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ARCHIVE: SWU / VIP / eVIP Systemwide Upgrade questions

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FAQ: What's a Systemwide Upgrade / SWU / eVIP / VIP? (Master thread)
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Old Feb 26, 08, 9:36 pm
  #1
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ARCHIVE: SWU / VIP / eVIP Systemwide Upgrade questions

Hi folks,
I accidentally did Systemwide upgrade and like to downgrade again as I want to use these Upgrades for my other vacation. Shall I be able to do that?. I want to clarify before I talk to AA about this Downgrade. Will they credit me back I accidentally upgraded to my Bank?.
Thanks a lot in advance.

========================MODERATOR NOTE=====================

(Oct 2012: As there have been two existing threads on this same topic, we'll close this one and refer everyone to this new thread with the updated mod note: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/ameri...solidated.html Our apologies for any inconvenience - thanks! /AA Mod Team)


NOTE: This thread is for the discussion of the mechanics of AA systemwide upgrades. For "chance of upgrade clearing" questions, please use this thread: http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/ameri...solidated.html

Electronic Systemwide Upgrades, abbreviated SWU, also obsoletely referred to as VIPs or eVIPs, are electronic instruments generally allowing the owner to upgrade up to three segments, more or less in the same direction, on any flights AA flys with their own aircraft (not valid on partners or codeshares), assuming inventory is available on the longest transocean or intercontinental segment, regardless of paid, published fare. to the next class of service. There is no copay, and the SWU is returned to the owner's account if it has been waitlisted but does not get fulfilled.
  • Eight SWUs are earned by Executive Platinum AAdvantage members when they cross the threshold to EXP, and their expiration is essentially the same as the earned status - the last day of February of the ensuing status year (e.g. earn May 15 2011, the status and SWUs are good through 28 Feb 2013).

  • Four SWUs are earned by those crossing Million Miler thresholds of 2MM and every Million thereafter.

  • SWUs may be transferred or gifted (not bargained, bartered or sold) to anyone the owner chooses - the owner must authorize the transfer and provide at minimum the designated person's name, FFN and PNR.
Suggested reading: aa.com: SYSTEMWIDE UPGRADES AND FAQS

Please note there is a separate thread discussing lost / missing/ misappropriated SWUs:

Missing / someone else used / unauthorized use my SWU / VIP / eVIP (merged)

American AAdvantage Forum Moderator Team

Last edited by JY1024; Jul 23, 13 at 1:36 am Reason: minor edits to mod note
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Old Feb 26, 08, 9:42 pm
  #2
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They should let you do this. I think the original booking class of your coach fare needs to be available though. Just call AA and ask them.
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Old Feb 26, 08, 9:45 pm
  #3
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Originally Posted by ijgordon View Post
I think the original booking class of your coach fare needs to be available though.
I would be surprised if this were the case. But I don't know that for a fact.
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Old Feb 26, 08, 11:27 pm
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FWIW, I have also been under the impression that the original booking class needs to be available in order to downgrade.
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Old Feb 26, 08, 11:34 pm
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Originally Posted by sukn View Post
FWIW, I have also been under the impression that the original booking class needs to be available in order to downgrade.
I don't know the answer so I'm not trying to be contentious, but aren't you still booked in the original class, even when upgraded? Otherwise how does AA keep track of your originally ticketed fare basis for EQP/EQM calculations?

If you purchase an N fare (for example), you decrease N inventory. When you get a VIP upgrade, I don't think N inventory is increased correspondingly. You are still on an N fare; just upgraded.

Of course my theory is only that; a theory. But this is FT after all.
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Old Feb 26, 08, 11:39 pm
  #6
brp
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Originally Posted by vasantn View Post
I don't know the answer so I'm not trying to be contentious, but aren't you still booked in the original class, even when upgraded? Otherwise how does AA keep track of your originally ticketed fare basis for EQP/EQM calculations?

If you purchase an N fare (for example), you decrease N inventory. When you get a VIP upgrade, I don't think N inventory is increased correspondingly. You are still on an N fare; just upgraded.
N may or may not increase, but I don't believe you're still in N. I know that the system keeps track of where you started, for dishing out points, But I believe that you really are in C after the upgrade.

Not sure if N, for example, has to be available for eVIP downgrade, but it is the case with domestic upgrades to X.

