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Airbus A321T / 321T “32B” Transcon JFK <--> LAX / SFO Upgrade Success / Help

Airbus A321T / 321T “32B” Transcon JFK <--> LAX / SFO Upgrade Success / Help

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Old Jul 11, 19, 11:01 am   -   Wikipost
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A321T / 321T / Transcontinental JFK to/from LAX & SFO: Upgrade Success & Assistance


American flies the transcontinental A321T with three classes including solo First and Business pairs that fully recline horizontally. (Note the "32B" designation applies to all Airbus A321-100 and -200 - aircraft with "Sharklets" blended winglets in accord with ICAO standards, including two and three class A321s used by AA.)

It appears demand in J is high, supply less so, making this a tricky upgrade from coach to business. First sometimes looks like there’s good availability until close to departure, and it’s common that this cabin is filled deadheading.

Upgrading is challenging, and Y to J SWU or miles + copay always trumps 500 mile or DODU / courtesy upgrades within an elite tier. (500 mile and courtesy upgrades from Business to First is not allowed).

Remember, upgrade priority for these flights is:
  • Elite status tier
  • SWU & miles and copay
  • Business Extra and “special corporate agency upgrade certificates”
  • 500 mile (“stickers”) and complimentary / DODU upgrades*
  • Award upgrades (CK, EXP, PRO)*
  • Last 12 months’ rolling EQD spend
  • Etc.
*Y to C/J only; C to F not allowed


Cabins will generally not be “rolled” forward (e.g. J to F) to accommodate upgrades.

Those confirmed in Flagship First on these (between JFK and LAX or SFO) can access Flagship Lounges as well as Flagship First Dining at JFK or LAX, or the Admirals Club at SFO (or the LAX TBIT Qantas First lounge).

Related threads:

Aircraft guide: Which Airbus A321? (including “321”, “32B”, A321neo)

A321 Transcon / A321T / "32B" 3 class began service Jan 2014 (consolidated)

Best Business / First seat on AA transcon Airbus A321 / A321T / "32B" (consolidated)

Best Economy / MCE seat on AA transcon Airbus A321 / A321T / 32B (consolidated)

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Old Jan 31, 18, 12:41 pm
  #166  
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NYC
Posts: 36
Originally Posted by AANYC1981 View Post
I used a new trick for me. LAX-JFK last week was looking like a tight UPG, so I did SDC to an earlier flight which looked to be J7 and about an hour later my UPG came through on the earlier flight.
I did the same when I was commuting between JFK and SFO last year. Just have to be flexible enough to make the move as well as availability. Departing out of JFK was easier to SDC than coming back from SFO (at least for me because of the red eye flight).

l8r

-doc
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doctor3 is offline  
Old Feb 1, 18, 10:53 am
  #167  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 175
Elite trying to Upgrade on JFK-SFO or JFK-LAX

What are the chances that an executive plat. or plat. pro status passenger can be upgraded on either of these routes?
ADeutsch is offline  
Old Feb 1, 18, 11:00 am
  #168  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
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Go to ExpertFlyer and look up the exact upgrade buckets on the flights you are considering.
QueenOfCoach is offline  
Old Feb 1, 18, 11:01 am
  #169  
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For free?
EXP to/from SFO 12.75%. EXP to/from LAX 15.43%.
PPro to/from SFO 9.13%. PPro to/from LAX 11.68%.

Add 22.5% for Saturday evening flights, or add 17.5% for Sunday morning flights ex-JFK.
Add 50% if using miles/copay or SWU.

