BA Pax in Upgrade Sequence for AA Flights

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Old Sep 6, 18, 6:21 am
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BA Pax in Upgrade Sequence for AA Flights

I flew AA domestic economy last month from LAX to IAD with a good friend of mine. Because I was on a triangular routing and he was RT, we had separate bookings and were therefore seated separately. In the (most-impressive) Flagship Lounge, I visited the agent to inquire as to whether there might be two seats together. One glance at the map told her that the flight was overbooked, seating was solid, and that they'd be looking for volunteers.

I commented to her that I had Gold status and that my traveling companion had none, and therefore if I ended up being upgraded on this oversold flight, my friend would be left in coach. She said "You wouldn't get upgraded anyway. You are BA, not AA".

I took this at face value at the time, however I've been wondering ever since if the BA "emeralds" are excluded from upgrade considerations on AA? Or did she mean that with so many AA elites booked, a BA elite wouldn't have a chance?
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Old Sep 6, 18, 6:25 am
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I've always taken it to be the latter. I think it is theoretically possible to get upgraded but in practice they rarely clear their own elites, since so many routinely buy Y and hope for the upgrade.
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Old Sep 6, 18, 6:27 am
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I think it is only AA status fliers that get upgraded.
I have found my BA Silver status handy when flights have gone tech (US domestic) on rebooking and skipping up the standby list.
Never get on my US domestic flights btw as I have a near perfect record of flights going tech !
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Old Sep 6, 18, 6:31 am
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Originally Posted by Buzzz View Post
I flew AA domestic economy last month from LAX to IAD with a good friend of mine. Because I was on a triangular routing and he was RT, we had separate bookings and were therefore seated separately. In the (most-impressive) Flagship Lounge, I visited the agent to inquire as to whether there might be two seats together. One glance at the map told her that the flight was overbooked, seating was solid, and that they'd be looking for volunteers.

I commented to her that I had Gold status and that my traveling companion had none, and therefore if I ended up being upgraded on this oversold flight, my friend would be left in coach. She said "You wouldn't get upgraded anyway. You are BA, not AA".

I took this at face value at the time, however I've been wondering ever since if the BA "emeralds" are excluded from upgrade considerations on AA? Or did she mean that with so many AA elites booked, a BA elite wouldn't have a chance?
I think that's basically right, although my boss (who is GGL / CCR) is often at or near the top of the upgrade list on AA flights, but me being a BA Silver, am not on any list (and even during check-in, have received answers similar to yours). Don't know if they make exceptions for BA's very top flyers (likewise for CK on BA flights).
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Old Sep 6, 18, 6:32 am
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Upgrades on the US carriers is a completely different system then legacy carriers in Europe. If you haven't seen it, you 'request' the upgrade (which is usually free on domestics) and then you are placed in a queue depending on your tier/status. I believe that OneWorld status holders will effectively get placed at the bottom of that list, but as said the likelihood of the whole list clearing on a high-demand flight is virtually zero. Lots of discussion of this on the US carrier forums, particularly of people who never get an upgrade because they fly from the carrier's home hub.
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Old Sep 6, 18, 6:34 am
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AA only upgrades its members which is pretty standard procedure among airlines. Airlines will typically give alliance partner members with status priority on standby etc.
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Old Sep 6, 18, 6:38 am
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I'm not sure about the upgrade list on AA (since I rarely have an AA domestic Y booking), but I've been at the top of the standby list several times due to BA Gold (GGL/CCR). I've been successful a number of times due to being in the #1 spot.

Being GGL, I've certainly trumped AA EXPs, since there was a bit of a spat in front of me at a JFK gate earlier this year when an entitled gentleman was spouting off to the GA that he had been top of the list as an EXP, but suddenly he was now number two after I had been added to the list minutes earlier He was seething when there was only 1 seat to be had, and the GA called my name to receive my new BP. Needless to say I made haste down the jetbridge, where the gentleman continued to argue with the GA. It did save an additional 1.5hrs hanging around in JFK, so I was very happy.
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Old Sep 6, 18, 6:47 am
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My impression about Standby and Upgrades on AA in the USA is that American pax are more "switched on" about these than Brits., (generally). So they might come across as more "entitled".
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Old Sep 6, 18, 6:55 am
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Originally Posted by Buzzz View Post
I took this at face value at the time, however I've been wondering ever since if the BA "emeralds" are excluded from upgrade considerations on AA?
No, OW elites are not excluded for OpUps consideration on AA, but this thread belongs to the AA forum as members over there will be more knowledgeable in these issues.
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Old Sep 6, 18, 7:27 am
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I received an OpUp last August on a Transcon from JFK to LAX (J to F) as a (non-GGL / non-AA status) vanilla BA Gold, so it's not impossible. Interestingly, I was already sat in J post-boarding when the ground agent came on board and asked me to take a seat in a half-empty F cabin as they "needed my seat". I remember being super surprised at the time that they would choose to upgrade a oneworld Emerald over one of their own elites but had no chance to ask "why me", as they were rushing to close the door.

