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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Posts from 2014 through 2016 have been archived, and may be read here.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 Feb 4, 19, 5:26 pm
  #271  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: San Francisco
Programs: AA EXP; Marriott BonVoy Titanium Elite, SPG LT Plat
Posts: 1,336
Originally Posted by Finsup72 View Post
I just took this and unfortunately for dessert it's regular ice cream in a cup instead of the flagship sundaes you'll get during regular lunch and dinner service. Not a big deal but sundaes are one of my favorite parts of the AA transcon service.
Will just have to pack Lactase pills this time. On the TPAC flights, I'm turning ice cream/dairy loaded deserts away with regret. Will try it on the SFO/JFK routes this week and if all goes well, I'll be ready for the my LAX/HKG trips as well.
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Old Feb 4, 19, 5:57 pm
  #272  
PHL
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: PHL, NYC
Programs: AA PLT, DL SLV, UA SLV, MR LTT, HH DIA
Posts: 8,447
Snagged an ultra cheap $159 one way Main Cabin fare, LAX-JFK (1040pm redeye) on an upcoming Monday in February. So, I can't use a BXP1 because it's booked into one of the few fare buckets that doesn't allow this type of instrument. I'm left to rely on my sticker balance.

Buckets are: F7 (0 out of 10 seats currently assigned), J7 (8 out of 20 assigned).

My hope is some of those J's get rolled up to F, opening up more J space and then I miraculously get moved up with my Plat status. Medium to Long shot, I know. If not, I got 11C and will survive.

Most of my flying is ex-PHL, so I've not had the opportunity to fly on the 321T.
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Old Feb 5, 19, 3:32 pm
  #273  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: San Francisco
Programs: AA EXP; Marriott BonVoy Titanium Elite, SPG LT Plat
Posts: 1,336
To my surprise, I just receive notification that my Y->J comp upgrade was confirmed 100+hrs in advance. Maybe the EF alert I set for my former reat in Y becoming vacant will appear "soon".
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Old Feb 6, 19, 11:48 pm
  #274  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: San Francisco
Programs: AA EXP; Marriott BonVoy Titanium Elite, SPG LT Plat
Posts: 1,336
Interesting situation on my flight with regards to the upgrade list.

First flight out SFO-JFK. Noticed that there were only three people on the Upgrade list and two seats vacant. However, no one cleared and those two seats went out empty.

So, to be placed on the airport upgrade list, you have volunteer for it as a Plat and Gold? Did they just not purchase certificates to confirm the upgrade? Last minute C space even was available too.
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Old Feb 7, 19, 10:05 am
  #275  
uxb
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: JFK, BUR, YVR
Programs: AS (MVP), BA, DL, HH (G), MR (T/LTP), UA (*S), UScAAre (1,55MM), WN
Posts: 4,740
Originally Posted by PHL View Post
Snagged an ultra cheap $159 one way Main Cabin fare, LAX-JFK (1040pm redeye) on an upcoming Monday in February. So, I can't use a BXP1 because it's booked into one of the few fare buckets that doesn't allow this type of instrument. I'm left to rely on my sticker balance.

Buckets are: F7 (0 out of 10 seats currently assigned), J7 (8 out of 20 assigned).

My hope is some of those J's get rolled up to F, opening up more J space and then I miraculously get moved up with my Plat status. Medium to Long shot, I know. If not, I got 11C and will survive.

Most of my flying is ex-PHL, so I've not had the opportunity to fly on the 321T.
You can always pay the fare difference to get into the higher fare bucket, but confirm availability on EF before booking. YMMV.
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Old Feb 7, 19, 10:06 am
  #276  
uxb
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: JFK, BUR, YVR
Programs: AS (MVP), BA, DL, HH (G), MR (T/LTP), UA (*S), UScAAre (1,55MM), WN
Posts: 4,740
Originally Posted by Zacnlinc View Post
Interesting situation on my flight with regards to the upgrade list.

First flight out SFO-JFK. Noticed that there were only three people on the Upgrade list and two seats vacant. However, no one cleared and those two seats went out empty.

So, to be placed on the airport upgrade list, you have volunteer for it as a Plat and Gold? Did they just not purchase certificates to confirm the upgrade? Last minute C space even was available too.
SFO-JFK is not as elite heavy a route as LAX-JFK. Upgrades are possible.
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Old Feb 7, 19, 10:38 am
  #277  
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Programs: AA EXP, UA Silver
Posts: 199
Originally Posted by Zacnlinc View Post
Interesting situation on my flight with regards to the upgrade list.

First flight out SFO-JFK. Noticed that there were only three people on the Upgrade list and two seats vacant. However, no one cleared and those two seats went out empty.

So, to be placed on the airport upgrade list, you have volunteer for it as a Plat and Gold? Did they just not purchase certificates to confirm the upgrade? Last minute C space even was available too.
Interesting. In my 30+ JFK-SFO flights over the last 3 years (purchased ~5F 2Y 23J), I don't think I've ever seen J go out with an empty seat (incl. SFO-JFK Saturday night redeye). I've seen upgrade lists as low as 2-3 people, over 30+ people, but most normally around ~10-14.
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Old Feb 7, 19, 10:51 am
  #278  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: KHOU + KSFO
Programs: AA EXP | Marriott Bonvoy Ambassador | Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 5,080
Cleared SFO-JFK at T100 for Monday.
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Old Feb 8, 19, 1:40 pm
  #279  
PHL
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: PHL, NYC
Programs: AA PLT, DL SLV, UA SLV, MR LTT, HH DIA
Posts: 8,447
Originally Posted by uxb View Post
You can always pay the fare difference to get into the higher fare bucket, but confirm availability on EF before booking. YMMV.
Upfaring my deep discounted coach would be another $150. I did set an alert for C inventory opening up to use a BXP1, but EF now shows J4 F7, so unless some J's move up to F (currently no assigned seats), I'm pretty skeptical that I'll be moving up from 11C.
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Old Feb 8, 19, 4:25 pm
  #280  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: NYC
Programs: DL GM, AAdvantage EXECPLAT, Hyatt Plat, HHonors Diamond, Avis First
Posts: 6,090
Originally Posted by Zacnlinc View Post
Interesting situation on my flight with regards to the upgrade list.

First flight out SFO-JFK. Noticed that there were only three people on the Upgrade list and two seats vacant. However, no one cleared and those two seats went out empty.

So, to be placed on the airport upgrade list, you have volunteer for it as a Plat and Gold? Did they just not purchase certificates to confirm the upgrade? Last minute C space even was available too.
Happened to me as #1 a couple of times and was told it was because there were revenue paid customers standing by thus why they were not on the UPG list.

Last edited by AANYC1981; Feb 8, 19 at 5:13 pm
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Old Feb 8, 19, 4:29 pm
  #281  
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: USA
Programs: AA Plat, DL WFBF, National Emerald Club, Global Entry, CSR, IHG Gold
Posts: 1,403
Originally Posted by PHL View Post
Snagged an ultra cheap $159 one way Main Cabin fare, LAX-JFK (1040pm redeye) on an upcoming Monday in February. So, I can't use a BXP1 because it's booked into one of the few fare buckets that doesn't allow this type of instrument. I'm left to rely on my sticker balance.

Buckets are: F7 (0 out of 10 seats currently assigned), J7 (8 out of 20 assigned).

My hope is some of those J's get rolled up to F, opening up more J space and then I miraculously get moved up with my Plat status. Medium to Long shot, I know. If not, I got 11C and will survive.

Most of my flying is ex-PHL, so I've not had the opportunity to fly on the 321T.
Good luck but you'll need it. Those 8 seats can fill up on short notice. I took the same 10:40 departure on a recent Saturday. Lots of seats a few days out but J0 on the day of. I was #4 on the list as Plat. Nobody cleared, plane was booked solid. Row 11 is the consolation prize.
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Old Feb 8, 19, 10:14 pm
  #282  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: San Francisco
Programs: AA EXP; Marriott BonVoy Titanium Elite, SPG LT Plat
Posts: 1,336
Originally Posted by AANYC1981 View Post


Happened to me as #1 a couple of times and was told it was because there were revenue paid customers standing by thus why they were not on the UPG list.
Interesting.. Guess in my case, the two rev pax didn't board and GA just didn't process UG to keep on time departure.
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Old Feb 9, 19, 5:43 am
  #283  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: NYC
Programs: CO
Posts: 598
Was on the 10am JFK-LAX last Sunday and the aisle seat across from me went out empty in biz despite 15+ people on the upgrade list. Is this just a function of lazy GAs? If so that is ridiculous. None of those seats should go out empty with numerous elites on the list

I'm on the 6:20 departure tonight JFK-LAX and seeing J0. My upgrade hasn't cleared so not very hopeful at this point but if they send out empty biz seats I'll definitely be pissed!
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Old Feb 9, 19, 6:43 am
  #284  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: NYC
Programs: DL GM, AAdvantage EXECPLAT, Hyatt Plat, HHonors Diamond, Avis First
Posts: 6,090
Originally Posted by nikbruno View Post
Was on the 10am JFK-LAX last Sunday and the aisle seat across from me went out empty in biz despite 15+ people on the upgrade list. Is this just a function of lazy GAs? If so that is ridiculous. None of those seats should go out empty with numerous elites on the list

I'm on the 6:20 departure tonight JFK-LAX and seeing J0. My upgrade hasn't cleared so not very hopeful at this point but if they send out empty biz seats I'll definitely be pissed!
I always confirm with the gate agent if things change that they will come get me at least on these flights (LGA-ORD I don’t really care since it’s rather short).

Whether they do or not is another story :/
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Old Feb 9, 19, 9:25 am
  #285  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: NYC
Programs: BA Silver, AA Explat / Airpass
Posts: 523
Flew SFO-JFK this Wednesday (3:35P departure) and there were 26 on the upgrade list and J / F booked full... Thankfully I was in J, but do the SFO or LA from NYC a couple of times a month, and usually see 8-12 people on the gate list. 26 is a big number given how small the Y cabin is...
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