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AA "Sticker" / 500-mile & EXP "UDU" Complimentary Upgrade Policy / FAQ

AA "Sticker" / 500-mile & EXP "UDU" Complimentary Upgrade Policy / FAQ

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Old Sep 15, 19, 3:44 am   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: JDiver
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Glossary:

500 mile upgrades: earned by Gold and Platinum Elites, can be used to upgrade segments in 500 mile increments of North and Central America, Caribbean flights from Economy to the next class of service.. Read below.

e500: Occasional nickname used for 500 mile upgrades.

Electronic or 500 mile upgrades: non-expiring electronic instruments used for near Americas and Caribbean elite upgrades; please read below.

MTEU: Miles Toward Electronic Upgrades. The MTEU earning year zeroes February 28.

Stickers: Holdover name from when 500 mile upgrades were actual stickers applied to tickets when upgraded.

UDU: Unlimited Domestic Upgrades granted EXP and PRO members in lieu of earning or using 500 mile upgrades. (Consequently, they do not earn “stickers”.)

Related thread: End of Feb insufficient miles for 4 500 mile upgrade stickers (2017). (Requesting "stickers" for incremental MTEU threshold accomplishment.)

NOTE: CHANGES in effect as of 1 January 2017:

Upgrade priority:

  • Elite tier
  • Systemwide and Mileage award upgrades
  • Business Extra and certain Agency upgrade certificates
  • 500-mile / courtesy DODU / UDU upgrades on purchased tickets
  • 500-mile upgrades on PRO, EXP award tickets
  • Last 12 month rolling EAD spend
  • Fare code
  • Date if purchase
Platinum Pro status holders join Executive Platinum members with complimentary "Unlimited Domestic Upgrades / UDU.
  • Usable to upgrade from Economy to next class of service (Not Business to First)
  • Flights 500 miles or less: Unlimited, auto-requested complimentary upgrades*
  • Flights over 500 miles: Complimentary "domestic" (North & Central America, Caribbean) upgrades
  • Upgrade one companion traveling with you on the same flight with 500-mile upgrades*

Companions: ONE passenger traveling with you can “borrow” your status for upgrade purposes. They do not have to be on the same PNR. When this is done, you’ll not be upgraded unless sufficient upgrade seats become available to upgrade two (or more) people. This link often is broken when the flight control goes to the airport, and it can be reestablished there (e.g. at the gate). A good clue that the link has broken is if you’re #1 or 2 and your companion is significantly below that on the upgrade list, such as #11. Finally, because of IT flaws, the 500 mile upgrades for your traveling companion will by necessity come from your account, even if your companion has their own “stickers”.
NOTE: CHANGES in effect March 1, 2016:

500-mile upgrades

Beginning March 1, 2016:
  • Gold and Platinum members will earn four 500-mile upgrades for every 12,500 EQMs earned during the membership year
  • The price of 500-mile upgrades increased to $40, online, at the airport and from an American Airlines agent, 1 Mar 2016
  • The price for purchasing 500-mile upgrades with miles increased to 40,000 miles for 8 upgrades
  • 500 mile upgrades do not expire (unless the account expires)



N.B. In 2018, the status year / MTEU counter resets February 28.


NOTE: some protocols changed for 2015
  • "Upgrades on American are valid on American marketed and operated flights, within and between the U.S. (including Hawaii) and between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, the Bahamas, the Caribbean, Bermuda and Central America (based on availability). "
  • "Upgrades are valid from the Main Cabin to the next class of service."
  • "Your travel companion can be booked in the same reservation or in a different reservation when traveling on American Airlines marketed and operated flights. If your companion is booked in a different reservation, call American Airlines reservations to link (sic) the two reservations."
  • Executive Platinum members get unlimited, auto-requested complimentary upgrades (with the same terms as above) including on award flights.
  • On AA marketed and operated flights: Platinum and Gold members get unlimited, auto-requested complimentary upgrades for flights 500 miles or less and can use 500-mile upgrades to pay for upgrades on all other flights. All under 500 miles upgrades are gratis for AA elites; requests are automatic.
  • Fares booked in full Y (and B, if it still exists and isn't diverted to other use) are confirmed within each status level first, followed by all other fares.
  • Upgrades for flights over 500 miles require one 500 mile "sticker" for each 500 mile increment, including the first sector.
  • The up to 51 mile "grace" has been eliminated; a 501 mile sector will require 2 "stickers".
  • On a related note, courtesy Y and B upgrades no longer are granted, other than to Executive Platinum members.
  • Executive Platinums do not earn, or need, 500 mile upgrades, but they can use them for one traveling companion.
  • 500 mile upgrades earned or purchased do not expire as long as an account is current
  • 500 mile upgrades can be used by those without status only to upgrade Y (and B, where such exist and are Main Cabin - Economy fares) full economy fares
  • Non elite status members may only upgrade when they are traveling as the companion to an elite status member. (per: http://www.aa.com/i18n/AAdvantage/te...p#terms500mile on 2/19/16)
  • Flights booked prior to status changes probably will not reflect the status change until an update is requested; this may impact upgrade list position.


