This Is Why Some American Airlines Elite Benefits Are A Joke

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Arguably three of the more valuable benefits that come with American Airlines top-tier status are the 4 Systemwide Upgrades that elites receive each year, the unlimited domestic upgrades and the bonus miles that top-tier elites earn on all flights….but at least two of these have been reduced to a farce by current American Airlines management.

There are rumors circulating that American Airlines would like to restrict the use of Systemwide  Upgrades to just the flyers who actually earn the upgrades (family, friends, co-workers would not be upgradable) and the rumors go on to say that this move is being considered to make it easier for all elites to use their upgrades.

American Airlines 777-300ER Business Class
American Airlines 777-300ER Business Class

If this turns out to be true the current American Airlines leadership will have outdone itself as this would be nonsense on a level we haven’t seen so far.

The reason why elites have trouble using their Systemwide upgrades right now has absolutely nothing to do with other elites and everything to do with American Airlines not releasing any upgrades in the first place.

I think we can all probably agree that Christmas Day and Thanksgiving are two of the days of the year when transatlantic Business Class travel is at its lowest. Most corporations are closed for the holidays so demand for Business Class seats is very low and we often see some very nicely priced Premium Cabin fares.

Logic therefore dictates that it’s on days such as these that finding Business Class upgrades or awards should be easiest to find….except that this isn’t the case at all when considering American Airlines.

American Airlines offers more flights to London than to any other European city so it’s the airline’s routes to London that I shall be concentrating on in this post.

Christmas Day Travel

Los Angeles – London

American Airlines is offering 2 non-stop flights between Los Angeles and London on Christmas Day 2019 and it’s currently prepared to sell at least 7 Business Class seats (J) on both of those flights:

a screenshot of a computer

A quick look at the seat maps for both those flights expands on the story.

AA108 appears to have just one reserved seat so far…..

a screenshot of a flight information….and AA136 is showing every seat in the Business Class cabin as being available:

a screenshot of a flight information

And with the Business Class cabins looking this empty American Airlines is offering no confirmable Business Class upgrades (C) or Miles Saver Business Class awards (U) on either flight.

a screenshot of a computer

Yes, I know that some will argue that seat maps aren’t always entirely accurate but I really don’t care – they’re a lot more accurate than some like to admit.

This far out there’s a VERY good chance that there is just one passenger confirmed into Business Class across both flights and yet American Airlines isn’t offering any Business Class upgrades or Business Class Miles Saver awards on either flight.

The story is very similar on a number of other American Airlines’ prominent routes to London….

New York JFK – London

There are at least 7 Business Class seats available for sale on each of American’s 4 flights between JFK and London on Christmas Day 2019 (the seat maps show almost entirely empty Business Class cabins)….

a screenshot of a flight schedule

….and yet American is refusing to release any Business Class upgrades or Miles Saver awards for these flights:

a screenshot of a flight schedule

Dallas/Ft. Worth – London

The story is the same here. Wide open Business Class cabins on all 3 Christmas Day flights….

a screenshot of a computer

….and no upgrade or award availability whatsoever:

a screenshot of a flight schedule

Chicago – London

The news isn’t any better out of Chicago.

3 flights to London of Christmas Day with wide open Business Class cabins on all 3….

a screenshot of a computer

….and not a single Miles Saver Business Class award or Business Class upgrade in sight:

a screenshot of a flight schedule

Thanksgiving Travel

Thanksgiving doesn’t give any respite from the misers at American Airlines either…..

