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Best use of spare / extra System Wide Upgrades SWU (consolidated)

Best use of spare / extra System Wide Upgrades SWU (consolidated)

Old Sep 23, 16, 10:54 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 13
Best use of spare / extra System Wide Upgrades SWU (consolidated)

Hi I have 8 system wide upgrade from AA expiring in February. Would love to use them for thanksgiving and Christmas/ new year travel. Based out of RDU. Where should I go?!

Since flights cannot be booked with miles, prefer cheap cash flights but to places that are farther out (so the upgrade would be worthwhile) for a longer trip.

Thanks!
cltphd is offline  
Old Sep 24, 16, 12:06 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: SEA
Programs: AA EXP (2.5MM), Hilton Gold, Marriott Titanium
Posts: 4,824
What options have you found from your looking in to it? Have you looked at EF for what flights have C space and then cross referenced with AA.com or google flights to see pricing? You're likely going to have to do a bit of legwork.

Also realize that C space may be very hard to find pre-expiration so you may have to find a flight that you think has good odds of the upgrade and go with that.

I'd recommend looking at flights to PVG & PEK on the 787s. I think you'll have more difficulty finding C on Europe flights. Or maybe look to South America.

Heard that the LAX-SYD clears pretty easy but only within 2 days of flights. You'd have a risk of not clearing there.
mikelat is offline  
Old Sep 24, 16, 2:14 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Programs: AA EXP (owe), BA Silver (ows), AB Silver (owr), WN A+/CP, IHG Spire AMB, Avis First
Posts: 1,314
Originally Posted by cltphd View Post
Hi I have 8 system wide upgrade from AA expiring in February. Would love to use them for thanksgiving and Christmas/ new year travel. Based out of RDU. Where should I go?!

Since flights cannot be booked with miles, prefer cheap cash flights but to places that are farther out (so the upgrade would be worthwhile) for a longer trip.

Thanks!
If you don't want to leave the country, you could visit the west coast, RDU-JFK-LAX/SFO. C availability usually week of.

Otherwise, if you want to do Europe, outside of LHR you might have a decent chance of an SWU clearing. Something like DFW/JFK-CDG/BCN/MAD/MXP/LIS etc.

Asia is also really not that bad, see LAX-HKG or even DFW-HKG if you leave during the week, sometimes C availability can be had. PVG/PEK can often have a lot of C availability too.

SYD/AKL was pretty easy last I flew, but it seems like it might be a bit harder now.
no2chem is offline  
Old Nov 1, 16, 8:10 pm
  #4  
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Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 13
6 SWU expiring Feb 2017 - best use for them?

Hi I have 6 SWUs expiring in Feburary 2017.

What should I do with them? I live out of RDU so do not have a ton of options...

Many thanks.
cltphd is offline  
Old Nov 1, 16, 8:12 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: SFO
Programs: AA EXP
Posts: 5,271
Originally Posted by cltphd View Post
Hi I have 6 SWUs expiring in Feburary 2017.

What should I do with them? I live out of RDU so do not have a ton of options...
Use them for domestic flights, give them away to friends/family/coworkers/random folks at the gate, or let them expire. Not much else is allowed by the AAdvantage T&C.
rjw242 is offline  
Old Nov 1, 16, 8:14 pm
  #6  
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Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 13
Any flights you recommend? I can take 2 weeks off for Xmas and another 2 weeks off January but unclear where to go
cltphd is offline  
Old Nov 1, 16, 8:19 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: South Park, Metropolis
Programs: AA LT PLT 3MM, Hilton/Marriott/SPG/Club Carlson GLD, IHG PLT
Posts: 4,287
Just look for flights that have instant SWU availability and go.
arollins is offline  
Old Nov 1, 16, 8:21 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: TPA
Programs: Hilton Gold; Marriott Gold; IHG Gold
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Originally Posted by cltphd View Post
Hi I have 6 SWUs expiring in Feburary 2017.

What should I do with them? I live out of RDU so do not have a ton of options...

Many thanks.
There was a thread for people who wished to gift them to needy fellow-FT'ers. It was opened in Jan and closed Mar 1. I would guess that a new one will be opened in a few weeks.

As noted, they do have to be gifted rather than sold or bartered.
SpammersAreScum is offline  
Old Nov 1, 16, 8:33 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Programs: AA EXP, Hyatt
Posts: 140
Take a flight to Hong Kong with AA 192/193. You get to sit on the best airplane in the AA fleet and also use a fantastic first class lounge. It's an easy SWU upgrade so far but double check on your specific dates.
I'm somewhat in the same position as you. It's hard to find friends who want to travel far internationally but ask around enough, and you'll find one or two.

Otherwise, plenty of people on this board would gladly take one.
madguy2 is offline  
Old Nov 1, 16, 8:33 pm
  #10  
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Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 13
Originally Posted by arollins View Post
Just look for flights that have instant SWU availability and go.
Is there an easy way to find flights out of RDU that have instant SWU Dec 24th with return on Jan 1st? Instead of trying and checking each destination one by one?

Thanks
cltphd is offline  
Old Nov 1, 16, 8:36 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Oakland
Programs: AA Explat, UA former 1K + PremExec, DL
Posts: 1,145
Originally Posted by madguy2 View Post
Take a flight to Hong Kong with AA 192/193. You get to sit on the best airplane in the AA fleet and also use a fantastic first class lounge. It's an easy SWU upgrade so far but double check on your specific dates.
I'm somewhat in the same position as you. It's hard to find friends who want to travel far internationally but ask around enough, and you'll find one or two.

Otherwise, plenty of people on this board would gladly take one.
Agree, try to use them. HKG is cool, you could also try the LAX-SYD flight or LAX-AKL. All would be great uses of SWU. DFW-LHR maybe if you're willing to backtrack.

To clarify- you'd just book the flights in economy and request SWU after- waitlisting required.
fanger is offline  
Old Nov 2, 16, 7:01 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Roswell, GA
Programs: AA EXP 2.8m,Lifetime PLT, Hilton Diamond, IHG PlLT, SPG Gold
Posts: 2,781
If you have time over the holidays, trying flying out Christmas day, take the wife/girlfriend/kids overseas, I have found in the past that flying Christmas day, SWU for me cleared quite easily, but than again, that was 2 years ago. I also would check hotel rates for where you can go.
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Old Nov 2, 16, 7:52 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: BNA
Programs: AA EXP, SPG Platinum, HH Diamond, UA Silver, Marriot Plat
Posts: 764
LAX-SYD or LAX-AKL
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Old Nov 2, 16, 1:39 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: NYC
Programs: AA EXP, AS 75K, Marriott Titanium, Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 1,759
Personally, I would suggest against SYD/AKL, since op would be traveling during the peak season, and may be tougher to clear than many of the other routes. Certainly check for your specific flights/dates before you book!
jona970318 is offline  
Old Nov 17, 16, 8:32 pm
  #15  
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Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 13
I am planning to fly out Dec 24th and back Jan 1st or 2nd.

Can fly out from RDU, or New York, DC.

Any recommendations for American flights that can be upgraded with SWU at a good price?

Thanks
cltphd is offline  

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