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Has AA eliminated the upgrade window for elites?

Has AA eliminated the upgrade window for elites?

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Old Apr 27, 17, 3:56 am   -   Wikipost
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AA Upgrade Window for AAdvantage Elites

The "upgrade window" is the time during which an upgrade may be granted to statusholders. The "upgrade window" for AAdvantage Elites varies upon elite status held.
In 2017:
  • ConciergeKey - 120 hours

  • Executive Platinum - 100 hours

  • Platinum Pro - 72 hours

  • Platinum - 48 hours

  • Gold - 24 hours

  • Non-elite - no upgrade window
In fact, statusholders may be upgraded days prior to the opening of the upgrade window, even in 2017.

Conversely, higher load factors, Revenue Management predictions and actions, flight route, season, demand, supply and other factors all affect the availability of upgrade seats and when any seats might be made available to upgrade. AA has tightened upgrade availability over the recent years, but planning leading to significantly higher load factors has been undoubtedly been a major factor in upgrade "tightness" to the point even upper tier elites who get upgraded may do so airside at the gate counter.
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Old Jan 18, 17, 3:16 pm
  #1111  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Programs: US CP, HH Diamond, Marriott Silver.
Posts: 325
AA 891 today 1/18/17 (CLT to DFW) showed J7 and C7 for last 3 days according to ExpertFlyer but my ExPlat Comp Upgrade never cleared within the window. Checked with Admirals Club Agent upon check-in today and he confirmed actually 9 seats in J were available. Upgrade finally cleared 1 hour prior to departure.

QUESTION - If C is the new X why didn't upgrades clear when C showed availability over the previous 3 days?
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Old Jan 18, 17, 3:18 pm
  #1112  
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: SNA
Programs: AA EXP, UA 1K (until it expires then never again), *wood Plat, Marriott Gold
Posts: 8,584
Originally Posted by coswellnc View Post

QUESTION - If C is the new X why didn't upgrades clear when C showed availability over the previous 3 days?
I don't think that C is the new X, C is the new A in that its for upgrades using a SWU or miles. R is the new X which is different from C or A. At least thats my understanding.
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Old Jan 18, 17, 3:25 pm
  #1113  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Programs: US CP, HH Diamond, Marriott Silver.
Posts: 325
That would explain it. Thanks!
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Old Jan 19, 17, 6:25 pm
  #1114  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: San Francisco, CA
Programs: AA (EXP/2MM/Admirals Club), AS (MVPG/Boardroom), UA, SPG (Gold), HHonors, Fairmont PC (Plat)
Posts: 2,569
Originally Posted by Score8 View Post
If this policy is going to continue, and I'm guessing there is a business reason for it, I would hope that they could go DL style and tell folks how many unallocated seats remain so we can steel ourselves for the coach ride. It actually matters - particularly on the long hauls - since I will need to stock up on food and water for the journey if I'm living in the back.
Yes, that would be helpful. AS displays cabin size, booked total and checked in total below their upgrade list. No reason to hang around after boarding begins when it's 12 seats, 12 booked, 11 checked in and you are #7.

Originally Posted by ryan182 View Post
I don't think that C is the new X, C is the new A in that its for upgrades using a SWU or miles. R is the new X which is different from C or A. At least thats my understanding.
This is correct. You cannot use EF to display R class, and that is where sticker (500-mile) upgrades will book. If you see C and you have a SWU listed, you should be able to call about it (or you may find your reservation is in process when you try to display it). If you want to use a SWU and see C, then you should be able to call in and confirm it.

From my own experience, changing the front cabin to the J categories is making SWU harder for domestic trips. i was looking in Feb to use up some that will expire and I can't find much C availability the days that I can travel. I could often find lots of A availability that would work.
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Old Jan 19, 17, 8:05 pm
  #1115  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: ORD
Programs: Once a somebody now a nobody
Posts: 261
Flew MCO-ORD on Tuesday and only 2 seat taken on the seat map. At T-2 was talking to the customer service desk agent and indeed confirmed only 2 seats taken. I was #3 out of 10 on the list and we all cleared 15 minutes til boarding. 4 seats left empty. I wasn't really sweating that one but still a bit annoying as being able to chose the meal is really nice. Of course the newest rotation of meals is pretty bad so maybe not getting the upgrade would have been better
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Old Jan 19, 17, 9:15 pm
  #1116  
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Irving, TX
Programs: AA EXP, National Executive Elite, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 15,829
Originally Posted by coswellnc View Post
AA 891 today 1/18/17 (CLT to DFW) showed J7 and C7 for last 3 days according to ExpertFlyer but my ExPlat Comp Upgrade never cleared within the window. Checked with Admirals Club Agent upon check-in today and he confirmed actually 9 seats in J were available. Upgrade finally cleared 1 hour prior to departure.