Lots of Business Class seats available out of Los Angeles….

a screenshot of a computer

…and no upgrades or Miles Saver awards are available:

a screenshot of a computerLots of Business Class seats available out of Chicago….

a screenshot of a computer

…and no upgrades or Miles Saver awards are available:

a screenshot of a computer

Lots of Business Class seats available out of New York JFK….

a screenshot of a computer…and no upgrades or Miles Saver awards are available:

a screenshot of a flight schedule

Lots of Business Class seats available out of Dallas/Ft. Worth….

a screenshot of a computer

…and no upgrades or Miles Saver awards are available:

a screenshot of a flight schedule

Next Saturday Travel

Just in case anyone was thinking that American Airlines may not be opening up awards or upgrades for Thanksgiving or Christmas because they’re still a long way out and the airline isn’t sure what loads will look like (an incorrect assumption to make) here’s what availability looks like on two of the London routes for this coming Saturday (2 March 2019).

Los Angeles – London

American is currently happy to sell a minimum of 7 Business Class seats on both of its flights to London this coming Saturday:

a screenshot of a computer

Flight AA108 is currently showing a seat map with 30 Business Class seats unallocated….

a screenshot of a computer

….and flight AA136 is showing a seat map with 21 Business Class seats unallocated:

a screenshot of a flight schedule

But American Airlines is offering no Business Class upgrades or Business Miles Saver awards on either flight:

a screenshot of a flight schedule

There may be up to 51 unsold Business Class seats on these flights which are due to depart in a little over 5 days time and American isn’t prepared to open up even 1 Business Class Miles Saver award or one Business Class upgrade.

I could carry on with examples like these for page after page but I’ll end with the Chicago – London route.

Chicago – London

American Airlines is operating 3 non-stop flights between Chicago and London this coming Saturday and two of the flights have at least 7 Business Class seats for sale (each):

a screenshot of a computer

AA90 is showing a seat map with 18 Business Class seats unallocated:

a screenshot of a flight informationAA86 is showing a seat map with 18 Business Class seats unallocated:

a screenshot of a computer

AA46 is showing a seat map with 10 Business Class seats unallocated but we know that American doesn’t want to sell any more Business Class seats on this flight so this number is irrelevant.

a screenshot of a flight information

Unsurprisingly American Airlines isn’t prepared to offer a single Business Class upgrade or Business Class Miles Saver awards on these flight despite the fact there’s somewhere between 14 and 36 unsold Business Class seats on this route next Saturday.

a screenshot of a flight schedule

Bottom Line

When you can’t book Business Class awards or confirm Business Class upgrades on days of the year like Thanksgiving and Christmas Day just when exactly can we expect American Airlines to open up availability?

I’ve been tracking award and upgrade availability on these routes using my ExpertFlyer alerts and I haven’t seen one Miles Saver award or Business Class upgrade open up for travel on Thanksgiving or Christmas Day – American is simply not making them available.

It’s not like the airline has any reason to believe that it will sell the cabins out – far from it. I’ve travelled on the LAX – LHR route on Christmas Day more times than I care to remember and the Business Class cabin is never, ever full.

a row of seats in an airplane

American knows that it wont sell out the Business Class cabins on its London routes on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day and yet, across the 25 flights that I’ve highlighted (on those days), there’s not a single upgrade or Business Class Miles Saver award available.

American’s Systemwide Upgrades have never been harder to use and yet we have rumors that the airline is considering taking steps to reduce their usefulness even further.

American’s miles have never been harder to use economically (on American Airlines) and yet the airline keeps pushing AAdvantage credit card down flyers’ throats on every single flight.

Do we need any more evidence to demonstrate what a joke some elite benefits in the AAdvantage program have become?


  1. Great article,I will not collect another AA mile willingly.There have become useless for premium travel with AA.Partner travel is slightly better but it is still not worth the effort.I finally cancelled my 20 yr old AA citicard account last month.

    • I’m going to disagree with Mike.

      For me, it’s poorly written, there are far too many screenshots and it reads like a rant rather than an article

      • IMO “rant” is an incredibly overused word when it comes to describing blog posts (I’ve yet to read a strong critique of something that someone hasn’t called a rant) and, naturally, I respectfully disagree that this reads as one.

        Is it a critique with personal anger? Yes, definitely….but that’s the difference between a blog post and an aviation article where emotion is expected to be left out.

