What to do with "extra" SWU / Systemwide Upgrades / VIP

 
Old Jan 8, 11, 6:59 pm
  #1  
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What to do with "extra" SWU / Systemwide Upgrades / VIP

I know you can not sell System wide Upgrades, but are you allowed to give them away?

Like if I had several and they were expiring soon, can I give them away to other flyer talk members?
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Old Jan 8, 11, 7:08 pm
  #2  
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i havent had any for a while, but i uged a friend w/1 a few years ago....the procedure was i call and apply the swu to his record....no problem...the swu owner must call, the donee can't do it....its just like buying or getting an award ticket for someone else....good luck...
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Old Jan 8, 11, 7:12 pm
  #3  
 
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Per AA's website T&C:

"Frequently asked questions associated with systemwide upgrades
. . .

Q: Can I share my systemwide upgrades with other people?
A: Yes, and you can travel with them, or they may also travel alone.

Q: How do I share a systemwide upgrade with another passenger if I'm not traveling?
A: Call your Elite Service Desk in advance to make the reservation and request the upgrade (the same way you do when you claim a mileage award from your account for someone else). Then the passenger can go to the airport to check in without you being present. If you do not call your Elite Service Desk in advance, the passenger cannot be accommodated at the airport unless you are also present.

. . . Upgrades are void if sold for cash or other considerations.
Members may designate another passenger to use their upgrades."
So yes, you can feel free to gift them as long as there is no quid-pro-quo, no trading, no sale, and no bartering (i.e no consideration except that the recipient's heartfelt thank you).

But if you'd love to gift them out of the goodness of your heart (or because you just can't fathom wasting a perfectly good SWU), you are welcome to do so. It will just take a call to the Elite Desk, as mentioned as above.

If they are still yearning for a home, feel free to PM.

Last edited by LaTam; Jan 8, 11 at 7:23 pm Reason: To edit content and add quote formatting
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Old Jan 8, 11, 7:20 pm
  #4  
 
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Originally Posted by flavatravel View Post
I know you can not sell System wide Upgrades, but are you allowed to give them away?

Like if I had several and they were expiring soon, can I give them away to other flyer talk members?

I'll take 'em!
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Old Jan 8, 11, 7:22 pm
  #5  
 
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You shouldn't have a problem giving them away through the normal channels. People on Craiglist solicit and sell them, but if AA finds out they'll be unhappy.

Will AA find out? Maybe. Maybe not...
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Old Jan 8, 11, 8:13 pm
  #6  
 
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Since you mentioned donating, rather merely giving them away. . . this reminds me of a recent thought that I had while flying with my wife: What about donating an upgrade anonymously to a service member as a gesture of thanks?

I had this thought after my wife and I used stickers to upgrade on an AA flight on New Years Eve. Only problem was that when we boarded, I noticed that we weren't next to each other, but rather we both had windows. Sure, no sweat. I thought, "it should be fairly easy to arrange a swap (especially with a window)" but no go. . . the woman next to me wanted no part of a window seat. So as we were waiting for the appearance and boarding of the gentleman who was assigned the seat next to my wife, I looked out the window and saw pack after pack after pack after uniform pack being loaded. Sure enough, the flight had probably almost 40 service personnel flying out of DFW. I decided that if I couldn't sit next to my wife, I would ask the FA to reseat a service personnel in my seat, and I would sit back in Y. After all, what's the point of a sticker if you can't even sit next to your wife?

Turns out, however, that the gentleman assigned the seat next to my wife boarded and he was quite courteous and happy to swap his aisle for my window. But the thought dawns on me as a nice gesture to consider sometime when I'm traveling alone, if AA would allow it.

Anyone out there know if the airline would allow such a gesture? The T&Cs for SWUs seem to suggest that it's likely either challenging or impossible (and thus likely similar for stickers).

Upgrades are only valid on individual published-fare tickets. Upgrades are not applicable to AAdvantage travel awards; any free ticket; military or other government fares; opaque fares; infant tickets (including INF50 fares) or purchased extra seats.
But my question is this: What if you are on the same flight? Would they just allow you to essentially swap seats and voluntarily move to the Y cabin? As you were boarding a flight, could you just ask a FA to select a random service member and reseat them in your assigned seat in J or F? If the flight was wide open, you could even then go back and find a seat in Y such that the beneficiary of your seat would never even know who gave them the upgrade. Truly anonymous and without reciprocal consideration. Think they'd allow this?
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Old Jan 8, 11, 8:47 pm
  #7  
 
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On a more serious note, I'm going to have 8 exhausted guys returning from Haiti after a week of house-building on 5 March. Our church sends teams down regularly to help there, building duplexes for displaced families. If that rings a bell for you, we'll have 1-2 (maybe more) older guys who would probably love something like that after a tough week. Send me a PM if interested.

I know it's a little shameless, but it's for a great cause.

And great thought on the servicemen thing, btw.
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Old Jan 8, 11, 9:09 pm
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Many servicemen fly on government fares, which have the full flexibility of a full-fare, but are deeply discounted. These cannot be upgraded with SWUs.
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Old Jan 8, 11, 9:21 pm
  #9  
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It can happen (but see MAH4546's post for conditions that can impede the award of an SWU). I've anonymously made available SWUs to Pearl Harbor veterans attending (what could well be their last) Pearl Harbor reunions (DFW-HNL or return).

And, yes, one can swap seats with a returning / departing serviceperson - I've done that, as well as using "stickers" at the gate to upgrade a serviceperson or vet when seats were available.

Originally Posted by LaTam View Post
Since you mentioned donating, rather merely giving them away. . . this reminds me of a recent thought that I had while flying with my wife: What about donating an upgrade anonymously to a service member as a gesture of thanks?

...
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Old Jan 8, 11, 9:45 pm
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Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
It can happen (but see MAH4546's post for conditions that can impede the award of an SWU). I've anonymously made available SWUs to Pearl Harbor veterans attending (what could well be their last) Pearl Harbor reunions (DFW-HNL or return).

And, yes, one can swap seats with a returning / departing serviceperson - I've done that, as well as using "stickers" at the gate to upgrade a serviceperson or vet when seats were available.
Outstanding!
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Old Jan 8, 11, 11:05 pm
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Originally Posted by chanp View Post
Outstanding!
+1
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Old Jan 9, 11, 1:47 am
  #12  
us2
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post deleted. Down the memory hole!

Last edited by us2; Jan 9, 11 at 11:04 am
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Old Jan 9, 11, 7:47 am
  #13  
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Originally Posted by us2 View Post
Fair point. I'm removing the posts in question.
Me too!
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Old Jan 9, 11, 9:36 am
  #14  
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Swu available

Thanks for letting me know I can give these away. Please PM me if you want, on a first come basis. (all 8 have been given away).

I dont want anything but a thank you.

Last edited by flavatravel; Jan 13, 11 at 10:16 pm Reason: Gave them all away.
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Old Jan 9, 11, 9:52 am
  #15  
 
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Originally Posted by MAH4546 View Post
Many servicemen fly on government fares, which have the full flexibility of a full-fare, but are deeply discounted. These cannot be upgraded with SWUs.
I'm not sure this is true anymore. Been a lot of discussion about this on FT, but both the discount (G) and non-discount (Y, although somewhat of a special "Y") government fares can be upgraded with SWUs (and stickers if applicable), I've done it before for my wife who sometimes fly's on government fares (but is not a member of the military).

And let me tell you, those fares are not necessarily heavily discounted compared to public fares, they are just fixed contract negotiated fares so there is less variability.
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