If I may interject a thought here, and with regard to American Airlines but only because that's the airline I have the most experience with, over a lot of years and a lot of different situations, I've noticed they have different policies in place for different situations. That said, often the manner in which they interpret those policies may depend on the person you speak with and the mood they're in at the moment and most importantly, the manner in which you approach them.
This has been my experience over many years and I've always believed the old saying: "You catch more flies with honey......" I can't think of an instance they haven't ultimately seen things MY WAY and acted accordingly.
It can be frustrating, I know, but it really does make a difference in who you deal with and how you handle things. We have no airline status but they still always treat us well. Only hoping this time will be the same when I get to that point.
"Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat