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Upgrade credits for domestic flights on American Airlines

Discussion in 'Your Questions' started by Warks, Oct 9, 2003.

  1. Warks

    Warks Established Member

    Oct 9, 2003
    2,111
    808
    Sydney
    I'm flying to USA next week and am privileged enough to be going Business to LAX but from there I fly coach (economy) to Chicago and then to an obscure East Coast destination. On return I fly from there to Miami and then on to LAX. The Miami -LAX leg is 5.5 hours. I've only flown in first class domestically in the USA before and I hear that coach is pretty grim (Amercian Airlines any better or worse than average?) I was wondering if I could use my upgrade credits (QFF) for some of these legs - how many do I need?
    Also if I fly Business SYD to LAX can I get into the Qantas Club even though I'm transferring to a domestic economy flight? Do they have a shower in there? :?
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  2. thadocta

    thadocta Active Member

    You can only upgrade using QF miles or upgrade credits on flights both operated by Qantas and carrying a Qantas flight number. So it has to have a QF code as well as being white with a red tail and a white roo on the tail.

    Dave
     


  3. shillard

    shillard Guest

    Re: Upgrade credits for domestic flights on American Airline

    Warks, as Dave has pointed out, your upgrade credits are no good on AA flights. As for lounge access, that depends on your membership status.

    If you're Gold, Plat or QF Club member, you can access any of the AA lounges during your trip. Showers at LAX T4 and ORD, dunno about Miami, never been there.

    If you don't have membership or status, you will only be able to access the lounge on departure from SYD and LAX. Shower facilities will depend on whether your flight leaves LAX T4 or TBIT - TBIT is the pits, no showers there, barely a flush toilet in the whole building. The international terminal at Nadi is a better effort.

    As for AA economy (coach), it's fine. More legroom than United or Delta, don't expect a proper meal on any of the flights though - suggest you stock up at the terminals prior to departure.
     
  4. Warks

    Warks Established Member

    Oct 9, 2003
    2,111
    808
    Sydney
    Thanks folks
    I am a gold member (like Austin Powers) so that's good news about club access. My itinerary says I've been given preferred seating on the coach flights so if what you say is true about AA being better than UA then it'll be okay. No fancy meals and ice cream sundaes though! I'll be on the lookout for that shower in LAX. Flew UA last year and their club had nothing - only marginally better than sitting out at the gate - a few free M&Ms and a toxic coffee machine was it.
     
  5. shillard

    shillard Guest

    Simply show your gold card when entering the AA lounges, and you should receive a couple of drink vouchers for use at the bar. You can get more vouchers by going back and asking. You will still have to tip the bar staff, though.

    Food is not much better than the UA "Red Carpet" clubs, or whatever they call them. Pathetic by QF Club standards. The Wolfgang Puck pizza in the main terminal areas is probably your best bet - I recommend the BBQ chicken. :)

    Your QF seating profile should translate to AA (make sure they have your QFF number), so if you normally get, say, forward aisle on QF, you should get that on AA.
     


  6. icemann

    icemann Member

    Jan 2, 2003
    268
    0
    French's Forest, NSW
    re: tipping ; not necessarily Shillard...

    Take a look at my other post, (American Airlines USA - Europe) in the 'Questions' section. There's a few other people who feel the same as me.

    Being a former bartender too, I think that it's rude to EXPECT a tip, even if you provide lousy service. It's like, give me a licence to give bad service and PAY me for it ?!

    But Shillard is right. The food is well...standard to say the least. Whereas in QF Club, you get complimentary food that is of fairly decent standard, in AA clubs, you have to buy sandwiches. The coach in-flight meal (aka bistro) is not bad, but could be better. However, I couldn't fault the service, they were very attentive and helpful.

    Warks, a helpful piece of advice - you would do well to read the other information about entry into the USA if you've not done it for a little while, and get ready to take your shoes off. :D Have a good flight.
     
  7. Warks

    Warks Established Member

    Oct 9, 2003
    2,111
    808
    Sydney
    Thanks
    I flew UA to USA last year and encountered the "over the top" security in LAX. Am dressing especially to avoid metal detectors. Shoes without metal, tracky daks to avoid a belt etc. Also had a haircut and will make sure I am clean shaven - I get mistaken for M/E appearance sometimes so I'll be trying to look as Irish (my true heritage) as possible.
     
