Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > American Airlines | AAdvantage
Reload this Page >

Chances of Upgrade Clearing and Availability (2018 master thread)

Chances of Upgrade Clearing and Availability (2018 master thread)

    Hide Wikipost
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
Wiki Link
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
Print Wikipost

Old Feb 8, 18, 8:28 pm
  #91  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Location: CLT
Programs: AA CK, Million Miler (1.999m)
Posts: 429
Originally Posted by jrb CO View Post
Do the available J seats accurately reflect all of the "empty" business seats, assuming the number is less than 7? I have been watching 1 route for a bit and there are always additional unoccupied business seats above the available J number. I assume the difference are confirmed passengers who simply have not yet selected a seat. Hoping for an upgrade but the available J seat number is dwindling. Yet there are several additional seats available on the seat map. Just wondering If AA ever holds back J seats shown as available?
I believe the different is people who ha e not chosen a seat.
robertablake is offline  
Old Feb 9, 18, 9:42 am
  #92  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
IHG Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Valley of the Sun
Programs: AA PLT, Bonvoy PLT +, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 10,966
Originally Posted by aztimm View Post
Does anyone have thoughts on the best chance of clearing an SWU on a flight to PEK? AA has flights from DFW, ORD, and LAX.
And secondly, would there be a better chance of clearing on a Thursday or Friday?
Travel will be in early/mid March.

I found a couple of return flights with upgrade availability now.
When we went to PEK in Nov, our upgrade did not clear going but did clear on the return. On the return, the PEK-DFW was wide open on departure date home. We had cleared our PEK-ORD so I didn't switch our flights. From the date points from last year, flights out of DFW and LAX seem to be good chances.
FlightNurse is offline  
Old Feb 9, 18, 9:48 am
  #93  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: KHOU + KSFO
Programs: AA EXP | Marriott Bonvoy Ambassador | Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 6,361
Originally Posted by aztimm View Post
Does anyone have thoughts on the best chance of clearing an SWU on a flight to PEK? AA has flights from DFW, ORD, and LAX.
And secondly, would there be a better chance of clearing on a Thursday or Friday?
Travel will be in early/mid March.

I found a couple of return flights with upgrade availability now.
I flew a couple of weeks ago. ORD-PEK seemed to have the best availability of the lot, so took that on the outbound. I would say Thursday, although it kind of depends on what EF says.
Antarius is offline  
Old Feb 9, 18, 11:37 am
  #94  
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: SJC (AA PLT 2MM - Marriott LTT - Avis Preferred)
Posts: 1,737
Originally Posted by loosecanyn View Post
Wife and I are booked on AA105, LHR-JFK on 2/25 (Sunday), and no SWU has cleared in 2 months since booking. EF has J7. Are these tough upgrades on Sundays?
Yes, typically a tough UG on Fridays, Sundays, and Mondays, competing with corporate biz travelers.
ntamayo is offline  
Old Feb 9, 18, 1:53 pm
  #95  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Gatwick, UK
Programs: UA *G, AA EXP
Posts: 1,439
Originally Posted by aztimm View Post
Does anyone have thoughts on the best chance of clearing an SWU on a flight to PEK? AA has flights from DFW, ORD, and LAX.
And secondly, would there be a better chance of clearing on a Thursday or Friday?
Travel will be in early/mid March.

I found a couple of return flights with upgrade availability now.
All you can do is look at EF for the days you are thinking of traveling. On Friday 9 march, the LAX flight would look like the best chance, but the day before, I would say DFW is better.

But you are also still 4 weeks out and most J bookings occur in the 1-3 weeks out time frame, so it could all change.
aztimm likes this.
SeattleDavid is offline  
Old Feb 11, 18, 9:19 am
  #96  
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: DCA/IAD/WAS
Programs: MAR AMB, WOH Explorist, AA EXP, UA 2P
Posts: 1,987
Originally Posted by robertablake View Post
I believe the different is people who ha e not chosen a seat.
I'm not convinced they haven't been blocking seats for sale on some routes (particularly those serviced by the A330). Quite consistently, I am seeing one more empty seat on the seatmap than what is available in J (when J < 7). I can't imagine that EVERY flight has one and only one person who hasn't selected a seat in J.

