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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Posts from 2014 through 2016 have been archived, and may be read here.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 14, 19, 6:35 pm
  #361  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Los Angeles
Programs: BAEC Gold
Posts: 342
Is it normal that they charged $75 processing fee on top of $175 and 15k miles?
hyperspace is offline  
Old Mar 14, 19, 6:45 pm
  #362  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: NYC,SFO
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Posts: 2,747
Originally Posted by hyperspace View Post
Is it normal that they charged $75 processing fee on top of $175 and 15k miles?
Yes, if you have no status and you requested the upgrade within 21 days of your flight.
flyingeph12 is offline  
Old Mar 14, 19, 6:47 pm
  #363  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: NYC,SFO
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Posts: 2,747
Originally Posted by hyperspace View Post

thought I got lucky! I think they were having a sale last fall when I got purchase it.


thanks to some suggestion up-thread...I gave in.
I purchased miles (with current bonus 11k plus 4k free at $386) and with $175 in cash I secured the upgrade.
gotta say, the phone experience was pretty bumpy but after 40 min or so they were able to sort through the ticket and confirm the upgrade
Let us know if you find the upgrade was worth it!
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Old Mar 14, 19, 6:50 pm
  #364  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Los Angeles
Programs: BAEC Gold
Posts: 342
Originally Posted by flyingeph12 View Post


Yes, if you have no status and you requested the upgrade within 21 days of your flight.
gotcha, bummer, but at least I got 4k miles for the price of 11k
hyperspace is offline  
Old Mar 14, 19, 6:54 pm
  #365  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Los Angeles
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Originally Posted by flyingeph12 View Post


Let us know if you find the upgrade was worth it!
I rarely think an upgrade is NOT worth it hehehe

Financially, not it doesn’t make any sense, just as much as any other luxurious item one might splurge once in a while.
But I flew this route in F before and I think it’s one of the best, the cabin feels so private and exclusive.
hyperspace is offline  
Old Mar 14, 19, 8:32 pm
  #366  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: DCA
Programs: AA EXP, UA Silver, Hyatt Diamond, M/SPG Plat Prem, National Exec Elite, mlife platinum
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Originally Posted by hyperspace View Post


I rarely think an upgrade is NOT worth it hehehe

Financially, not it doesn’t make any sense, just as much as any other luxurious item one might splurge once in a while.
But I flew this route in F before and I think it’s one of the best, the cabin feels so private and exclusive.
Just make sure you get to LAX in time to drink a bottle of Krug (if that's your thing) and enjoy the dining. The bordeaux is nice too. Then sleep on the flight and enjoy a leisurely breakfast in JFK with a view of the skyline across the way.

btw $559 is the "normal" "sale" price for Saturday-only business class on this route -- see here, for example: https://www.google.com/flights/#flt=...;sd:1;t:f;tt:o

But you have to book way in advance. Same with the $659 weekday fares, they're available but only very sporadically. Getting those and upgrading to F is the best deal running. (Apart from positioning to Kathmandu etc.)
platbrownguy is offline  
Old Mar 14, 19, 8:55 pm
  #367  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Los Angeles
Programs: BAEC Gold
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Originally Posted by platbrownguy View Post
Just make sure you get to LAX in time to drink a bottle of Krug (if that's your thing) and enjoy the dining. The bordeaux is nice too. Then sleep on the flight and enjoy a leisurely breakfast in JFK with a view of the skyline across the way.

btw $559 is the "normal" "sale" price for Saturday-only business class on this route -- see here, for example: https://www.google.com/flights/#flt=...;sd:1;t:f;tt:o

But you have to book way in advance. Same with the $659 weekday fares, they're available but only very sporadically. Getting those and upgrading to F is the best deal running. (Apart from positioning to Kathmandu etc.)

thank you for the tips!
hyperspace is offline  
Old Apr 4, 19, 1:04 pm
  #368  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: Mansfield, QLD (BNE)
Programs: UA*1K & UA Club, Hilton D, Mariott/SPG Plat Elite, National Ex. Elite, Hertz Plat, Amex Plat
Posts: 1,572
It looks like I may have to buy a J class ticket to earn enough EQMs to qualify for a promotion I signed up for... with that in mind, how difficult is upgrading from a full fare (J class, in this case) to a first class seat? I can't really figure out anything on the AA website.