See "500 mile upgrades" on aa.com.

See Complimentary Upgrades, "Stickers" & Elite Status - 28 Mar 2015 Changes for further information.

For questions about whether to split or consolidate PNRs for itineraries involving multiple parties, please see this thread:
Companion upgrade issues including "link" / split PNR for status etc. (master thread)

Link to aa.com 500 mile upgrades (AKA "stickers") page.

Link to aa.com to "Upgrade your experience".

Once one achieves Gold (or Platinum) AAdvantage status one begins the "MTEU" path (Miles Toward Electronic Upgrades) - for each 10,000 base miles flown on AA and partners where one earns EQ Miles; the status holder will earn 4 500 mile electronic upgrades. March 1 annually the MTEU counter resets to zero, and the process begins again; as of 1 March 2016, the requirements change to 4 (four) "stickers" earned per 12,500 EQM.

AA Elites can "spend" 500 mile "stickers" (a legacy term from when they were actually stickers affixed by gate agents to the flight coupon as it was taken) on any class of Economy to upgrade to the next class of service if there is upgrade inventory available (not Business to First) within North America, Caribbean, Central America and Bahamas.

Statusholders can use "stickers" to upgrade a traveling companion (this includes Executive Platinums, as there is no complimentary upgrade for an EP's companion).

If one is flying a sector under 500 miles, elites can request upgrades to the next class of service without incurring a need for "stickers". For sectors over 500 miles, one needs one "sticker" for each 500 mile sector including the first 500 mile sector.

Again: Under 500 mile sectors may be upgraded (upon request and availability) without "stickers"; this is a recent change. Also note there is no "Grace" for a 501 mile sector any longer.)

Priority for upgrades depends primarily on status, secondarily on time of request; requests are now passed onto the airport listing ~four hours prior to departure. Time of check-in time does not affect these priorities, and has not for several years. Through traveler status will not affect requests as of March, 2015.

You must request upgrades when booking (you can request later, though you lose the original booking time as time of request).

Though members from non-"sticker" countries were often allowed converting "stickers", this post indicates this is not an option as of June 2014.

"Stickers" do not expire (as long as your account remains in good standing.

Losing AAdvantage status means "stickers" can no longer be used until status is regained.

Executive Platinum and Platinum Pro members do not earn "stickers" as they get courtesy upgrades; the stickers can be used for travel companions, and they remain in one's account until used or the account becomes inactive.

Expert Flyer (EF) will show you availability in class "A", which is used for SWUs and Miles+co-pay upgrades; you cannot see availability in EF for "sticker" upgrades.

Older posts from 2017 have been archived; they may be read at: ARCHIVE: 2017 “Sticker" / 500-mile E-Upgrades & EXP "UDU" Upgrades (2015)

Older posts from 2016 have been archived; they may be read at: ARCHIVE: 2016 “Sticker" / 500-mile E-Upgrades & EXP "UDU" Upgrades (2015)

Older posts from 2015 have been archived; they may be read at: ARCHIVE: "Sticker" / 500-mile E-Upgrades & EXP "UDU" Upgrades (2015)

Older posts between 2009-2014 have been archived; they may be read at: ARCHIVE: Sticker / 500-mile Electronic Upgrades Protocols / Questions (2009-2014)
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Old Feb 5, 19, 4:22 pm
  #151  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: En Route
Programs: Many
Posts: 5,521
Originally Posted by HofstraJet View Post
I had two hub-hub upgrades clear right at 100 hours each this week for MIA-PHL and the return. Granted, one was mid-day Wednesday and the other late night Saturday, but the system is working as it should AFAIK.

You may want to call for the C4 flight and see if they can remove and re-add you to see if that gets it processed.
I called and was told that i'm on the list properly, it's just not processing the upgrades yet. Should I HUCA?
GetSetJetSet is offline  
Old Feb 5, 19, 4:53 pm
  #152  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: RDU <|> MMX
Programs: AA EXP 2MM, SK EBS
Posts: 6,062
Originally Posted by GetSetJetSet View Post
I called and was told that i'm on the list properly, it's just not processing the upgrades yet. Should I HUCA?
No, EXP comp upgrades can clear at anytime between 100 hrs before a flight right up to the gate. Just because there are open seats doesn't mean that AA will necessarily release sticker upgrade space. In fact it's usually quite the opposite, of course a lot of it depends on the route and day/time, but I couldn't tell you the last time I had a EXP upgrade clear at 100 hrs out.
JJeffrey is offline  
Old Feb 5, 19, 5:11 pm
  #153  
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 146
Originally Posted by danorum View Post
I have searched through this thread (but maybe my search skills are lacking). Does the MTEU reset Jan 31 now with the membership year, or Feb 28th? The Wiki still says Feb 28, but I thought this was the year that the membership year changed.

