I’ve heard from myriad readers the past two and a half weeks saying that American Airlines no longer seems to clear upgrades before the airport anymore. Planes could be completely empty up front, on flights with little last minute premium demand, and where upgrades had previously cleared in advance.
Elite frequent flyers receive complimentary domestic upgrades starting at 120 hours in advance of departure depending on elite status level. But I couldn’t find anyone who had received a complimentary domestic upgrade before the gate in several days.
Several days to a week ago I heard from a source that there had been a technical glitch that was preventing upgrades from being processed, but that this issue had been resolved. (It was only one source and I didn’t believe they had direct knowledge of the issue.)
During yesterday’s earnings call, American Airlines CEO Doug Parker nudged the discussion to a close noting that there recent tradition is to hold a follow up event with employees and they’d need to end the call to transition to that commitment.
I understand that upgrades only processing the gate was brought up in this session, where American reported that the issue has been resolved. And indeed in the past several days it does seem like things have reverted closer to ‘normal’.