Of course, have no actual proof of this, but I find the seatmaps in J generally track very close if not exactly to actual load, though YMMV.
iadisgreat is offline  
Old Feb 12, 18, 8:56 am
  #97  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Programs: AA GLD, IHG PLT
Posts: 369
Question for the crowd: As a gold elite, if I request a miles& copay upgrade for a itinerary with C inventory available on all legs would it clear immediately? Or are my odds of an upgrade similar to that with using 500 mile upgrades? The route I am looking at is YYZ-DFW-PHX-LAS on a weekend, but I doubt I would get the 500 mile upgrade as a gold on the DFW or PHX legs.
MathMusic is offline  
Old Feb 12, 18, 8:59 am
  #98  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: LAX
Programs: UA 1K, Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 2,832
Originally Posted by MathMusic View Post
Question for the crowd: As a gold elite, if I request a miles& copay upgrade for a itinerary with C inventory available on all legs would it clear immediately? Or are my odds of an upgrade similar to that with using 500 mile upgrades? The route I am looking at is YYZ-DFW-PHX-LAS on a weekend, but I doubt I would get the 500 mile upgrade as a gold on the DFW or PHX legs.
Yes, if C is available when you request the miles+copay upgrade for any given leg, it will clear immediately for that leg.
dkc192 is offline  
Old Feb 12, 18, 9:03 am
  #99  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: St. Croix, US Virgin Islands
Programs: AAdvantage PLT-Pro, Priority Club Plt, Hilton Gold, Hyatt
Posts: 120
I've recently had a problem with Miles/CoPay clearing. Frequently 3 (of 4 total roundtrip) will clear immediately (as I've checked with ExpertFlyer) and one will need to be waitlisted. The problem is that I sometimes am not on the UG list or others below me clear first. My thinking is that it's much easier for the Gate agent to clear a regular UG vs the a Miles/Copay which has to be reissued. Does that sound logical? Any way to improve the chances?
stcroixscuba is offline  
Old Feb 12, 18, 2:51 pm
  #100  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
IHG Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Valley of the Sun
Programs: AA PLT, Bonvoy PLT +, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 10,966
Originally Posted by MathMusic View Post
Question for the crowd: As a gold elite, if I request a miles& copay upgrade for a itinerary with C inventory available on all legs would it clear immediately? Or are my odds of an upgrade similar to that with using 500 mile upgrades? The route I am looking at is YYZ-DFW-PHX-LAS on a weekend, but I doubt I would get the 500 mile upgrade as a gold on the DFW or PHX legs.
Originally Posted by dkc192 View Post
Yes, if C is available when you request the miles+copay upgrade for any given leg, it will clear immediately for that leg.
This is not true, it won't clear immediately. There might be seats available but that doesn't mean AA will upgrade quickly. Remember it goes by status first and granted you are Gold, there might be PLT or PP ahead on the upgrade list. In regards to the DFW = PHX fight, anything is possible but I highly doubt you will get an upgrade. It doesn't hurt to try on the upgrades.
FlightNurse is offline  
Old Feb 12, 18, 2:56 pm
  #101  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Gatwick, UK
Programs: UA *G, AA EXP
Posts: 1,439
Originally Posted by FlightNurse View Post
This is not true, it won't clear immediately. There might be seats available but that doesn't mean AA will upgrade quickly. Remember it goes by status first and granted you are Gold, there might be PLT or PP ahead on the upgrade list. In regards to the DFW = PHX fight, anything is possible but I highly doubt you will get an upgrade. It doesn't hurt to try on the upgrades.
I think you are the one in error - if C is available then upgrades will clear immediately (or at least as soon as you call in). If there were just seats available, but the flight was C0, then your argument would be more correct - but even then it is often the case that C is made available 12-48 hours before a flight, before X is made available and before it goes to gate control.

