Priority Status Upgrade Paid For But No Option When Boarding

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Jan 11, 2019
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#1
When I checked in online to board a flight on a regional American Airlines jet, the option popped up to upgrade my priority status for boarding. I took it and paid my $44. I admit that I did not read the Terms and Conditions. When I went to board, I found out that there was no priority boarding on this small jet. When I wrote Customer Service, they pointed out that: (a) there was no refund as noted in the Terms and Conditions; (b) priority status allowed me priority processing through security - which I did not need, as I have TSA Pre-Check. I could not get my refund.
I feel that AA could take two steps for such situations: (1) put a note upfront when showing the option to purchase priority status upgrade, to say that not all planes allow for priority boarding and to check with the airlines; (2) while more complicated, do not allow the choice of priority boarding for planes that do not this option; however, some customers may want to pay anyway if they do not have TSA Pre-Check in order to go through security more quickly.
 
Likes: johnbaker

Carrie Livingston

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Jan 6, 2015
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#2
Unfortunately if you didn't read the terms and conditions I don't believe you are going to get a refund. If they state no refund, which is the case on many options then they are not likely to go against policy. If they did that, everyone else would ask for the same exception. If you book your own travel, you have to read the terms and conditions to understand what you are purchasing.
 
Jan 11, 2019
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#3
Thanks - I understand. I would still like the airlines to be more transparent about the fact that some trips will not qualify for priority boarding, before the customer signs up for it.
 

Carrie Livingston

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Jan 6, 2015
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#4
You are certainly welcome to email them and let them know. A well written email might get a refund or maybe a credit or voucher. We have company contacts for American here. You can write about how to handle it here.
 

Patina

Verified Member
Dec 22, 2015
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#5
So now airlines are offering a way to go through the priority line of TSA when the passenger does not have pre-check, airline status nor a first class ticket? Way to water down all those perks for frequent fliers!
 
Likes: krisseye
Sep 19, 2015
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#7
So now airlines are offering a way to go through the priority line of TSA when the passenger does not have pre-check, airline status nor a first class ticket? Way to water down all those perks for frequent fliers!
The airlines are monetizing as much as they can — boarding, their security lines, seats,
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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#8
By "upgrade my priority status" you mean buying priority boarding? You paid $44 to board in the first group? What else was included? If I am reading you right, you bought priority boarding for one flight. And there was none. I know that Pre-Chek started by airlines giving their passengers "free" Pre-Chek, but I thought that was all over now. The airline told you that Pre-Chek was included for your $44? Is this for a particular airport where they might be trying to sell more Pre-Chek memberships?

Last time I 'bit' on an offer was early boarding from a British Air gate agent in exchange for checking our carry-ons. We were escorted to the top of the jetway, where we stood for at least 20 minutes. Quite a reward for us, wasn't it?

I've said this before and gotten rocks thrown at my head. But it does keep me out of trouble. My attitude is that the airline is trying to cheat me. They offer me "priority whatever" for $44. If I don't read all the fine print, I find myself with zilch, as you unfortunately did. I don't agree that airlines need to be more transparent ... they can't possibly post details about everything and if they leave out a couple of things, people will rightfully complain. I think all travellers must read it all and ask questions before committing to anything. I'm really looking out for the traveller, and I think this is the only way people will have better travel experiences.
 
Likes: Patina

Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
#10
Will TSA stand for the airlines collecting and keeping money to put people in the Pre-Chek line? Weird!
This is what it consists of- it’s a bunch of nothing if you have TSA pre check as it’s only valid on AA flights, not code shares;

  • Priority is only available on flights operated and marketed by American Airlines. Priority is not available on codeshare flights operated by another airline.
  • Priority lanes at check-in counters and gates will be available at most major airport locations.
  • Exclusive lanes at security checkpoints are available at participating airports.
  • Priority is non-refundable and non-transferable.
  • Priority is offered on select routes and is subject to availability.
  • This offer is made at American Airlines' discretion and is subject to change or termination at any time with or without notice to the customer.
If the entire itinerary was on a regional flight that isn’t even eligible for it- AA shouldn’t have shown it as an option. Ruth, when you booked did the flight show it was operated by AA?

If the flight did not show it was operated by AA I would still go up the executive ladder. It shouldn’t have shown as available in my opinion.
 
Likes: Patina
Mar 14, 2018
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#11
Will TSA stand for the airlines collecting and keeping money to put people in the Pre-Chek line? Weird!
When I've seen priority boarding, it is different from Precheck. There are 3 lines through security: the regular one, the priority line used by biz class and elites and the TSA Pre line. The priority line is just a (usually) faster way to reach the TSA agent who checks your ID. After that, you still go through regular screening ie you have to take your shoes off, etc.

I don't think airlines have the ability to exempt non-precheck flyers from TSA screening any more.
 
Sep 19, 2015
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#12
I have seen 3 lines sometimes 4 security lines - TSA Pre, Status line and genetal, and sometimes CLEAR.

The Priority boarding gets one into the status level line, which is subject to normal screening.