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FAQ: Miles + Copay Upgrade / Upgrades (master thread)

FAQ: Miles + Copay Upgrade / Upgrades (master thread)

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Old Oct 16, 22, 3:59 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: united 1k flyer
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Mileage and copayment upgrades on American Airlines

As of May 20, 2017 upgrade prioritization is:
  1. Elite status
    1. Concierge Key
      • Executive Platinum
        • Platinum Pro
          • Platinum
            • Gold
    • Upgrade type
      1. Miles and copay award upgrades and systemwide upgrades (SWU)
        • 500 mile upgrades on purchased tickets (including EXP complimentary UDU)
          • 500 mile upgrades on upgrade eligible awards (including EXP complimentary UDU)
      • Elite qualifying dollars* in the past 12 months
        • Booking class (in order, J, D, I, W, P, Y, H, K, M, L, V, G, S, N, Q, O, T)
          • Time of request


Enjoy a higher cabin of service Link.

Use your AAdvantage miles to upgrade on flights marketed and operated by American Airlines or American Eagle for yourself or anyone you designate.

Upgrades are valid to the next cabin of service* and are valid for a single one-way trip with a maximum of three segments. Upgrades are subject to capacity controls. Excluding award tickets, the following eligible fare types can be upgraded:
  • Discount Economy with published fares booked in H,K,M,L,W,V,G,Q,N,O,S and
    • Military or Government fares booked in Y
      • Full-Fare Economy with published fares booked in Y
        • Discount Premium Economy with published fares booked in P
          • Full-Fare Premium Economy with published fares booked in W
            • Discount Business with published fares booked in I
              • Full-Fare Business with published fares booked in J, D or R
                • Basic Economy fares booked in B are not upgradable

*E.g. Economy to Business, Business to three class First. At this time Premium Economy is treated as Economy for upgrade purposes.

See the chart here for cost in miles and dollars.

NOTE: The most expensive fare classes, full fare Economy Y, full fare Premium Economy W, and full fare Business J, may be upgraded without copay and at a lower cost in miles. See here.

Taxes and carrier-imposed fees:

Co-payment is non-refundable and inclusive of U.S. excise tax where applicable.

Mileage upgrade award tickets are subject to applicable taxes and security fees and may incur additional taxes as a result of upgrading to a higher class cabin (includes higher U.K. Air Passenger Duty If Flight originates in the UK or is a connecting flight with a connection time of 24:00 or more)..)
  • Upgrading from Economy Class to Business Class or First Class may result in additional premium cabin taxes and carrier-imposed fees, including but not limited to flights originating in Great Britain and France.
    • If the ticket is priced in USD, the additional taxes and carrier-imposed fees will be converted to USD at the time of ticketing.
      • Please contact American Airlines Reservations to obtain applicable taxes and carrier-imposed fees for specific itineraries.


NOTE:

Miles and copay upgrades are to the next available cabin of service, are based on inventory being available, usable on AA marketed and operated flights (not codeshares operated by other airlines, not on other airlines' prime flights - BA and IB allow miles upgrades with AA miles but are very different and therefore not treated here).

See AA Participating Airline Upgrade Award - BA, IB, including codeshares (master thd), and note one class of service means Y to PE, PE to J, J to F where available on BA.

If the required inventory exists, they can be booked positively (i.e. upgraded immediately); if not, the request is wait listed. Wait list clearance is by status (EXP highest, no status lowest), and within status priority is by rolling 12 month EQD spend. Elites can have one traveling companion on the same PNR "borrow" their status for upgrade wait list purposes, until the request goes to the airport list, where you may want to assure your travel companion continues to hold your borrowed status for upgrade purposes.

Copays are waived for CK on all flights.
Frequently Asked Questions / FAQ:

Q. It says the upgrade fees are nonrefundable. Do I lose my miles and money if I'm not upgraded?

If your upgrade request does not go through, miles and copay are in fact refunded.