Cheers.
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Old Feb 26, 08, 11:58 pm
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Originally Posted by brp View Post
Not sure if N, for example, has to be available for eVIP downgrade, but it is the case with domestic upgrades to X.
My belief (probably unwarranted) is that a Y seat has to be available (obviously), but it does not have to be in the originally booked inventory. If someone who has been upgraded gets to the airport and has no stickers in his/her account and is not able to purchase them, is he/she going to be refused a seat on the aircraft unless the originally ticketed inventory is available? Even if there are empty seats? I don't think so. But as always, I'm willing to be corrected.
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Old Feb 27, 08, 2:17 am
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Originally Posted by vasantn View Post
My belief (probably unwarranted) is that a Y seat has to be available (obviously), but it does not have to be in the originally booked inventory. If someone who has been upgraded gets to the airport and has no stickers in his/her account and is not able to purchase them, is he/she going to be refused a seat on the aircraft unless the originally ticketed inventory is available? Even if there are empty seats? I don't think so. But as always, I'm willing to be corrected.

I think your correct on this. ive been upgraded using stickers and when i got to the airport i decided not to be upgraded. also, ive had flights changed by aa on the same day travel, its not always the same class of service as i originally booked
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Old Feb 27, 08, 4:29 am
  #9
 
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Originally Posted by vasantn View Post
My belief (probably unwarranted) is that a Y seat has to be available (obviously), but it does not have to be in the originally booked inventory. If someone who has been upgraded gets to the airport and has no stickers in his/her account and is not able to purchase them, is he/she going to be refused a seat on the aircraft unless the originally ticketed inventory is available? Even if there are empty seats? I don't think so. But as always, I'm willing to be corrected.
Originally Posted by brp View Post
Not sure if N, for example, has to be available for eVIP downgrade, but it is the case with domestic upgrades to X.
Well, I was just speaking to the EXP about my ZRH trip and decided to ask the agent about our topic at hand. She confirmed that the original booking class has to be available for the downgrade otherwise you will also get charged a fare difference upon the downgrade. This was a Tucson agent with quite a bit of experience and unlike some of the newer agents, knew how to look up the eVIP upgrade waitlist on the old reservation system so FWIW, I tend to believe her.

As for the example of what happen to a PLT who decides on a downgrade at the airport, as we all know TAs and GAs have a quite a bit of latitude and suspect they would downgrade the passenger without much fuss (assuming it isn't a full flight). But this is just an assumption on my part based on my past experiences with TAs and GAs.
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Old Feb 27, 08, 7:41 am
  #10
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Originally Posted by sukn View Post
Well, I was just speaking to the EXP about my ZRH trip and decided to ask the agent about our topic at hand. She confirmed that the original booking class has to be available for the downgrade otherwise you will also get charged a fare difference upon the downgrade. This was a Tucson agent with quite a bit of experience and unlike some of the newer agents, knew how to look up the eVIP upgrade waitlist on the old reservation system so FWIW, I tend to believe her.

As for the example of what happen to a PLT who decides on a downgrade at the airport, as we all know TAs and GAs have a quite a bit of latitude and suspect they would downgrade the passenger without much fuss (assuming it isn't a full flight). But this is just an assumption on my part based on my past experiences with TAs and GAs.
Makes sense. Since I have never turned down an upgrade, I have no first-hand knowledge. I'm just following the FT tradition of speculation and conjecture.
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Old Feb 27, 08, 7:49 am
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Originally Posted by sukn View Post
FWIW, I have also been under the impression that the original booking class needs to be available in order to downgrade.
I tried to downgrade once in the AC and was told there wasn't any availability ... not sure if she was talking about booking class or physical seats though ...
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Old Feb 27, 08, 7:59 am
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If the flight is not full (or very close to being full), AA tends to open up all fare buckets 3-7 days before departure.
I have had EP agents work the system confirm me in a fare bucket that had been zeroed out.
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Old Feb 27, 08, 8:37 am
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So am I the only one who is curious as to how the OP did a systemwide upgrade accidentally?
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Old Feb 27, 08, 9:55 am
  #14
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Originally Posted by oklAAhoma View Post
So am I the only one who is curious as to how the OP did a systemwide upgrade accidentally?
No, you're not.

OP, do please tell us.
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Old Feb 27, 08, 10:11 am
  #15
brp
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Originally Posted by oklAAhoma View Post
So am I the only one who is curious as to how the OP did a systemwide upgrade accidentally?
Is this the elite-cabin corollary of "The Accidental Tourist"... "The Accidental Upgraded Tourist?"

Cheers.
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