My general experience on AA (in over 100 flights) has been that non-AA elites do not qualify for the official "upgrade list" (i.e. the list that gives "automatic" as opposed to "operational" upgrades to their own elites) and therefore have zero effective chance for an operational upgrade i.e. because the former list would have to be at zero for non-AA elites to be considered. In almost every domestic flight I have taken the "automatic" list always seems to be in double digits. I would venture the 3 class Transcons might be the exception i.e. the sole domestic flights where EXPs don't have an automatic right to a bump from J to F, as opposed to burning their limited guaranteed upgrade certificates, which from scanning the AA forum people seem to prefer to retain for international travel. I would imagine that I lucked out on a once in a blue moon day on which operational upgrades were necessary, there were no Concierge Keys or EXPs travelling and / or they wanted to showcase F to non-AA elite?? Who knows but I have zero expectation of it ever happening again. Between AA elites, friends & family, dead heading pilots / crew, etc, I would imagine oneworld elites have as much chance of an OpUp on a typical AA flight as winning the lottery. But I of course defer to those with superior knowledge...
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Old Sep 6, 18, 7:32 am
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Just to add that it is of course a different story if you have a confirmed F (or Y ticket) and are on standby for that cabin. I have found in those situations (as mentioned above) oneworld emerald to be a major help in getting to to the top of the standby list. But this is of course a very different situation to getting an operational upgrade from Y to F, which the original OP was asking about.
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Old Sep 6, 18, 8:22 am
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You're not excluded from operational upgrades in the same way any passenger can be operationally upgraded. But you're not eligible for AA's complimentary or sticker based upgrades, which clear closer and closer to the gate as time goes on. The cabin was almost certainly full of AA's own elites, especially in an oversold situation.
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Old Sep 6, 18, 8:26 am
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Originally Posted by contrails7 View Post
Just to add that it is of course a different story if you have a confirmed F (or Y ticket) and are on standby for that cabin. I have found in those situations (as mentioned above) oneworld emerald to be a major help in getting to to the top of the standby list. But this is of course a very different situation to getting an operational upgrade from Y to F, which the original OP was asking about.
This is my exact experience. Several times I have been bumped on a miss-connect and placed in the last available Y seat, only to be gate-upgraded to J as my original ticket, ahead of the official upgrade list. (sometimes to the dismay of AA EXP's)

The only issue I have ever had was retro-actively claiming J TP, as BAEC receives it as a Y/J.
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Old Sep 6, 18, 9:08 am
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It is best not to impose one carrier's scheme on another. OP was flying AA domestic in Y on what was likely a 2-class aircraft. While there are always other possible scenarios for UG's, the principle means for upgrades on AA domestic are elite status on AA (not OW). This is made crystal clear on AA's website.

Any AA status member may request an UG on the flight. If EXP or PLAT PRO, the UG is free. If PLAT or GOLD, it is paid for in 500-mile certificates (sometimes called "stickers") which are now electronic and which are earned in increments for other flying or may also be purchased for cash. This flight would have required 5 such certificates. But, OP is not an AA elite and accordingly is not eligible for this form of upgrade.

As to OPUP's and other issues, those are not what the conversation OP had with the agent at the FL were about.

AAdvantage® elite status members can upgrade from any eligible purchased, published fare in the Main Cabin (excluding Basic Economy fares) to the next class of service for travel within North America on eligible American Airlines marketed and operated flights. Executive Platinum members can also upgrade on AAdvantage award tickets.

Upgrades are always complimentary for Executive Platinum and Platinum Pro members. For Platinum and Gold members, upgrades on flights 500 miles or less are complimentary and flights greater than 500 miles require 500-mile upgrades.

If possible, upgrades will be confirmed before departure based on elite status.
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Old Sep 6, 18, 9:10 am
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Originally Posted by YacozA View Post
This is my exact experience. Several times I have been bumped on a miss-connect and placed in the last available Y seat, only to be gate-upgraded to J as my original ticket, ahead of the official upgrade list. (sometimes to the dismay of AA EXP's)

The only issue I have ever had was retro-actively claiming J TP, as BAEC receives it as a Y/J.
This has nothing to do with AA's UG policy.

If you are an IRROP'd passenger in paid F/J and there is no availability in F/J in the rerouted flight, you are still a paid F/J passenger and come ahead of the UG list because you are not looking for an UG but rather accommodation in your ticketed cabin.
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