Q. If I am waitlisted, in what priority order are upgrades processed?

Upgrades are processed first by AAdvantage status tier, secondarily by type of upgrade, thirdly by the previous rolling 12 month EQD spend.

Q. Which has higher priority if all other preceding factors are the same? An upgraded with miles + copay, or an upgraded with SWU?

They have equal priority. A few reports state copay + upgrade have been given priority at some overseas stations.

Q. How soon will I know if my upgrade came through?

It can happen anytime inventory opens, from the time you book until the time you board. (Your request, including date and time of request, should carry over automatically to the airport list.)

Q. How soon will I know if my upgrade came through?

It can happen anytime inventory opens, from the time you book until the time you board. (Your request, including date and time of request, should carry over automatically to the airport list.)

Q. What happens to my booked seat whilst I'm waitlisted? If my upgrade doesn't come through, do I lose my reserved seat?

You normally retain your booked seat until (if) your upgrade comes through.

Q. How many flights can I upgrade with a single miles plus copay upgrade?

You may (assuming available inventory) upgrade up to three segments on the same ticketed itinerary (e.g. LHR-ORD-MIA-EZE, as long as they are on the same PNR).

Q. Can I look at AAnytime or MileSAAver award space to determine upgrade availability?

No. MileSAAver availability may be a good indication upgrade space may become available, but SAAver and upgrade inventories are separate.

Q. What fare inventory do I need to upgrade?

You need available "C" inventory to upgrade to two class domestic First and three class Business, "A" to three class First. These are not shown on aa.com, but some services (e.g. ExpertFlyer) do show them.
The only way to reliably search for upgrade space on Expertflyer or other services is segment by segment. The reason for this is that by rule if C is available on the stand alone segment then the upgrade is allowed.

Q. I'm Executive Platinum. If I purchase an upgrade for someone without status, will they "borrow" my status for upgrade purposes?

They will if they are flying as your single traveling companion on the same flights. Otherwise, their status will determine their position on the upgrade wait list. This "borrowed" status was previously lost once the flight has gone to airport control; it doesnt now, but it pays to check and see if it has been mismanaged by software - it can be restored when it has passed to airport control.

Q. Which miles earning and fare conditions will apply to my upgraded flights?

You will earn miles (award miles -- RDM -- and EQM) and EQ Dollars credit as determined by your originally purchased fare, and the applicable fare rules will also be determined by your originally purchased fare.

Older posts can be read in ARCHIVE: FAQ: Miles + Copay Upgrade / Upgrades (consolidated)





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Old Aug 15, 17, 6:08 pm
  #346  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Programs: BA Gold, UA Premier Platinum, Bonvoy Platinum, OnBusiness, Eurostar C.Blanche
Posts: 95
Ok, I am still not getting it.

I bought a ticket in O class LHR-JFK-LHR.
Business Award Upgrade was available on both flights, according to Expertflyer.

I called, agent confirmed, told me she upgraded me, charged me 50k miles (2x 25k) and took my CC number.

Flights now show in PNR as Business Class, selected seats, meals and everything.

However:
- CC was not charged yet for $700
- And ticket shows up as "On Request".

That has been since 4 days now. Departure is in 10 days.

Does that mean that I am "on standby" for business? Despite being able to already assign myself seats in business?
Or why does it say "On Request"?
Turboprince is offline  
Old Aug 15, 17, 6:10 pm
  #347  
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Programs: AA EP
Posts: 2,203
Call AA. The ticket may be "stuck"

Originally Posted by Turboprince View Post
Ok, I am still not getting it.

I bought a ticket in O class LHR-JFK-LHR.
Business Award Upgrade was available on both flights, according to Expertflyer.

I called, agent confirmed, told me she upgraded me, charged me 50k miles (2x 25k) and took my CC number.

Flights now show in PNR as Business Class, selected seats, meals and everything.

However:
- CC was not charged yet for $700
- And ticket shows up as "On Request".