        As for the screenshots…

        Yes, there probably are too many screenshots but if I left any out I’d have people questioning the facts.

    • I agree with Mike. When I was Exec Platinum with AA, I could not get anywhere I wanted to go for a year in advance… go to Australia? No. Go to New Zealand? No. Go to Rome? No. Go ANWHERE I wanted to go??? No, No, NO! Ridiculous!

    • I agree with Mike, and think he’s right on. When I was Exec Platinum with AA, I could not get anywhere I wanted to go for a year in advance… go to Australia? No. Go to New Zealand? No. Go to Rome? No. Go ANWHERE I wanted to go??? No, No, NO! Ridiculous!

  2. Everything you said is true, but you’re sort of overlooking the fact that the true possible usage of the SWUs is much better than what you can confirm in advance.

    It’s definitely shady that they make their best customers sweat it out right down to T -24

    • But that was never the original true value of the SWU – historically there were always some dates on popular routes where SWUs could be confirmed in advance whereas now we can’t even confirm them on dates on which everyone knows B/C loads will be light.

      Having to sweat on the upgrade to T-24 or possibly later seriously detracts from the value of the SWU.

  3. On the other hand, being able to simultaneously buy a coach ticket and confirm a business class upgrade- essentially is a business class ticket.

    Who would buy J if they were absolutely certain they could upgrade?

    • I’m not suggesting they should open the floodgates – I’m just suggesting that the least they could do is make some upgrades/Miles Saver awards available to make the SWUs a worthwhile benefit and to support the value of their own currency.

      Even if American went as far as releasing two confirmable upgrades on every international flight (which I’m not suggesting it should do) that would still leave a lot of people forced to buy J wouldn’t it?

      • I am – we earned them and should be able to get confirmed seats whenever we want. Four SWUs are not a lot anyway, so when we want to use them, they should not be blocked. If they wanted to make it after 150k miles instead, then fine, but do not offer the benefit and design rule to block them. Deceptive and just plain wrong. I was only able to use 1 of my 4 last year – even on domestic legs as a last ditch effort to use them.

    • This is the perk for SWU’s, though…and you only get 4. Are there really that many Execute Platinum members out there that being able to confirm upgrade on purchase will affect AA’s global profits? Doubt it. Sweating it out until T-24 hrs is exactly the same perk that you get with complimentary upgrades as a Platinum member…SWU’s are supposed to be better than that, but they aren’t, except for a higher place in line.

      • Agreed. I doubt that confirming 4 SWUs for EXPs would even register as a blip in American’s accounts.

  4. Parker has done an outstanding job of destroying customer loyalty. When United looks good by comparison, you know you’ve got a problem.

    • I think the problem is that Parker and his team don’t actually see benefits side of AAdvantage as a tool to make the airline money (I think they see it as a cost center) and that’s where the problem starts.

  5. You nailed it! AA is diminishing the value of SWU by making it impossible to use for Y to J upgrade.

    I think AA is pushing the use of SWUs for UG from paid J to F.

  6. Just book the cabin you wish to fly at the outset – simple as that really.

    It does appear that the US carriers have conditioned their flyers into expecting upgrades, but seem to slowly be changing that. Maybe we’ll see a Domestic F cabin that isn’t completely full one day!

    • You seem to be completely missing the point of a Systemwide upgrade – they’re a benefit that was designed to mean that you don’t have to book the cabin you wish to fly in.

        • What’s the point of an advertised ‘benefit’ if you can’t use it?

          I may be misunderstanding you here (apologies if that’s the case) but you appear to be arguing that it’s ok for American Airlines to promote SWUs as a major benefit of Executive Platinum status and then make them very, very hard to use because “If you really wanted to fly J, you would pay for it.”

          That makes no sense to me whatsoever.

          • I’m not arguing either way on the issuance of SWUs by AA. I’m not sure I actually care about SWUs – advertised benefit or not.

