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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 Jul 27, 19, 9:34 am
  #436  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: NYC,SFO
Programs: AY+ Plat, AA Plat, SPG/Marriott Plat Premier, Hyatt Explorist
Posts: 2,747
Yep, you can’t use stickers (500-mile upgrades) to upgrade from J to F—you can only use them for Y to J. You can use an SWU, miles+copay, or BusinessExtra (BXP1) certifícate to upgrade to F.
flyingeph12 is offline  
Old Jul 27, 19, 1:43 pm
  #437  
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
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Originally Posted by flyingeph12 View Post
Yep, you can’t use stickers (500-mile upgrades) to upgrade from J to F—you can only use them for Y to J. You can use an SWU, miles+copay, or BusinessExtra (BXP1) certifícate to upgrade to F.
Got it! Thanks.
mh3265a is offline  
Old Jul 29, 19, 1:47 am
  #438  
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 129
Just as a datapoint: was offered and took a paid upgrade from J-F on my JFK -SFO flight. Fee was $262.
I booked a cheap AMS-SFO return Premium fare (gone) as published on this board so I had a little bit left in my travel budget
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Old Jul 29, 19, 3:51 pm
  #439  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: SNA
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Wife (Gold) got upgraded 24h in advance flying LAX-JFK on a Saturday night redeye via 500 mile upgrades. She booked a few days before and I just basically checked the loads on ExpertFlyer to see which flight had the most availability in premium cabins. I don't think AA sold a single seat in F prior to the upgrade window, and it was still J7.
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Old Aug 5, 19, 11:13 pm
  #440  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: LA / NYC
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Posts: 66
Hi all! Wanted to ask a strategy question. I am AA plat and flying LAX-JFK in economy on an 11pm redeye going out on 8/15. Right now, expertflyer is showing J7 but no inventory for upgrades. Should I just monitor to see how the inventory looks as I get closer to the flight date and then pull the trigger on a 15k + copay upgrade if it doesn't look too promising for a 500-mile upgrade? Or, should I put in the upgrade request now? thanks!
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Old Aug 6, 19, 11:15 am
  #441  
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
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Put in the upgrade request now, but continue to monitor (and set up an expert flyer alert) because the waiting list isn’t processed the moment upgrade room opens up.
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Old Aug 31, 19, 4:58 am
  #442  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: San Francisco
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Just happened to be awake (insomnia at times) when my 100-hr upgrade email arrived (SFO-JFK). Now, if I'm hoping to be lucky to get the same treatment on my return. Not counting on it since is Friday 5:30. But one never knows.

I'm figuring that some connecting passengers from abroad is gonna snag it. Several seats (10) are open according to the seat map. I tend to hover between #1-5 on the upgrade list lately. There's hope!!
Zacnlinc is offline  
Old Aug 31, 19, 3:45 pm
  #443  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 98
Hrm since I'm paranoid. I was able to book an upgradable seat in economy and use the bxp1 upgrade pass on my flight. I was able to pick my business class seat on the app, but as I read the top part of the wiki I saw that elites and SWU/Miles/Copay are higher priority.

Assuming there's no weird airplane change, am I guaranteed that seat? or would I be bumped down if there are enough people above me?

Also does the boarding pass show that I'm in business (assuming all goes well) and I'd be able to access the flagship lounge if flying out of JFK?
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Old Sep 2, 19, 8:54 pm
  #444  
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Programs: Alaska Gold 75K, AA EXP, United 1K
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Originally Posted by buggy51 View Post
Hrm since I'm paranoid. I was able to book an upgradable seat in economy and use the bxp1 upgrade pass on my flight. I was able to pick my business class seat on the app, but as I read the top part of the wiki I saw that elites and SWU/Miles/Copay are higher priority.

Assuming there's no weird airplane change, am I guaranteed that seat? or would I be bumped down if there are enough people above me?

Also does the boarding pass show that I'm in business (assuming all goes well) and I'd be able to access the flagship lounge if flying out of JFK?
If you are already confirmed for the upgrade and reticketed in C class you are fine. The priority for the upgrade list only applies to those still waitlisted for an upgrade. And yes, Biz gets you access to the flagship lounge. Enjoy the flight!
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Old Sep 4, 19, 7:30 am
  #445  
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
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I've been reasonably successful lately on upgrading J-->F on LAX/SFO to JFK runs with the 15k miles plus co-pay. Since July 1, 6 for 8.
george 3 is offline  
Old Sep 4, 19, 9:07 am
  #446  
 
Join Date: May 2013
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J to F is one of the easiest upgrades around
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AANYC1981 is online now  
Old Sep 4, 19, 7:07 pm
  #447  
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
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Originally Posted by AANYC1981 View Post
J to F is one of the easiest upgrades around
And not anything worth writing home about. I was rolled up to F on all 22 LAX<->BOS trips I took while the 321T was flying the route. I suppose it’s a bit more private, but it’s absolutely not worth the price premium for a slightly wider seat and $9 instead of $7 worth of food. Probably why nobody paid for it in the first place.
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Old Sep 4, 19, 7:41 pm
  #448  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
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Originally Posted by AA2070 View Post

And not anything worth writing home about. I was rolled up to F on all 22 LAX<->BOS trips I took while the 321T was flying the route. I suppose it’s a bit more private, but it’s absolutely not worth the price premium for a slightly wider seat and $9 instead of $7 worth of food. Probably why nobody paid for it in the first place.
But F does give you access to Flagship First Dining, which is a definite step up in terms of the ground experience.
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flyingeph12 is offline  
Old Sep 7, 19, 2:30 pm
  #449  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
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Originally Posted by AA2070 View Post

And not anything worth writing home about. I was rolled up to F on all 22 LAX<->BOS trips I took while the 321T was flying the route. I suppose it’s a bit more private, but it’s absolutely not worth the price premium for a slightly wider seat and $9 instead of $7 worth of food. Probably why nobody paid for it in the first place.

yea.. I was recently looking at a J---> F upgrade on the SFO<->JFK flights but just cannot see the justification for doing so even they seem to be always offering the option to upgrade with SWUs.

Just returned to SFO from JFK last night at I was surprised that, as #2 on the UG list, and the cabin was said to be sold out, the GA came onboard right when the announcement came that doors are closed to give me my upgraded seat assignment. #1 got their new seat assignment right before boarding started.

No complaints... Y still had seats available as did F. Was awkward as two FA and the GA approached me to assist with getting my carry on moved from Y to J and seated ASAP.
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Old Sep 16, 19, 7:15 pm
  #450  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Programs: EI Concierge, AA EXP
Posts: 47
The elusive double upgrade just happened to me. Confirmed into J on a complimentary exp upgrade at T-24, then op-upped to F at the boarding gate due to an overwhelming number of standbys for paid J switching to my earlier flight due to runway construction at SFO. Whee!

Can't count upon this lasting forever, but a small consolation for a 4+ hour flight delay...
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