American Airlines Making Things Less Transparent

I use a service called Expert Flyer that helps me find award inventory, among other things.  It’s a pretty useful tool, as it searches the airline’s systems for a number of different useful pieces of info.

It seems AA is continuing to make changes that may or may not be bad for the customer.  Expert Flyer sent me an e-mail with a quote from AA:

American is now processing all upgrade requests through a single queue, ensuring upgrades are awarded in a manner that is fair and consistent for all of our AAdvantage customers.  Customers may request upgrades when making their reservations, or at any point prior to travel by visiting My Reservations on


Now, I haven’t heard about a problem with people unfairly getting upgrades.  There used to be a glitch in the system years ago that people could exploit to get an upgrade when they weren’t the first person on the list, but it’s been gone for a long time AFAIK.

It’s possible that this is a good thing for AA customers, but I doubt it.  The ability to search for this inventory on Expert Flyer has proven helpful to me over the years.  Now, I’ve cleared almost 100% of my upgrades on AA over the last 3 years, so I’m not overly worried this affects my ability to clear as a top-tier.  But, it will make it harder for me to travel with my family and help others.

And, that pretty much sucks.

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