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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Posts from 2014 through 2016 have been archived, and may be read here.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 9, 19, 10:05 am
  #286  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: San Francisco
Programs: AA EXP; Marriott BonVoy Titanium Elite, SPG LT Plat
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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!
Maybe our paths will cross at JFK today if miraculously you get into J and are at FL. I see that your flight now has J1 D1 I0 with three unassigned seats . Good Luck...

Wish there was an earlier flight to SFO today myself. But the 9:05 it is and will have to be.
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Old Feb 9, 19, 2:29 pm
  #287  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
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Originally Posted by Zacnlinc View Post
Maybe our paths will cross at JFK today if miraculously you get into J and are at FL. I see that your flight now has J1 D1 I0 with three unassigned seats . Good Luck...

Wish there was an earlier flight to SFO today myself. But the 9:05 it is and will have to be.
Will def need a miracle! Just hanging at 34
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Old Feb 9, 19, 3:30 pm
  #288  
 
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Originally Posted by nikbruno View Post


Will def need a miracle! Just hanging at 34
Just arrive at FL. Wish there was a way to guest you in while you wait.

Will be heading that way in a a few hours. Gate gate for me just happened. Over to 40 rather than 8.
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Old Feb 9, 19, 3:32 pm
  #289  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
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Just checked the upgrade list for my flight and there’s no one on the list. Wow!!

There are four available seats according to seat map. EF still has Seats in J for sales too. No wonder AA doesn’t have the 2 additional nonstops to SFO today. Just three flights today.
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Old Feb 9, 19, 3:47 pm
  #290  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: NYC
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Wish I was on your flight!
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Old Feb 9, 19, 10:00 pm
  #291  
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Programs: Alaska Gold 75K, AA EXP, United 1K
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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.
was F full? While unlikely, it is possible those were people waiting for J->F upgrades.
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Old Feb 10, 19, 10:47 am
  #292  
 
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Originally Posted by lightbulbs View Post

was F full? While unlikely, it is possible those were people waiting for J->F upgrades.

F only had 5 pax.
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Old Feb 10, 19, 10:48 am
  #293  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
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Originally Posted by Zacnlinc View Post
Just checked the upgrade list for my flight and there’s no one on the list. Wow!!

There are four available seats according to seat map. EF still has Seats in J for sales too. No wonder AA doesn’t have the 2 additional nonstops to SFO today. Just three flights today.

Those four seats in J remained empty and F only have 2 pax. Y was almost completely full though.
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Old Feb 10, 19, 12:03 pm
  #294  
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Originally Posted by PHL View Post
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.
At $150... I would say it's not worth it, but that's just me.
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Old Feb 13, 19, 7:28 pm
  #295  
 
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Originally Posted by lightbulbs View Post

was F full? While unlikely, it is possible those were people waiting for J->F upgrades.
Just recalling that there was the opportunity to use SWU for J-F option still within T-100 of boarding..
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Old Feb 14, 19, 8:33 am
  #296  
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
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Originally Posted by Zacnlinc View Post
Just recalling that there was the opportunity to use SWU for J-F option still within T-100 of boarding..
I don't remember the last time I took this route where J-F was not available up until boarding...
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Old Feb 15, 19, 10:26 am
  #297  
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
Posts: 2
Upgrade when business class full / first class empty (JFK-SFO)

Transcon flight JFK - SFO (A321), about 7 days out. I'm Exec Plat on waitlist to upgrade with miles from econ to business.

Business class is filling up quickly but not a single First Class seat is occupied (10 seats empty).

If biz class does end up full before my upgrade clears, does AA bump up biz class passengers to First to accommodate EP upgrade with miles request?

Seems lose/lose for them/me to fly First empty when there's a revenue-generating (co-pay) EP upgrade on the biz class waitlist.

Any tips/insights appreciated.
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Old Feb 15, 19, 10:41 am
  #298  
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Unless Y and J are both oversold close to departure, I wouldn't expect this to happen. While the F cabin may not be filled with revenue passengers, it certainly won't go out empty.
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Old Feb 15, 19, 10:44 am
  #299  
 
Join Date: May 2004
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Originally Posted by flexluthor View Post
Transcon flight JFK - SFO (A321), about 7 days out. I'm Exec Plat on waitlist to upgrade with miles from econ to business.

Business class is filling up quickly but not a single First Class seat is occupied (10 seats empty).

If biz class does end up full before my upgrade clears, does AA bump up biz class passengers to First to accommodate EP upgrade with miles request?

Seems lose/lose for them/me to fly First empty when there's a revenue-generating (co-pay) EP upgrade on the biz class waitlist.

Any tips/insights appreciated.
They do not op-up to F from C unless C is oversold and they need to for operational reasons. If Y is oversold, they will upgrade Y to C and then C to F. They definitely will not do it to accommodate the upgrade list.

F will fill up with full mileage redemptions, full fare (most likely corporate contract) F, and non-revs.
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Old Feb 15, 19, 10:51 am
  #300  
 
Join Date: Feb 2019
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Thanks SDLFlyer. That's what I figured.

Still seems weird to me that they'll fly F cabin empty when there's revenue-generating options but c'est la vie!
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