That has been since 4 days now. Departure is in 10 days.

Does that mean that I am "on standby" for business? Despite being able to already assign myself seats in business?
Or why does it say "On Request"?
AAExecPlatFlier is offline  
Old Aug 15, 17, 9:05 pm
  #348  
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Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: DFW
Posts: 675
I had a stuck upgrade as well so I had to call AA. I wouldn't trust anything until it is showing confirmed status.
vh_bu98 is offline  
Old Aug 16, 17, 2:30 pm
  #349  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: SFO or OAK
Programs: AA 1MM GLD, Hertz #1 Gold, bunch of other programs w/no status
Posts: 1,346
Domestic upgrade: still pay if only one segment clears?

For a domestic upgrade on a two segment flight, if one segment clears and the other does not, am I still charged the miles + copay, or will my cleared segment revert to coach?

In my case I am on waitlist for EYW-MIA-SFO. EYW (Key West) to MIA is very short and not worth the miles + copay. From poking around on EF, EYW-MIA seems to get more C inventory than MIA-SFO, so I may clear that segment but not the other.

I've seen similar questions asked on this thread, but always with regard to an international upgrade, not domestic. I did not read all the pages, so forgive me if this has been answered before.
mangoMan is offline  
Old Aug 16, 17, 3:08 pm
  #350  
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Programs: AA EP
Posts: 2,203
Once one of ur segments clears you will be charged.

Originally Posted by mangoMan View Post
For a domestic upgrade on a two segment flight, if one segment clears and the other does not, am I still charged the miles + copay, or will my cleared segment revert to coach?

In my case I am on waitlist for EYW-MIA-SFO. EYW (Key West) to MIA is very short and not worth the miles + copay. From poking around on EF, EYW-MIA seems to get more C inventory than MIA-SFO, so I may clear that segment but not the other.

I've seen similar questions asked on this thread, but always with regard to an international upgrade, not domestic. I did not read all the pages, so forgive me if this has been answered before.
AAExecPlatFlier is offline  
Old Aug 16, 17, 10:19 pm
  #351  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: SFO or OAK
Programs: AA 1MM GLD, Hertz #1 Gold, bunch of other programs w/no status
Posts: 1,346
Originally Posted by AAExecPlatFlier View Post
Once one of ur segments clears you will be charged.
Ack. Time to call 'em back up and just apply the upgrade request to the MIA-SFO segment - thanks.

Edit: just called and agent said he'd "code it" such that the upgrade will only process if MIA-SFO clears. That sounded good to me.

Last edited by mangoMan; Aug 16, 17 at 10:29 pm
mangoMan is offline  
Old Aug 18, 17, 12:14 pm
  #352  
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: LA
Programs: AA Plat Pro, SPG/Marriott Titanium, Hilton Gold
Posts: 3,991
Originally Posted by Turboprince View Post
Ok, I am still not getting it.

I bought a ticket in O class LHR-JFK-LHR.
Business Award Upgrade was available on both flights, according to Expertflyer.

I called, agent confirmed, told me she upgraded me, charged me 50k miles (2x 25k) and took my CC number.

Flights now show in PNR as Business Class, selected seats, meals and everything.

However:
- CC was not charged yet for $700
- And ticket shows up as "On Request".

That has been since 4 days now. Departure is in 10 days.

Does that mean that I am "on standby" for business? Despite being able to already assign myself seats in business?
Or why does it say "On Request"?
Where do you see the "on request"? I feel I'm in the same boat. I got cleared a miles/copay upgrade two weeks ago for a flight in December and I havent been charged nor has the miles been debited. However, my status says "Ticketed" so I don't know if I'm looking in the right place or not. I didn't receive any notification that I had been upgraded until I received an email saying they reissued my ticket and changed the date of my flight. I don't know if that's SOP for miles/copay upgrades

Last edited by chenalex; Aug 18, 17 at 12:32 pm
chenalex is offline  
Old Aug 23, 17, 11:39 am
  #353  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: DFW
Programs: AA PLT, HH Gold, SPG/Marriott Gold
Posts: 1,091
Tried searching a few times and saw different experiences as far as IRROPS and miles+copay. If a flight does get canceled and there are no seats on AA metal, would you be rerouted via a OneWorld parter in J if your upgrade was confirmed?

