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AA Op Up Priority [for non-AA oneworld Emerald]

AA Op Up Priority [for non-AA oneworld Emerald]

Old Jul 21, 2023, 10:27 am
  #1  
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Question AA Op Up Priority [for non-AA oneworld Emerald]

Apologies if this isn't the best place to ask this, I couldn't find an appropriate thread.

Flying with AA TATL in PE in a couple of weeks and selected return flights with full PE cabins to boost my slim chances of scoring an op up. Was curious as to where Oneworld elites (I'm BA Gold) fall in the pecking order for AA operational upgrades - are all AAdvantage elites cleared first? Also, realistically what are my chances for potentially receiving an op up on the outbound with PE showing as full and 22/37 J open? Many thanks in advance.
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Old Jul 21, 2023, 10:30 am
  #2  
 
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From what I understand, AA will prioritize their own elites first, but at the end of the day, if they need to fill cabins, they would roll people forward. I've heard of the odd case of BA people getting OpUps on AA, but I'd not be hoping too much during the summer holidays. Flights are generally quite full, and AA do a good job of filling their premium cabins. I'd be approaching this with the attitude of expecting to fly in PE, but it would be a nice surprise if you get an OpUp.
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Old Jul 21, 2023, 11:04 am
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Id agree with the above. With elites high in the opup list plus people on waitlist a to upgrade using miles or SWU, chances arent great for you. Could you not have booked on a BA operated flight?

Ive only ever had 2 AA opups. Both were JFK-LAX. I had paid for business. And was shocked to get bumped to first. I can only guess that pretty much everyone else in business had paid for economy and either upgraded with instrument or been opupped from Y to J and theyd rather upgrade someone who had actually paid for J in the first place. Hilariously, I tried desperately at check in, at the desk in the lounge and at the gate to pay for an upgrade. When I asked at the gate she said oh, its complimentary and handed me my BP.
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Old Jul 21, 2023, 11:14 am
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There's always so many AA elites on the upgrade list that they hardly ever need to op-up. Indeed the forward cabins are usually filled a day before the flight meaning that displaced passengers that have paid for business or first are often downgraded due to previously upgraded passengers. It's really frustrating and only solved by having AA status. Whether that is still worth it is another matter. Trying even to get TP or Avios retro-credited in this case is usually denied.
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Old Jul 21, 2023, 12:08 pm
  #5  
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Unfortunately I have a flight credit soon expiring with AA otherwise would have booked with BA. Also unfortunately couldn't find a codeshare on BA metal in PE at a similar price point.

I figured I had a small chance seeing as there's a relatively small PE cabin (24) and so many seats being open in J, but oh well! Flight is to CLT... not sure if that helps or hinders.

Just to confirm, once all other normal upgrades have cleared, AA Golds/Plats in PE would be opupped before Oneworld emeralds? Also would AA elites in Y or normal econ be opupped before Oneworld elites in PE?
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Old Jul 21, 2023, 12:46 pm
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I have no idea what the pecking order would be but I'd assume it would be AA elites first. That said, as a single data point, my wife and I were both upgraded from PE to J on an AA operated LHR - LAX flight. I had previously asked at the AA lounge whether any load-factor based upgrades were available and, after a lot of confusion and head-scratching, was told no by someone who didn't really seem to know what I was asking about. Anyway, a few minutes before boarding Mrs. Geordie405 noticed that our seats had changed from PE to Business and that was that. When I looked back through the curtain to PE after we'd taken off there was no-one sitting in our PE seats which made me think that the move to business wasn't generated as a result of any real operational need. I have had a few short-haul domestic US upgrades from Y to J with AA which were clearly based on status given the comments the GA made when handing me my new BP.
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Old Jul 21, 2023, 12:59 pm
  #7  
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To be honest, I think it is always a very, very bad idea to book any flight based on the hope of an op up. It is even riskier to do that when flying on an airline with which you have no status, even if you have within the alliance.

Op ups can happen on AA as on all others. I have had them three times, twice from hubs where, as GGL I received some bespoke attention from the CK team (once transcon and once international) and the other time on a flight which was very elite poor (short domestic).

As others have said, you should assume that AA will normally take care of its own elites first, which can even include bumping some high ranking AA members from Y to J rather than you from W to J. As we all know, "open" seats also mean very little if you mean in terms of seat maps.

