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Book travel upgrades for 4 as plat pro or wait until EXP?

Book travel upgrades for 4 as plat pro or wait until EXP?

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Old Apr 17, 19, 6:08 pm
  #1  
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Book travel upgrades for 4 as plat pro or wait until EXP?

Hi all,

perhaps a a silly question. Iím flying our family of 4 from IAH to CA (not sure where yet) this summer with miles. Iím platinum pro now, but will be Exec plat in a few weeks. I plan to upgrade the family for the trip.

Is is there any downside to booking now while there is availability vs waiting until I hit EXP? I presume I can book now and then upgrade everyone after I hit EXP right?

thanks for your help!
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Old Apr 17, 19, 6:16 pm
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Join Date: May 2006
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Originally Posted by trpltongue View Post
Hi all,

perhaps a a silly question. Iím flying our family of 4 from IAH to CA (not sure where yet) this summer with miles. Iím platinum pro now, but will be Exec plat in a few weeks. I plan to upgrade the family for the trip.

Is is there any downside to booking now while there is availability vs waiting until I hit EXP? I presume I can book now and then upgrade everyone after I hit EXP right?

thanks for your help!
How do you plan to upgrade award travel for the family?
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Old Apr 17, 19, 6:48 pm
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I thought I had read that as EXP you could upgrade travel companions booked on the same itinerary?

I have to admit Iím new to AA. Been flying QA for the last 6 years.
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Old Apr 17, 19, 6:56 pm
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Here is the benefits chart for each level of elite status, including EXP.

https://www.aa.com/i18n/aadvantage-p...e-upgrades.jsp
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Old Apr 17, 19, 6:57 pm
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Originally Posted by trpltongue View Post
I thought I had read that as EXP you could upgrade travel companions booked on the same itinerary?

I have to admit I’m new to AA. Been flying QA for the last 6 years.
You and one companion. Family of 4 you’ll be in the back; you can’t even request status upgrades with more than 2 people the itinerary.

Upgrades on award tickets

Executive Platinum members can use complimentary 500-mile upgrade benefits on AAdvantage award tickets for travel within North America on American.
  • If everyone in your reservation is eligible for a complimentary upgrade we'll automatically request it for you
  • If you need to request an upgrade on an award ticket, go to “Your Trips” on aa.com after you’ve booked your reservation or contact an American representative or your travel agent
Companion upgrade benefit

You can also upgrade 1 companion traveling on the same flight if 1 or both of you are traveling on an award ticket.

The number of upgrades needed for companions will be deducted from the sponsor member’s account, even if the companion is an elite status member and has their own 500-mile upgrade account.

Just like purchased tickets, the number of upgrades needed for companions will be based on their elite status level.
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Last edited by skunker; Apr 17, 19 at 7:06 pm
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Old Apr 17, 19, 7:08 pm
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Tough route for upgrades
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Old Apr 17, 19, 8:08 pm
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Originally Posted by Centurion View Post
Tough route for upgrades
IAH to CA? Wouldn't it depend on routing? Could go via DFW, PHX, LAX, or ORD, I'd think, depending on where in CA, and the upgrade odds would depend on the routing and other things, as always.

But four passengers with just one elite on an award reservation is a very tough upgrade regardless of route.
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Old Apr 17, 19, 8:15 pm
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No chance. Award upgrades for EXP for 2 (or even 1) are at the bottom of the EXP upgrade list. You would have to split the reservation but then might split all 4. Unless you are traveling late on a Saturday night - no way. As an EXP for several years, upgrades for EXP are almost non-existent, unless your are traveling at real off peak times. And I have seem as many of 20 EXPs on a flight (told that) on a peak flight - and non-upgraded.

AA reduced the price of F and sells the seats. Sometimes F came be a small difference more.
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Old Apr 17, 19, 8:17 pm
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But to answer the question, if there is award availability now, then by all means book it now. Once you hit EXP, call AA and have them refresh your status on the reservation. No reason at all to wait till you hit EXP to book it.
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Old Apr 19, 19, 5:29 am
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Thanks all for the insight. Itís pretty disappointing that itís so difficult to upgrade the group. I have been spoiled by the QA frequent traveler program which tend to offer a bit more flexibility in upgrade ability. Though even that has been reduced in the last year.
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Old Apr 19, 19, 12:05 pm
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Originally Posted by trpltongue View Post
Thanks all for the insight. Itís pretty disappointing that itís so difficult to upgrade the group. I have been spoiled by the QA frequent traveler program which tend to offer a bit more flexibility in upgrade ability. Though even that has been reduced in the last year.
I assume you mean QR for Qatar Airways, right? How do they do domestic upgrades?
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Old Apr 19, 19, 12:29 pm
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Originally Posted by skunker View Post
I assume you mean QR for Qatar Airways, right? How do they do domestic upgrades?
I actually thought OP meant Qantas (although, of course, QF is the correct code).

In any event, if I were OP, I would book now when there is availability. The status that will ultimately matter is the status at the time you fly, not at the time you book. And as others have said, you can only upgrade 1 companion (using 500 mile stickers) anyways.
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Old Apr 19, 19, 1:12 pm
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Originally Posted by skunker View Post
I assume you mean QR for Qatar Airways, right? How do they do domestic upgrades?
Originally Posted by flyingeph12 View Post
I actually thought OP meant Qantas (although, of course, QF is the correct code).
From OP's other posts it look they have been flying Qatar QR
https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/sear...8003584&query=
Sample PC status for children

QF are not generous with upgrades
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Old Apr 19, 19, 10:15 pm
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Originally Posted by cova View Post
No chance. Award upgrades for EXP for 2 (or even 1) are at the bottom of the EXP upgrade list. You would have to split the reservation but then might split all 4. Unless you are traveling late on a Saturday night - no way. As an EXP for several years, upgrades for EXP are almost non-existent, unless your are traveling at real off peak times. And I have seem as many of 20 EXPs on a flight (told that) on a peak flight - and non-upgraded.

AA reduced the price of F and sells the seats. Sometimes F came be a small difference more.
I don't see that here. Appears that EQD would come before booking class. So unless he was the lowest EQD, he would not be at the bottom of the EXP upgrade list. And if you want to wait until the gate, you don't have to split the PNR. You can request it then. Though you do of course miss the T-100 window, and so there may be no more upgrades available.

Upgrade Priority Change to Status, Upgrade Type, Rolling 12 Month EQD as of 20 May 2017

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 (SWU)
    2. 500 mile upgrades on purchased tickets (including EXP complimentary UDU)
    3. 500 mile upgrades on upgrade eligible awards (including EXP complimentary UDU)
  3. Elite qualifying dollars* in the past 12 months
  4. Booking class (in order, J, D, I, W, P, Y, H, K, M, L, V, G, S, N, Q, O, T)
  5. Time of request
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Old Apr 19, 19, 10:22 pm
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Originally Posted by trpltongue View Post
Thanks all for the insight. Itís pretty disappointing that itís so difficult to upgrade the group. I have been spoiled by the QA frequent traveler program which tend to offer a bit more flexibility in upgrade ability. Though even that has been reduced in the last year.
Sorry youíll all be in coach.
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