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

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

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Old Mar 25, 19, 12:04 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
  • Busuness 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 be t 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*


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" are cheaper when purchased online; they cost more purchased telephonically or in person. "Stickers" do not expire (as long as your account remains in good standing.

Losing AAdvantage status means "stickers" are restricted in use to B and Y fares.

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 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 Jan 1, 17, 4:13 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: SNA LAX
Programs: AA PLT
Posts: 116
3 Jan AA 253 LAX-OGG I don't have access to EF and wondering how many seats in F are available? Through AA looks like 3.

Originally booked 4 months ago and requested 500-mile upgrade. Slight schedule change gave me the ability to change to an earlier flight (which I confirmed today). Upgrade request fell off (as it often does with changes) so requested it again. So, did I fall way off the upgrade priority list? May be moot point anyway as the F cabin looks tight on most flights this week but figured I'd check.
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Old Jan 1, 17, 7:25 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
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Originally Posted by MauiOC View Post
3 Jan AA 253 LAX-OGG I don't have access to EF and wondering how many seats in F are available? Through AA looks like 3.

Originally booked 4 months ago and requested 500-mile upgrade. Slight schedule change gave me the ability to change to an earlier flight (which I confirmed today). Upgrade request fell off (as it often does with changes) so requested it again. So, did I fall way off the upgrade priority list? May be moot point anyway as the F cabin looks tight on most flights this week but figured I'd check.
Currently: F3 A0 P2 Y7 B0 H7 K7 M7 L7 W7 G7 V7 S7 N7 Q7 O7 E7
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Old Jan 1, 17, 7:37 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: FL
Programs: AA Plat, SPG, RC
Posts: 153
Happy New Year to all. I've read the wiki above and it seems to indicate that 500 mile upgrade resets January 31st. However I just took a look at my account and I've actually lost all my 500 mile upgrades. I tried calling AA and was told it reset January 1st. Can anyone say if they have experienced the same. I should probably add that I have plat stat paid to maintain it till 2018.
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Old Jan 1, 17, 8:42 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
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Originally Posted by TravelPenguin View Post
Happy New Year to all. I've read the wiki above and it seems to indicate that 500 mile upgrade resets January 31st. However I just took a look at my account and I've actually lost all my 500 mile upgrades. I tried calling AA and was told it reset January 1st. Can anyone say if they have experienced the same. I should probably add that I have plat stat paid to maintain it till 2018.
The upgrades never expire, even if you lose status you just can't use them. The EQM counter for earning them resets at the end of February this year and January in future years.
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Old Jan 1, 17, 10:54 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
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Originally Posted by MADPhil View Post
The upgrades never expire, even if you lose status you just can't use them.....
Well that sucks!! This is my first time having any said status with AA.

Not to long ago I found out that soft landings are no longer being offered by AA too. So, if I don't make any status in 2017, I've all of these vouchers I'd have to gift to people or let them age in my account until I get status again.

Well, I guess I've been incentivised to making AA my airline for 2017 at least.
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Old Jan 2, 17, 5:41 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
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Originally Posted by Zacnlinc View Post
Well that sucks!! This is my first time having any said status with AA.

Not to long ago I found out that soft landings are no longer being offered by AA too. So, if I don't make any status in 2017, I've all of these vouchers I'd have to gift to people or let them age in my account until I get status again.

Well, I guess I've been incentivised to making AA my airline for 2017 at least.
Sorry, but you can't gift them either - they are nontransferable. If you have no status, the stickers have zero value. They will hang out in your account for use should you ever regain status, but there is no way to use them if you do not.
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Old Jan 2, 17, 8:37 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
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Programs: AA, BAEC Gold
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Originally Posted by Zacnlinc View Post
Well that sucks!! This is my first time having any said status with AA.

Not to long ago I found out that soft landings are no longer being offered by AA too. So, if I don't make any status in 2017, I've all of these vouchers I'd have to gift to people or let them age in my account until I get status again.

Well, I guess I've been incentivised to making AA my airline for 2017 at least.
You would have to do that to use the stickers anyway! Can you do a challenge and then try to burn them up?
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Old Jan 2, 17, 10:33 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: FL
Programs: AA Plat, SPG, RC
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Thanks MADPhil! Then something is totally screwed up. My 500 Mile upgrades have been wiped out. Called again today and was told that though I am still Plat status the 500 mile upgrades were indeed removed. Agent said he can't help me figure it out as advantage desk is currently closed for holidays. Called back hour later same response. Should add my hubby's are also gone and he is far far off from losing status.

Last edited by TravelPenguin; Jan 2, 17 at 12:57 pm Reason: Spelling
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Old Jan 2, 17, 12:23 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
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Originally Posted by TravelPenguin View Post
Thanks MADPhil! Then something is totally screwed up. My 500 Mike upgrades have been wiped out. Called again today and was told that though I am still Plat status the 500 mile upgrades were indeed removed. Agent said he can't help me figure it out as advantage desk is currently closed for holidays. Called back hour later same response. Should add my hubby's are also gone and he is far far off from losing status.
It doesn't help you much but mine (no status) and my wife's (GLD) are intact so it's not a general wipe out. The agent is correct that there is no AAdvantage service on weekends and holidays or outside weekday working hours.
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Old Jan 2, 17, 1:09 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: FL
Programs: AA Plat, SPG, RC
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Red face

MADPhil, it does at least lets me know its a glitch and incorrect that they are gone. I thought being Monday and back to work as usual for some that the aadvantage desk would have been open today but I guess I'll have to wait till tomorrow or Wednesday to figure out what happened.


Originally Posted by MADPhil View Post
It doesn't help you much but mine (no status) and my wife's (GLD) are intact so it's not a general wipe out. The agent is correct that there is no AAdvantage service on weekends and holidays or outside weekday working hours.
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Old Jan 2, 17, 1:36 pm
  #11  
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Originally Posted by TravelPenguin View Post
Thanks MADPhil! Then something is totally screwed up. My 500 Mile upgrades have been wiped out. Called again today and was told that though I am still Plat status the 500 mile upgrades were indeed removed. Agent said he can't help me figure it out as advantage desk is currently closed for holidays. Called back hour later same response. Should add my hubby's are also gone and he is far far off from losing status.
You can be 100% assured that it is a temporary glitch and that neither of you has lost any of your 500-milers in any way.
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Old Jan 3, 17, 7:44 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
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Thank you JonNYC and you are 100% correct! Not sure what happened but without even calling today all looked well again in our accounts.


Originally Posted by JonNYC View Post
You can be 100% assured that it is a temporary glitch and that neither of you has lost any of your 500-milers in any way.
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Old Jan 4, 17, 1:59 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
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I have 30 500-mile upgrades but lose all status on March 1, 2017

deleted because of thread nazis

Last edited by DCAAA; Jan 4, 17 at 2:06 pm
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Old Jan 4, 17, 2:00 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
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Originally Posted by DCAAA View Post
Can I still request upgrades as no-status? What happens to my 500-mile upgrade balance is the answer is no, does it just stay frozen until I reach elite status again? I was a long-time Platinum/CP on US that has been disillusioned post-merger.
Your 500 mile upgrades remain in your account indefinitely. However, you can no longer use them with no status.
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Old Jan 4, 17, 2:04 pm
  #15  
Moderator: American AAdvantage & TravelBuzz
 
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We'll merge this with our 500-mile upgrade thread for further discussion. Thank. /Moderator
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