QUESTION - If C is the new X why didn't upgrades clear when C showed availability over the previous 3 days?
Was upgraded at boarding today on 695 phl-phx. I was number 2 on the list and got the last seat in F. I overheard others near me in line saying "I'm exp and I'm 8 on the list" and so on. Why me? Lucky?
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Old Jan 19, 17, 11:46 pm
  #1117  
869
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: DFW
Programs: AA EXP
Posts: 1,582
DTW-DFW yesterday was J7 and C7 for two days but they didn't clear anyone off upgrade list until T-30.
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Old Jan 20, 17, 2:13 am
  #1118  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Everywhere you wanna be
Programs: AA EP | UA 1K
Posts: 1,653
Originally Posted by 869 View Post
DTW-DFW yesterday was J7 and C7 for two days but they didn't clear anyone off upgrade list until T-30.
DFW-SFO did not clear until the gate but it was J2 for the last 1-2 months so fair enough.

MSY-DFW on the other hand was J7 for as long as i can remember and that didn't clear until T-2 hours.
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Old Jan 20, 17, 5:11 am
  #1119  
Moderator: American AAdvantage, Travel Safety/Security & Texas
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: AUS / GRK
Programs: AA EXP, HHonors Gold, Hertz 5*
Posts: 10,434
Originally Posted by enviroian View Post
Was upgraded at boarding today on 695 phl-phx. I was number 2 on the list and got the last seat in F. I overheard others near me in line saying "I'm exp and I'm 8 on the list" and so on. Why me? Lucky?
Isn't the tiebreaker after status when you request the upgrade/buy the ticket?
I'd say that you requested your upgrade/bought your ticket before the others.
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Old Jan 20, 17, 2:26 pm
  #1120  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Programs: AAdv Exec Platinum, SPG Gold
Posts: 13
ORD-DFW on a late Tuesday afternoon - no weather issues at any airport. 15 upgrades were cleared at the gate just before boarding (on a super 80). It's just plain ridiculous..
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Old Jan 20, 17, 3:25 pm
  #1121  
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Chicago
Programs: AA- EXP UA - Silver SPG- PLT Marriott- PLT
Posts: 545
Originally Posted by coswellnc View Post
AA 891 today 1/18/17 (CLT to DFW) showed J7 and C7 for last 3 days according to ExpertFlyer but my ExPlat Comp Upgrade never cleared within the window. Checked with Admirals Club Agent upon check-in today and he confirmed actually 9 seats in J were available. Upgrade finally cleared 1 hour prior to departure.

QUESTION - If C is the new X why didn't upgrades clear when C showed availability over the previous 3 days?
Waiting on ORD>LAS tomorrow, J7, only 3 seats occupied, booked in September, not yet cleared. This is beyond ridiculous.
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Old Jan 20, 17, 4:08 pm
  #1122  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: LAX, LGB, SNA
Programs: AA EXP OWE, DL DM ST+, AS MVPG, UA, BA, WN CP, Hyatt E, Ritz Plat, HH GM
Posts: 3,173
MIA-LAX AA1147 949p, cleared T-36 hours. At F5 after my upgrade. Comp ups are still available, just really slow.
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Old Jan 21, 17, 2:07 am
  #1123  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: ORD + HKG
Programs: CX Diamond, AA ExPlat, BAEC Gold, HH Diamond, Hyatt Explorist, Starriott Gold, GE
Posts: 2,536
Although the window shrinkage is quite annoying I'm still on a 100% score so far into the year (booking within a week or more so). Today JFK-ORD finally for first time I cleared before airport, at T-5.5. Other ORD-LGA-ORD runs were all at gate.

For those that share the anxiety of them having called boarding already before processing upgrades, each time now I go ahead a bit in advance and inform the GA of my position and ask if I should wait it out. For some of the flights it turns out that they already sorted the upgrades, so perhaps it'll be helpful to be just a bit assertive
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Old Jan 21, 17, 7:16 am
  #1124  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Programs: aa
Posts: 3
I agree the 100 hour upgrade window is a thing of the past. Last year flying the same route would get upgraded 100 hr. I noticed last August, when they made changes to the advantage awards. I noticed, same route, upgrade went to 24 hours then down to 5 hours and every flight I'm on now, upgrades now are done at the gate. They don't care about loyalty just revenue now. Holding F until the last minute to sell and those that have bought, choice of seat. Time to move on, free agent, loyalty is a two way street. Haven't missed an upgrade yet but sitting at the gate waiting to be called or board and have them pull you up from coach, sux, time to explore other airlines.
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Old Jan 22, 17, 7:28 am
  #1125  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: LGA, JFK, LAX, SFO
Programs: AA EXP
Posts: 290
Complimentary upgrade Y to J for Monday, 1/23 AA#83 JFK-LAX at T-48. Almost fell over.

Last edited by brc757rr; Jan 22, 17 at 10:46 am
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