I'm an AA Platinum with plenty of upgrade stickers and nothing else (no SWUs, etc.)
Joshua is offline  
Old Apr 4, 19, 1:34 pm
  #369  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: DCA
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Originally Posted by Joshua View Post
It looks like I may have to buy a J class ticket to earn enough EQMs to qualify for a promotion I signed up for... with that in mind, how difficult is upgrading from a full fare (J class, in this case) to a first class seat? I can't really figure out anything on the AA website.

I'm an AA Platinum with plenty of upgrade stickers and nothing else (no SWUs, etc.)
Stickers don't work for business-to-first upgrades. You can upgrade for 15,000 miles as long as there's "A" availability (there is very good availability, typically the great majority of unsold seats in F are available as A). You can buy those miles if you need to. https://www.aa.com/i18n/aadvantage-p...with-miles.jsp
platbrownguy is offline  
Old Apr 16, 19, 5:17 pm
  #370  
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: LAX/ONT
Programs: AS MVPG AA BA DL MU Silver Hilton Plat. IHG Plat. Marriott
Posts: 30
Not sure where to put this, I'm lucky enough to score 2 seats on JFK-LAX transcon in the saver miles, but it's a little early in the day 7 am, anyone know will/when/how AA open up same day award seat availability for same day change? Is it the same availability for upgrade inventory? I want to move it a little bit later in the day.
simonsuo is offline  
Old Apr 16, 19, 10:28 pm
  #371  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: NYC,SFO
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Originally Posted by simonsuo View Post
Not sure where to put this, I'm lucky enough to score 2 seats on JFK-LAX transcon in the saver miles, but it's a little early in the day 7 am, anyone know will/when/how AA open up same day award seat availability for same day change? Is it the same availability for upgrade inventory? I want to move it a little bit later in the day.
Saver awards come out of a separate inventory, so not the same as upgrade inventory. There can be upgrade availability but not saver award availability (and vice versa). I would check back and monitor within a week of departure, but I would consider myself lucky to score two U seats on any JFK-LAX flight.
flyingeph12 is offline  
Old Apr 22, 19, 2:00 pm
  #372  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: LAX
Programs: AA Platinum Pro, SPG Gold
Posts: 56
Anyone have any thoughts on what might be going on with J inventory for the LAX-JFK flights on 5/7? Most flights are J1/J0, but have a reasonable number of seats showing open on the seatmap. Any reason they might be holding back inventory on that day? I'm booked in Y on AA32, which is J7, and am hoping some C space might open up.
jcain is offline  
Old Apr 23, 19, 4:43 pm
  #373  
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: LAX & JFK
Programs: AA Plat Pro
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Originally Posted by jcain View Post
Anyone have any thoughts on what might be going on with J inventory for the LAX-JFK flights on 5/7? Most flights are J1/J0, but have a reasonable number of seats showing open on the seatmap. Any reason they might be holding back inventory on that day? I'm booked in Y on AA32, which is J7, and am hoping some C space might open up.
I'm looking at JFK - LAX on 5/6, the 9:30 flight is showing J7 but seat map only has 2 open. Trying to figure out whats goin on in the reverse,
DuncanCrowdSync is offline  
Old Apr 25, 19, 12:10 pm
  #374  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: LAX
Programs: AA Platinum Pro, SPG Gold
Posts: 56
Originally Posted by jcain View Post
Anyone have any thoughts on what might be going on with J inventory for the LAX-JFK flights on 5/7? Most flights are J1/J0, but have a reasonable number of seats showing open on the seatmap. Any reason they might be holding back inventory on that day? I'm booked in Y on AA32, which is J7, and am hoping some C space might open up.
Looks like inventory is back for 5/7. Most flights J7 except the morning ones.
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Old Apr 26, 19, 6:49 pm
  #375  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Programs: EI Concierge, AA EXP
Posts: 47
Economy was oversold on today's AA166 so they rolled the cabins forward. Spouse and I were traveling together, but only one of us got the nod (4 people in total got upgraded, we were 4/5 on the list). Hopefully being honest about which one of us wanted the seat won't cause me to have 500-mile-upgrades deducted (since I would have gotten it complimentary); if not, I might try to complain half-heartedly...
lizthegrey is offline  

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