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Chances of Upgrade Clearing and Availability (2018 master thread)

Chances of Upgrade Clearing and Availability (2018 master thread)

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Old Oct 13, 18, 11:59 am   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: aztimm
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Chances of Upgrade Request Clearing
NOTE: Be aware of recent (20 May 2017) upgrade priority changes.

"New Upgrade Priority as of 20 May 2017

(Upgrades were prioritized by elite status and then time of request until 20 May 2017)
  • Elite status
    1. Concierge Key
      • Executive Platinum
        • Platinum Pro
          • Platinum
            • Gold
    • Upgrade type
      1. Miles and copay award upgrades and systemwide upgrades (SWU)
        • 500 mile upgrades on purchased tickets
          • 500 mile upgrades on upgrade eligible awards)

      • Elite qualifying dollars in the past 12 months
        • Booking class
          • Time of request"


See Upgrade Priority Changes to Status, Rolling 365 Day EQD Spend May 20 2017

Link to Gary Leff, View From the Wing 16 May 2017

Updated 17 Dec 2017 by aztimm
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Old Mar 13, 18, 3:16 pm
  #151  
PHL
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: PHL, NYC
Programs: AA PLT, DL SLV, UA SLV, MR LTT, HH DIA
Posts: 8,590
Putting aside the unlikely business class upgrade, if you're both on the same reservation you can get Main Cabin Extra seats right now by just selecting them on the seat map and paying the fee, which for a Gold is 1/2 price. They will be perfectly fine and less than $100 each way per person additional. You'll find it to be money well spent when you look behind you at the Main Cabin seating with less legroom. You may even be able to find some exit row seats with superb legroom.

Taking it a step higher, you can also call AA and ask for the price to upfare to Premium Economy. Online, it seems to price out at about $600-$1000 more (roundtrip) than the cheaper Main Cabin fares. Steep, maybe. Depends on how you value the hard product and your budget.
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Old Mar 13, 18, 6:17 pm
  #152  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: RDU <|> MMX
Programs: AA EXP 2MM, SK EBS
Posts: 7,110
Originally Posted by exactabox View Post
Thank you for this info. I read the details on AA's web site and I'm still not 100%... would a paid upgrade from Economy land us in Premium Economy, or in Business class? I don't know if Premium Economy is considered its own "next cabin of service." Thanks.
A miles/copay upgrade from Economy would land you in Business class. Premium Economy is considered a separate class, but as it's still relatively new there's no way to upgrade into it yet with miles/copay/SWU etc.
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Old Mar 13, 18, 11:11 pm
  #153  
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Valley of the Sun
Programs: AA PLT, Bonvoy PLT +, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 10,966
Originally Posted by exactabox View Post
Thanks for the info, we've never had the opportunity to try for international upgrades.. From previous experience, the "best coach seat" would probably be on a different airline entirely, so despite the AA Gold status we will likely choose a different carrier..



Thank you for this info. I read the details on AA's web site and I'm still not 100%... would a paid upgrade from Economy land us in Premium Economy, or in Business class? I don't know if Premium Economy is considered its own "next cabin of service." Thanks.
Just call AA, and let the agent know you want to do a Mileage+Co-pay upgrade on the flight, can't hurt.
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Old Mar 14, 18, 1:26 am
  #154  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 15
Originally Posted by PHL View Post
Putting aside the unlikely business class upgrade, if you're both on the same reservation you can get Main Cabin Extra seats right now by just selecting them on the seat map and paying the fee, which for a Gold is 1/2 price. They will be perfectly fine and less than $100 each way per person additional. You'll find it to be money well spent when you look behind you at the Main Cabin seating with less legroom. You may even be able to find some exit row seats with superb legroom.
Thanks again to everyone who replied for the info. I'm still a bit sour after paying USAirways (AA's predecessor) $149 for "Choice Seats" to/from Ireland a few years back. Turned out those seats were exactly the same as regular coach seats, they just happened to be closer to the front. No extra legroom or better entertainment, food, attitude. What a waste. But AA says the MCE seats do have extra legroom, so maybe that will suffice. Thanks for explaining all the options.
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Old Mar 16, 18, 2:51 am
  #155  
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: DTW
Programs: AA EXP, DL PM, Marriott Titanium, Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 493
47 people on the upgrade list today HKG-DFW...no one cleared.
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Old Mar 16, 18, 6:27 pm
  #156  
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Originally Posted by aacar View Post
47 people on the upgrade list today HKG-DFW...no one cleared.
47, is that all!
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Old Mar 17, 18, 7:58 am
  #157  
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Somewhere in Long Island, NY
Programs: AA EXP, Hyatt Globalist, Marriott Gold
Posts: 401
Originally Posted by aacar View Post
47 people on the upgrade list today HKG-DFW...no one cleared.
That is insane!
Self-reminder: never book HKG-DFW in Y
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Old Mar 19, 18, 12:23 pm
  #158  
 
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: New York
Programs: AA, CX, Hyatt, Marriott
Posts: 1,484
To the above, yes...that's why I would rather fly CX PEY than AA Y.

Just booked my first domestic AA segment this year, surprised it only took 20 mins to clear the upgrade (T - 70). Thanks AA! (Non-hub to CLT).

Last edited by andersonCooper; Mar 19, 18 at 1:11 pm
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Old Mar 22, 18, 8:50 am
  #159  
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 113
I have gold status from a promotion and only flew AA once 5 years ago.
Flew from DEN-LAX-HKG (Wednesday. Thrusday 12 am for LAX-HKG flight) and HKG-LAX-DEN(Tuesday)
Requested upgrade using miles and copay 2 weeks prior to first flight because I heard it cleared pretty easy(I had to transfer points otherwise I would have requested earlier).

