Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > American Airlines | AAdvantage
Reload this Page >

ARCHIVE: SWU / VIP / eVIP Systemwide Upgrade questions

Old Dec 4, 2012, 5:40 pm
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: JY1024
The current version of this thread can be found here:

FAQ: What's a Systemwide Upgrade / SWU / eVIP / VIP? (Master thread)
Print Wikipost

ARCHIVE: SWU / VIP / eVIP Systemwide Upgrade questions

Old Nov 18, 2011, 5:11 am
  #751  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: BOS
Programs: AA Lifetime Plat, Marriott Lifetime Plat, Free Agent
Posts: 142
Originally Posted by ESpen36
Correction: EXP members might have access to expanded availability when calling the EXP Desk. [snip] I think this has become a somewhat empty promise/claim in the EXP membership packet.
Twice in the last three months I've called to secure positive C space in the one direction I have seen in EF, the other direction being C0, and cleared both ways immediately. So not completely empty...
fanch26 is offline  
Old Nov 18, 2011, 9:47 am
  #752  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: DCA / WAS
Programs: DL 2+ million/PM, YX, Marriott Plt, *wood gold, HHonors, CO Plt, UA, AA EXP, WN, AGR
Posts: 9,388
Originally Posted by ESpen36
Correction: EXP members might have access to expanded availability when calling the EXP Desk. Certainly not guaranteed, nor, IME, even all that likely on a regular basis. I think this has become a somewhat empty promise/claim in the EXP membership packet.

The last dozen times I've called in (over the last couple of years, different routes) requesting the EXP agent to find an extra A, C, U, or Z seat, I have been told "sorry, we can't do that anymore" or "we don't have access to anything more than what you can see online."

Oh well. So much for that benefit.
I don't think I'd call it "empty".

Incident the other night with an itinerary that I planned to buy using gift cards and an evoucher. Made the reservation, then called to snag the single C seat that was showing in EF. Plan was to go ahead and ticket after the upgrade were in place. Phone agent told me that there was no way for her (or any phone agent) to use evouchers & gift cards over the phone - the ticketing had to be done online - and once the upgrade were applied, there would be no way to ticket online. (While I suspect inaccuracy on the part of the EXP Aagent, it was far more convenient to do online with 3 gift cards & a voucher). I pointed out my concern that there was only one seat for upgrade inventory, and she said "no, there are multiple seats available on each flight. If you ticket now, there should not be a problem at all".

SO EF's inventory did not match what was showing in her system for an EXP customer.

End result: I ticketed online, the ticket issued in 30 miinutes, and I got the desired seat.
Global_Hi_Flyer is offline  
Old Nov 18, 2011, 10:02 am
  #753  
Moderator: American AAdvantage, Signatures
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: London, England
Programs: UA 1K, Hilton Diamond, IHG Diamond Ambassador, National Exec, AA EXP Emeritus
Posts: 9,773
Originally Posted by ESpen36
Originally Posted by Microwave
The one caveat I alluded to above is for Executive Platinum members, who have access to "expanded" availability when calling in, which is not visible through EF.
Correction: EXP members might have access to expanded availability when calling the EXP Desk. Certainly not guaranteed, nor, IME, even all that likely on a regular basis. I think this has become a somewhat empty promise/claim in the EXP membership packet.
That's a bit of a semantic distinction. My point is that EXPs in fact do always have access to the expanded inventory: we can pick up the phone and call to get it any time we want, 24/7. The fact the inventory isn't available on every flight doesn't mean that we don't always have access to the expanded inventory that does exist. With an Unlimited Ride MetroCard you'll always have access to the NYC subway system, but that doesn't mean that every line is always running without disruption or planned works. The Ralph's on Weyburn near UCLA is always open, but that doesn't mean they have every grocery item always in stock. Etc. etc...

