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Chances of Upgrade Clearing and Availability (2020 master thread)

Chances of Upgrade Clearing and Availability (2020 master thread)

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Old Feb 16, 20, 1:18 am   -   Wikipost
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Chances of Upgrade Request Clearing (Be aware of upgrade priority changes enacted 20 May 2017)

"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
  2. Executive Platinum
  3. Platinum Pro
  4. Platinum
  5. Gold

Upgrade type
  1. Miles and copay award upgrades and systemwide upgrades (SWU)
  2. 500 mile upgrades on purchased tickets
  3. 500 mile upgrades on upgrade eligible awards)

Then, by
  1. Elite qualifying dollars in the past 12 months (rolling)
  2. Booking class
  3. 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

Link to 2019 archived thread





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Old Jan 17, 20, 11:38 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: DCA | DEN
Programs: AA EXP/2.9mm | Marriott LT Titanium 1.6k nights | NEXUS
Posts: 975
Chances of Upgrade Clearing and Availability (2020 master thread)

Question re: MIA-LHR & an SWU. I rarely go thru MIA to or from LHR. Mostly DFW or JFK, where often I try to game departure days for an SWU (sometimes that works)

Im on AA38, 22 January. J was wide open when I booked a week ago, now its J1; AA will sell 3.

AA56 leaves a bit earlier that day. Its J7 with 14 for sale.

Im in paid PE. Thinking of doing a same day change.

MIA experts: Are these inventory numbers normal? I think a large family group open the wallet and grabbed 6-8 J seats.

How will I do on AA38/56 -> J this time of year? My last 12 EQM is up there.
AATrout is offline  
Old Jan 18, 20, 9:48 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Programs: AA EXP
Posts: 34
Can anyone quote the current fare bucket availability for AA734 PHL-MAN for tomorrow - Jan19? I am waiting on an SWU to upgrade from Premium Economy. Seat chart only shows one available seat with plenty of availability in Premium Economy. I was surprised to see so many Biz seats assigned over the past week but I guess there might be other EXPs with more rolling EQD than me using up their expiring SWUs on this flight!
BA Baracus is offline  
Old Jan 19, 20, 5:08 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: RDU <|> MMX
Programs: AA EXP 2MM, SK EBS
Posts: 6,820
Originally Posted by BA Baracus View Post
Can anyone quote the current fare bucket availability for AA734 PHL-MAN for tomorrow - Jan19? I am waiting on an SWU to upgrade from Premium Economy. Seat chart only shows one available seat with plenty of availability in Premium Economy. I was surprised to see so many Biz seats assigned over the past week but I guess there might be other EXPs with more rolling EQD than me using up their expiring SWUs on this flight!
Flight is J1, so if that space stays open the last upgrade seat won't get released till the airport in all likelihood. Cross your fingers...
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Old Jan 19, 20, 10:20 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2019
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Programs: AA Plat, AS Gold 75k, Marriott Titanium, IHG Gold
Posts: 17
This is a stupid question, but was does J5, W2, Y5, or whatever number mean? Is that the number of available award seats available in expert flyer? I don't have an expert flyer account but know about it.
edkwan88 is offline  
Old Jan 20, 20, 6:22 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: RDU <|> MMX
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Originally Posted by edkwan88 View Post
This is a stupid question, but was does J5, W2, Y5, or whatever number mean? Is that the number of available award seats available in expert flyer? I don't have an expert flyer account but know about it.
Yes, that is the number of seats available in any given fare bucket (not just awards).

So if someone asks how their upgrade chances look, and we respond "the flight is down to J2", that means there are only 2 seats left for sale in business class.
JJeffrey is offline  
Old Jan 21, 20, 10:50 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 26
Hi, new to EXP and SWU - looking for some opinions.
AA Status EXP traveling with someone without any status.