  8. icemann

    icemann Member

    Jan 2, 2003
    268
    0
    French's Forest, NSW
    I always get pulled in and I'm white caucasian, blonde hair and always dressed well. :lol:

    LAX is like a zoo. I would sooner go through San Fran ANY day. And also, if you want a shower, be prepared to get in there and put your name down - there might be queues. Last month, I got into LAX at 7am, got through to the main hall and got up to the AA club. It was then 10.30am. After 10 hours sleep total across 80 hours, I was NOT happy, and I'd just done MEL-LAX in coach. I had to wait about an hour or so for a shower.

    Also, be prepared for the scam artists. I met one on the way up to the AA club, and he was trying to solicit money off me. I was having none of it and in a polite way trying to tell him to shove off (and I'm about as friendly as an angry wasp's nest after a long haul), and he says "It's o.k., if you've not got any change, I've got some !"

    (proceeds to pull out various denominations of $AUS, $US, GBP, etc. - this guy looked like he was playing the banker in a game of monopoly)

    If you feel up to it, a trip report or experiences shared would be real nice, that's what the board is for.
     
  9. Warks

    Warks Established Member

    Oct 9, 2003
    2,111
    808
    Sydney
    Will try and put in a report so others can benefit from my experiences!

    If you say that it took 3 hours to get through customs/immig/security then what hope do I have of making my flight at 1030 after arriving around 7am? I'm sure those of us transferring will be rushed through :wink:

    Scam artists in airports? What is this? London Underground gone upmarket? How much would it cost the scammer to get to LAX in the first place?

    Better go pack!
     
  10. thadocta

    thadocta Active Member

    LAX can be a bit strange. Last time I went through there I forgot to put my wallet in the tray to go through the machine, so I triggered the alarm. (My wallet has a large metal badge in it, similiar to a police badge, but with "New South Wales Rural Fire Service" all over it.

    My BP was marked 'SSS' (which means you will be targetted for additional screening), but when they saw the badge and warrant card they got me to go through the metal detector again, and when it didn't go off I was allowed to continue without additional screening. :roll:

    So any terrorist just has to join the RFS and get qualified, get the badge to avoid secondary screening.

    Dave
     
  11. Warks

    Warks Established Member

    Oct 9, 2003
    2,111
    808
    Sydney
    progress report

    In the airport (SYD) right now and the first part of my plan has failed! I thought I had chosen metal free shoes but got pulled up and forced to de-shoe going thru security here! Might wear thongs in future! Why is it all the guys on security here are almost impossible to understand? Is that a job requirement? Must make it even harder for our visitors. See you there...
     
  12. icemann

    icemann Member

    Jan 2, 2003
    268
    0
    French's Forest, NSW
    I had four S's on mine. Must mean I'm really SSSSpecial ? :lol:
     
  13. Warks

    Warks Established Member

    Oct 9, 2003
    2,111
    808
    Sydney
    In keeping with the spirit of this forum I will keep you updated when I can. Now in LAX Admiral's Club on the 'stand-up' internet terminal. New tip for travellers in Business: don't stand like a goose at the first baggage carousel when your bags are going around on the next business/first class carousel!! Didn't know it was there until too late. Cost me a major lead on the endless line to get thru immigration/customs/customs again and security on the transfer. About 1.5 hours to get thru in total. Now I can look out at the lovely fog/smog of LA and think of my next flight - Chicago O'Hare - they say it's quite the airport. Coach class from here on in.
    Got my 2 drink passes for the bar too! Lucky I'm not hungry though as I might starve in here...
    Couldn't fault the service in Qantas Business upstairs. One quandary though - if you're in the window seat and your neighbour is flat out asleep how do you get over them to the toilet? I'm still reasonably athletic so I stood on the armrests to do it! Don't know how I'll go when I'm 64! (How old? Late 30s)
    Another thing - the much trumpeted free SMS service until the end of the month (Oct) is a farce - the phones never work! Asked the attendant who said the satellite connection wasn't working last time someone asked. Thus you can't use the overpriced (but now cheaper than before) phone.
    Time they changed the triva quiz too - it was the same last year on United!
    I'll stiop whingeing; it sure beats Air Tanzania!
    Hey this is great fun keeping a diary! I'll surely follow anyone else's progress if they do the same again. :D
     
  14. icemann

    icemann Member

    Jan 2, 2003
    268
    0
    French's Forest, NSW
    Warks, I should have clarified :oops:

    I landed on a rather bad day when there were some MAJOR travelling plans going on. The only time I have ever seen it anywhere near as bad as that was the first day of the summer holidays - Thanksgiving is like that too. The queue snaked around and around, nearly as bad as another trip to LAX that I had this year. But, they moved people on to catch their planes so that no one missed them
     
