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Answers (2)

How do Airlines Rank Passengers

Dear Lucky, This is something I have always wanted to know.  I am EP on AA and believe that not every EP is the same, that we are ranked 1 to whatever.  I think this because there was a time I flew quite a bit and was always getting upgraded and as this slowed, still EP, I was getting less upgrades.  Now during 2021, I’m able to make EP without promotions, I’m using them of course, but still don’t think I need them and am noticing I’m back up in first when traveling in coach.  I do often pay for first, but sometimes I don’t, it just depends.  This led me to believe in some kind of ranking.  Is this true and if so any insights you can share.  Thanks, Mark

  1. OCTinPHL

    Hey Mark,

    are you asking if AAdvantage / AA ranks customers by more than their spend? AA certainly does “rank” within each tier by the members’ rolling 12-month spend – the EQDs (not your calendar EQDs for re-qualification). So if you and I are both on the same flight, both vying for the same upgrade, it is going to whichever one of us has the greater spend over the last 12 months. AA also has internal “eagle” ratings for each customer – but I don’t think one’s eagle rating factors one bit into things like upgrades. It may come into play when interacting with CSRs on things like re-bookings, etc., i.e. anything not automated. Even then I’m not sure.

  2. Ricky

    I think OCTinPHL is spot on. Upgrades are based (almost) exclusively on that rolling dollars spent metric. Upgrades are too visual of a benefit for AA to do anything different. I agree that when interacting with Customer Service though and the Exec Plat phone desk, your internal eagle rating does come into play much more.

    Ben wrote about the Eagle Rating a couple years ago, if you’re curious about reading more. FlyerTalk also has pages upon pages of it, too.

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