And a blanket 95% chance for both for J-to-F upgrades.
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Old Feb 1, 18, 11:13 am
  #170  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 175
Thanks. Yes for free and I would be flying on March 01. $160.00 one way revenue fare is too good to be true in coach, but hopping a flight prefer to SFO after 5PM may have a seat or two available in business class.
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Old Feb 1, 18, 11:16 am
  #171  
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Originally Posted by ADeutsch View Post
Thanks. Yes for free and I would be flying on March 01. $160.00 one way revenue fare is too good to be true in coach, but hopping a flight prefer to SFO after 5PM may have a seat or two available in business class.
How many EQDs over the past 12 months? I think ijgordon forgot to include that in the calculations. After all, 12 month rolling EQD is involved in the upgrade list positioning
After 5 pm is a bit more difficult too
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Old Feb 1, 18, 11:22 am
  #172  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 175
I was looking at that too while doing my research. I thought the fare was too good to be true for a long weekend on the west coast and worst case I do have the exit row of 11 as a backup. I like the status incase I want to change flights. However, if I get upgrade then changing flights I wont care. As for EQDs very little $3,000 in the past 12 months. Be nice to see if one to two seats available somehow I can get an upgrade. Thursday night will be difficult though and last flights to the west coast.
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Old Feb 1, 18, 11:41 am
  #173  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
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The super early (6AM) / super late (9PM) flights JFK-LAX usually are pretty light in J and have a good upgrade potential. As you move closer to normal times, it gets much, much harder. JFK-SFO is also more difficult due to more limited frequencies.
roder is offline  
Old Feb 1, 18, 11:47 am
  #174  
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Originally Posted by mvoight View Post
How many EQDs over the past 12 months? I think ijgordon forgot to include that in the calculations.
Haha, fair point. I'll have to run a regression to figure out the formula for that.
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Old Feb 1, 18, 11:52 am
  #175  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
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Well as a fairly high spend EXP (30k), I was number 4 on last Sunday morning ....and sat in MCE.

On Thursday/Friday/Sunday afternoon, its usually not happening. Saturday morning ... 6 AM flights .... maybe.

Way too many people with contract fares and company policies allowing them to travel in paid biz.
C17PSGR is offline  
Old Feb 1, 18, 12:52 pm
  #176  
 
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The first or last flights on Saturdays and (some Fridays) are usually wide open for C upgrades.
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Old Feb 1, 18, 12:57 pm
  #177  
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
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Originally Posted by C17PSGR View Post
Well as a fairly high spend EXP (30k), I was number 4 on last Sunday morning ....and sat in MCE.
That's the interesting detail to me. A $30k spend and you were 4th on the list. That being 2.5x the qualifying spend for EXP and still only 4th on the list, and on a Sunday morning.

I would venture to guess that now with the list being prioritized by EQD within each status level that there will be a lot of EXP's that may very rarely (or even never) see an upgrade on anything but the most leisurely of routes.
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Old Feb 1, 18, 1:04 pm
  #178  
 
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Originally Posted by thunderlounge View Post
That's the interesting detail to me. A $30k spend and you were 4th on the list. That being 2.5x the qualifying spend for EXP and still only 4th on the list, and on a Sunday morning.

I would venture to guess that now with the list being prioritized by EQD within each status level that there will be a lot of EXP's that may very rarely (or even never) see an upgrade on anything but the most leisurely of routes.
Well, other than than the JFK/LAX route, I'm fairly reliably 1 or 2 on the upgrade list.

But, for example, I was flying out of an medium size outstation where I frequent and some of the gate agents recognize me where I was no. 5. I asked what was up and they said two CK's with their wives. I'm not complaining as that seems fair to me.
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Old Feb 1, 18, 1:17 pm
  #179  
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Originally Posted by C17PSGR View Post
Way too many people with contract fares and company policies allowing them to travel in paid biz.
How very dare they!
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Old Feb 1, 18, 1:45 pm
  #180  
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No way won't happen my friend. Unless you are a CK or EXP with very high 2017 EQD your in the back. Hell I'm sitting here at B4 at SAT waiting to get back to DFW and I'm #5 on the upgrade list out of 52. My 2017 EQD was only $18K though. This is the first time as an EXP i have not been upgraded to F on this route. This is the new AA -- it is what it is.
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