  15. Warks

    Warks Established Member

    Oct 9, 2003
    2,111
    808
    Sydney
    Latest update
    Finally arrived in RDU (that's Raleigh-Durham International Airport, Nth Carolina - want and airport review? I'll do it on the way out I think) at 930pm local time last night - only about 24 hours since Sydney...
    In LAX I was in Terminal 3 and got into the showers in the Admirals Club (quite easily - no wait) after my last post. Excellent facility. When you turn the light on in the shower room a timer starts. I thought it might give me 10 minutes but it was giving me 60! Hard to beat that shower.
    Got delayed about an hour on the flight to Chicago - air traffic/wind you name it in Chicago and everything closes down. We got taxiing and then pulled up and stopped on the strip for another 30 minutes as we were told there were more delays. Glad I grabbed lunch in the terminal (Chillis-to-go - not bad but not great). The Bistro bag on AA was pretty dire - bag of chips, a biscuit, a plastic bag of miniature carrots??? :shock: and one of those ham and orange cheese sweet rolls that the Yanks love to give you.
    Anyway we made up time into Chicago and were told our flights would wait for us. After about a 25 minute taxi around the length and breadth of O'Hare I walked straight out of the plane up a couple of gates (lucky only a short walk - could have been miles!) and got on the plane to Raleigh (AA again). Drinks service only - two hours flying and then a lot of circling into some of the worst turbulence and fog I've seen in years and we arrived only an hour later than scheduled. Bags even showed up okay!
    Hotel room hasn't looked as good in years. Seem to be managing jetlag okay - went to bed and woke up at the same time as the locals and seem fine today - it's 5am in Syd as I write (3pm yesterday here). Keeping well hydrated seems to help. What about melatonin? Had my last one (of an overseas supply) on the plane and maybe it did the trick?
    I'll write again in a bit over a week on my return.
     
  16. QF WP

    Moderator

    Jun 20, 2002
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    Warks, great to see another AFF'er doing Trip Reports - you even sound like me (Irish heritage, athletic but I've got you just on the age - just past mid 30's here).

    MIA/LAX will be a challenge, last time I was in USA I did MIA/SEA (but thankfully in J - or their excuse for J). MIA Admirals Club was OK, but I can't remember your status - hope you get FL (if you are Plat - I was mere Gold when I went through MIA 2 years ago, so haven't seen the FL there).

    Look forward to the ongoing reports...likewise, I'm slowly chugging through mine in "Tips"
     
  17. Warks

    Warks Established Member

    Oct 9, 2003
    2,111
    808
    Sydney
    Thanks Lindsay. I'm starting to think the title for this trip report is no longer meaningful. It started out as a query re upgrades and sort of grew. Perhaps it could be re-filed in a trip log section (if you've got one here already - I haven't explored everywhere.
    I am a Gold QFF and I see that the points for the SYD-LAX flight went straight on but none of the AA flights have appeared yet. Better hang on to those boarding passes! I will fly coach back from RDU to LAX via MIA but from there is Business (that's J isn't it?) I should get Club access as I had it on the way over. Must remember to eat in Miami though. No more Bistro bags for me!
    Boy those AA planes are old! However they say they've turned the corner and have actually started hiring again. Their record in 2001 couldn't have been much worse - 3 planes in a couple of months.

    While we're talking about Business class - anyone spotted one of those elusive Skybeds yet? They're not on the LAX route!
     
  18. dajop

    dajop Senior Member

    Jul 1, 2002
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    Not that I am a DJ defender, nor I have I tested their quality, but the AA Bistro Bag that gets served on trans-continental flights makes me an advocate for the Virgin Blue approach - of selling meals on their plane. At least now on a East Coast - Perth flight you can pay for a hot meal, or whatever food you want. On AA it's the bistro bag or nothing (... except pretzels....)!
     
  19. icemann

    icemann Member

    Jan 2, 2003
    268
    0
    French's Forest, NSW
    Warks,

    Hang on to the boarding passes in any case until your profile is updated (QF have sometimes incorrectly put my points in when I was flying J), but AA are usually pretty good. They will be there in a few days or so. If nothing has happened after a few weeks, contact them.

    If your status is going to change soon / you want to use points ASAP then it may pay to give them a friendly fax / call.
     
  20. redrat

    redrat Member

    Apr 26, 2003
    224
    0
    Vic
    The FA got it wrong which is most likely because he/she doesn't know much about their own system.
    I've been led to believe the problems are being experienced across the cabin telephone exchange system and not the satellite connection which is after that exchange point.
    I've used the satphones on the B744 and they work better than my cellphone for clarity. SMS has got to be easier than voice comms, surely?
     
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