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

Old Jul 28, 15, 1:06 pm
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Last edit by: united 1k flyer
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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FAQ: Miles + Copay Upgrade / Upgrades (master thread)

Old Jan 2, 18, 10:44 pm
  #436  
 
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Originally Posted by andersonCooper View Post
That's good to know. So if you use SWU on a 100% domestic leg, say JFK-LAX, it will show as "systemwide upgrade requested" instead of "complimentary"?
Yes, at least in terms of what I have noticed in the last few reservations where I've been waitlisted for SWUs, the flights will say Systemwide Upgrade instead of Complimentary.
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Old Jan 2, 18, 10:53 pm
  #437  
 
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Had this happen to me.

If it was requested, the swu request would have dropped at around 24 hours. But the comp would have stayed/taken over/auto requests whatever. . What needed to happen here was at checkin u would have needed to ask to use the swu for the domestic leg and have it put into the airport system as a swu and get the higher priority.

Agent explaine this to me at checkin and a few keystrokes later I was #1 and easily cleared with my swu.
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Old Jan 3, 18, 1:54 am
  #438  
 
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Originally Posted by AAExecPlatFlier View Post
Had this happen to me.

If it was requested, the swu request would have dropped at around 24 hours. But the comp would have stayed/taken over/auto requests — whatever. . What needed to happen here was at checkin u would have needed to ask to use the swu for the domestic leg and have it put into the airport system as a swu and get the higher priority.

Agent explaine this to me at checkin and a few keystrokes later I was #1 and easily cleared with my swu.
That makes sense, and would explain why the EXP agent said everything was fine and things still went awry. My only concern would be an unknowledgeable agent, like the one I got at the AC—particularly, as in this case, when using a mileage upgrade vs. an SWU. The AC agent in this case certainly intimated that s/he would have changed my priority status to VIP had I been using an SWU, but said that I was using a mileage upgrade, so no go.
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Old Jan 4, 18, 11:50 am
  #439  
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Originally Posted by AAExecPlatFlier View Post
Had this happen to me.

If it was requested, the swu request would have dropped at around 24 hours. But the comp would have stayed/taken over/auto requests whatever. . What needed to happen here was at checkin u would have needed to ask to use the swu for the domestic leg and have it put into the airport system as a swu and get the higher priority.

Agent explaine this to me at checkin and a few keystrokes later I was #1 and easily cleared with my swu.
Why use a SWU on a short domestic route?

Originally Posted by flyingeph12 View Post
That makes sense, and would explain why the EXP agent said everything was fine and things still went awry. My only concern would be an unknowledgeable agent, like the one I got at the ACparticularly, as in this case, when using a mileage upgrade vs. an SWU. The AC agent in this case certainly intimated that s/he would have changed my priority status to VIP had I been using an SWU, but said that I was using a mileage upgrade, so no go.
Since we don't know the city pair of your domestic flight,, lately upgrades in Domestic F is getting harder, many feel people are purchasing F seats, so getting upgrades is tougher.
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Old Jan 4, 18, 12:15 pm
  #440  
 
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Originally Posted by FlightNurse View Post
Since we don't know the city pair of your domestic flight,, lately upgrades in Domestic F is getting harder, many feel people are purchasing F seats, so getting upgrades is tougher.
I don't think knowing the city pair would be relevant to the issue. The issue is whether I was listed correctly on the upgrade list for a domestic connection on a mileage upgrade award, and what to do in the future to make sure I am listed correctly, not whether I would have cleared.

I totally recognize that even had I been listed correctly, I may still not have cleared, given there was 1 seat available and only the #1 person ended up clearing. According to the AC agent in this particular instance, the #1 person was on an SWU, which means (if my understanding is correct) it should have come down to my rolling EQDs versus that person's, not whether I was on a mileage award vs an SWU.
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Old Jan 16, 18, 11:15 pm
  #441  
 
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Is there a priority order how upgrades clear. Is mileage upgrade above swu
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Old Jan 16, 18, 11:28 pm
  #442  
 
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Can I get miles credited to alaska after I get upgraded. So I called AA2 and they said I need to remove my alaska number before they add me to upgrade list from premium ecconomy to business. The question is if I get upgraded, will i be able to request mileage to be sent to alaska as I am 75k mvpg there. I appreciate the help
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Old Jan 17, 18, 10:21 am
  #443  
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Originally Posted by felicidad76 View Post
Is there a priority order how upgrades clear. Is mileage upgrade above swu
Maybe if you read the Wiki you will find your answer.
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Old Jan 17, 18, 10:22 am
  #444  
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Originally Posted by felicidad76 View Post
Can I get miles credited to alaska after I get upgraded. So I called AA2 and they said I need to remove my alaska number before they add me to upgrade list from premium ecconomy to business. The question is if I get upgraded, will i be able to request mileage to be sent to alaska as I am 75k mvpg there. I appreciate the help
No
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Old Jan 17, 18, 10:12 pm
  #445  
 
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Originally Posted by felicidad76 View Post
Can I get miles credited to alaska after I get upgraded. So I called AA2 and they said I need to remove my alaska number before they add me to upgrade list from premium ecconomy to business. The question is if I get upgraded, will i be able to request mileage to be sent to alaska as I am 75k mvpg there. I appreciate the help
Originally Posted by FlightNurse View Post
No
Is this right? Assuming the upgrade clears in advance, cant you switch out your AAdvantage number for your Mileage Plan one? I thought that was possible.
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Old Mar 16, 18, 11:39 am
  #446  
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Read through most of the posts, didn't see a similar situation, so here is my question:

Looking at purchasing a one-way ticket for 3 pax. BNA-DFW-SMF. Both of the legs are showing C2.

Could I put a Y reservation on hold for the 3 of us, call in and upgrade 2 seats using miles + co pay and one with just a straight upfare? I don't want to split the reservation, as the other pax are statusless and TSA preCheck less. Could it remain all as one PNR?
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Old Mar 16, 18, 11:46 am
  #447  
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Originally Posted by jtav559 View Post
Read through most of the posts, didn't see a similar situation, so here is my question:

Looking at purchasing a one-way ticket for 3 pax. BNA-DFW-SMF. Both of the legs are showing C2.

Could I put a Y reservation on hold for the 3 of us, call in and upgrade 2 seats using miles + co pay and one with just a straight upfare? I don't want to split the reservation, as the other pax are statusless and TSA preCheck less. Could it remain all as one PNR?
yes, but the PreCheck less passengers won't get PreCheck. I'm sure you have a CC that gives you $100 statement credit each year to get Global Entry, help these statusless people out...
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Old Mar 16, 18, 11:57 am
  #448  
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Originally Posted by FlightNurse View Post
yes, but the PreCheck less passengers won't get PreCheck. I'm sure you have a CC that gives you $100 statement credit each year to get Global Entry, help these statusless people out...
Good to hear it can be kept on one, thanks!

Then how have these same pax got precheck when flying on the same PNR as myself before? My understanding that certain pax will have precheck "bestowed" upon them if their is a precheck member on the PNR. Or am I just imagining this correlation.....
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Old Mar 16, 18, 12:53 pm
  #449  
 
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Originally Posted by jtav559 View Post
Good to hear it can be kept on one, thanks!

Then how have these same pax got precheck when flying on the same PNR as myself before? My understanding that certain pax will have precheck "bestowed" upon them if their is a precheck member on the PNR. Or am I just imagining this correlation.....
That is incorrect, if you have a PNR with 3 pax, and only upgrade 2 of them with miles/copay, then the PNR will need to be split up.
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Old Mar 16, 18, 3:17 pm
  #450  
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Originally Posted by JJeffrey View Post
That is incorrect, if you have a PNR with 3 pax, and only upgrade 2 of them with miles/copay, then the PNR will need to be split up.
Even if the 3rd passenger is upgraded/up-fared via a different instrument?
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