International upgrade process

Old Apr 26, 19, 2:54 pm
  #1  
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International upgrade process

I fly AA for short flights just about every week. I have earned Platinum statues with 210k miles so I am certainly not anywhere near their their top tier but a regular and loyal customer. I am trying to actually use some of those miles and for me itís terribly confusing the changing points which always seem to be the highest on the dates I want. And with a plan to fly into Heathrow I have been seeing $500+ fees in addition to the miles (an AA person told me something about LHR having lots of fees or something).

I only need a one way ticket from LHR to ORD (around July 4th ironically) and would like to fly business class for this leg. I am trying to decide between cashing in a bunch of miles to lock this in OR the option where I book economy (still looks like there is room in economy plus thankfully) and, as I understand it, within 24 hours of the flight they will tell me if I am upgraded at which time I will pay something like 30k points plus $350 fee if I remember correctly.

I realized this is a really general question and my results may very, but has anyone attempted this type of upgrade (versus locking it in by paying the extra cost and miles upfront), and if so how likely and I to have success? I am trying figure out if I have a decent shot, or no chance at all and I need to secure business class upfront.

Any suggestions?
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Old Apr 26, 19, 5:21 pm
  #2  
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Welcome to FlyerTalk.

Originally Posted by Brett Byers View Post
I fly AA for short flights just about every week. I have earned Platinum statues with 210k miles so I am certainly not anywhere near their their top tier but a regular and loyal customer. I am trying to actually use some of those miles and for me itís terribly confusing the changing points which always seem to be the highest on the dates I want.

I only need a one way ticket from LHR to ORD (around July 4th ironically) and would like to fly business class for this leg. I am trying to decide between cashing in a bunch of miles to lock this in OR the option where I book economy (still looks like there is room in economy plus thankfully) and, as I understand it, within 24 hours of the flight they will tell me if I am upgraded at which time I will pay something like 30k points plus $350 fee if I remember correctly.

For miles and copay upgrades information, see FAQ: Miles + Copay Upgrade / Upgrades (master thread)

and in particular learn how upgrade requests are prioritized if you canít find one available. Upgrade Priority: Status, Upgrade Type, Rolling 12 Month EQD Spend


And with a plan to fly into Heathrow I have been seeing $500+ fees in addition to the miles (an AA person told me something about LHR having lots of fees or something).

No, the AA person was wrong; those fees are on BA operated flights. See Carrier Imposed Surcharge / YQ: AA award on BA / British (& IB) & avoiding it ,

though departing (not connecting within 24 hours) LHR or most other United Kingdom airports incurs the UK Air Passenger Duty excise tax: UK APD / Air Passenger Duty charged for UK departures (Master Thread)


If you want to spend miles for award seats (all awards are one way, even if you book two as a return trip), see HELP DESK: MileSAAver / SAAver award questions, assistance

and AA Anytime / AAnytime award / awards [master thread]


I realized this is a really general question and my results may very, but has anyone attempted this type of upgrade (versus locking it in by paying the extra cost and miles upfront), and if so how likely and I to have success? I am trying figure out if I have a decent shot, or no chance at all and I need to secure business class upfront.

Any suggestions?
Itís doubtful in my mind youíll find upgrade inventory to lock in at this point, or even Load Factor Based Uogrades to buy at the airport. DOD / DODU (LFBU) Space-available, counter, kiosk, and online upgrade (master thd)

Good luck.
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Old Apr 26, 19, 6:04 pm
  #3  
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Originally Posted by Brett Byers View Post
I fly AA for short flights just about every week. I have earned Platinum statues with 210k miles so I am certainly not anywhere near their their top tier but a regular and loyal customer. I am trying to actually use some of those miles and for me it’s terribly confusing the changing points which always seem to be the highest on the dates I want. And with a plan to fly into Heathrow I have been seeing $500+ fees in addition to the miles (an AA person told me something about LHR having lots of fees or something).

I only need a one way ticket from LHR to ORD (around July 4th ironically) and would like to fly business class for this leg. I am trying to decide between cashing in a bunch of miles to lock this in OR the option where I book economy (still looks like there is room in economy plus thankfully) and, as I understand it, within 24 hours of the flight they will tell me if I am upgraded at which time I will pay something like 30k points plus $350 fee if I remember correctly.

I realized this is a really general question and my results may very, but has anyone attempted this type of upgrade (versus locking it in by paying the extra cost and miles upfront), and if so how likely and I to have success? I am trying figure out if I have a decent shot, or no chance at all and I need to secure business class upfront.

Any suggestions?
Is there actually award availability - looking on 3rd - 5th July I cannot see any U class availability
There is , however, C class availability, so you could book economy plus use miles to upgrade immediately - no need to wait until day before departure to find out if successful; phone n book now and get it confirmed immediately
Availability on AA47 on 3/7 , 4/7 and 5/7 plus AA87 on the 4th

What is ironic about wanting to travel on 4/7 ?

Also - looking at the one way fares from LHR, it seems that they are GBP1534 but book into Y class . As such the mileage requirements would only be 15,000 points and no co-pay - There would of course be the additional APD to pay for departing in a premium cabin
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Old Apr 26, 19, 6:52 pm
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Thank you for your reply Dave. For someone who flies as often as I do one would think I understand the codes but I don’t. I will read up on this.

