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Scored an upgrade JFK-SFO w/500's as a Gold - common?

Scored an upgrade JFK-SFO w/500's as a Gold - common?

Old Sep 24, 18, 11:13 am
  #1  
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Scored an upgrade JFK-SFO w/500's as a Gold - common?

In the last week of August, I flew JFK-SFO, and my upgrade from Y to C cleared right at T-24 hours when I did online checkin. Since I can count on 1 finger the number of >500 mile mainline upgrades I've gotten in the past 2 years (it was SEA-PHX, while I was boarding), I was pleasantly shocked.

This was a Monday afternoon 4 PM departure, which I assumed would have been a high-demand flight.

As a Gold, and who will probably just barely requalify for Gold based on both miles and dollars, I'm just curious, did I get extremely lucky, possibly due to the week before Labor Day, or is this perhaps more common than I imagine, given the large number of business class seats? (If the latter, I may try to route through JFK rather than CLT or PHL in the future.)

[Aside- unfortunately the service this time around was woefully poor, compared to one past JFK-SFO flight on AA (which was awesome), and several earlier JFK-LAX/SFO on UA. But still worth the upgrade over Y!]
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Old Sep 24, 18, 11:34 am
  #2  
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It happens. Did you happen to notice the upgrade list? You may have trumped other Golds if your prior 12 month spend was higher than theirs.
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Old Sep 24, 18, 11:34 am
  #3  
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dude, play the lottery.

now.

Seriously.
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Old Sep 24, 18, 11:34 am
  #4  
 
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Originally Posted by Maxwell Smart View Post
In the last week of August, I flew JFK-SFO, and my upgrade from Y to C cleared right at T-24 hours when I did online checkin. Since I can count on 1 finger the number of >500 mile mainline upgrades I've gotten in the past 2 years (it was SEA-PHX, while I was boarding), I was pleasantly shocked.

This was a Monday afternoon 4 PM departure, which I assumed would have been a high-demand flight.

As a Gold, and who will probably just barely requalify for Gold based on both miles and dollars, I'm just curious, did I get extremely lucky, possibly due to the week before Labor Day, or is this perhaps more common than I imagine, given the large number of business class seats? (If the latter, I may try to route through JFK rather than CLT or PHL in the future.)

[Aside- unfortunately the service this time around was woefully poor, compared to one past JFK-SFO flight on AA (which was awesome), and several earlier JFK-LAX/SFO on UA. But still worth the upgrade over Y!]
Congratulations! While possible, it's relatively uncommon, especially with stickers.
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Old Sep 24, 18, 11:40 am
  #5  
 
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My wife and I are both Gold. Traveling with our 2 kids, we once scored sticker upgrades for all 4 of us, SFO-JFK. But it was a Saturday flight before the Xmas holidays, so light on business travelers.
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Old Sep 24, 18, 12:07 pm
  #6  
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I don't think Monday afternoon would be a particularly heavy business travel period on this route. Busier than Saturday afternoon I'm sure, but not like Monday morning or Thursday afternoon.
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Old Sep 24, 18, 12:28 pm
  #7  
 
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I was on the SFO -> JFK 3:15PM transcon last Tuesday as Plat and put in for a stickers upgrade. I didn't clear and was 8/14 on the list. I think one person had their upgrade clear.
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Old Sep 24, 18, 12:54 pm
  #8  
 
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Damn nice! Sticker upgrades clearly so rarely these days that it sure feels like the jackpot when they do. Too bad the service wasn't up to snuff!
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Old Sep 24, 18, 3:15 pm
  #9  
 
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1) AA continues to lose market share on NYC-originating flights; as a result, upgrades as a lower level elite can be had, especially on off-peak times

2) AA has cut back on its JFK to SFO service in favor of JFK to LAX, indicating it is losing even more share on this route

Overall, if your objective is to use stickers to upgrade, NYC is probably one of the best places in the AA system to do it. Just figure out the flights with the lowest elite load.
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Old Sep 24, 18, 6:01 pm
  #10  
 
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Originally Posted by Maxwell Smart View Post
... I'm just curious, did I get extremely lucky, possibly due to the week before Labor Day, or is this perhaps more common than I imagine, given the large number of business class seats?
Taking into account the flight, day of week and time of day the odds are/were 0.886% of happening.
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Old Sep 24, 18, 6:25 pm
  #11  
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Sounds like I should be happy to have bagged a unicorn on this one, but will keep JFK in mind if I can travel off-peak for transcons.

Originally Posted by ijgordon View Post
I don't think Monday afternoon would be a particularly heavy business travel period on this route. Busier than Saturday afternoon I'm sure, but not like Monday morning or Thursday afternoon.
I was thinking in terms of people spending part of Monday at work then heading to SFO for the remainder of the week, but perhaps that's not as prevalent as I had imagined.

Originally Posted by enviroian View Post
dude, play the lottery.

now.

Seriously.
I did. Apparently I used up all my luck getting the upgrade.

Originally Posted by PHL View Post
It happens. Did you happen to notice the upgrade list? You may have trumped other Golds if your prior 12 month spend was higher than theirs.
Since I cleared at T-24, it was one of the few times I didn't pay attention to the list, though I think I remember it was pretty long.

Originally Posted by no1cub17 View Post
Damn nice! Sticker upgrades clearly so rarely these days that it sure feels like the jackpot when they do. Too bad the service wasn't up to snuff!
As a former United 1K I've had plenty of upgrades in the past, and recognize that it can be hit or miss on any given flight.

Originally Posted by ricktoronto View Post
Taking into account the flight, day of week and time of day the odds are/were 0.886% of happening.
Nice to be considered a one-percenter!
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Old Sep 24, 18, 9:27 pm
  #12  
 
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Originally Posted by Maxwell Smart View Post
In the last week of August, I flew JFK-SFO, and my upgrade from Y to C cleared right at T-24 hours when I did online checkin. Since I can count on 1 finger the number of >500 mile mainline upgrades I've gotten in the past 2 years (it was SEA-PHX, while I was boarding), I was pleasantly shocked.

This was a Monday afternoon 4 PM departure, which I assumed would have been a high-demand flight.

As a Gold, and who will probably just barely requalify for Gold based on both miles and dollars, I'm just curious, did I get extremely lucky, possibly due to the week before Labor Day, or is this perhaps more common than I imagine, given the large number of business class seats? (If the latter, I may try to route through JFK rather than CLT or PHL in the future.)

[Aside- unfortunately the service this time around was woefully poor, compared to one past JFK-SFO flight on AA (which was awesome), and several earlier JFK-LAX/SFO on UA. But still worth the upgrade over Y!]
It happens! My first upgrade on any airline ever was on American on Gold status. While this probably means that F was undersold, I like to see it as a bit of an addicting treat that keeps you coming back. (What happens is that you get to Executive Platinum status and never get upgraded on flights you'd think you'd get upgraded on, even with Systemwide Upgrades (SWUs), unless you're flying on the regionals.)
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Old Sep 25, 18, 8:54 pm
  #13  
 
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My wife travels round trip to SF from JFK once a month. She is platinum has been upgraded twice in 2 years. Id say you were very lucky
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Old Sep 25, 18, 11:28 pm
  #14  
 
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Rare, but can happen. I had a JFK-LAX clear on a Saturday evening depart in March. AND the seat in business next to me went empty! 500 mile upgrades are becoming more and more rare now - to all most impossible. The joys of being gold.
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