I’m so conflicted right now. I think I’m going to give American both the Cranky Jackass and the Gold Star. First, let’s talk about how American earned their first Cranky Jackass award. (For those keeping count, United is in the lead with 2 while both JetBlue and the Brazilian Federal Police have 1 each.)
Effective yesterday, March 1, it’s going to cost you a lot more money to use your miles to upgrade if you want to go to Hawai’i or anywhere outside North America. If you’re trying to upgrade off any fare other than full fare (Y or B class), you’ll have to use 15,000 miles AND $150 to upgrade one way to Hawai’i and 25,000 miles AND $300 to go anywhere outside of North America (India is 40,000 miles). The mileage amounts haven’t changed, but previously no cash was required to go to Hawai’i and it was $250 to go outside North America. Remember, these are one way so it gets pricey quickly.
American says they’re doing this because they’d rather let people on heavily discounted fares upgrade for money instead of not at all, but this is a very high price to pay. So, Cranky Jackass to you.
Also beginning yesterday, coach customers will now be able to use the lavatory up at the front of the plane. That’s right, it’s not just for first class anymore. Even you, sitting in the back next to the engine on that MD80, can stroll on up to the front and park it in the formerly first class lav.
Don’t get too excited. They don’t have flowers or marble countertops. Nay, not even a bathroom attendant is there to spritz cologne on you, but it does mean shorter lines and that’s all that matters.
Many airlines continue to scold their coach customers when they try to go up front, saying that it’s a Federal regulation that prevents them from using the lav. That’s obviously not true.
In an unrelated welcome move, they’ve also added a new upgraded functionality on their website that allows easier searching for AAdvantage awards.
So, congratulations American for helping out the common folk . . . but you still suck for raising the cost of an upgrade.