EDIT - Looks like it is Jan 31 now. I am not a heavy poster here, but should the wiki be updated? https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/amer...rs-2018-a.html
I had rolled over 4 more on January 28th, had a red-eye HNL-DFW that left HNL at 9:00 on 1/31, landed in Dallas on the first, 3984 miles flushed (towards stickers) because of the time zone at the departure city. Not that I have a snowballs chance clearing on my flight to/from HNL as a lowly gold anyway.
jliehr is offline  
Old Feb 5, 19, 5:14 pm
  #154  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: FLL/MIA
Programs: AA EXP; Marriott/SPG Gold
Posts: 750
Originally Posted by JJeffrey View Post
No, EXP comp upgrades can clear at anytime between 100 hrs before a flight right up to the gate. Just because there are open seats doesn't mean that AA will necessarily release sticker upgrade space. In fact it's usually quite the opposite, of course a lot of it depends on the route and day/time, but I couldn't tell you the last time I had a EXP upgrade clear at 100 hrs out.
And just to show how YMMV it is, I had two clear (for 2 pax each) this week at 100 hours. Go figure.
HofstraJet is offline  
Old Feb 5, 19, 9:19 pm
  #155  
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: DCA
Programs: AA Platinum
Posts: 47
Originally Posted by jvel View Post
Has anyone had any luck getting pro-rated stickers today after the counter reset?

I was about halfway to 4 more and just called in asking if they would do so, but was shot down.
I called today, was a little over halfway, and was given 1 sticker. Better than nothing I suppose...
msr0013 is offline  
Old Feb 5, 19, 10:04 pm
  #156  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: DCA
Programs: AA EXP, UA Silver, Hyatt Diamond, M/SPG Plat Prem, National Exec Elite, mlife platinum
Posts: 3,784
Originally Posted by GetSetJetSet View Post
I called and was told that i'm on the list properly, it's just not processing the upgrades yet. Should I HUCA?
Recently about half of mine clear at 100 hours and the other half clear at 26-28 hours (of the ones that clear in advance, that is).
platbrownguy is offline  
Old Feb 6, 19, 12:21 am
  #157  
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: DTW
Programs: AA EXP, DL FO, Marriott Titanium
Posts: 254
Originally Posted by platbrownguy View Post
Recently about half of mine clear at 100 hours and the other half clear at 26-28 hours (of the ones that clear in advance, that is).
Same here - many of mine have been clearing at T-26.5 on the dot.
aacar is online now  
Old Feb 6, 19, 6:12 am
  #158  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: En Route
Programs: Many
Posts: 5,521
48hrs out, still haven’t cleared.

Last edited by GetSetJetSet; Feb 6, 19 at 4:17 pm
GetSetJetSet is offline  
Old Feb 6, 19, 4:16 pm
  #159  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: En Route
Programs: Many
Posts: 5,521
EXP

EWR-ORD: 10 available seats, ~39 hours out, not clearing.
connecting to
ORD-MSY: 10 available seats, not clearing.

Strange.
GetSetJetSet is offline  
Old Feb 6, 19, 6:33 pm
  #160  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: PHL
Programs: AA ExP, Marriott Amb, National EAEE, Hilton Diamond, SPG Plat, US CP (RIP)
Posts: 1,820
Originally Posted by GetSetJetSet View Post
EXP

EWR-ORD: 10 available seats, ~39 hours out, not clearing.
connecting to
ORD-MSY: 10 available seats, not clearing.

Strange.
Travel alert for ORD this week. Ops anticipates those seats may be needed to re-accommodate paid Business/First? I find even on routes I routinely clear in advance become battlefield upgrades or no upgrades during IRROPS.
Segments is online now  
Old Feb 6, 19, 8:40 pm
  #161  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: En Route
Programs: Many
Posts: 5,521
Originally Posted by Segments View Post


Travel alert for ORD this week. Ops anticipates those seats may be needed to re-accommodate paid Business/First? I find even on routes I routinely clear in advance become battlefield upgrades or no upgrades during IRROPS.
We'll see if tomorrow morning I have cleared into this empty cabin at t+24 check in time...
GetSetJetSet is offline  
Old Feb 7, 19, 7:03 am
  #162  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
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EWR-ORD cleared at t+26.5, the ORD-MSY hasn't cleared yet.
GetSetJetSet is offline  
Old Feb 7, 19, 7:21 am
  #163  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
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Odd, CLT-LGA return cleared 100h out but ORD-MSY and MSY-CLT still haven't what is ops doing regarding flights in and out of NOLA. Holding space on WIDE OPEN F cabins.
GetSetJetSet is offline  
Old Feb 7, 19, 9:25 am
  #164  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
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ORD-MSY cleared around 26h out.
GetSetJetSet is offline  
Old Feb 8, 19, 12:08 pm
  #165  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: En Route
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Lucky me. EWR-ORD went tech, rerouted through CLT to MSY and bumped out of F and back to Y on both legs.
GetSetJetSet is offline  

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