If you are not EXP and flying a popular route then Miles+ copay is probably the only way to snag an upgrade.
SeattleDavid is offline  
Old Feb 12, 18, 4:00 pm
  #102  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
IHG Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Valley of the Sun
Programs: AA PLT, Bonvoy PLT +, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 10,966
Originally Posted by SeattleDavid View Post
I think you are the one in error - if C is available then upgrades will clear immediately (or at least as soon as you call in). If there were just seats available, but the flight was C0, then your argument would be more correct - but even then it is often the case that C is made available 12-48 hours before a flight, before X is made available and before it goes to gate control.

If you are not EXP and flying a popular route then Miles+ copay is probably the only way to snag an upgrade.
would be interesting to hear back from the OP so he can explain if the correct bucket is available, just on a side note, I look at flights between YYZ - LAS, mid 600 for Y and 1,0xx for FC, not too sure if paying the upgrade fee and miles is a good choice of miles and co-pay.
FlightNurse is offline  
Old Feb 12, 18, 5:21 pm
  #103  
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: SJC (AA PLT 2MM - Marriott LTT - Avis Preferred)
Posts: 1,737
Originally Posted by FlightNurse View Post
would be interesting to hear back from the OP so he can explain if the correct bucket is available, just on a side note, I look at flights between YYZ - LAS, mid 600 for Y and 1,0xx for FC, not too sure if paying the upgrade fee and miles is a good choice of miles and co-pay.
With a fare difference of ~$350 - $400, if you value the miles @ 1.5cpm, then its probably a wash if there's immediate C availability. However, paying for F outright guarantees you the seat up front and COS bonus.
ntamayo is offline  
Old Feb 12, 18, 6:23 pm
  #104  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: LAX
Programs: UA 1K, Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 2,832
Originally Posted by SeattleDavid View Post
I think you are the one in error - if C is available then upgrades will clear immediately (or at least as soon as you call in). If there were just seats available, but the flight was C0, then your argument would be more correct - but even then it is often the case that C is made available 12-48 hours before a flight, before X is made available and before it goes to gate control.

If you are not EXP and flying a popular route then Miles+ copay is probably the only way to snag an upgrade.
A miles+copay upgrade, which the OP is seeking to use, books into C and will clear immediately on the sectors that have C available at the time of the upgrade request. For sectors that do not have C available, the traveler can be placed on a waitlist for C space, and *should* clear automatically, prioritized primarily by status of those on the waitlist, once the space becomes available--this automated process can be buggy, resulting in upgrades not clearing even when the space has become available. C can become available at any time--it is up to RM when to release it.

On the other hand, complimentary (for EXP and PRO) and 500-mile upgrades (for PLT and GLD) clear into R (formerly X) by a separate automated process, again prioritized primarily by status but less buggy than the one for C space. R can become available at any time inside of T-100, and pax are cleared into available R space in accordance to their upgrade windows (i.e. if R becomes available at T-72, only EXPs and PROs can clear into it, while PLTs and GLDs have to wait until T-48 and T-24, respectively).
dkc192 is offline  
Old Feb 13, 18, 7:18 am
  #105  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Programs: AA GLD, IHG PLT
Posts: 369
Thanks for the help everyone. I can confirm that the upgrade confirmed instantly on all three legs. I had checked expert flyer and all flights had C availability. I think it helps that the comp upgrades are only starting now, since my flight is this weekend so there is still plenty of space.

I managed to get a cheap q fare about 8 weeks ago so my flight was only $350 RT, and I paid for the base fare with a voucher I got from being bumped off a work travel flight. The $75 copay + 13.5k miles (after 10% rebate) is not bad for my total out of pocket airfare costs.

I think its worth the miles for almost 8 hrs in J rather than in Y. And a good way to start a vegas vacation, lol.

I only upgraded my outbound flights as I have a redeye home and I'll take my chances with sticker upgrades clearing.
MathMusic is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: