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

Old Jul 28, 2015, 12:06 pm
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: Prospero
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 Aug 12, 2016, 2:59 pm
  #61  
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 44,777
Are you really only wanting to upgrade if both sectors clear?

If so, then contact AA and can see whether it can cancel the upgrade and redeposit the miles without charge , since you only wanted the upgrade if the whole journey could be done. I think you may go to back of list then

Personally, if can get the LAX-SYD confirmed, I would take that even if the domestic flight could not be confirmed now ; if JFK-LAX opens up there will be no additional cost to add that upgrade
Dave Noble is offline  
Old Aug 12, 2016, 3:23 pm
  #62  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: BOS
Programs: Delta Platinum, Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 308
Originally Posted by Dave Noble
Are you really only wanting to upgrade if both sectors clear?

If so, then contact AA and can see whether it can cancel the upgrade and redeposit the miles without charge , since you only wanted the upgrade if the whole journey could be done. I think you may go to back of list then

Personally, if can get the LAX-SYD confirmed, I would take that even if the domestic flight could not be confirmed now ; if JFK-LAX opens up there will be no additional cost to add that upgrade
Thanks! This is very helpful.

I'm still on the fence about just having LAX-SYD in business. I guess the best option is to just wait until after I get into LAX to decide. That way I'll still be near the front of the list for JFK-LAX. And since I'm indifferent to just having LAX-SYD, if AA refuses to redeposit the miles I'll just enjoy the upgrade.
Debonaire is offline  
Old Aug 12, 2016, 4:38 pm
  #63  
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Posts: 44,777
Originally Posted by Debonaire
Thanks! This is very helpful.

I'm still on the fence about just having LAX-SYD in business. I guess the best option is to just wait until after I get into LAX to decide. That way I'll still be near the front of the list for JFK-LAX. And since I'm indifferent to just having LAX-SYD, if AA refuses to redeposit the miles I'll just enjoy the upgrade.
LAX-SYD is 7488 miles with JFK-LAX being 2475 miles. On top of that LAX-SYD on AA is an overnight flight and with a nice new 777 business product. If you are not fussed about the LAX-SYD flight, seems odd to request the upgrade to me

If you wait until LAX to cancel the upgrade , rather than doing it promptly after a mistake upgrade occured, I cannot see AA waiving the $150 redeposit fee
Dave Noble is offline  
Old Aug 12, 2016, 5:51 pm
  #64  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: BOS
Programs: Delta Platinum, Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 308
Originally Posted by Dave Noble
LAX-SYD is 7488 miles with JFK-LAX being 2475 miles. On top of that LAX-SYD on AA is an overnight flight and with a nice new 777 business product. If you are not fussed about the LAX-SYD flight, seems odd to request the upgrade to me

If you wait until LAX to cancel the upgrade , rather than doing it promptly after a mistake upgrade occured, I cannot see AA waiving the $150 redeposit fee
I see. Appreciate the thoughts on this. I'll just enjoy the upgrade then.
Debonaire is offline  
Old Aug 15, 2016, 1:50 pm
  #65  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 21
miles+copay ORD to CDG

My wife and I are flying ORD to CDG in a few months. I called about a month ago to request a miles + copay from coach to business. Should I have gotten an email confirmation? I know I gave my credit card, etc. Last time I did miles+copay we were upgraded right away due to a lot of availability.

Anyone know what the chances are on this? I've got Gold status and it's under my reservation.
Gdis is offline  
Old Aug 15, 2016, 2:15 pm
  #66  
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Posts: 44,777
Was there availability and the upgrade processed or have you just waitlisted for an upgrade

If the booking shows you confirmed in business class, I would contact AA to get the award issued

If you are still waiting availability and the booking shows economy class, then the award will not yet have been issued
Dave Noble is offline  
Old Aug 15, 2016, 2:17 pm
  #67  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 21
Originally Posted by Dave Noble
Was there availability and the upgrade processed or have you just waitlisted for an upgrade

If the booking shows you confirmed in business class, I would contact AA to get the award issued

If you are still waiting availability and the booking shows economy class, then the award will not yet have been issued
Sorry - I didn't clarify. We were waitlisted - I was curious if there was usually some confirmation sent that you were added to the waitlist.
Gdis is offline  
Old Aug 15, 2016, 2:20 pm
  #68  
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I do not think so - if you are concerned, can call back and an agent can check
Dave Noble is offline  
Old Aug 15, 2016, 3:05 pm
  #69  
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Columbia, SC
Programs: AA Plat, SPG/Marriot Gold, HHonors Diamond, Hyatt Expl
Posts: 2,363
Originally Posted by Gdis
Sorry - I didn't clarify. We were waitlisted - I was curious if there was usually some confirmation sent that you were added to the waitlist.
Not in my experience. You can tweet or call AA to request that they re-verify you're on the waitlist. The only confirmation you will see is when/if you clear and your reservation is re-ticketed. Then you'll get a new e-ticket confirmation email showing your upgraded seat assignment.
akcae is offline  
Old Aug 25, 2016, 12:43 pm
  #70  
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 6
Do you earn miles for the $$ spent on the copay now that is is revenue based? I can't seem to find an answer anywhere.
ryanNY is offline  
Old Aug 25, 2016, 1:05 pm
  #71  
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Join Date: Jun 2014
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Programs: BA Silver; Hilton Gold; IHG Diamond Ambassador; Marriott Gold
Posts: 2,821
Originally Posted by ryanNY
Do you earn miles for the $$ spent on the copay now that is is revenue based? I can't seem to find an answer anywhere.
As the wiki says:
Q. Which miles earning and fare conditions will apply to my upgraded flights?

You will earn miles (both award miles -- RDM -- and EQM) as determined by your originally purchased fare, and the applicable fare rules will also be determined by your originally purchased fare.
"originally purchased fare". The co-pay does not count toward RDM, unfortunately.
SpammersAreScum is offline  
Old Aug 25, 2016, 1:43 pm
  #72  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: DFW
Programs: AA EXP, LT Gold
Posts: 3,154
Originally Posted by ryanNY
Do you earn miles for the $$ spent on the copay now that is is revenue based? I can't seem to find an answer anywhere.
This is a good question. I don't know the answer definitively, but my guess is that you will not.
econometrics is offline  
Old Aug 25, 2016, 1:58 pm
  #73  
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Originally Posted by econometrics
This is a good question. I don't know the answer definitively, but my guess is that you will not.
The Award miles and EQDs FAQ on the AAdvantage program updates page says:

Do checked bag fees, seat purchases, 500-mile upgrades or other products/service fees count toward earning award miles and EQDs?

No, only the base fare paid for your ticket including any carrier-imposed fees will count toward earning award miles and EQDs. Fees for other products or services will not be awarded miles or EQDs, including but not limited to the following: checked baggage fees, Admirals Club memberships, Wi-Fi passes, in-flight food and beverage purchases, in-flight entertainment, unaccompanied minor fees, pet travel fees, 500-mile upgrades, mileage upgrade cash co-payments, Mileage Multiplier, BuyMiles, GiftMiles, ShareMiles or other mileage purchases, ticket change fees, ticketing fees, same-day confirmed flight change or standby fees and service charges.
Emphasis mine. Unfortunately, AA has taken to making this page harder to find lately. Generally they just use the language quoted in the wiki and say "fees such as, but not limited to" a shorter list do not qualify.
SpammersAreScum is offline  
Old Aug 25, 2016, 2:00 pm
  #74  
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: DFW
Programs: AA EXP, LT Gold
Posts: 3,154
Originally Posted by SpammersAreScum
The Award miles and EQDs FAQ on the AAdvantage program updates page says:



Emphasis mine. Unfortunately, AA has taken to making this page harder to find lately. Generally they just use the language quoted in the wiki and say "fees such as, but not limited to" a shorter list do not qualify.
Thanks for taking the time to find it. Good to know! ^
econometrics is offline  
Old Aug 25, 2016, 3:09 pm
  #75  
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: BNA
Programs: UA 1K
Posts: 766
Originally Posted by Debonaire
I see. Appreciate the thoughts on this. I'll just enjoy the upgrade then.
Congrats on the upgrade. Awesome product on an awesome flight to an awesome place.
oysterhead43 is offline  

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