For DEN to LAX and LAX to HKG, nothing cleared but I was 2nd on the waitlist for LAX-HKG. Only seats open was 2 first class and 2 other people 5 and 6th on the list got upgraded to it. I probably would have gotten upgraded if I requested earlier than 2 weeks before the flight.
For HKG-LAX and LAX-DEN both cleared about 2 weeks before the flight(Requested about 3 weeks before the flight). There were still 7/8 first class seats open when I checked the day before with 0 business class seat. I didn't check if anybody got upgraded.
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Old Mar 22, 18, 9:34 am
  #160  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: NYC
Programs: AA EXP
Posts: 1,012
Originally Posted by jdang View Post
I have gold status from a promotion and only flew AA once 5 years ago.
Flew from DEN-LAX-HKG (Wednesday. Thrusday 12 am for LAX-HKG flight) and HKG-LAX-DEN(Tuesday)
Requested upgrade using miles and copay 2 weeks prior to first flight because I heard it cleared pretty easy(I had to transfer points otherwise I would have requested earlier).

For DEN to LAX and LAX to HKG, nothing cleared but I was 2nd on the waitlist for LAX-HKG. Only seats open was 2 first class and 2 other people 5 and 6th on the list got upgraded to it. I probably would have gotten upgraded if I requested earlier than 2 weeks before the flight.
For HKG-LAX and LAX-DEN both cleared about 2 weeks before the flight(Requested about 3 weeks before the flight). There were still 7/8 first class seats open when I checked the day before with 0 business class seat. I didn't check if anybody got upgraded.
If you were booked in Economy originally, you would not have been upgraded at all to First Class. Any upgrade instrument works only for upgrade to the next class of service. If all 8 of the First Class seats on the LAX-HKG were open, you still would not have been upgraded into them. Your upgrade would only clear into Business Class, and only if there were availability.

In terms of upgrade priority, the time you requested the upgrade probably had nothing to do with it, since AA processes upgrades first by status, and then by rolling 12-month EQD spend within each status level. You would have been behind all Concierge Keys, all Executive Platinums, all Platinum Pros, all Platinums, and all Golds with a higher spend in the last 12 months (which, given that you've flown them once in the last 5 years, means your rolling EQD was zero), regardless of when they requested the upgrade. The only people below you on the waitlist would have been Golds with 0 EQD who requested an upgrade after you, and all non-status passengers.
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Old Mar 22, 18, 9:49 am
  #161  
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Posts: 113
Originally Posted by DMPHL View Post
If you were booked in Economy originally, you would not have been upgraded at all to First Class. Any upgrade instrument works only for upgrade to the next class of service. If all 8 of the First Class seats on the LAX-HKG were open, you still would not have been upgraded into them. Your upgrade would only clear into Business Class, and only if there were availability.

In terms of upgrade priority, the time you requested the upgrade probably had nothing to do with it, since AA processes upgrades first by status, and then by rolling 12-month EQD spend within each status level. You would have been behind all Concierge Keys, all Executive Platinums, all Platinum Pros, all Platinums, and all Golds with a higher spend in the last 12 months (which, given that you've flown them once in the last 5 years, means your rolling EQD was zero), regardless of when they requested the upgrade. The only people below you on the waitlist would have been Golds with 0 EQD who requested an upgrade after you, and all non-status passengers.
I know that I cant upgrade from coach to first. I only mentioned the 2 first class was open if 2 business class seats upgraded to 1st, then there would have been 2 business class seat open and I would have been upgraded. But that didn't happen.

If I requested my upgraded earlier 3-4 weeks prior there were a ton of open seats similar to the LAX-HKG flight that I might have gotten a chance to upgrade.

I'm just trying reinforcing the notion that LAX-HKG-LAX is easier to upgrade if a gold with no EQD can upgrade putting a request 3 weeks before the flight.
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Old Mar 22, 18, 2:08 pm
  #162  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: AUS
Programs: AA EXP, Hilton Diamond, Hyatt Globalist, Marriott Titanium, UA *S
Posts: 285
I'm flying DFW-MEX soon, and I had a schedule change. I'm now booked on a 319 instead of a 738. I know DFW-MEX is a short flight, but I'd like to get upgraded anyway. As an EXP, I've never cleared a single upgrade on a 319. Is there any reason to believe that this flight down to MEX would be any different, or is this considered an "easier" upgrade.

I may call and change to an earlier flight on a 738.
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Old Mar 22, 18, 5:40 pm
  #163  
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Tampa, FL
Programs: AAdantage EXP
Posts: 41
On a decent streak of my last six clearing. Was recently on DFW-DEN and cleared after boarding before we pushed back. EXP but 4/21 on the list, but they ended up clearing six seats after boarding. Assuming a family missed their original flight / or connection, since I noticed F was pretty empty when I boarded.
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Old Mar 22, 18, 6:56 pm
  #164  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: PHL
Programs: AA Gold, Hilton Gold, RR Gold
Posts: 478
Thoughts on chances for upgrades as a Gold on a Monday night, 8:20pm flight from PHL to BNA and a Tuesday evening, 6:28pm flight from BNA to DCA? Still a few weeks out, but both flights are empty in F according to EF.
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Old Mar 22, 18, 7:41 pm
  #165  
 
Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Tampa, FL
Programs: AAdantage EXP
Posts: 41
Originally Posted by McSam18 View Post
Thoughts on chances for upgrades as a Gold on a Monday night, 8:20pm flight from PHL to BNA and a Tuesday evening, 6:28pm flight from BNA to DCA? Still a few weeks out, but both flights are empty in F according to EF.
Both are longshots and hard to say before they start clearing for EXP etc.. if F looks fairly empty the day before then you have a chance.
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