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Worth Upgrading to Preferred or Main Cabin Extra seats?

Worth Upgrading to Preferred or Main Cabin Extra seats?

Old Mar 6, 20, 3:55 pm
  #1  
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Worth Upgrading to Preferred or Main Cabin Extra seats?

We booked 5 Main Cabin seats from JFK -> LAX -> OGG in August. The seats are in rows 19-20.

There are options to upgrade to Main Cabin Extra for about about $90 each, and Preferred seat for about $45 each. Upgrading all 5 seats for each leg of the flight could really add up. Is it worth it? Love to to hear some experiences from those that have upgrade to Preferred or Main Cabin Extra seats, especially those with young kids.

There are still plenty of seats available for upgrades. If it's worth upgrading, is now the best time to upgrade or wait until closer to trip date?

Thanks!
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Old Mar 6, 20, 4:54 pm
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Preferred seats are regular seats, just typically closer to the front of the plane. If you already have seat assignments together, there is ZERO reason to pay for preferred. Often, because AA designates so many seats as preferred (sometimes nearly all aisle seats), a non-elite can be "forced" into buying it.

MCE for $90 for such a long trip isn't that bad of a price (often it's around that for just JFK-LAX). But nobody can really tell you whether it's worth it to you. You'll get a couple extra inches of legroom and a free (alcoholic) drink.

If you're going to do it, upgrade your seat now while there are good seats available together. JFK-LAX probably won't book up so quickly as there are a lot of MCE seats, but on other aircraft it's a smaller section and many elites can book it for free.
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Old Mar 6, 20, 5:19 pm
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Can you knock back $90 of hooch? If you can yep, take it.
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Old Mar 6, 20, 5:33 pm
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MCE yes, you get more legroom. Preferred, no, it's a regular seat and a waste of money.
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Old Mar 6, 20, 7:37 pm
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You mentioned "Young Kids" ? Assuming the 5 seats are 2 parents and 3 kiddos? Young Kids typically don't need extra leg room and definitely wont get free booze! unless the Adults Really need the extra few inches of room i.e. tall folks, physical or health reasons? probably not worth the $ ? RT
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Old Mar 6, 20, 8:58 pm
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Just putting this out there--it might make sense to pay for the platinum challenge or see if any of you are targeted for a free challenge. If you're all on the same PNR, seat selection will be free for everyone.
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Old Mar 6, 20, 11:58 pm
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Originally Posted by enviroian View Post
Can you knock back $90 of hooch? If you can yep, take it.
I doubt you are going to get the FA to give you that much alcohol in MCE
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Old Mar 7, 20, 6:55 am
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Originally Posted by FAA1996 View Post
MCE yes, you get more legroom. Preferred, no, it's a regular seat and a waste of money.
but it’s all relative. It is a preferred seat — preferred over the cargo hold.
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Old Mar 7, 20, 8:05 am
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Thanks all for the feedback, it's really helpful. We usually fly Southwest domestically, so not very familiar with AA seatings.

Let me clarify. MCE is $80-$90 from from JFK - LAX, and again $80-$90 from LAX to OGG, so for the one way trip that's $160-$180 each.
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Old Mar 7, 20, 8:05 am
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Originally Posted by donotblink View Post
Just putting this out there--it might make sense to pay for the platinum challenge or see if any of you are targeted for a free challenge. If you're all on the same PNR, seat selection will be free for everyone.

What is platinum challenge? Is this an AA credit card?
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Old Mar 7, 20, 8:19 am
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Originally Posted by HaViet View Post
What is platinum challenge? Is this an AA credit card?
No. It effectively allows you to buy Platinum Elite status for ~$500. You get it for 90 days, and then get to keep it for the rest of the membership year if you meet the required spending and mileage goals.

Platinum status gets you free MCE seats, free checked bags, priority boarding with group 3, and lounge access when flying internationally.

https://onemileatatime.com/how-to-do...tus-challenge/
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Old Mar 7, 20, 8:52 am
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Originally Posted by CalAlumnus13 View Post
No. It effectively allows you to buy Platinum Elite status for ~$500. You get it for 90 days, and then get to keep it for the rest of the membership year if you meet the required spending and mileage goals.

Platinum status gets you free MCE seats, free checked bags, priority boarding with group 3, and lounge access when flying internationally.

https://onemileatatime.com/how-to-do...tus-challenge/

Thanks. This "Platinum Challenge" is interesting.

Let's say we signed up for this, paid the $500 fee to get advanced Platinum status for 90 days; does the benefits apply to our upcoming trip that was already purchased and paid for? Btw, our trip was purchased through Chase and paid with Chase UR. I guess to AA, the trip was paid with cash?

And the trip is in August, I think the MCE seat selections and the free checked bags for a family of 5 is worth the $500 fee.
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Old Mar 7, 20, 9:02 am
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Originally Posted by HaViet View Post
Thanks. This "Platinum Challenge" is interesting.

Let's say we signed up for this, paid the $500 fee to get advanced Platinum status for 90 days; does the benefits apply to our upcoming trip that was already purchased and paid for? Btw, our trip was purchased through Chase and paid with Chase UR. I guess to AA, the trip was paid with cash?

And the trip is in August, I think the MCE seat selections and the free checked bags for a family of 5 is worth the $500 fee.
once you’ve been granted platinum status, you’d get all the benefits on all your reservations you’ve already booked but not yet flown including seat selection in MCE seats for everyone in your reservation and two free bags for everyone in your reservation.

both of your flights should be on Airbus A321, JFK->LAX in the premium A321T configuration and your Hawaii flight will be a regular A321 configuration. Exit rows on these aircraft are highly desirable due to offering a massive amount of leg room—I’d sang these seats before others do. If you have young children that you’re traveling with, everyone in your reservation will be ineligible for exit row seating though.

Last edited by donotblink; Mar 7, 20 at 9:09 am
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Old Mar 7, 20, 9:21 am
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Originally Posted by donotblink View Post
once you’ve been granted platinum status, you’d get all the benefits on all your reservations you’ve already booked but not yet flown including seat selection in MCE seats for everyone in your reservation and two free bags for everyone in your reservation.

both of your flights should be on Airbus A321, JFK->LAX in the premium A321T configuration and your Hawaii flight will be a regular A321 configuration. Exit rows on these aircraft are highly desirable due to offering a massive amount of leg room—I’d sang these seats before others do. If you have young children that you’re traveling with, everyone in your reservation will be ineligible for exit row seating though.
Thanks for confirming.

So I just signed up for an AA account and received the AA #, but it seems I can only enter it just for my ticket/seat. That mean I will only earn miles just for my flight? I will not earn miles for the entire reservation which include my family's flights on this trip?
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Old Mar 7, 20, 9:37 am
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For miles earned by flying each passenger earns their own miles. You could sign the kids up for their own accounts and then everyone gets the miles.
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