There was a business class saver flight on July 4th direct from LHR to ORD on July 4th a few days ago (57.5k miles on BA I think). I was in learning mode and should have booked it but it looks like that one is gone. Maybe another one will pop up?

You mentioned there is C class and I could use miles to upgrade immediately. I think you mean I would purchase the flight with cash instead of miles and then use miles to upgrade to Business. My understanding from the talking to someone at American was if I paid for the flight my the only way to upgrade would be to call into American and request an upgrade which would be verified 24hrs before. I clearly have no idea how all this works. I assumed the whole process would be simpler. Shame on me for thinking that.


And as for my terrible attempt at humor, I was referencing leaving the UK for America on American’s July 4th Independence Day. No wonder why I never made it as a comedian
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Old Apr 26, 19, 7:30 pm
  #5  
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What the AA person told you is plain wrong. Since there is C space available what you will do is go ahead and buy your ticket in economy (just make sure it is not basic economy) and once the flight is ticketed which can take 1-2 hours you will phone in AA and tell them you will like to upgrade with miles plus copay.

The agent will put in your request and if C space is available they will confirm your upgrade on the spot. No need to wait until 24 hours. You will have to pay additional taxes as UK has a luxury tax for premium cabins. This will be an additional ~$85 if I remember correctly.

I would avoid booking awards on BA even if there is saver inventory. Fuel surcharges are ridiculous on BA and will probably run you $500-600.
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Old Apr 26, 19, 7:38 pm
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Originally Posted by golfingboy View Post
What the AA person told you is plain wrong. Since there is C space available what you will do is go ahead and buy your ticket in economy (just make sure it is not basic economy) and once the flight is ticketed which can take 1-2 hours you will phone in AA and tell them you will like to upgrade with miles plus copay.

The agent will put in your request and if C space is available they will confirm your upgrade on the spot. No need to wait until 24 hours. You will have to pay additional taxes as UK has a luxury tax for premium cabins. This will be an additional ~$85 if I remember correctly.

I would avoid booking awards on BA even if there is saver inventory. Fuel surcharges are ridiculous on BA and will probably run you $500-600.

sorry for the release newbie questions- but when you say but the ticket in economy (not basic) you mean but with cash (eg $1,800) not using miles I assume?
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Old Apr 26, 19, 7:40 pm
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Originally Posted by Brett Byers View Post



sorry for the release newbie questions- but when you say but the ticket in economy (not basic) you mean but with cash (eg $1,800) not using miles I assume?
Correct. $1800 is steep for an one way ticket unless this is r/t.

If you use miles to book a free ticket in economy I donít believe there is a way to upgrade.
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Old Apr 26, 19, 7:44 pm
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If you are remotely willing to pay this much TAP has one way business class fare with a connection in Lisbon for $1,079.
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Old Apr 26, 19, 7:48 pm
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Thatís agree a lot for a one way ticket. I think I need to suck it up and enjoy an exit row seat for 30k miles and $178 fee.

I used to travel internationally for work many years ago, and my company always paid the business class fee. I have a new appreciation for all they did for me. This will be my first international trip in the common seats. I best get used to it unfortunately
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Old Apr 26, 19, 7:50 pm
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Originally Posted by Brett Byers View Post
Thatís agree a lot for a one way ticket. I think I need to suck it up and enjoy an exit row seat for 30k miles and $178 fee.

I used to travel internationally for work many years ago, and my company always paid the business class fee. I have a new appreciation for all they did for me. This will be my first international trip in the common seats. I best get used to it unfortunately
You donít mind connecting? I am seeing business class award space on July 4 but will require connecting in PHL. 57,500 miles +$300 in taxes on AA.
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Old Apr 26, 19, 7:53 pm
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Originally Posted by golfingboy View Post
If you are remotely willing to pay this much TAP has one way business class fare with a connection in Lisbon for $1,079.
Funny you should suggest that.

My family and I are actually flying TAP from Chicago to Italy for this trip and I booked business class although I have no idea if itís any good. After Italy we are going to see her family in Montenegro and I am flying back (around July 2-4) while they stay for another week or two. This is the reason why I am only looking for a one way home. I will look to see if how easily I can get from Dubrovnik to Lisbon and check out Lisbon to Chicago. Points is better than paying TAP $1,000 but if anything has flown TAP and thinks business is worth it I might pony up the cash.
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Old Apr 26, 19, 10:25 pm
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Originally Posted by Brett Byers View Post
Thatís agree a lot for a one way ticket. I think I need to suck it up and enjoy an exit row seat for 30k miles and $178 fee.

I used to travel internationally for work many years ago, and my company always paid the business class fee. I have a new appreciation for all they did for me. This will be my first international trip in the common seats. I best get used to it unfortunately
you could book a round trip for under 800 instead of a one way...
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Old Apr 26, 19, 10:48 pm
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How are you at 210k EQM with short flights and not be EXP?
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Old Apr 26, 19, 11:06 pm
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If you initiate your flight anywhere outside of the UK, you'll avoid the UK's APD which will save a bit (78GBP) and even more if you're flying business class (156GBP)
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Old Apr 27, 19, 1:42 am
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Originally Posted by Antarius View Post
How are you at 210k EQM with short flights and not be EXP?
I think 210k is the mileage balance from flying AA not EQMs.
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