Old Jul 24, 2023, 3:53 am
FlyerTalk Forums Expert How-Tos and Guides
Last edit by: ExpatExp
From AA's "Systemwide upgrades" page as of 24 July 2023 (edited to remove references to mileage upgrades, which are not the topic of this thread):

Enjoy a confirmed upgrade from most Business fares to First, from Premium Economy to Business, or from Economy to Premium Economy when flying transatlantic on British Airways.

Systemwide upgrades can be used for one-way travel for up to 3 flight segments on British Airways marketed and operated flights or British Airways operated flights marketed by American. At least one American marketed flight must be in the itinerary to be eligible.
.
  1. Log in to aa.com and make sure you have systemwide upgrades available in your AAdvantage account.
  2. Call your AAdvantage status service desk to confirm your upgrade. If available, the required number of upgrades will be deducted from your balance.*
  3. If an upgrade isnt available at the time of booking, you can check back with us. There is no option to waitlist for an upgrade on British Airways flights.

*Systemwide upgrades are subject to upgrade seating availability.
From AA's "AAdvantage FAQs" page as of 24 July 2023 (edited to remove references to mileage upgrades, which are not the topic of this thread):

Upgrades on British Airways and Iberia
.
  • Can I upgrade on British Airways and Iberia flights? Yes, systemwide upgrades can be used for one-way travel for up to three segments on British Airways marketed and operated flights or British Airways operated flights marketed by American.
  • Can I upgrade from a discount Main Cabin fare? Systemwide upgrades on British Airways are valid on all purchased, published fares.
  • Why is my upgrade on British Airways not valid from Economy to Business? Systemwide and mileage upgrades are valid for a one cabin upgrade. On British Airways flights that offer Premium Economy, upgrades from Economy will be to Premium Economy. On flights where British Airways doesnt offer Premium Economy, the upgrade will be to Business.
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SWU upgrades on BA are live

Old Sep 15, 2022, 5:16 pm
  #61  
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble
You stated that the terms explicitly include non transatlantic flights when the terms explicitly state that it is only transatlantic flights

The general blurb is not saying anything that is contrary to the T&Cs - there is nothing in there that suggests that economy to business upgrades on BA are permitted
While I agree that your interpretation makes sense, we have had multiple reports that it is possible. I personally was told that it is doable, albeit no waitlisting.
A few posters above seem to have cleared BA CE upgrades as well.
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Old Sep 15, 2022, 6:05 pm
  #62  
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Originally Posted by Antarius
While I agree that your interpretation makes sense, we have had multiple reports that it is possible. I personally was told that it is doable, albeit no waitlisting.
A few posters above seem to have cleared BA CE upgrades as well.
​​​​​
I am not doubting the veracity of the people saying that they have been able to do so, I am addressing that the T&Cs are explicit that the upgades are on transatlantic flights only and the opposite to what was being posted

I suspect that when these have been in place for a while then either AA will update terms or it will clarify to agents that it is for TATL only
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Old Sep 15, 2022, 6:09 pm
  #63  
 
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Once again to reiterate -- I have already confirmed and ticketed an upgrade involving one TATL segment on BA plus one Euro segment on BA. No AA segments were involved.
So, yes, it is possible to upgrade Y>J on BA within Europe.

Bill
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Old Sep 15, 2022, 8:39 pm
  #64  
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble
I am not doubting the veracity of the people saying that they have been able to do so, I am addressing that the T&Cs are explicit that the upgades are on transatlantic flights only and the opposite to what was being posted

I suspect that when these have been in place for a while then either AA will update terms or it will clarify to agents that it is for TATL only
History being a guide, no change will happen. The SWU page still says next class of service,despite PE being a class of service for years.

Poorly worded T&Cs the lodestar of AA's being.
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Old Sep 16, 2022, 1:09 am
  #65  
 
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble
I am not doubting the veracity of the people saying that they have been able to do so, I am addressing that the T&Cs are explicit that the upgades are on transatlantic flights only and the opposite to what was being posted

I suspect that when these have been in place for a while then either AA will update terms or it will clarify to agents that it is for TATL only
My understanding was that the upgrades are only for itineraries that include TATL flights, not only for the TATL flights themselves – so you cannot upgrade a trip that is just LHR-FCO, but you can upgrade LHR-FCO if that is the only upgradeable flight on a trip from JFK-LHR-FCO.