For what it's worth, my experiences line up more with those of tom911, Global_Hi_Flyer and fanch26. One of the flights on my last trip to the UK (less than a month ago) was showing C1 on EF, with both me and the Mrs. flying together. I called the EXP desk, and she said it would be "no problem" to get me two upgrade seats on that flight. I've had one other similar experience earlier this year, and I've only been EXP since last year (qualified the old fashioned way FWIW, flying 100,000 miles).
Microwave is offline  
Old Nov 18, 2011, 10:14 am
  #754  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: STL
Programs: AA 2MM, AS MVP Gold, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 12,966
Originally Posted by ESpen36
Correction: EXP members might have access to expanded availability when calling the EXP Desk. Certainly not guaranteed, nor, IME, even all that likely on a regular basis. I think this has become a somewhat empty promise/claim in the EXP membership packet.
Expanded award availability is a benefit detailed in the EXP membership guide. Expanded upgrade availability is not in the guide. I don't remember it ever being in there. Since it isn't in there, I don't see why you are calling it an empty promise/claim.
gemac is offline  
Old Nov 18, 2011, 10:20 am
  #755  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Programs: Fabulous on one of the US carriers..
Posts: 11,878
Originally Posted by themagicman00
Flew MIA-LHR with my wife and non-seat child. My friend gave me two of his SWU and paid $426 for cabin change for my child. After the flight I made EXP and just received my SWU on my Account today and shows 3 used SWU. Is it possible they deducted the SWU from my Account instead on my friends Account? When i departed Miami i was PLAT and had no SWU; no idea whats going on and right now i'm overseas.
Did you ever get this resolved? I had the same happen when plt (was never EXP at the time), had a gifted VIP and once I turned EXP, one was missing. I got it back eventually.
Flyer_70 is offline  
Old Nov 18, 2011, 10:46 am
  #756  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 44
Just called the EXP desk and asked to convert SWU to miles since I would use them by Feb. 2012. Was told I could do this. Is that correct?
jbettis2 is offline  
Old Nov 18, 2011, 12:21 pm
  #757  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: NYC
Programs: AA EXP / LT PLT / 3MM, Marriott LT Gold
Posts: 35,778
Originally Posted by jbettis2
Just called the EXP desk and asked to convert SWU to miles since I would use them by Feb. 2012. Was told I could do this. Is that correct?


You can't convert SWUs to miles.
vasantn is offline  
Old Nov 23, 2011, 2:19 am
  #758  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Programs: AA Plat - 2MM, Delta - GM
Posts: 98
Can I use a SWU on an AA flight but not sure which airline will actually 'issue' it?

I have a complicated issue and I'm wondering if I can use an SWU for at least for one of the flights. I haven't booked this yet because I don't want to do it unless I can use the SWU.

I will be flying from Europe to the US and back and would book through a French travel site (govoyages.fr). The ticket would include an AA flight number/AA plane, a BA flight number/AA plane, and a 3rd European airline plane/flight number. The European airline only interlines with BA but not AA. So does that mean that the ticket will be issued by BA since they interline with the other two airlines (and one segment would have a BA flight number even though it is an AA plane)?

If that is the case, can I use the SWU on the AA flight segment (AA flight number and AA plane, but ticket not issued by AA)? I know I can't on the BA flight number. I'm just wondering about the AA transatlantic flight. I'm trying to avoid booking two separate tickets because it costs more and also the AA flight/plane would be from London - US and I'd have to pay the extra J luxury tax (because on a separate ticket it's not considered a connecting flight).

Thanks in advance if anyone can help and I apologize that it sounds so confusing!

Thanks,
Kim
KimT is offline  
Old Nov 23, 2011, 9:16 am
  #759  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: SFO
Posts: 886
Originally Posted by KimT
I have a complicated issue and I'm wondering if I can use an SWU for at least for one of the flights. I haven't booked this yet because I don't want to do it unless I can use the SWU.

I will be flying from Europe to the US and back and would book through a French travel site (govoyages.fr). The ticket would include an AA flight number/AA plane, a BA flight number/AA plane, and a 3rd European airline plane/flight number. The European airline only interlines with BA but not AA. So does that mean that the ticket will be issued by BA since they interline with the other two airlines (and one segment would have a BA flight number even though it is an AA plane)?

If that is the case, can I use the SWU on the AA flight segment (AA flight number and AA plane, but ticket not issued by AA)? I know I can't on the BA flight number. I'm just wondering about the AA transatlantic flight. I'm trying to avoid booking two separate tickets because it costs more and also the AA flight/plane would be from London - US and I'd have to pay the extra J luxury tax (because on a separate ticket it's not considered a connecting flight).

Thanks in advance if anyone can help and I apologize that it sounds so confusing!

