American Airlines AAdvantage Elite Upgrade Limitation
One of the benefits of having American Airlines Executive Platinum or Platinum elite status is that you can select Main Cabin Extra seating for you and members in your party at booking. This is great since those extra few inches of legroom make all of the difference if you don’t end up scoring that upgrade and the non-elites flying with you will be appreciative!
My wife, infant daughter (lap child) and I are flying to Florida in a few days and I had originally put in for my wife to be upgraded with 500 mile certificates. I am eligible for free upgrades as an Executive Platinum member. After discussing the situation and looking at my current 500 mile balance, we decided it was best to forego her upgrade and save those certs for the flight back.
Removing An Upgrade Request
Yesterday I contacted the American Airlines Twitter team and asked them to remove my wife’s upgrade request. They informed me that the only way to do this was to split our reservation. In doing this my wife kept the same record locator number and I received a new one. That solution sounded fine, but I didn’t realize what it actually meant.
This morning my complimentary upgrade to First Class cleared which is great, but my wife’s Main Cabin Extra seat is on the other aisle of the 767. There is an open seat on the bulkhead in economy which would be one row behind the first class seat I have been upgraded to on the same aisle. This would allow us to jointly help with the baby no matter who takes which seat. It is a PERFECT solution.
Unfortunately American Airlines doesn’t think so. After seeing this, I went onto the website to switch my wife’s seat and saw that it would be a $64 charge. I knew this was because I wasn’t on the same reservation any longer, so I contacted the AA Twitter team again to ask for the move. They said no. My wife is no longer eligible for the Main Cabin Extra seating. She won’t lose the seat she has now, but cannot be moved.
I did write them back that this is ridiculous given that the split reservation is a limitation of their system. They replied:
We don’t have a way to override this. You’re welcome to call the EP desk to see if they can make an exception, our apologies for your disappointment, but for her to retain your perks she has to remain in the same record locator as you.
First off, I would have loved for her to stay on the same record locator as me, but that wasn’t possible according to them. Second, I believe the American Airlines Twitter team is great and thus I do believe this is something they can’t override. Why do I say that? Because they really have been incredibly helpful whenever I have needed it. I blame the system and not them.
I am not upset with AA or their Twitter team since life is too short to get upset about something as trivial as this. The main reason for this post is to inform AA elites that their traveling companions seemingly lose all benefits if they somehow are split from your reservation, even if it has to do with an American Airlines problem or limitation.
Hopefully American Airlines can fix this limitation or at least empower their social media teams to help, because I simply hate making phone calls where there is a decent chance that I will still be denied the logical outcome. I guess we’ll just chance that the seat is available at the airport or *gasp* we’ll have to sit a bit further apart. A bit inconvenient given the baby, but then again not the end of the world. With that said, fix your system AA!
Have you ever run into a similar situation? Were you able to get it resolved? Let us know how in the comments!