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Answers (4)

International upgrade

International upgrade

  1. Suzanne Alexander

    I just flew to Australia and New Zealand on American. Booked 6 Mos ago. They said we could upgrade with miles and dollars. Then they said we had to wait until the week of the flight. On both legs there were seats available 24 hours before the flight. On both legs they vanished. On the return flight, they told me they had over 30 “staff” to accommodate on the flight. We ended up packed in like sardines — I believe they changed to a smaller plane because a day out it was not even close to full. Is it ever really possible to do international upgrades or is that a myth? do staff get preference over loyal customers? Oh,also, as a 3 million mile forever platinum member, I was number one on the upgrade list.

  2. RTBones

    This sounds…decidedly odd. Was this a charter flight by chance? First, yes, international upgrades do happen – and I am only a lowly million miler Gold for Life member. 🙂 My experience the last few years is that it is highly subjective to both routing and flight times – to the point that some times/flights during the day will have more upgrades available than others (which may require a long layover to make happen). My wife and I generally try to upgrade when we can. In my experience, the upgrade is either immediately available and confirm-able (rarer these days, particularly on AA metal), or once you are on the list, it clears as they come available. By way of example, the last international upgrade we did cleared during the boarding process. I have never been told I had to wait until the week of the flight, but rather upgrades were not available at that time and to check back closer to flight time. AA has become more restrictive as to the number of upgrades available and when they become available over the years, particularly since they went to a revenue-based FF system. Not sure about the whole “30 staff” thing.

  3. OCTinPHL

    [QUOTE=”Suzanne Alexander, post: 68565, member: 6381″]I just flew to Australia and New Zealand on American. Booked 6 Mos ago. They said we could upgrade with miles and dollars. Then they said we had to wait until the week of the flight. On both legs there were seats available 24 hours before the flight. On both legs they vanished. On the return flight, they told me they had over 30 “staff” to accommodate on the flight. We ended up packed in like sardines — I believe they changed to a smaller plane because a day out it was not even close to full. Is it ever really possible to do international upgrades or is that a myth? do staff get preference over loyal customers? Oh,also, as a 3 million mile forever platinum member, I was number one on the upgrade list.[/QUOTE]

    AA flies a 789 to both AKL and SYD – it is doubtful they switched to a smaller plane – but possible. Maybe they switched to a 788. How did you confirm there were seats available the day before each leg? The AA seating chart won’t show purchased but unassigned seats until passengers check in. Best to use Expert Flyer.

    Also, I doubt there were 30 employees deadheading back. The ground staff at AKL and SYD – like most outstations – are not AA employees but local staff. And flight crews normally have a ~24 layover and then work back. 30 employees deadheading sounds like a local agent had no idea what they were talking about.

    Finally – next time (if there is one), put yourself on the waitlist [B]when[/B] you purchase your ticket. You can do that with miles and $.

  4. Rob in Miami

    I am a 2M AA flyer (which means nothing to the airline) and OW Emerald EXP (which means alot). In the last 7 years, I am always upgraded from PE to Biz. I always buy the best coach seat (PE)…… and ask for miles to be used on an upgrade and it always seems to work. I try to book flights with alot of unassigned seats in Biz on a large 767/777/787. I avoid 757s or 737.
    Your situation of 30 employees is very strange.

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