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

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

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Old Nov 25, 19, 12:50 pm   -   Wikipost
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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
    2. Executive Platinum
    3. Platinum Pro
    4. Platinum
    5. Gold
  2. Upgrade type
    1. Miles and copay award upgrades and systemwide upgrades (SWU)
    2. 500 mile upgrades on purchased tickets (including EXP complimentary UDU)
    3. 500 mile upgrades on upgrade eligible awards (including EXP complimentary UDU)
  3. Elite qualifying dollars* in the past 12 months

  4. Booking class (in order, J, D, I, W, P, Y, H, K, M, L, V, G, S, N, Q, O, T)

  5. 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.

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.

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 doesn’t 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 Jan 20, 16, 2:06 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: TPA
Programs: AA Gold; Hilton Gold; Marriott Gold; IHG Gold
Posts: 2,506
So, if you've requested a 500-mile upgrade, your on-line AA flight info reflects that, as does the app. What if you're waitlisted for a miles+copay upgrade? I supposedly am but don't see that reflected in either place. Should I be concerned, or does that just not get displayed for some unfortunate reason?
SpammersAreScum is offline  
Old Mar 7, 16, 7:59 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Programs: AA Platinum, Hyatt Globalist, Hertz President's Circle
Posts: 239
Miles+copay upgrade, segments, waitlisting

I have a three-segment domestic flight for 2 pax, booked in discount Y, and wanting to upgrade with miles+copay. My understanding is that I need A availability. Current situation per ExpertFlyer is:

Segment 1: A7
Segment 2: A1
Segment 3: A4

Can I go ahead and process miles+copay upgrade (for both passengers) and confirm segment 1 and 3 for both of us, segment 2 for one of us, and waitlist segment 2 for the other? If yes, can I then call back in later if more A availability opens up on segment 2 and get the upgrade processed?
mh4ll is offline  
Old Mar 7, 16, 9:03 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Programs: AA EP
Posts: 1,849
Originally Posted by mh4ll View Post
I have a three-segment domestic flight for 2 pax, booked in discount Y, and wanting to upgrade with miles+copay. My understanding is that I need A availability. Current situation per ExpertFlyer is:

Segment 1: A7
Segment 2: A1
Segment 3: A4

Can I go ahead and process miles+copay upgrade (for both passengers) and confirm segment 1 and 3 for both of us, segment 2 for one of us, and waitlist segment 2 for the other? If yes, can I then call back in later if more A availability opens up on segment 2 and get the upgrade processed?
Yes. Aa will split the PNR if both of u are on one PNR
AAExecPlatFlier is offline  
Old Mar 18, 16, 4:53 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Programs: DL Diamond, AA EXP, SPG Plat, Marriott Plat Prem, UA Gold. Former Emerald Club Exec, National Plat
Posts: 58
Copay upgrade cleared, sat in economy, & refunded 3 months later: a Phyrric victory

I looked on Flyertalk for other stories in which a flyer had a confirmed miles/copay upgrade, and then ultimately sat in economy and had trouble getting the copay refunded. Couldn't find one, so sharing my experience:

Nov: I'd applied and cleared a miles/copay upgrade for EWR-DFW-LAX flights in Dec. (Opted for this routing instead of my usual FK-LAX in order to try AA's 787, which was scheduled to operate the DFW-LAX segment)

Mid Dec (day of flight): 1st segment is delayed such that if I took it, I'd get stranded overnight in DFW. So I'm rerouted EWR-PHX-LAX -- in economy, due to full first class cabins.

Late December: Seeing my miles/copay hadn't been refunded automatically, I called the EXP line and requested a refund. The 15k miles are refunded, but told that to get the $75 I need to request a refund online with accounting. I do that. One month later, the request is denied without explanation.

Jan - mid March: I call the EXP line 2 more times and sent AA customer service 11 emails requesting the refund. One response was to send the flight details, which I did. Two more responses were to send the same flight details I'd already supplied. Several other responses seemed to completely misunderstand my request and just apologized for the delay. Several were never responded to.