Looking to travel from SFO/JFK/LHR on Thurs 3/12 using SWUs. However, AA.com shows no availability for the JFK/LHR portion. Currently looking at flights AA 104 or AA 106. Do you think it would be pretty safe to wait list for that segment or would it be better to pick a future departure date showing available SWUs (not preferable since my trip will be shorter).

I guess I'm asking what are the chances of SWUs wait list processing on 3/12 AA104 or AA106 if I don't have a EF subscription?

thanks!

Last edited by wackyducky; Jan 21, 20 at 11:16 am
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Old Jan 21, 20, 11:29 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: RDU <|> MMX
Programs: AA EXP 2MM, SK EBS
Posts: 6,820
Originally Posted by wackyducky View Post
Hi, new to EXP and SWU - looking for some opinions.
AA Status EXP traveling with someone without any status.

Looking to travel from SFO/JFK/LHR on Thurs 3/12 using SWUs. However, AA.com shows no availability for the JFK/LHR portion. Currently looking at flights AA 104 or AA 106. Do you think it would be pretty safe to wait list for that segment or would it be better to pick a future departure date showing available SWUs (not preferable since my trip will be shorter).

I guess I'm asking what are the chances of SWUs wait list processing on 3/12 AA104 or AA106 if I don't have a EF subscription?

thanks!
Looking at EF, both of those flights show J7 with a wide open business cabin, 100% par for the course and not surprising when looking this far out. Most normal paid business travel isn't booked until much closer in to the flight, so it's impossible to really say what your odds are. Thursday is for sure a busy business travel day, however JFK-LHR is typically one of the easier upgrades to clear as there are so many flights.

If you can travel a day earlier (Wed. 3/11), then there is lots of upgrade space right now on tons of routes to LHR...I see C space on 2 JFK-LHR flights, both LAX-LHR flights, DFW-LHR, ORD-LHR, RDU-LHR, etc. I also see some C space on a few of those options (including JFK-LHR) the day after (Fri. 3/13).
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Old Jan 21, 20, 3:44 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Programs: AA EXP
Posts: 209
Originally Posted by JJeffrey View Post
Looking at EF, both of those flights show J7 with a wide open business cabin, 100% par for the course and not surprising when looking this far out. Most normal paid business travel isn't booked until much closer in to the flight, so it's impossible to really say what your odds are. Thursday is for sure a busy business travel day, however JFK-LHR is typically one of the easier upgrades to clear as there are so many flights.

If you can travel a day earlier (Wed. 3/11), then there is lots of upgrade space right now on tons of routes to LHR...I see C space on 2 JFK-LHR flights, both LAX-LHR flights, DFW-LHR, ORD-LHR, RDU-LHR, etc. I also see some C space on a few of those options (including JFK-LHR) the day after (Fri. 3/13).
If you're worried about clearing your SWU, take the confirmed upgrade the day before or after. If I were you, I'd do SFO-LAX-LHR. That LAX flight is a great use given the length of the flight. The JFK-LHR upgrade list can be long on a Thursday night. I fly JFK-LHR often and that business class cabin can go from fairly empty to almost full in a few days leading up to the flight. High high percentage of last minute business travelers. It seems to be a fairly empty business class (C7 and business class goes out empty) or 100% full and upgrades that do not clear. Hard to tell, so would book the confirmable C spot if you can.
Finsup72 is offline  
Old Jan 21, 20, 4:04 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 26
Thanks very much JJeffrey and Finsup72. I did end up booking SFO-LAX-LHR on Wednesday. It wasn't my first choice but worth it for the peace of mind and not having to wait. Plus the connection was shorter.