            What I am saying is that if you really want to travel in J, you would buy a J fare.

            If you want to buy a Y fare and take the risk of a potential upgrade to J using a SWU then you use the route you describe in the post.

            If you ask me personally if I want to travel in J, I buy the fare. I would never take the risk of availability possibly appearing to use a SWU since I would not be prepared to travel in Y in the first place, which is the inherent risk with your approach.

            • I genuinely don’t believe you understand how SWUs were designed to work and how they worked up to a few years ago.

              Also, im struggling to understand your argument which appears to suggest that flyers shouldn’t complain when published benefits can’t be used and when airline miles cannot be economically used and that they should just pay to sit in J – the whole point of a loyalty program and its benefits is that it offers an opportunity not to have to pay for J.

              • To expand on my struggle to understand your position…

                This is a blog post detailing how it has become ridiculously hard to use Systemwide Upgrades (a benefit which most consider to be the top benefit offered by AA) and you, in turn, reply with the phrase “I’m not sure I actually care about SWUs – advertised benefit or not”.

                I don’t get the need to comment then?

                The blog post also points out how ridiculously hard it had become to book Business Class Saver awards and your argument against that appears to be “well pay for Business Class if you can’t book an award”….which completely misses the point of earning miles and participating in a loyalty program in the first place.

                Essentially (I may have misunderstood so please correct me if I have) you appear to be saying “stop complaining that AAdvantage benefits and miles aren’t worth much anymore and just book Business Class if you want to fly in Business Class”

                I don’t get it.

          • Yeah, he is clueless. The issue is a bait and switch enticement to be more loyal. If you take AA at a higher fare in relation to another option just to stay “loyal” and those are the benefits – they should deliver those benefits. Simple contract law.

  7. You are spot on. As an ExPlat (Plat for life) living in London, I travel back to the USA on my dime about 4 times a year. Since it’s my dime, I fly AA instead of BA and attempt to use the SWU. I have noticed over the last year, confirming upgrades in advance is getting far more difficult. For me, the SWU is one of the biggest perks of the AA program. My last flight was in October 2018 from LAX-LHR. I was 8 on the upgrade list as ExPlat. No one could explain. The phone center can’t even tell me where I am on the list anymore. Ironically, I got Salmonella poisoning on that flight. Anyway, I have been eyeing Delta.

  8. Yeah I’m going to have to agree with Benjamin, Andrew, and Mike. Not saying I like that it’s hard to confirm upgrades way in advance, but this does seem more like the rants I see on flyertalk, which referred to this blog posting and how I got here. I think the blog author uses wayyyy too many screenshots, overly relies on seat maps, and has a post title that is hyperbolic.

    Times change, programs change. The benefits aren’t “a joke” though. Yawn.

    • I’m pretty sure Mike agreed with me but, that aside…

      I’d like to understand why you don’t think it’s a joke that it’s so hard to use miles for American Airlines Business Class saver awards and why you don’t think it’s a joke that Systemwide upgrades are so hard to confirm in advance.

      American has halved the number of SWUs it offered in the past, they’ve never been harder to use than they are now and there are strong rumors (one from a very well respected source) that indicate that American is looking to further constrain the use of SWUs on patently false grounds.

      That all seems pretty “joke-like’ to me.

      • I loved the post. The screen shots were clearly used to prove your point and made your message crystal clear and makes it very hard for AA to defend. I would consider this an excellent presentation of the facts. And just one more of many issues AA needs to correct before they experience an exodus of customers. Once you lose a customer, it is very hard to win them back. I just keep hoping the realize it soon!

  9. The benefits are a total joke coming from a conciergekey member here. Probably going to switch to delta next year. The fact that you can’t upgrade one additional person when you are traveling with your spouse without paying the ridiculous 500 mile upgrades, you don’t accumulate 500 mile upgrades once your are past platinum pro, blackout flights when redeeming miles are increasing, and American management denies openly that their product is broken — instead blaming on time performance (which is pretty bad too), just adds to the frustration.

    • 100% agree, from a 3 year CK. I’m done with them. 500 mile upgrades literally sounded like a grocery store program. So I’m your top tier, and I don’t earn them anymore. I have to spend $120 to upgrade my wife each way from LGA to freaking DALLAS? I’m back with DL now. Earning and redemption is just as bad, if not worse, but planes are being updated to ADD IFE and power, not take them away, flight attendants are more friendly, especially on long-haul service, IRROPS is FAR easier to recover from, and most importantly, my wife will have complimentary Gold status when I move back from Plat (matched) to Diamond again. I only really focus on earning and using MR points with my Plat Amex (5x on direct hotel and airline booking) and using the points for long-haul flights with great airlines with amazing service (ANA, Emirates, Etihad, etc) and occasionally use some DL miles to upgrade to domestic first on a few flights. If I can help it, AA won’t get another dime from me.

      • Wow. I have to admit that I didn’t expect to have CK members disenchanted with the benefits – if you guys can’t get value out of the benefits on offer what chance has anyone else? Thanks for the input and comments – v interesting.

  10. Pro status and fly entirely domestic and intent to keep it that way so London isn’t an issue to me. Have been getting upgraded on all most every flight this year (5RT) so far. All out of PHL to TPA and LAS, some with connections including a Dreamliner from Chicago during CES. Not sure there is a better airline out there so I for one am happy with AA. But I understand every company is reducing benefits, it’s today world.

    • Great to hear that you been have good luck with your upgrades – nice that someone is! 🙂

      I don’t think its just the case of reduced benefits that’s the issue here – its the fact that the SWU benefit was reduced (8 to 4) AND has been made very hard to use too. It’s a double blow.

  11. On a recent AA from HKG to DFW, I was shocked on booking that I was allowed to use an upgrade from Prem Econ. The agent checked with load management and assigned me a seat in “F”, completely jumping over the business class cabin! I could only assume that the business class was already full or overbooked and was delighted to have an opportunity to fly F on an international flight. So, I picked my desired seat, ordered my desired meal and headed to the airport. The morning of the flight I was handed a boarding pass with a seat in Business class. Now, that is what my upgrade was for, so I am not complaining about the ‘downgrade’. But I wonder why this was not caught earlier and I was not notified earlier. I ended up in the last seat in the cabin, with no meal choice, and no explanation from AA. Again, another example of the complete lack of customer service by the Parker-led organization. I will add, however, that the flight in B was enjoyable, with good service by the FAs.

  12. I’ve been Executive Platinum for 12 Years running, and while I’m not likely to change loyalty to American I can report that I’ve looked at the same kind of screens for more than a decade, and seats are much harder to find now than they have ever been. It seems ludicrous that ZERO seats are offered on non-peak days, regardless of when searched, but I can confirm I see the same thing.

    I could see restricting use of the elusive seats to people traveling with the earning member, but a blanket restriction on any others using the upgrades would make them even more worthless.

  13. I have been an AA Executive Platinum member for more than 10 years, and I have easily noticed the deterioration of all benefits, not just the Systemwide Upgrades. It used to be checkin and boarding was based on loyalty, and then they decided they could sell these benefits out from under us for a few dollars, and now the checkin and boarding process is hardly a benefit. Get a credit card and earn the benefits without flying previously? Really? I flew over 150,000 elite miles last year with American, and this year my business goes to United. They have better international networks for connections throughout Europe, Eastern Europe and Asia with their Star Alliance Partners, who offer higher quality premiium economy and half-price (sometimes business class tickets). So what is it worth to pay the 50% higher fares fr premium econonmy or to get systemwide upgrades that are unusable. Even using mileage to get economy tickets now almost always requires a connection, despite empty seats at time of booking. American has turned totally greedy. Saying it is for the shareholders holds no water with me. The airline industry has an inherent responsibility to the public at large, and they have driven up costs and restricted benefits. I’ll gladly give up on American as I near 6,000,000 lifetime miles, as i see no continued benefit to the much higher expense. Sad day in Dallas, but the cost is no longer justifiable. started transitioning to United last year and still ammassed 50,000 miles there, for a total of 200,000 miles towards benefits. You would think 9 times around the world equivalent would be worth something, other than benefits that can’t be used freely.

