not wanting to deal with a bunch of complaints and one off requests, so they opted to credit the LPs to both program years. I contend, though, that if there had been a huge increase of elites, AA would have been less likely to do this.

Originally Posted by npretnar
How do we know that AA crediting LPs for partial month spending in Feb wasn’t originally intended when transitioning from EQM/EQD to LP?
We don't. This is very possible too. I didn't state this as a fact but rather as my conjecture. I'm just saying I don't think there has been a sudden increase of elites due to LPs.

Last edited by USFlyerUS; Apr 12, 23 at 4:25 pm
USFlyerUS is online now  
Old Apr 12, 23, 4:23 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Washington, DC
Programs: AA Executive Platinum/Million Miler, Marriott Titanium Elite-Lifetime, Hilton Gold
Posts: 3,048
FWIW, I have seen the agents call for CKs, and 15+ people swarm to the gate. When I get a glimpse of their BPs, almost none of them are CKs but rather people in First (Group 1). Then, to avoid being the chump who waited until the Group 1 announcement is made, I get in line. I'm generally a 'rule follower' as my friends call me, but there are times you need to ignore that and fend for oneself. Herd mentality is likely a part of this as well.
USFlyerUS is online now  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -

This site is owned, operated, and maintained by MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Designated trademarks are the property of their respective owners.