Last edited by wackyducky; Jan 21, 20 at 4:06 pm Reason: detail
wackyducky is offline  
Old Jan 21, 20, 4:19 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Arizona
Posts: 4,682
Any long over the water flights where a SWU would clear immediately this week?
Centurion is offline  
Old Jan 21, 20, 4:33 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: RDU <|> MMX
Programs: AA EXP 2MM, SK EBS
Posts: 6,820
Originally Posted by Centurion View Post
Any long over the water flights where a SWU would clear immediately this week?
DFW-HKG is C7 tomorrow.
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Old Jan 21, 20, 10:27 pm
  #12  
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Join Date: Jan 2005
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Originally Posted by edkwan88 View Post
This is a stupid question, but was does J5, W2, Y5, or whatever number mean? Is that the number of available award seats available in expert flyer? I don't have an expert flyer account but know about it.
To be specific, J is the code for the most expensive (fully refundable) business class seats, so J5 therefore means no more than 5 business class seats that AA is willing to sell at this moment. Similarly, Y is the code for the most expensive (fully refundable) coach seats, so Y5 therefore means no more than 5 coach class seats that AA is willing to sell at this moment.

7 is the maximum number displayed for any of these codes, so you can't tell if only 7 or way more than 7 are available, when 7 is displayed. (At some other airlines, the maximum number is 9.)

N, Q, O, V, S, etc, are codes for various less-expensive coach fares. The number after those shows how many of those particular fares are left for sale at this moment. They can be useful sometimes for figuring out how close the fare you're looking to buy is to selling out, but of course they don't actually predict the future, so they're not perfect for that (not that anything else is).

T is the code for saver award seats in coach, U is the code for saver award seats in business, C is the code for miles-plus-copay/SWU upgrades to business.

For the purposes of this coding, AA uses business class codes on domestic flights for what is conventionally called first class on two-class planes. It's only on three class transcon planes (with separate business and first class cabins) that AA uses other codes for first class.

Most of the above codes are AA-specific, though Y is fairly universal as the top coach fare. But what letter is used for the top business fare varies more from airline to airline, and the other codes vary even more.
sdsearch is offline  
Old Jan 25, 20, 9:24 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: DEN
Programs: AA EXP, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 1,917
After a "bad" week for domestic upgrades (2 out of 5 segments), cleared a W-->J SWU on AA193 LAX-HKG off the waitlist 4 days in advance of the flight.

(Do we not have a 2020 version of this thread?)
bse118 is offline  
Old Jan 30, 20, 3:43 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: San Francisco
Programs: AA EXP; Marriott BonVoy Titanium Elite, SPG LT Plat
Posts: 1,438
What a surprise this AM to snag comp upgrade SFO-DFW (AA 1198). Had been monitoring the flight for last three days, F was sold out. No big deal for me as I had 24E. Love that seat more than a F seat due to it's legroom.

I made several attempt to OLCI but kept getting message that I need to check in at airport, which I did 1 hr. before boarding was to begin. At some point while in the lounge, I noticed I wasn't on the upgrade list. As I was heading out of the lounge at T20 mins before boarding I asked lounge agent placed me on the list as I was curious where I would be on the list of 21 people. Turns out I was #1 and there was 1 F passenger that hadn't checked in.

Long story short, at the gate I notice a guy flipping out that he was bumped down on the upgrade list and the agent should have cleared upgrades in advance of boarding. It was hard not to notice what was going on in fact. Nonetheless, I boarded with group 2 and was comfortable in my seat. Agent comes to me and hands me new seat in F right as the announcements were being made that boarding was complete. I'm so certain this guy was stewing indeed that he missed out on the upgrade and was so close.
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Old Jan 31, 20, 4:01 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Programs: AA PPRO; Marriott Rewards
Posts: 9
EXP Flying DFW-MAD on 11th Feb., hoping for an SWU. Right now, plane is showing C0 J7 R7 D7 I7 U0, and both EF and AA website show around 14 open BClass seats. Was hoping to clear the SWU by tonight as I have two left over from 2019. Not sure why they won't release any C seats on the 11th flight with so many showing open - maybe it's just too early?

Ironically, I apparently got an upgrade on the return (19th Feb) this morning, even though EF shows C0 J7 R7 D7 I3 U0. I didn't get a notification but was given the opportunity to select a BClass seat this morning. The SWU for my second leg (DFW-SGF) hasn't cleared yet even though EF is showing C7.

Any insight on that?
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