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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)

Posts from 2014 through 2016 have been archived, and may be read here.

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Old Mar 22, 18, 7:19 pm
  #211  
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 792
Just a quick question guys. I'm flying out JFK to SFO in June with platinum status and looking at a Saturday 7 am flight. Just looking for some opinions on how often these clear. If I still had EXP status, I would just buy Y and wait to see if I upgrade. But platinum, I'm guessing the chances are pretty low even for a saturday am flight?
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Old Mar 23, 18, 11:10 am
  #212  
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: SJC (AA PLT 2MM - Marriott LTPP - Avis Preferred)
Posts: 1,569
AA15 is usually easily to clear on Saturdays for Miles+Copay. EF just showed immediate C availability (> 2 seats) for the first 2 Saturdays in June if that's when you're going.
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Old Mar 27, 18, 10:32 am
  #213  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: LGA/EWR/JFK
Programs: AA EXP, Amex Plat, A3 Gold
Posts: 310
AA 30 (11:45pm), LAX-JFK
March 28
Y->J comp EXP upgrade cleared 40hrs out
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Old Mar 27, 18, 1:47 pm
  #214  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: LGA, JFK, LAX, SFO
Programs: AA EXP
Posts: 294
Was looking at LAX-JFK on 4/23...the flight I wanted was C2. I needed to confirm with work the time was ok...checked again the flight was now C7. Booked the flight and it ticketed only to check right before calling to confirm a miles + copay upgrade and the flight is now C0. ...! Nothing changed with the overall inventory (I.e. travel agent blocking out a chunk of flights, etc.) why would this happen literally 5 minutes after ticketing???
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Old Mar 27, 18, 2:18 pm
  #215  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: LAX
Programs: AA EXP, UA GLD
Posts: 1,984
Weird...same exact thing happened to me. Got an EF alert for C on a flight ~6 weeks out, saw C7 on EF (all other flights that day were C0), put the flight on hold with intent of ticketing later today, saw your post, refreshed EF, and went to C0, all in the span of about 15 minutes. I suspect it was a temporary "glitch" of some sort that caused C7 to be released...I never see C >3 released on JFK-LAX this far in advance.
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Old Mar 29, 18, 4:14 pm
  #216  
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: SFO/OAK
Programs: AA EXP 3.3MM, BAEC, UAMP, AS 75K, Skyteam (<10k) HH Gold, IHG Plat, Hertz Gold, GE/TSA TT
Posts: 2,682
Originally Posted by ntamayo View Post
AA15 is usually easily to clear on Saturdays for Miles+Copay. EF just showed immediate C availability (> 2 seats) for the first 2 Saturdays in June if that's when you're going.
I've used that flight several times in years past (for MRs) and always found Y->J C inventory ahead of time. I usually used BE BXP1 or miles+copay. I've never wanted to risk trying for the complimentary upgrade on a redeye.
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Old Mar 29, 18, 5:11 pm
  #217  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: LAX
Programs: AA EXP, UA GLD
Posts: 1,984
Originally Posted by billgrates3 View Post
I've used that flight several times in years past (for MRs) and always found Y->J C inventory ahead of time. I usually used BE BXP1 or miles+copay. I've never wanted to risk trying for the complimentary upgrade on a redeye.
AA 15 is not a redeye...it's the 8am-ish westbound JFK-SFO.
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Old Mar 30, 18, 11:19 am
  #218  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: COU
Programs: AA EXP, Bonvoy Tit, Hertz PC
Posts: 466
Originally Posted by pmblinn View Post
To my thinking, this is one of the last remaining sweet spots not (yet) snuffed out by AA.
Yeah, I definitely agree it's a sweet spot, at least on transcons. Less attractive on my more typical midcon flights, but then those are less painful in coach so I just take my chances with EXP comps (and so far my chances have been good! Upgraded on 27/34 flights in 2018.). FWIW I feel like all miles+copay prices are well worth it if you can get them to clear.

Postscript: my miles+copay upgrade did indeed clear at T-48. They also cleared 2 upgrades at the gate, and I happened to be sitting next to the guy who was 3rd on the list. He was EXP but had not used an instrument...also didn't know what his rolling EQD was or how the lists were ordered, so it's hard to say whether I'd have gotten the bump without the upgrade instrument. All in all I'm completely satisfied with the way it all went down.
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Old Apr 17, 18, 9:15 pm
  #219  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: LAX
Programs: AA EXP, UA GLD
Posts: 1,984
Any recent experiences with Tuesday late afternoon LAX-JFK flights (3:30 or 4:30)? Got one coming up; four weeks out, there are two J and seven MCE seats taken. J is emptier than I thought it would be this (relatively) close in, but thought I'd seek out any thoughts from the veterans over here.
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Old Apr 17, 18, 9:31 pm
  #220  
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 90
Originally Posted by dkc192 View Post
Any recent experiences with Tuesday late afternoon LAX-JFK flights (3:30 or 4:30)? Got one coming up; four weeks out, there are two J and seven MCE seats taken. J is emptier than I thought it would be this (relatively) close in, but thought I'd seek out any thoughts from the veterans over here.
Tickets are usually purchased within 2 weeks on this route, sometimes much less than that so it’s tough to tell from the seat map this far out. Even a few days out, there’s a lot of last minute purchases. I’ve had decent luck with the 3:30 and 4:30 since it gets into JFK so late in the evening but it’s honestly a crap shoot. Redeye is definitely harder to come by for upgrades
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Old Apr 18, 18, 6:39 pm
  #221  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: NYC
Programs: AA EXP
Posts: 638
AA 171 JFK-LAX this Sunday (6:00AM Departure), cleared 100 hours out.
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Old Apr 30, 18, 10:18 pm
  #222  
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Portland, OR.
Programs: AA EP
Posts: 177
I'm an ExPlat flying in paid business (D) and wondering if there is space available, they will grant me a one class upgrade to F? Thanks
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Old Apr 30, 18, 10:27 pm
  #223  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: LAX
Programs: AA EXP, UA GLD
Posts: 1,984
Originally Posted by tfizzle View Post
I'm an ExPlat flying in paid business (D) and wondering if there is space available, they will grant me a one class upgrade to F? Thanks
They will not hand out complimentary upgrades to F unless lower cabin(s) (J and/or Y) are oversold, creating an operational need to roll the cabins forward.
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Old May 1, 18, 8:03 am
  #224  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: NYC
Programs: DL GM, AAdvantage EXECPLAT, Hyatt Plat, HHonors Diamond, Avis First
Posts: 5,890
Wow my JFK-LAX on Saturday just cleared early this morning, over 4 days out.
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Old May 1, 18, 8:29 am
  #225  
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Programs: AA EXP
Posts: 92
Cleared about 20 hours out on my LAX-JFK redeye last night. Upgrade list only had 3 people on it at the gate (none cleared).
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