A few days ago: Received the $75 refund, over 3 months after the flight. Truly a Phyrric victory.
HITconsultant is offline  
Old Apr 21, 16, 4:07 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: New Hampshire
Programs: AA Platinum, Marriott Gold, Everything else: Dirt
Posts: 802
Does anyone know how mileage upgrades work when transiting through North America? Flying LHR-JFK-BOS-LAX-SYD. I am assuming I would have to use two upgrades plus copays?
MaineFlyer16 is offline  
Old Apr 21, 16, 8:37 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
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Originally Posted by SpammersAreScum View Post
So, if you've requested a 500-mile upgrade, your on-line AA flight info reflects that, as does the app. What if you're waitlisted for a miles+copay upgrade? I supposedly am but don't see that reflected in either place. Should I be concerned, or does that just not get displayed for some unfortunate reason?
It doesn't show online. If you requested. You should be fine.
hiima is offline  
Old Apr 21, 16, 9:11 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: LAX
Programs: AAdvantage EXPLAT, Hilton Diamond, SPG/Marriott Gold, IHG Platinum, Citi Exec MC, Amex Plat
Posts: 1,442
Originally Posted by MaineFlyer16 View Post
Does anyone know how mileage upgrades work when transiting through North America? Flying LHR-JFK-BOS-LAX-SYD. I am assuming I would have to use two upgrades plus copays?
1 TATL upgrade award + 1 TPAC upgrade award. If either of them clear, you can have the domestic legs bundled with them. Or, just do a domestic upgrade and enjoy the transcontinental in F. If you had an evip, you could do up to 3 of the segments and skip the short hopper.
matrixwalker2012 is offline  
Old Apr 21, 16, 9:24 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
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Originally Posted by MaineFlyer16 View Post
Does anyone know how mileage upgrades work when transiting through North America? Flying LHR-JFK-BOS-LAX-SYD. I am assuming I would have to use two upgrades plus copays?
That type of upgrade is good for 3 segments, so definitely LHR-JFK-BOS-LAX. I'm not sure though whether you can choose which segments, for example, could you skip JFK-BOS and use the upgrade on LAX-SYD?
billgrates3 is offline  
Old Apr 21, 16, 10:00 pm
  #9  
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Originally Posted by MaineFlyer16 View Post
Does anyone know how mileage upgrades work when transiting through North America? Flying LHR-JFK-BOS-LAX-SYD. I am assuming I would have to use two upgrades plus copays?
You would need to use 2 upgrade awards ( plus co-payments if applicable )

1 Upgrade for UK to USA and another upgrade for USA to Australia
Dave Noble is offline  
Old Apr 22, 16, 5:57 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
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More importantly, ... in 2016 is it that these upgrades have to be requested by phone??? How hard can it be to build this functionality into the website?
matrixwalker2012 is offline  
Old Apr 22, 16, 6:00 am
  #11  
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Originally Posted by matrixwalker2012 View Post
More importantly, ... in 2016 is it that these upgrades have to be requested by phone??? How hard can it be to build this functionality into the website?
Obviously just hard enough that they haven't done it yet.
JonNYC is offline  
Old Apr 22, 16, 6:05 am
  #12  
Moderator: American AAdvantage, Signatures
 
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Originally Posted by matrixwalker2012 View Post
in 2016 is it that these upgrades have to be requested by phone??? How hard can it be to build this functionality into the website?
You'd be surprised...
Microwave is offline  
Old May 27, 16, 8:30 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 6
Upgrade with Points

Good Morning,

I was planning a trip to Hawaii from JFK. My plan was to call AA, book discount economy seats, then use 15,000 points + $175 to upgrade to business/first class.

My questions are:

Am I correct that I will be allowed to do this?

Will I have to pay a phone booking fee as the upgrade requires a call?

Will I earn EQM's and Miles based on the discount economy booking, business/first, or do I lose them all?

Thanks
ryanNY is offline  
Old May 27, 16, 8:37 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Programs: AA EXP
Posts: 3,049
Firstly, it is a 'space available' upgrade so you may not be able to do it at the time you book, or indeed at any point at all, but you can wait-list if it is not available and if you get lucky it happens, if not you travel in coach (but do not pay the miles or the co-pay).

If you are upgraded you will earn based on the original class of travel, not the upgraded class.
Mark_T is offline  
Old May 27, 16, 8:41 am
  #15  
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Join Date: Apr 2016
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Yes, you are allowed to call and make a request. You probably will be charge if you book your seats over the phone. A better option is to book through AA.com and then call for an upgrade. You will earn EQMs based on the discount economy booking.
vh_bu98 is offline  

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