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A New Trick to Jump the Upgrade Queue on American (But if You Don’t Know It, You Could Lose Out)

American Airlines gate agents are under a lot of pressure to get flights to push back exactly on time. As a result they organize their duties around this goal, at the expense of passengers. There's another wrinkle that several readers have emailed me about, though I haven't experienced directly: gate agents who process upgrades by calling people at the gate, and skipping them if they aren't waiting at the gate.
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