Bottom-tier elites can say sayonara to complimentary advance selection of Main Cabin Extra seats on American Airlines flights starting next week. The carrier has updated its policies regarding the extra leg room seats today to exclude AAdvantage Gold, US Airways Dividend Miles Silver Preferred and other oneworld Ruby elites from grabbing these seats in advance, at least for free. This policy mimics that which United Airlines put in place a couple years ago at the time, a decision which was accompanied by that carrier’s CFO suggesting that some elites were “over entitled.”
This time around there was no quote to take out of context by folks on FlyerTalk, just a quiet update to the published policy on the AA website:
AAdvantage® Executive Platinum, AAdvantage Platinum members and their oneworld equivalents, as well as Dividend Miles Preferred members* and customers who purchase a full-fare Main Cabin ticket receive complimentary access to Main Cabin Extra seats. This benefit is also extended to our AAdvantage Gold members through March 17, 2014.
We know extra legroom is important to you when traveling in the Main Cabin, so starting March 18, 2014, we are pleased to offer AAdvantage Gold and oneworld Ruby members, as well as Dividend Miles Silver Preferred members^ two ways to access Main Cabin Extra seats:
- Purchase Main Cabin Extra for 50% off
- Enjoy complimentary access to Main Cabin Extra within 24 hours of departure (if seats are available)
This move is not much of a surprise. When the Main Cabin Extra product was announced it was noted that Gold elite members would have access only for a limited time. That was initially set for expiry at 31 December 2013 but was extended a short period. Now we know the exact end date. The limited notice isn’t so great, but at least there was a smidgen of warning.
The good news is that AA’s policy remains the most generous of the “big 3” when it comes to accessing the seats. United offers no discount to its elites. Delta offers either a 50% discount/free day-of access on flights which are not long-haul and 25% off for long-haul flights. I guess AAdvantage Gold members are the most entitled of the over entitled group??
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