Thanks,
Kim
As long as the flight is both AA-operated and -numbered, I don't think it matters who issued the ticket. Same with 500-mile upgrades for domestic flights. You'll just need to obtain the AA PNR.
barelyelite is offline  
Old Nov 23, 2011, 10:50 am
  #760  
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: SNA, LAX
Programs: AA EXP
Posts: 1,293
I am batting 50% when trying to use these things. Booking in middle of week (wed out wed in), seating charts, booking 2 months in advance etc has not helped. EF does not work very well since C inventory remains zero most of the time.

Most folks here bat +95% on these so any tips on improving the odds?
riteshraja is offline  
Old Nov 23, 2011, 1:43 pm
  #761  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: NYC
Programs: AA EXP / LT PLT / 3MM, Marriott LT Gold
Posts: 35,778
Originally Posted by riteshraja
I am batting 50% when trying to use these things. Booking in middle of week (wed out wed in), seating charts, booking 2 months in advance etc has not helped. EF does not work very well since C inventory remains zero most of the time.

Most folks here bat +95% on these so any tips on improving the odds?
Destination?
vasantn is offline  
Old Nov 23, 2011, 1:48 pm
  #762  
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: SNA, LAX
Programs: AA EXP
Posts: 1,293
Originally Posted by vasantn
destination?
lax-lhr
ord-del
dfw-eze
eze-jfk
riteshraja is offline  
Old Nov 23, 2011, 2:15 pm
  #763  
Original Member
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: NYC
Programs: AA 2MM, Bonvoy LTT, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 14,757
Originally Posted by barelyelite
As long as the flight is both AA-operated and -numbered, I don't think it matters who issued the ticket. Same with 500-mile upgrades for domestic flights. You'll just need to obtain the AA PNR.
Actually the OP raises an interesting question. On an AA-plated ticket they would just do an exchange for the upgrade. If the ticket is not plated by AA (not 001), then how is AA going to reissue for the SWU upgrade?

Has anybody done a SWU upgrade on a non-001 ticket? How was that processed?
seawolf is offline  
Old Nov 23, 2011, 2:42 pm
  #764  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: STL
Programs: AA 2MM, AS MVP Gold, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 12,966
Originally Posted by riteshraja
I am batting 50% when trying to use these things. Booking in middle of week (wed out wed in), seating charts, booking 2 months in advance etc has not helped. EF does not work very well since C inventory remains zero most of the time.

Most folks here bat +95% on these so any tips on improving the odds?
Pick flights with C inventory. I did this with LAX-LHR earlier this year, and did it again last night for a flight six months from now.

If you can't pick flights with C inventory, book well in advance. 2 months is getting a bit close.

What you are trying to predict is:
1. How many people will want paid premium seats on that flight, and
2. How many people are already on the upgrade waitlist.

Both are pretty hard to determine.
gemac is offline  
Old Nov 23, 2011, 5:14 pm
  #765  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: NYC
Programs: AA EXP / LT PLT / 3MM, Marriott LT Gold
Posts: 35,778
Originally Posted by riteshraja
lax-lhr
ord-del
dfw-eze
eze-jfk
I have never taken the LAX-LHR flight, but have taken the others numerous times and always cleared. ORD-DEL has been getting tougher lately. The last time around (2 weeks ago) my outbound cleared 2 days in advance and my return 1 day in advance. Both were showing J0 at one point and I wasn't holding out much hope.

My comprehensive recommendations are the following:
  1. Pick midweek departures (Tue-Thu)
  2. Look for J7 D7 I7 or as close to that as possible (assuming no C availability, obviously)
  3. A wide open seat map is desirable (J7 could mean 7 or 20 unsold seats)
  4. Also look for there to be plenty of Y availability
  5. Of course, set EF alerts for C
  6. When you get close, don't rely on the EF alerts and watch EF like a hawk whenever you are at the computer, refreshing the display every 5 minutes (can't guarantee upgrades without at least a little OCD behavior)
  7. If you see or are alerted to the existence of C inventory, call the EXP Desk immediately
  8. About 3 days before departure, start pressing the EXP Desk to send a request to revenue management (they will tell you they can't do it more than 24 hours before departure but they absolutely can)
  9. Make friends with a couple of good EXP agents who will look out for you
If it sounds like a lot of work, think about sitting in Y for 10-15 hours. This will reorient your priorities.
vasantn is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Manage Preferences Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

This site is owned, operated, and maintained by MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Designated trademarks are the property of their respective owners.