I saw another answer earlier this year that your miles+copay ticket is protected at least on AA metal in case anything happened, but wondered what would happen if space was full elsewhere.

I'm debating using a miles+copay instead of an award ticket to make a run at EXP since I have some TPAC flights coming up, but I need that J seat for sure!
longhorn11 is offline  
Old Aug 25, 17, 8:30 am
  #354  
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Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: SIN
Programs: AA, AS, UA, WN; Hilton, Hyatt, IHG, SPG
Posts: 1,094
After spending some time reading about how to do the miles & cash co-pay on FT, I went on EF to check for C availability. Finding C7 around the dates I need to travel, I just booked a HKG-LAX-SEA r/t for ~$500 in Y, and upgraded myself on the HKG-LAX-SEA segment (no availability in the other direction at this point; also, I'll be EXP after the first segment). What a steal!

Last edited by solewalker; Aug 25, 17 at 8:36 am
solewalker is offline  
Old Aug 25, 17, 8:58 am
  #355  
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Programs: AA EP
Posts: 2,203
Usually they will look to protect u on AA metal first, followed by JV partners and then non-JV ow partners. But it all depends on the route. Generally, they won't leave u hanging if ur upgrade has cleared and been re ticketed.

UOTE=longhorn11;28726000]Tried searching a few times and saw different experiences as far as IRROPS and miles+copay. If a flight does get canceled and there are no seats on AA metal, would you be rerouted via a OneWorld parter in J if your upgrade was confirmed?

I saw another answer earlier this year that your miles+copay ticket is protected at least on AA metal in case anything happened, but wondered what would happen if space was full elsewhere.

I'm debating using a miles+copay instead of an award ticket to make a run at EXP since I have some TPAC flights coming up, but I need that J seat for sure![/QUOTE]
AAExecPlatFlier is offline  
Old Aug 25, 17, 8:33 pm
  #356  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Posts: 92
Originally Posted by ckx2 View Post
Can I actually mix miles+copay and SWU on a single PNR for two pax? Or does the upgrade request have to be made either via SWU or miles+copay for all of them.
yes, you can. Each SWU/Miles+copay covers one person.
They will split up the PNR first and then do different upgrades on each person.

Last edited by jiangning; Aug 25, 17 at 9:03 pm
jiangning is offline  
Old Aug 31, 17, 10:17 am
  #357  
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Fort Lauderdale
Posts: 292
Upgrading with Miles

I recently called to upgrade a flight from Buenos Aires to Miami from economy to business. The rep told me she could put me on a waitlist. When I do a mock booking seems only three seats are occupied on that flight. The flight is three months away. Should I get on the waitlist or wait until closer to flying time?
wesport is offline  
Old Aug 31, 17, 10:22 am
  #358  
 
Join Date: May 2017
Posts: 55
whats the flight number? can check expert flyer for you
DENQR is offline  
Old Aug 31, 17, 10:26 am
  #359  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Gatwick, UK
Programs: UA *G, AA EXP, BA Gold
Posts: 1,601
Originally Posted by wesport View Post
Should I get on the waitlist or wait until closer to flying time?
There's no reason not to get on the waitlist unless you are short of miles.
SeattleDavid is offline  
Old Aug 31, 17, 10:33 am
  #360  
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Fort Lauderdale
Posts: 292
Flight number is 900 on Jan 9th. I am short of miles, but would have enough in less that 30 days when my card closes. I could also buy miles , but might take my chances. I did get the upgrade on the flight down however.
wesport is offline  

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