Oh, gotcha. I believe there's usually a couple to a few months lag time for Apple Employee discounts, based upon supply constraints. It was a little longer for the recent iMac redesign, but that model had a number of shortages and delays. I still see the MBA availability as shipping in 24 hours so maybe the wait won't be bad.
I tried to buy a 13" through a friend who works at the apple store the other day and had the same results, where it was on the portal but unavailable. I was going to check back today. Has anyone else been able to purchase from an Apple Store retail employee?
Just to settle some confusion... The EPP discounts that have been available since day one that people are mentioning are not Apple employees, but get a discount through their employer usually due to some sort partnership with Apple. These discounts are usually only available via a portal provided by the employer and the discounts are on par (in my case slightly better) than the education discounts.
The "Apple Employee Discount" is different and it's not surprising that it's not available at launch as most companies want the supply to be available to consumers first.
I too work for a large company that has the EPP for Apple and last week I ordered 2 2013 Macbook Airs, an Airport Extreme and Apple TV. The people I talked with on the phone were friendly and helpful. Good experience. The MBAs had to be shipped from Shanghai as I went with 8g RAM but I was able to go to the local Apple store to pick up the Airport Extreme and Apple TV. In all, I saved about $200.