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Upgrade List Shenanigans

Discussion in 'questions. answers. conversations.' started by Matty K, Dec 16, 2016.

  1. Matty K

    Matty K New Member

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    Hey Lucky!
    Long time reader who finally joined up!

    So, I'm sure there's a good reason for it all, but I'm puzzled by how upgrades clear on the AA upgrade list at the gate. A large block at the top cleared, and a large block further down cleared, leaving people in the middle (myself included) out of the equation.

    Even more frustrating, one of the people in the bottom section of the list didn't want her seat, because her significant other didn't clear, so the gate agents just told her to swap with the person sitting beside her SO in coach.

    Any idea why the upgrade list ends up looking like this? Not really upset because I'm sure there's a reason (and it's a super short flight) but mainly just curious. IMG_2248.JPG IMG_2248.JPG

    Thanks!
    Matt
     
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  2. Gia

    Gia Well-Known Member

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    Could the five at the bottom be the companions of the five at the top of the list? I know it's been done but not sure what the "rules" are.
     
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  3. Lucky

    Lucky One Mile At A Time

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    Hmmm, this is a very odd situation. There may be a legitimate reason, or there may not be -- sometimes gate agents play games.

    A few questions:
    -- Did you monitor the seatmap before the flight, and if so, were only 6 of the 16 first class seats taken until shortly before departure? Having them clear 10 upgrades at the gate is a lot.
    -- Did the last names at the bottom of the list at all match with the last names at the top of the list, based on the first three letters?
    -- Are you sure the person who switched their seat was actually at the bottom of the list and not the top?

    Typically when I see people getting cleared from the bottom of the list it's one of two things:
    -- The gate agent is choosing to clear a companion of someone at the top of the list
    -- On three cabin planes, the first and business class upgrade list shows as one through the app, meaning that it might look like they're jumping around because they're clearing some people from economy to business, and some from business to first.

    Regardless, a very odd situation...
     
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  4. Matty K

    Matty K New Member

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    Here's the full list with the names:
    IMG_2245.PNG

    IMG_2246.PNG

    The lady whose husband didn't clear was number 16. (I noted the name that would produce the abbreviation Sex, because I'm apparently 12 years old...)

    When I arrived at the Admirals Club at around 2:00pm, the front desk agent said there were 7 seats available, I believe. At that point I was number 6 on the list.

    It ended up being a very full flight, and the gate agents were scrambling to clear standby passengers, so I definitely understand all the confusion.

    I'm not really upset about not being upgraded on a sub-300 mile flight, but would like to better understand how the upgrade list works.

    Thanks!
    Matt
     
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  5. Lucky

    Lucky One Mile At A Time

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    This is indeed confusing! I'd like to think I have a decent understanding of how upgrade lists work, but this one is downright puzzling, even to me. My only other thought was that maybe they were in a rush and only cleared the people who hadn't yet boarded, but it sounds like #16 cleared before boarding even started while you were still at the gate?

    In the future if you see something like this I'd certainly approach the gate agent and nicely asked why you were skipped over. There could have been a legitimate reason and it would be interesting to know. I doubt the gate agent did anything malicious here. It's one thing if they had a friend and cleared just one person from the back of the list, but the number of people cleared suggests that wasn't the case.
     
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    rickyw likes this.
  6. Matty K

    Matty K New Member

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    Her upgrade definitely cleared before boarding started because that's when she was complaining about her husband's upgrade not clearing.

    I spoke to one of the agents as I was boarding, -as there were a ton of people crammed around the desk. He said I could wait and he would ask the main agent, but that never happened. I ended up just getting on the plane before they started calling groups so I'd have room for my bag.

    He said he'd look into it and find me on the plane, which also didn't happen. :(

    I'll probably reach out to American and see if they can provide clarification. I'll post an update if I hear from them.
     
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