I Miss US Airways’ Upgrade Communication Style

I loved the way US Airways communicated about your upgrades.

As soon as your window for upgrades opened, US Airways would send you an email.

If upgrades weren’t released yet, it would tell you that upgrades are not yet available yet, but they would send you an email once they were.

If you were upgraded, well, of course, they let you know that.

But you also got daily updates letting you know why you haven’t been upgraded yet until you got the dreaded email letting you know there are no more upgrades available.

But at least you knew to stop hoping!

US Airways Upgrades

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On American Airlines, I feel a bit like I went on an amazing first date, but then suddenly don’t hear from the person afterwards.  Are they going to call me back?  Are they just busy?  Will I never hear?

There was some sort of comfort in knowing that US Airways would update me every so often, even if just to say, “never going to happen, bub!”  With American, I’m not sure if that upgrade window just hasn’t opened, if the upgrades have all be taken, or if they forgot about me.

Hey guys!  Over here!

I’m sure part of my discomfort is because I’m used to knowing every detail of what is going on.  And I could look up the current airplane load numbers.

But I do feel like I’m in the dark.  And I check my email obsessively.  Has AA emailed me about an upgrade yet?

Hang on, checking that.

But getting a little more serious, I think this was a great way for US Airways to be really transparent to its elites.  They let us know they haven’t forgotten about us and are hard at work on our upgrades.  In fact, if you called the US Airways phone number during your upgrade window, it also gave you a status update on your upgrades too.

I hope American is considering adding this feature to their upgrade system.  It’s just really nice knowing where you stand when it comes to upgrades.

About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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  1. I never knew the U.S. Email until I flew them on US metal, U.S. Reservation. I thought it was great as well. At 4am, I received my upgraded email and I was good to go… I’m 8/8 for US upgrades as a legacy AA EXP and as much as I’ve heard gripes, I’ve always got a PDB from US FAs and they have generally surpassed their AA coworkers on taking the initiative and friendliness. Maybe it’s the old HP mentality 🙂

  2. I do appreciate the e-mails, though I have noticed AA is more likely to hold back inventory for at the gate upgrades where US seemed to always have each seat spoken for before the flight.

    The AA hold back has helped me out as I now encounter much more along the lines of flight interruptions via DFW than “old reliable” PHX.

  3. I miss that aspect of upgrades as well. And believe it or not, Michael, US would typically hold one seat for late upgrades. However, I feel upgrades processed the US way are much better (but we know that already, yes?).

    I am also going to miss the much more user friendly, easier to understand booking process on the US Airways website. The website laid it out for you quite simply. Choose this flight and it costs this much. Choose a return at a certain price, add them together and voila!Done. None of this surprise stuff that you get with American when they offer you a price for a RT itinerary and then ‘Surprise!’ – click through to choose a return and find out they pretty much all include an additional fare increase. Shady. Shady.

    Now that the majority of integration is complete, I hope some US procedures will be put back in place.

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