2 Questions about upgrading from J to F

 
Old Aug 17, 09, 2:11 pm
  #1  
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2 Questions about upgrading from J to F

I took advantage of the great business class fares from JFK to GIG for a trip in January. I was thinking about upgrading to F with miles.

1st question (with two parts): Does there have to be award availability to do the upgrade, and is there any problem upgrading from an I fare instead of a J fare?

2nd question: Is it worth it to upgrade? (Clearly this is a subjective question, but I'm looking for opinions).
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Old Aug 17, 09, 2:21 pm
  #2  
brp
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1. No. You need to have upgrade inventory available, not award inventory. Yes, there is a problem: I fares are not upgradeable. J or D.

2.As you say, it is personal. I say No. Y->J is a much bigger (and more worth it) change, IMO, that J->F.

Cheers.
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Old Aug 17, 09, 2:34 pm
  #3  
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Thanks. Looks like I'll stay in biz. Given that this will be my 2nd trip ever in intl biz, I'll be quite content.
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Old Aug 17, 09, 4:10 pm
  #4  
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OP: For future reference, information about upgrades in general and award upgrades can be found:

- In the wiki: http://www.flyerguide.com/wiki/index...leage_Upgrades

- On AA.com: http://www.aa.com/aa/pubcontent/en_U...anAirlines.jsp

# Upgrade awards are only valid on individual published-fare tickets and are subject to capacity controls.
# The following fares are not upgradeable:

* Fares booked in I or O
* Fares booked in Q between North America and Asia, Europe, India or South America.
(emphasis is mine)
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Old Aug 17, 09, 5:41 pm
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Originally Posted by brp View Post
2.As you say, it is personal. I say No. Y->J is a much bigger (and more worth it) change, IMO, that J->F.

The fact that the delta between Y and J is greater than that between J and F is not really relevant to the decision of whether the J to F upgrade is "worth it"- this is like saying I get a really good deal on Rice Krispies so milk is too expensive. As I have stated before I will take the J to F upgrade every day of the week and twice on sundays- but I am always long on miles and often long on VIPs.

Think about it this way. You have posted previously that you use miles for your AC membership, which if I am not mistaken involves the use of 40k miles to avoid a membership fee payment of $300. The longhaul 25k upgrade awards from J to F don't carry any copays, so the implied "cost" at the miles/$ exchange rate you use is ~$190. For a 10 hour flight, to have the significant additional privacy and not have to climb or be climbed is worth $20 per hour to many- certainly to me. So YMMV is for sure the case but the math is worth exploring.
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Old Aug 17, 09, 8:39 pm
  #6  
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Good analysis, but the Y->J upgrade is not an irrelevant alternative, as one one of the opportunity costs of using miles to upgrade J->F is forgoing other upgrades from Y->J. Given my relatively low mileage endowment (~75k at the moment), even if I were flying on an upgradeable fare, I think I would stay in J. Thanks for the pointer to the wiki, btw.
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Old Aug 18, 09, 4:37 pm
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It's moot since the OP is on an I fare, but as to if the J-F upgrade is "worth it" I'd like to note that this may depend on the schedule and length of the flight, along with personal preference. So, if it's an overnight flight and one has trouble sleeping on planes, the upgrade may make it much easier to sleep, and hence be very much "worth it." But an overnight flight for those that can easily sleep in J may not be, since the flight experience might be largely the same either way. Similarly with daytime flights: the better food, much greater ability to work, and so forth, might be very important to one person, and not to another.

There's also the made-to-order ice cream sundaes
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Old Aug 18, 09, 4:46 pm
  #8  
brp
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Originally Posted by pauleeepaul View Post
The fact that the delta between Y and J is greater than that between J and F is not really relevant to the decision of whether the J to F upgrade is "worth it"- this is like saying I get a really good deal on Rice Krispies so milk is too expensive. As I have stated before I will take the J to F upgrade every day of the week and twice on sundays- but I am always long on miles and often long on VIPs.

Think about it this way. You have posted previously that you use miles for your AC membership, which if I am not mistaken involves the use of 40k miles to avoid a membership fee payment of $300. The longhaul 25k upgrade awards from J to F don't carry any copays, so the implied "cost" at the miles/$ exchange rate you use is ~$190. For a 10 hour flight, to have the significant additional privacy and not have to climb or be climbed is worth $20 per hour to many- certainly to me. So YMMV is for sure the case but the math is worth exploring.
Very good point. I guess what I'm really saying there is that the delta is not big enough for me to want to spend miles (or SWUs) to do the upgrade. I'd rather devote those resources to other purposes: Y->J upgrades on international flights, AC membership (although the $70 reduction may make me use cash this time ).

If I were routinely buying J, though, I'd likely see it differently. As my travel is all personal, I'm less likely to do that, so I'll always value the y->J more than the J->F.

But I see what you're driving at here, and I agree.

Cheers.
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Old Aug 18, 09, 5:18 pm
  #9  
 
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While this is a slight tangent to the OP's question, I think international F on a 3-class AAirplane is worth it if the flight is over 7-8 hours and if it is an award booking. Off-peak one-way Y fare SFO-LAX-LHR is 20k miles. Business sAAver is 50k. First sAAver is 62.5k. If one is going to burn 50k miles one way in C, I would definitely consider spending 25% more miles ("only" 12.5k) to sit in F.

If spending hard cash, I most likely would not spend extra money or miles to upgrade to F. I might consider using an eVIP to F for the PVG or NRT flights though.
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Old Aug 18, 09, 5:46 pm
  #10  
 
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Originally Posted by brp View Post
Very good point. I guess what I'm really saying there is that the delta is not big enough for me to want to spend miles (or SWUs) to do the upgrade. I'd rather devote those resources to other purposes: Y->J upgrades on international flights, AC membership (although the $70 reduction may make me use cash this time ).

If I were routinely buying J, though, I'd likely see it differently. As my travel is all personal, I'm less likely to do that, so I'll always value the y->J more than the J->F.

But I see what you're driving at here, and I agree.

Cheers.

So YMMV holds true again.
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Old Aug 18, 09, 5:58 pm
  #11  
brp
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Originally Posted by pauleeepaul View Post
So YMMV holds true again.
Or, more aptly, YUpgradeMV

Cheers.
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