For the first time ever today I decided to give American Airlines a chance. I have never flown AA and have been OVERLY loyal to Delta. I have always flown Delta and their partners and have had status with Old Northwest Airlines and Delta for the last 6 years (Since I was 19) and fly on average of 75,000 miles+ a year. However a good friend of mind is AA Executive Platinum and ensured me I would enjoy AA if I flew business class and was Executive Platinum. So I took his word and booked myself a flight from LAX to JFK in economy. However he then used a System Wide upgrade (SWU) to upgrade me to business class so AA could "win" me over.
Everything was going well and when my friend called 3 weeks before my flight, there were still 14 seats available in Business and a large number in First Class. The operator was helpful, told my friend that with the SWU I was number one on the list and would have no problem clearing as long as the cabin didn’t sell out.
Yesterday Evening I went to check in for my flight on AA.com and I realized I was still in the economy cabin. I thought that was weird but continued to check in. After I was done I called AA to see where I was on the upgrade list. Being new to AA I couldn’t’ figure out based on the website if I was on the list or not. The agent quickly looked up my ticket and informed me I was not on the list.
Being a skeptic, I quickly called my friend who is the Executive Platinum with AA and told him the story. He was infuriated for he knew he called and confirmed me in the #1 position on the list. When he called, AA told him they dropped me from the list because the list was too long. He didn’t believe them so he hung up and called the executive platinum desk. He told them the same series of events and again they told him that there was nothing they could do, for they already upgraded people and now both the business and first class cabins were full.
So now I’m flying LAX to JFK today in Coach. I bought a coach ticket so that is fine. However I’m irritated with AA for losing my SWU request and lying to both myself and my friend who has flown over 500,000 miles on AA in the last few years. I know for one thing, I’m going back to Delta and AA can try for someone else’s loyalty.
Update: This morning I tweeted to AA because I was upset about the handling of all this and SURPRISE My upgrade cleared and I'm now flying in Business class! Not sure what the issue was but no reservation agent could see my SWU request. However somehow those over at AA twitter fixed the problem and got me the seat I was promised! From what I gathered based on the direct message on twitter with AA the upgrade list changed to an "airport list" today and do to this change my upgrade cleared. However this still doesn't explain why the reservation agents at AA couldn't see the SWU "eVIP" request.