@AmericanAir upgrade didn’t clear — but I’d rather have my exit row aisle with @Gogo internet than a first class seat without connectivity!
Most of the time of course this is a false dilemma. As an Executive Platinum on American, I generally clear my upgrades. There are three distinct differences between United’s 100,000 mile flyers and American’s in this regard:
- United’s 100,000 mile flyers are not top tier elites, United’s Global Services is the top elite level and that’s not earned from straight miles flown. At American, flying 100,000 miles puts you in the top elite tier.
- United privileges full fare elite passengers over higher-level elites on mid-tier fares. A full fare silver trumps a middle-fare 1K. American is status (with full fare tickets getting priority within a given status level) then time of request.
- Especially relevant in my home market of Washington DC, United treats government YCA fares as full fare. So any government Premier Silver flying on a YCA fare trumps a 1K on a mid-level fare. American doesn’t
upgradetreat government fares as full fare.
But having just flown a couple of mid-cons, one up front on a 757 (my first domestic American segment in quite awhile that wasn’t equipped with internet), and then in back on a 737 (I was number three on the list with 2 remaining first class seats), I think I’ve decided I like flying in back with internet better than flying up front without — when I am in an exit row aisle seat, at least.
This applies to mid-con flights only, probably nothing longer than a Westbound West Coast – Chicago flight.
But it was still pretty telling for me. Now, American’s aisle seats in coach on the 737 are narrower than the middle or window seats, but I still prefer the aisle. And the flight attendants uniformly recognize my status, thank me, and per American’s policy comp a buy on board snack and a drink.
The key, though, is the internet access. I never realized what I was missing before I started flying American regularly this year. I never thought I especially wanted internet onboard. Airplane time was solitude, it was reading time, I’m simply not that often undisturbed where I can plough through a book.
But once I started flying with internet, I can genuinely say that Gogo Inflight Internet changed my life.
I used to fly midweek during the business day, and I’d have a nasty backup of emails when I landed. The inflight experience might have been solitude, but getting off the plane was a frenzy. I was perpetually behind while on the road.
Now I dispose of every question, query, request for help (and Nigerian dictator’s wife looking for my help to abscond with state funds) while I’m onboard. My voicemail forwards to my email box, so I can listen to my messages and send off an email reply rather than going through a series of phone calls when I hit the ground.
And whatever I’m working on, I used to be half productive in the air because I’d still need to fill in the blanks later with files off a work share drive or verify some piece of information via the internet. Now I can put things to bed.
I’ll still prefer to be upgraded on a flight that has internet, and I certainly don’t want to give up my upgrade on a flight that doesn’t. I don’t ever want to sit in back. I’m not crazy!
…Or am I? Would you take an upgrade on a plane without internet over an exit row aisle and connectivity?