    • Interesting points and they go some way to firming up the belief that AAdvantage used to be a great tool to keep flyers happy even if American wasn’t providing a service (routes) that people most wanted. Now it’s just a middle-of-the-road program (at best) so there’s not much incentive for flyers like you not to look elsewhere when others offer better connectivity.

  14. I stopped my upgrade to E.P. after 8 years and am now P.Pro. because I couldn’t use SWUs last year to go to europe. Sat next to an AA employee this week who was in the internet division and told her why I didn’t think that they cared about their Frequent Fleyers and were all about credit cards . All she said was they she understood. they know its a problem but don’t care

  15. Lifetime Plat. It is my understanding that selling miles to banks is a very major profit center for most airlines. So it would make sense that the dilution of benefits would follow. That being said I a retired now and fly 5 or 6 times a year with a couple of trips to Europe and I find that being flexible does get me Milesaver First/Business tickets. Obviously not something I could do when I flew for business. My main complaint is that American frequently books our travel on a partner airline which, in my opinion, is usually a downgrade in service. Way too late for me to change and I live in the DFW area which makes it doubly difficult.

    • The issue American is going to have (at some point) is that people will eventually wise up to the fact that AAdvantage Miles aren’t that easy to use for flights on American (which is what most people want them for).

      When that finally happens we’ll see interest in earning AAdvantage miles dip and banks won’t be quite so keen to pay American ridiculous sums of money for a currency fewer people want – that’s going to be a big problem for an airline that currently only makes a profit on the sale of miles.

  16. I am Plat Pro. My wife is EP. Except for one flight, we have been successful using our SWU’s in 2018 and 2019, but never when originally booking the flight. The original post is correct. AA’s computer does not provide much availability (or any, in many cases), for immediate SWU upgrades or Business Class Plan Ahead awards, which is frustrating. However, AA also has a new trend – not upgrading until right before the 24 hour window opens. So….last month both of our DFW-LHR (and back) legs had over 10 seats available in Business Class. And then, about 24 1/2 hours before the flight, all the SWU’s got upgraded. It seems they are not upgrading until the last possible moment. It’s Great that we got upgraded – but unless you watch real close, you may not be able to pre-Reserve a meal.

  17. I was given one as a gift and it expired after 6 brutal attempts to use it throughout the year
    I hear Doug Parker’s family gets to use them without any problems
    So it must be me
    Having said that problem solved
    Was flying with American for 20 plus years
    No longer though so no complaints

  18. Even more fun is that AA routes many of its flights to europe through Heathrow. Hasn’t anyone figured out that Brexit is going to screw things up mightily? We have to go to Paris/Copenhagen in the spring and i made sure to avoid BA/AA flights like the plague. I am an EP, have been for 15 years.

  19. AA go [redacted] yourself. Especially you Parker, you [redacted] dwarf.

    *Edited by TFM – no profanities please….no matter how warranted they may or may not be

  20. Back when I was EXP I had many SWUs that were not confirmed until boarding. Mostly back and forth between DFW and GRU. I’m down to lifetime GOLD now but my next trip to Europe will bump me up to lifetime PLAT. I was lucky I was able to get my wife award seats in business to the UK and back on a last minute trip when her step mother passed away unexpectedly but that was in Feb.
    But I have colleagues who are EXP and still have SWUs that go unused. But domestically they get upgraded more often than not. And even as a PLAT or GOLD I’ve still managed to get domestic upgrades.

