AAdvantage Complaints

Have you tried using your miles or elite status but encountered problems? Had any problems earning mileage?

Worthless Miles

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Old Aug 4, 2010, 12:47 AM
nancysue nancysue is offline
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 1

Just returned from Europe flying AA. The entire flying was awful. I booked this trip in January yet was never able to up grade to business class. I called repeatedly and was told to keep checking that our names were on the list and we would be notified. I said I wanted seats as close to the front as possible if I didn't get the up grade. I checked at the airport in San Diego if I was getting the upgrade, they said not out of San Diego, but probably out of Dallas. When I checked at Dallas they said our name was never on the list. But a couple of minutes later a woman walked up to the gate and asked if she could get an upgrade and she got it. I asked how this was possible and was told credit card miles are pretty worthless, everybody else gets priority over those kind of miles. I told her that I had been told as recently as yesterday that I would probably get the upgrade. She said well nobody wants to give you the bad news so they just lie to you. This was a Gate attendant at American Airlines!!
Needless to say we were not upgraded at any point along the way. Our up close seats consisted of getting row 25 in the middle 5 seats in a 777 where there is not enough room to even cross your legs or straighten you legs. Return flight row 37. They ran out of food, no apology just slapped some crap down in front of me, and said that was all they had. Flying back through Chicago we had 40 minutes to get off of the flight, go through security, get our bags, go back through security, check our bags again then go to another terminal. I asked if we could get some assistance was told NO, this is up to you to do! We are seniors, and had to run with our carry on bags all the way. It was terrible. We have almost 300,000 advantage miles! Too bad they are worthless!!! Will not fly American again!!
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Old Aug 4, 2010, 4:04 AM
Butch Cassidy Slept Here Butch Cassidy Slept Here is offline
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Nearest Airports: COD, BIL, WRL
Posts: 577

Yes, you are correct. The miles are worthless for FLYING. However, if you enroll in a hotel "frequent stay" program, like "Hilton HHonors," you should be able to transfer some, or all, of your miles into a program that will provide free room nights. American's FF program might also partner with some on-line merchants who will take miles as payment. However, I've never had experience with these merchants and don't know how reliable/trustworthy they are.
[B][I][COLOR=navy][FONT=Arial Narrow]We HATE to fly--and it shows![/FONT][/COLOR][COLOR=navy][FONT=Arial Narrow][/FONT][/COLOR][/I][/B]
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Old Dec 29, 2010, 8:00 AM
AADFW AADFW is offline
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 117

The really unfortunate thing about using miles is the vigilance required to get any value from them. Truth be told, if you are habitual in your approach you can sometimes use miles even when mileage awards appear to be unavailable. That's because more award availability is released closer to the departure date in instances where load factors are below a certain point. Most people do not have the patience to call the airline several times a day, every day, until the award seats can be obtained.

Recently I was able to book a first class mileage seat on CX from HKG to LAX, but only after four solid weeks of calling AA daily. I finally got it about three or four days before departure from Hong Kong. Most people would have given up about a month earlier. The lesson is simple. Be extremely flexible in terms of your departure date/time/airline and don't give up until the very end. Anyone with 300,000 miles should be have the pick of the litter if they play their cards right and work the system.
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Old May 9, 2012, 4:05 AM
Paul1971 Paul1971 is offline
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 2

The lesson here should be simple - quit using the airline. After hours of calling to try to use my 68,000 miles I have decided not to use American anymore. We should not have to work the system, negotiate or spend hours on hold trying to use miles. I do not have these problems on Southwest, Delta or United/Continental - In future I have decided to use one of these airlines instead of American. American seems to forget that it is their most frequent customers that are earning these miles - if enough of us take our purchasing power elsewhere, they will either change their policies or go out of business.
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