I finally bit the bullet and booked my first flight on American Airlines–it was either standby on United or a remarkably great $187 r/t ticket on American for my trip from Washington to Los Angeles this weekend. But it was not just the price on American that impressed me, it was the upgrade clearance.
You have to understand that despite my 200K miles of flying each year, I have not been on an American Airlines mainline flight since I flew the carrier to Hawaii in 2004. With loyalty directed to United, Continental, Northwest, and Delta, there was never a need to fly AA. But with the generous status match to Executive Platinum offered to disgruntled United Airlines passengers earlier this year, I have been promising myself and promising you I would give the “dAArkside” a try.
Here’s what impressed me off the bat–AA allows both revenue and award reservations to be easily held online and because I wasn’t quite sure until yesterday if I would be making the trip, I had the reservation on a courtesy hold. My outbound transcon upgrade cleared while the reservation was on hold! That may be (yawn) news to you frequent AA travelers, but it was a surprise to me.
I deal with AA a lot–too much really (I am contemplating my marathon session to get an award ticket booked with them yesterday for a client…) but I had no idea they cleared upgrades on held reservations. It really does not even make sense to me–what if I had just let the reservation expire? Why allocate me an upgrade when I have not even purchased a ticket on the flight? But in this case, I am not complaining–I viewed the e-mail notification that my upgrade had cleared as a sign that my first trip on AA would be a good one and immediately ticketed the reservation.
Now my hopes are up high–I’ve flown Dulles to Los Angeles at least three dozen times the last few years on United and now I get to try to the route on another carrier. I am really looking forward to it!