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Upgrade Priority: Status, Upgrade Type, Rolling 12 Month EQD Spend

Old May 16, 2017, 12:53 pm
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: Prospero
As of May 20, 2017 upgrade prioritization is:
  1. Elite status
    1. Concierge Key
    2. Executive Platinum
    3. Platinum Pro
    4. Platinum
    5. Gold
  2. Upgrade type
    1. Miles and copay award upgrades and systemwide upgrades, Business Extra? (SWU)
    2. 500 mile upgrades on purchased tickets (including EXP complimentary UDU)
    3. 500 mile upgrades on upgrade eligible awards (including EXP complimentary UDU)
    4. BXP Business Extra upgrades

Elite qualifying dollars* in the past 12 months
  • Booking class (in order, J, D, I, W, P, Y, H, K, M, L, V, G, S, N, Q, O, T)
    Time of request


  • *Your 12-month Rolling EQD value is different from your Year-to-Date (YTD) EQDs, which is used to track your progress toward elite status. It includes your EQD earned from reaching qualifying spend thresholds on eligible AAdvantageŽ AviatorTM MasterCardŽ cards.

    Link to EQD earning Help Desk thread on FlyerTalk.

    No- or lower status companion and effect on upgrade position

    WAIT LIST, SAME PNR: Prior to upgrade request going to airport list
    • SWU, Miles & Copay, Business Extra: lower status passenger "borrows" higher status. (BX is unsure, stated as least of priorities, likely to up D-24 only)
      • 500 mile / UDU: lower status passenger "borrows" higher status
        • Award travel: lower status passenger "borrows" higher status



    WAIT LIST, SEPARATE PNR: Prior to upgrade request going to airport list
    • SWU, Miles & Copay: lower status passenger DOES NOT "borrow" higher status under any circumstance
      • 500 mile / UDU: lower status passenger "borrows" higher status IF PNRs "linked"
        • Business Extra upgrade instruments
          • Award travel: lower status passenger "borrows" higher status IF PNRs "linked"




    AIRPORT LIST, SAME PNR:
    • SWU, Miles & Copay: lower status passenger "borrows" higher status. (BX is unsure, but is least of priorities, likely to up D-24 only)
      • 500 mile / UDU: lower status passenger "borrows" higher status
        • Business Extra upgrade instruments
          • Award travel: lower status passenger "borrows" higher status



    AIRPORT LIST, SEPARATE PNR:
    • SWU, Miles & Copay: lower status passenger DOES NOT "borrow" higher status under any circumstance
      • 500 mile / UDU: lower status passenger "borrows" higher status IF PNRs "linked"
        • Business Extra upgrade instruments
          • Award travel: lower status passenger "borrows" higher status IF PNRs "linked"



    NOTES:
    1. Traveling companion 500 mile upgrades (even for those pax using UDU) "stickers" must pull from higher status passenger's account.
      • Lower status passenger previously "borrowing" higher status may require human processing at the airport to re-establish "borrowed status" linkage


    (Companion information thanks to DW)
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Upgrade Priority: Status, Upgrade Type, Rolling 12 Month EQD Spend

Old May 16, 2017, 2:28 pm
  #46  
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Join Date: May 2004
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Originally Posted by platbrownguy
And wouldn't it have been more fun if instead of two more tie breakers, they had gone with "coin flip," "rock-paper-scissors contest," or perhaps "penalty kicks," so as to maintain the battleground feeling of gate-area upgrades?

Pity.
Or the musical chairs tie breaker.
All of the upgraders race to the empty FC seats.................. In case of a tie, the airport police can decide who has to leave the cabin.
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Old May 16, 2017, 2:54 pm
  #47  
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
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Originally Posted by PHLGovFlyer
Anyone want to speculate about whether it's based on your 12 month EQD tally at time of purchase, or on EQDs flown at the time of the upgrade becoming available/clearing?

Your rolling EQD tally over the past 12 months can go up or down on a day to day basis.
Your account EQD only shows for flown flights once posted. You could still have flown a flight and it is not yet posted and that won't count.

Obviously, people might go out and buy expensive, refundable tickets to up EQD if based on purchase.
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Old May 16, 2017, 2:56 pm
  #48  
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
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Programs: AA Exp Plat / Marriott Titanium/ Hyatt Globalist/ Delta Diamond Medallion
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Earning 500 Mile upgrades

Am I the only one asking the burning question?

Are EP/CK going to start earning 500 mile upgrades?

If not we will just burn the ones in our accounts (albeit I have a decent number) and then this is no benefit whatsoever if we remain EP/CK continuously !?

Short term benefit unless we get to start earning 500 mile upgrades again as Gold/Plat do.
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Old May 16, 2017, 3:08 pm
  #49  
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Originally Posted by j1194
Am I the only one asking the burning question?

Are EP/CK going to start earning 500 mile upgrades?
Yes, you are No, they will not.
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Old May 16, 2017, 3:21 pm
  #50  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: SBA
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I booked AA domestic coach award flights at BA.com using Avios.
I already added my AAdvantage number to the reservation, so now I can see it in my account at AA.com, and I was able to pick better seats.

I am not sure if this ticket is still eligible for award ticket to upgrade since I booked it via BA.com...
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Old May 16, 2017, 3:25 pm
  #51  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Programs: AA, WN, UA, Bonvoy, Hertz
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Originally Posted by captaink
How is the new system any more unfavorable for Plats and Golds?
I'm glad you asked. I was stating that I feel the on most flights (excluding flights where there are lots of paid Business and long EXP lists), the cutoff for the last upgrades would be some point in the Plat or Gold part of the list. Before this new method, it would be always the earliest buyers/requestors to win. Now, a buyer with high EQDs will beat every other Plat and/or Gold based on their level. Also, there will be a few higher status award tickets that will take away a few seats. My general presumption is on many flights, you can reorder the revenue CK or EXP or Plat Pro, but they got upgrades before and will be upgraded after the change.