But I could have misunderstood
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Old Sep 16, 2022, 1:22 am
  #66  
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Originally Posted by SeattleDavid
My understanding was that the upgrades are only for itineraries that include TATL flights, not only for the TATL flights themselves so you cannot upgrade a trip that is just LHR-FCO, but you can upgrade LHR-FCO if that is the only upgradeable flight on a trip from JFK-LHR-FCO.

But I could have misunderstood
That would have logic, but the T&Cs are quite explicit. Be interesting to see whether the ability to upgrade UK-EU flights ( though I would rarely want to downgrade from the exit row if it is in economy ) is a temporary thing until agents start understanding it more or whether it is an error in the T&Cs
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Old Sep 16, 2022, 5:58 am
  #67  
 
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Originally Posted by SeattleDavid
My understanding was that the upgrades are only for itineraries that include TATL flights, not only for the TATL flights themselves so you cannot upgrade a trip that is just LHR-FCO, but you can upgrade LHR-FCO if that is the only upgradeable flight on a trip from JFK-LHR-FCO.
I think it might be slightly more nuanced than that. An itinerary could be a multi-city itinerary where the LHR-EU flight is not part of the routing of another leg. In that case, the LHR-FCO flight could not be upgraded unless it's part of a US-LHR-FCO routing (i.e., a connection in LHR instead of a stopover in LHR). I think this is what you meant but wanted to clarify in case I'm reading it wrong.
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Old Sep 16, 2022, 6:21 am
  #68  
 
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Originally Posted by USFlyerUS
I think it might be slightly more nuanced than that. An itinerary could be a multi-city itinerary where the LHR-EU flight is not part of the routing of another leg. In that case, the LHR-FCO flight could not be upgraded unless it's part of a US-LHR-FCO routing (i.e., a connection in LHR instead of a stopover in LHR). I think this is what you meant but wanted to clarify in case I'm reading it wrong.
I really have no idea ... in fact it could be even more nuanced - for example, if JFK-LHR is on AA, and you are not flying BA transatlantic it may not be possible to upgrade LHR-FCO, even if a true connection. The original screen shots do explicitly state 'when flying transatlantic on British Airways.'

These airlines clearly have clever marketing people eager to come up with a new scheme, but not enough time to craft accurate terms and conditions. Or maybe too many lawyers vetoing the precise details that we need
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Old Sep 16, 2022, 6:36 am
  #69  
 
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Whoever writes these communications at AA really needs to vet them, ideally with a group of FFs or something. I feel like we go around in circles every time AA changes a policy, adds a benefit, or clarifies an existing policy. They're never clear, which only makes agents' jobs harder and frustrates FFs who try to use the benefits. I don't get why this is so hard.
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Old Sep 16, 2022, 4:43 pm
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I bet everyone likes BA's high award fuel surcharge (which leads to good availability) now!
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Old Oct 23, 2022, 12:59 pm
  #71  
 
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Does anyone have experience upgrading if none of the flights are AA operated? I read both scenarios are possible but has anyone upgraded a purely BA operated itinerary purchased on AA.com?
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Old Oct 23, 2022, 3:08 pm
  #72  
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Originally Posted by asnovici
Does anyone have experience upgrading if none of the flights are AA operated? I read both scenarios are possible but has anyone upgraded a purely BA operated itinerary purchased on AA.com?
I haven't personally but after searching for BA awards on aa.com all I can say is availability has become all of a sudden remarkably limited. Hmmm......
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Old Oct 25, 2022, 9:59 am
  #73  
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I booked fco-lhr-dfw return today and had no problem upgrading the intra Europe BA flight with my SWU. The DFW flight is AA.

I will say though that it's very hard to find transatlantic BA flights that are available with miles. When you do it's next to impossible to find it to buy. AA removes that option when you unclick redeem miles. Yep. The BA award flight I found on aa.com wasn't available to purchase. Coincidence?
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Old Oct 26, 2022, 10:09 am
  #74  
 
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I read this entire thread and am still confused by what "when flying transatlantic" means. Does that mean if your itinerary contains a transatlantic flight then all segments are eligible?

I see some reports that intra-Europe works. What about LHR to India, Dubai, South Africa, etc when your trip also contains a transatlantic? If we could make it all the way to CPT using SWU that would be amazing.
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Old Dec 27, 2022, 2:28 am
  #75  
 
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How to determine inventory?
Using EF to search BA flights to use a SWU, which fare bucket should we be looking for PE to Business Class
thank you
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