    • Good to hear that domestic upgrades aren’t too hard to clear….but I guess this will be very route and day specific.

  21. Good, thorough job, Ziggy. You laid out a very valid case with plenty of airline-based evidence to back it up. I wonder if those arguing with you are just AA botts (Executives or PR flacks). Actually, Zig, you’re kind. In my neighborhood, we call this false advertising or scamming. AA sets up a program, sets out the rules, ALL designed to attract customers, and then, whoosh, the program benefits are nowhere to be found. Some might even want to call this “fraud” !! It’s not new, just more of the same insidious airline business slime. I remember when UAL suddenly added a “co-payment” to use EARNED MILES for upgrades. CO-PAYMENT–no, we all told them, you are now CHARGING us to use what WE EARNED. Just another reason why, after 44 years, I stopped flying UAL. Sad, because they had hard-working cockpit and cabin crews with garbage for management. I guess AA doesn’t want to learn from UAL’s colossal errors.

    • Thanks for the kind words.

      I’m not sure if those defending the airline are airline employees but they sound very much like the users on FlyerTalk who were all telling us how the takeover by Parker would be fine and that we should all stop whining 🙂

  22. Great article, mirrors my experience. Welcome to my world. No C upgrade space for months on routes I’m interested in even 330 days out: AKL,SYD, DFW-HKG, LHR.

    • Are you finding yourself in a position where you’re having to let SWUs expire or can you at least give them away to friends/family?

  23. Great article, mirrors my experience. Welcome to my world. No C upgrade space for months on routes I’m interested in even 330 days out: AKL,SYD, DFW-HKG, LHR. I flew 335,000 miles in 2018, so I have the benefit of 2 additional eVIP’s or 40,000 award miles. I haven’t made a selection yet — but the VIP’s seem like a meaningless gesture, based on recent experience.

  24. Plain and simple, this is why I stopped flying American unless it is the only option. United has improved their service and I stick to UA or Delta.

  25. Yes! This article is 100% relevant. I’m an Executive Platinum member (have been for 3 years now) and I tried to use my systemwide upgrades for the first time ever for my wife and I, as we flew from LAX to HKG (15.5 hour flight) and we didn’t get upgraded AT ALL. Not even to premium economy.

    We were stuck in coach for 15.5 hours, and I venture to guess that I was the only AA Executive Platinum member in coach on that flight (definitely the only one who tried to use systemwide upgrades). I was hounding the website, and there were premium economy and business class flights available for purchase up to and including the day of my travel. So, it’s just AA’s lack of respect for their elite members that prevented us from getting upgraded.

    What’s the point of having systemwide upgrades when you can’t even use them? Isn’t this the ultimate reward for being an Executive Platinum member? Nope. Instead, turns out they treat you just like any other requested upgrade, you just get a higher place in line. Not cool! This “perk” is now essentially worthless to me and my wife. We’ll be flying another airline next time we go international.

      • No I didn’t notice if they were all full or not, sorry. I do know that they had open Business class seats available for sale up until 1-2 hours prior to the flight. Not cool.

  26. I have been an executive platinum with American Airlines for at least 15 years
    I have never hated flying American more than I do today
    it is a disgrace to see what Doug Parker and his management team have done to such a great airline
    Doug Parker Needs to go and be an undercover boss and speak to all the loyal people that fly American so he can understand what loyal passengers really feel about The new American Airlines “going for great”. NOT even close
    Trying to get an upgrade? Maybe in another life
    It’s now a joke among frequent flyers

    • The problem is that Parker doesn’t even try out his own cabins before telling everyone that they’re perfectly ok and not in least bit cramped (737 MAX) so the change of getting him to get out there and ask actual EXPs (or even other flyers) what they really think is next to zero.

      While he’s collecting the enormous pay check that he’s collecting right now there’s absolutely no incentive for him to do anything. And, to add to that, even if he was to get ‘moved on’ by shareholders he’ll probably get such a large payoff that he still won’t care.

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