I want to add my genuine appreciation to AA for the level of detail on this change. We knew it was coming and there was enough complexity to get some details. I may not like the change due to my status level and enjoyment to buy early especially when I was an EXP, but there is not a lot of ambiguity in this one.

Rasheed
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Old May 16, 2017, 3:26 pm
  #52  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Sun Prairie, WI
Programs: AA Executive Platinum, HH Diamond, National Executive
Posts: 1,786
Personally, I couldn't be happier that this is now "live". I get why a lot of people don't love this change but for me it works great.

I book a lot of last minute trips and always seem to be #1-3 on the list. I have high EQD but barely make the EQMs each year (I've already far exceeded EQD for EXP re-qualification but am just over half way there on EQMs). I just typically never book further than 4 weeks out unless its international. It will also help a lot on international flights. I used to feel like I had to book as far out as possible to get a better chance at an SWU. Now I'll have a better shot.
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Old May 16, 2017, 3:27 pm
  #53  
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Originally Posted by rasheed
...I want to add my genuine appreciation to AA for the level of detail on this change.
Definitely agree.
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Old May 16, 2017, 3:42 pm
  #54  
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Originally Posted by j1194
Am I the only one asking the burning question?

Are EP/CK going to start earning 500 mile upgrades?

If not we will just burn the ones in our accounts (albeit I have a decent number) and then this is no benefit whatsoever if we remain EP/CK continuously !?

Short term benefit unless we get to start earning 500 mile upgrades again as Gold/Plat do.

Nope. EP/CK do not earn stickers, but they can purchase them if desired.

Remember that EP/CK do not burn stickers when they upgrade themselves. They burn stickers only when upgrading companions.

As long as you are the only one upgrading, you should never have to buy stickers.

The above is an issue ONLY if you tend to travel with companions and would like to upgrade them. Otherwise, EP/CK members never need stickers.
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Old May 16, 2017, 3:52 pm
  #55  
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I requalified EP until 2/2019 but have (well, or 99% will) switch away/not credit to AAdvantage anymore. I'll be a $0 rolling EQD EP starting April 2018 It'll be interesting to see how things turn out...well at least I'm still above all PLTs and GLDs!
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Old May 16, 2017, 3:55 pm
  #56  
 
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Exp vs plt pro/plt

so with the new upgrade priority, would an EXP with a lower rolling EQD outrank a PLTPRO/PLT with a higher rolling EDP tally?
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Old May 16, 2017, 4:01 pm
  #57  
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
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Originally Posted by unitedbusiness
so with the new upgrade priority, would an EXP with a lower rolling EQD outrank a PLTPRO/PLT with a higher rolling EDP tally?
Yes.

Upgrade Order:
  1. Concierge Key
  2. Executive Platinum
  3. Platinum Pro
  4. Platinum
  5. Gold

Only within each of these levels do the other factors matter (ex. EQD)
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Old May 16, 2017, 4:35 pm
  #58  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
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Originally Posted by oysterhead43
New perk for upgrades on award tickets applies to domestic only.
Expand on this. Award Upgrades are not the same as Award Tickets. The former often involve a copay for INTL travel. If the copay upgrade continuum for INTL travel is different than domestic - I would appreciate that clarity. I think what you are saying is the last tranche being 500-mile segments = domestic is accurate. But not those preceding it.
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Old May 16, 2017, 4:38 pm
  #59  
 
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Originally Posted by MrJBoy
I booked AA domestic coach award flights at BA.com using Avios.
I already added my AAdvantage number to the reservation, so now I can see it in my account at AA.com, and I was able to pick better seats.

I am not sure if this ticket is still eligible for award ticket to upgrade since I booked it via BA.com...
The answer is if anyone has ever done an e500 equivalent upgrade request on a revenue ticket issued on BA ticket stock for an AA coded/flown domestic flight. I am sure that is a much more common situation than this one. My searching so far hasn't yielded any success. I have heard some of this is only possible at the gate, but no advance automated upgrade due to non-001 ticketing, but that is just anecdotal.

Originally Posted by maracle
I wonder if eventually they will allow qualification for status based on revenue alone. FF programs have always been so strange in favoring low cost fares and connecting flights.
Well I think both your examples are now gone with connecting being gone for some time now. The argument is okay though because early bookers (not always low cost, but I get your point) helped the airline manage demand with earlier upgrade booking as a reward. Also, connecting was/is competing with another carrier that might offer a direct route. I think the first one removal (date booked) required a fare management or EQD strategy which is more recent and perhaps a matured demand management tool which doesn't need to entice early bookers (pricing alone does just fine). The second (connecting) required many more hubs which is true with the larger AA. So, I don't think the methods used were strange, but perhaps not as favorable to high cost ticket buyers versus perhaps high volume, early planners and low ticket cost buyers (which I think there are still many of this type out there).

Rasheed
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Old May 16, 2017, 4:40 pm
  #60  
 
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I don't know if this will make a big difference for a lot of travelers.

This year, I have missed quite a few (greater than 50%) of "sticker upgrades" as an EXP. AA upgrades are becoming like UA upgrades. Unless you are AA CK (or UA GS), don't expect upgrades anymore.

I feel service is down too. On the flights in Y without the upgrades, only once did a FA offer me a complementary snack/beverage. The FAs did their required beverage service and then disappeared to the back until the flight landed.
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