Conversely, you may be lucky and on some flights, people with no status on any ariline will also be op'ed up. Everything can and will happen, but frankly, never choose which flight you book based on your hopes for an op up as it is a fairly certain recipe for disappointment.
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Old Jul 21, 2023, 1:06 pm
  #8  
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Of course, I don't have any expectations just nice to know whether having status would increase my lottery chances even slightly!
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Old Jul 21, 2023, 1:18 pm
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Originally Posted by kilometre high club
Of course, I don't have any expectations just nice to know whether having status would increase my lottery chances even slightly!
Well, yes, it increases your chance to have BA status compared to not having any OW status at all, and it lowers your chances compared to having status with AA.
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Old Jul 21, 2023, 1:45 pm
  #10  
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Originally Posted by kilometre high club
Just to confirm, once all other normal upgrades have cleared, AA Golds/Plats in PE would be opupped before Oneworld emeralds? Also would AA elites in Y or normal econ be opupped before Oneworld elites in PE?
There is no official op-up pecking order at AA, it's all entirely up to the GA's who are moving people around.

Generally speaking most will op-up AA elites first.

However a lot of op-up luck is just being in the right place at the right time. Happen to check into the gate right as the GA is processing op-up's and they see you're an Emerald? Could be your lucky day.

And most of time AA will roll the cabins in order depending on what's oversold. So if Y is oversold, PE is full and there's room in J, AA will roll PE pax to J, then Y pax to PE.

In your case if PE is oversold it wouldn't make any sense for AA to roll Y pax to J, that wouldn't solve anything. They will roll PE pax forward.
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Old Jul 21, 2023, 2:28 pm
  #11  
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Originally Posted by Tafflyer
There's always so many AA elites on the upgrade list that they hardly ever need to op-up.
Anecdotally in the last 13 years of being Plat or Plat Pro, I have only been op-upped three times (all while traveling with my spouse and we were both moved up each time):

- once JFK-LHR from PE to J
- twice BOS-LAX from J to F
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Old Jul 21, 2023, 2:35 pm
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Unfortunately I think your chances are slim to none.

AA don’t recognise BAEC really. GGL is the exception in my experience.
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Old Jul 21, 2023, 3:00 pm
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Originally Posted by kilometre high club
Unfortunately I have a flight credit soon expiring with AA otherwise would have booked with BA. Also unfortunately couldn't find a codeshare on BA metal in PE at a similar price point.

I figured I had a small chance seeing as there's a relatively small PE cabin (24) and so many seats being open in J, but oh well! Flight is to CLT... not sure if that helps or hinders.

Just to confirm, once all other normal upgrades have cleared, AA Golds/Plats in PE would be opupped before Oneworld emeralds? Also would AA elites in Y or normal econ be opupped before Oneworld elites in PE?
I am not clear what's your basis to believe an opup is likely.
You are saying that the PE cabin is full and J seems empty. That's absolutely no reason to OPup anybody. You realize that right?
AA is perfectly fine with flying an empty J cabin and PE or Economy full with elites that did not care to apply for an upgrade (using a SWU or miles)
Unlikely that J is empty as I am sure the waitlist for an upgrade (with an upgrade instrument) is already very long and all J seats will be taken day of flight.

The only reason to get an opup is if the GAs need to roll up pax due to overbooking.
A simple scenario could be that there are 29 pax on PE showing up at the gate day of flight but there are only 28 PE seats, assuming 777-300.
One PE pax might get an OPup, if J has a seat available, or an involuntary downgrade if J is full (or offer to fly next day).
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Old Jul 21, 2023, 3:05 pm
  #14  
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Originally Posted by carlosdca
I am not clear what's your basis to believe an opup is likely.
You are saying that the PE cabin is full and J seems empty. That's absolutely no reason to OPup anybody. You realize that right?
Likely because BA tends to do PE to J op ups with regularity. They oversell and roll. Even in non-oversells, they roll up sometimes.

AA doesn't do this to the extent that BA does. But I suspect that's where the OP who's BA Gold was thinking from.
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Old Jul 21, 2023, 3:14 pm
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Originally Posted by JJeffrey
There is no official op-up pecking order at AA, it's all entirely up to the GA's who are moving people around
Do you know this is the case? Im on a JFK-LAX flight right now (in J) and happen to overhear the GA explain the process to another customer. She was explaining that even though there were F seats available, they would not roll forward Y or J passengers except in an oversale situation, and then theres a strict protocol as to the order. Of course she could have just been BSing, but it didnt sound like it.
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