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Chances of Upgrade Clearing and Availability (2022 master thread)

Old Mar 6, 22, 2:17 pm
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: JDiver
Chances of Upgrade Request Clearing (Be aware of possible upgrade priority changes as of Loyalty Points becoming the qualifier for rewards)

(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. EQD earned, possibly changing to Loyalty Points earned, in the past 12 months (rolling) as far as we know today
  2. Booking class
  3. Time of request


Link to 2020-2021 archived thread.

For previous changes, 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
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Chances of Upgrade Clearing and Availability (2022 master thread)

Old Sep 26, 22, 5:49 pm
  #586  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: AUS
Programs: AA Exec Platinum/MM, DL Silver/MM, Hilton Diamond, Hertz 5* Gold
Posts: 6,638
Originally Posted by supermintyfresh View Post
I believe now it is 8 hours before departure (used to be 4 hours) before you will be able to see the waitlist.
It's 12 hours.
Stripe is offline  
Old Sep 26, 22, 7:03 pm
  #587  
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Chicago
Programs: AAdvantage PLT PRO | United Silver | HH Diamond | Bonvoy Platinum | Hyatt Explorist
Posts: 705
Originally Posted by enviroian View Post
Well then all things being equal I don't or haven't seen lists like that anywhere else.

Anyway the boarding area at DTW was chaos. Group 1 must have been 50 people and I heard people talking to each other with sayings like "what is going on here? I'm #14! I used to always get an upgrade on this flight" and "No I didn't get an upgrade and I'm 6 on the upgrade list. First time for that, wow". Clearly elite members are seeing the app buy up in action.
When I see 50 people in group one at a non hub airport, it's because people can't hear, and once a mass starts to do something everyone follows as a cascading effect. I don't think its about too many people becoming EXP with the new program or in app buyups. Keep in mind gate agents are not incentivized in any way to enforce boarding groups - their goal is to get people on the plan as quickly as possible, and it is SO frustrating when the PA isn't audible and everyone just starts boarding.
AAdamE is offline  
Old Sep 26, 22, 7:05 pm
  #588  
 
Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: Chicago
Programs: AAdvantage PLT PRO | United Silver | HH Diamond | Bonvoy Platinum | Hyatt Explorist
Posts: 705
Originally Posted by Stripe View Post
It's 12 hours.
Nice, I couldn't put a pin on it - I thought it was a version of day of - 12h makes sense.
AAdamE is offline  
Old Sep 26, 22, 7:16 pm
  #589  
 
Join Date: Aug 2021
Posts: 189
Originally Posted by AAdamE View Post
When I see 50 people in group one at a non hub airport, it's because people can't hear, and once a mass starts to do something everyone follows as a cascading effect. I don't think its about too many people becoming EXP with the new program or in app buyups. Keep in mind gate agents are not incentivized in any way to enforce boarding groups - their goal is to get people on the plan as quickly as possible, and it is SO frustrating when the PA isn't audible and everyone just starts boarding.
Not to mention the app push notification that says "IT'S TIME TO BOARD!" and people don't read the full message saying to wait until your boarding group is called.
jamabam is offline  
Old Sep 26, 22, 9:55 pm
  #590  
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: DEN
Programs: Hilton Diamond Hyatt Globalist Marriott Gold AA EXP
Posts: 890
Originally Posted by Stripe View Post
It's 12 hours.
Had to kill the app 3 times and refresh but now I see it. I'm #1, but where do I see how many seats are open?
bbriscoe34 is offline  
Old Sep 27, 22, 4:52 am
  #591  
 
Join Date: Feb 2022
Programs: AAdvantage
Posts: 618
Originally Posted by bbriscoe34 View Post
Had to kill the app 3 times and refresh but now I see it. I'm #1, but where do I see how many seats are open?
Unlike I think DL, AA won't tell you how many seats are open. Generally, within 4 hours of the flight if you check aa.com you can get an idea of how many seats are are open. HOWEVER, remember someone might have a F/J ticket and still hasn't chosen a seat (it does happen more than you'd think), a seat can be taken by a displaced paid F pax (someone like me last Saturday that needed to be rerouted) or on occasion someone might actually buy an F seat at the last moment. Open seats are assigned at the gate in order usually about 40 minutes out. So if you're number one or two on the list you want to be at the gate before then.
EXP100 is offline  
Old Sep 27, 22, 9:37 am
  #592  
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Long Island, NY
Programs: AA EXP, Hyatt Globalist, Marriott Gold
Posts: 589
AA JFK-LAX on Friday 9/23: #4 on the upgrade to J. #1 and #2 cleared the upgrade (I think #2 was already sitting in coach when she move to business).
AA LAX-JK on Monday 9/26: #1 on the list. Received my J boarding pass about 10' before boarding. #2 also cleared after everybody had boarded.

[EXP, about 150k LP so far]
zip10001 is offline  
Old Sep 27, 22, 9:55 am
  #593  
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Dallas, TX
Programs: American Airlines
Posts: 27,151
Wonder how the upgrade lists today from TPA to RDU, CLT, DFW, ORD are looking.

enviroian is offline  
Old Sep 29, 22, 9:52 am
  #594  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: AUS
Programs: AA Exec Platinum/MM, DL Silver/MM, Hilton Diamond, Hertz 5* Gold
Posts: 6,638
Originally Posted by bbriscoe34 View Post
Had to kill the app 3 times and refresh but now I see it. I'm #1, but where do I see how many seats are open?
You can't. Unlike DL and UA, AA doesn't tell you the number of seats open. You have to go to something like Expertflyer or start a fake booking and look at the seat map.
Stripe is offline  
Old Sep 30, 22, 8:22 am
  #595  
 
Join Date: Apr 2022
Location: SNA/ONT
Programs: AA EXP, HH Diamond, Hyatt Explorist
Posts: 88
PP / 131k LP

Monday morning
ONT-PHX - 2/16, 1 cleared at the gate
PHX-CMH - Cleared at 24h
Friday morning
CMH-DFW - 6/28, 2 cleared at the gate
DFW-ONT - Cleared at 24h

Pretty happy with my first segments as PP.
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AirricK11 is offline  
Old Sep 30, 22, 8:29 am
  #596  
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: CLE
Programs: AA Exec Plat, Hilton Diamond, Hertz PC
Posts: 5,524
I had something happen that I did not know was a thing: I put an economy award ticket on hold for the next day while I looked into options. Within minutes, I recieved an email that my upgrade had cleared. Interestingly I could not book it online anymore. I had to call.
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Surface Interval is offline  
Old Sep 30, 22, 9:30 am
  #597  
 
Join Date: Feb 2022
Programs: AAdvantage
Posts: 618
Originally Posted by Surface Interval View Post
I had something happen that I did not know was a thing: I put an economy award ticket on hold for the next day while I looked into options. Within minutes, I recieved an email that my upgrade had cleared. Interestingly I could not book it online anymore. I had to call.
Also if you book a ticket in coach but you're within the upgrade window and there's availability once you get done with the booking you will already be assigned a seat in the F/J cabin.
EXP100 is offline  
Old Sep 30, 22, 1:45 pm
  #598  
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: DEN
Programs: Hilton Diamond Hyatt Globalist Marriott Gold AA EXP
Posts: 890
I kinda screwed myself out of an upgrade this week.

Was originally booked Tues DEN-DFW and DFW-TUL. Was waitlisted for DEN-DFW and already confirmed for DFW-TUL. On Monday morning I SDC'd to an earlier set of flights about 23 hours from new departure. DFW-TUL upgraded instantly and let me select F seat during SDC confirmation. DEN-DFW was waitlisted. At midnight I was #1 on the waitlist with 1 J still open per expert flyer. When I dropped my bags the agent told me there was still 1 open. But when I got to the lounge I never got an upgrade notice on my phone app at the 1 hour mark and the single J disappeared from expert flyer. No one else on the upgrade list showed confirmed either, so I decided to hang in the lounge until the last minute, arriving at the gate about 17-20 minutes before takeoff. I was probably the last to board, and the gate agent said I just missed my upgrade and they gave it away to someone else who had just now boarded.

EXP 216K LPs.
bbriscoe34 is offline  
Old Sep 30, 22, 2:07 pm
  #599  
 
Join Date: Feb 2022
Programs: AAdvantage
Posts: 618
Originally Posted by bbriscoe34 View Post
I kinda screwed myself out of an upgrade this week.

Was originally booked Tues DEN-DFW and DFW-TUL. Was waitlisted for DEN-DFW and already confirmed for DFW-TUL. On Monday morning I SDC'd to an earlier set of flights about 23 hours from new departure. DFW-TUL upgraded instantly and let me select F seat during SDC confirmation. DEN-DFW was waitlisted. At midnight I was #1 on the waitlist with 1 J still open per expert flyer. When I dropped my bags the agent told me there was still 1 open. But when I got to the lounge I never got an upgrade notice on my phone app at the 1 hour mark and the single J disappeared from expert flyer. No one else on the upgrade list showed confirmed either, so I decided to hang in the lounge until the last minute, arriving at the gate about 17-20 minutes before takeoff. I was probably the last to board, and the gate agent said I just missed my upgrade and they gave it away to someone else who had just now boarded.

EXP 216K LPs.
If you're number one and maybe even number 2 never, ever, never, ever, ever assume/believe/think/anticipate/theorize/expect that you will either get a notification or that the GA will wait for you to arrive at the gate. 17-20 minutes no way, no way. Often at T-20 the GA will give away a no show F seat and if you ain't there (on board) it's going to the next in line.
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EXP100 is offline  
Old Sep 30, 22, 4:19 pm
  #600  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: STL/ORD/MCI/SAN
Programs: AA CK MM, AC SE100K, accidental DL FO, Hyatt Globalist, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Platinum
Posts: 1,912
Originally Posted by bbriscoe34 View Post
I kinda screwed myself out of an upgrade this week.

Was originally booked Tues DEN-DFW and DFW-TUL. Was waitlisted for DEN-DFW and already confirmed for DFW-TUL. On Monday morning I SDC'd to an earlier set of flights about 23 hours from new departure. DFW-TUL upgraded instantly and let me select F seat during SDC confirmation. DEN-DFW was waitlisted. At midnight I was #1 on the waitlist with 1 J still open per expert flyer. When I dropped my bags the agent told me there was still 1 open. But when I got to the lounge I never got an upgrade notice on my phone app at the 1 hour mark and the single J disappeared from expert flyer. No one else on the upgrade list showed confirmed either, so I decided to hang in the lounge until the last minute, arriving at the gate about 17-20 minutes before takeoff. I was probably the last to board, and the gate agent said I just missed my upgrade and they gave it away to someone else who had just now boarded.

EXP 216K LPs.
Two comments:

1. It seems odd to me that no one on the list showed as cleared if the seat went to another upgrader. Usually in this scenario, you'll see a checkmark by #2 on the list, rather than #1.

2. GAs really aren't supposed to skip over those on the list who aren't at the gate. You should've initially cleared. Only after that, if they truly think you wouldn't show up (certainly a risk at T-17 minutes), should they "un-upgrade" you and then upgrade #2.

However, I agree with the poster above who warns that you can't rely on them to give you the upgrade 100% of the time unless you're right there at the podium to get a new BP when they call your name. Mobile BPs should have fixed the need to be physically present years ago, but some rogue GAs still insist on making sure the passenger is there to accept the upgrade so they won't have to undo everything and go on board to upgrade someone else just before the door closes.
metallo is offline  

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