SWU Strategy

Old Mar 4, 2024, 1:15 pm
  #61  
 
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Is Expert Flyer actually accurate, or is there a significant time lag? Was searching JFK-LHR in the AA app, and saw that there was upgrade space available. However, when I searched the exact same date and flight on Expert Flyer, it is showing 0 availability for Class A. I've already booked and confirmed my SWU, and the agent told me there's plenty of availability for SWU on the particular date. However, EF still isn't showing any availability. Is this a bug?
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Old Mar 4, 2024, 1:27 pm
  #62  
 
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Originally Posted by yydv
Is Expert Flyer actually accurate, or is there a significant time lag? Was searching JFK-LHR in the AA app, and saw that there was upgrade space available. However, when I searched the exact same date and flight on Expert Flyer, it is showing 0 availability for Class A. I've already booked and confirmed my SWU, and the agent told me there's plenty of availability for SWU on the particular date. However, EF still isn't showing any availability. Is this a bug?
What does EF show under upgrades? Upgrades are not from A, they are a subset of C
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Old Mar 4, 2024, 1:29 pm
  #63  
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Originally Posted by lrdpenn
What does EF show under upgrades? Upgrades are not from A, they are a subset of C
Econ to Business yes, C is what you need, but Business to First upgrades do come from A.
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Old Mar 4, 2024, 1:37 pm
  #64  
 
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Originally Posted by JJeffrey
Econ to Business yes, C is what you need, but Business to First upgrades do come from A.
Ah yes thank you. Forgot about J to F
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Old Mar 5, 2024, 9:05 am
  #65  
 
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Ahh yes i think that was the issue. Needed to look for C, but filtered for A. thanks, all! first time using SWU
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Old Mar 13, 2024, 4:11 pm
  #66  
 
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I hit the 400,000 LP level and debated the 25,000 miles or the SWU or both. I ended up picking the 25,000 miles twice... I didn't think that was an option but it is an option.

With two SWUs in the account from the prior LP level, I could make a judgement call on the value of the SWUs. Basically anything that can be booked via SWU can be booked via miles (and generally low miles). Zero opportunity to fully understand SWUs without SWUs in the account unfortunately. And the SWUs expire after 12 months so time is an issue. I think I will find a trip to/from London in the fall as the flights to London appear to be cheap (relatively) and good candidates for SWUs.

I have ExperFlyer and will use it to search, but as I live in the middle of the country the first segment is often the problem segment. Endless flights to London, but few flights to NYC.

Last edited by view-with-a-room; Mar 13, 2024 at 6:13 pm
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Old Mar 13, 2024, 5:21 pm
  #67  
 
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Originally Posted by view-with-a-room
Zero opportunity to fully understand SWUs without SWUs in the account unfortunately. And the SWUs expire after 12 months so time is an issue.
I agree that this aspect of things is frustrating. I have no specific travel planned at the moment, though know I will be planning an international vacation at some point in the next 12 months. While I have an EF subscription I find it much more useful for looking up specific flights than exploring possibilities. As I debate whether I want SWUs or some other reward, I wish there were an easy search I could do on AA.com to see what current offerings are like before having to commit to a SWU.
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Old Mar 14, 2024, 10:28 am
  #68  
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Originally Posted by lrdpenn
Ah yes thank you. Forgot about J to F
Hope no one is wasting upgrades J to F... it is a disgrace to see how bad long-haul Flagship First has fallen
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Old Mar 14, 2024, 12:38 pm
  #69  
 
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Originally Posted by fly747first
Hope no one is wasting upgrades J to F... it is a disgrace to see how bad long-haul Flagship First has fallen
When AA used to fly F on TPAC flights, using a SWU for a J to F upgrade was not a bad option for a 14-15 hour flight, especially for the extra space. On the shorter TATL LHR flights, I agree it is not a great use of the SWU for the J to F upgrade, although I have used it for that purpose in the past for the longer LHR flights.
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Old Mar 15, 2024, 12:10 am
  #70  
 
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Originally Posted by Time traveller
When AA used to fly F on TPAC flights, using a SWU for a J to F upgrade was not a bad option for a 14-15 hour flight, especially for the extra space. On the shorter TATL LHR flights, I agree it is not a great use of the SWU for the J to F upgrade, although I have used it for that purpose in the past for the longer LHR flights.
Last year I used SWUs for Doha to JFK and back, feeling like it was good value. Got me into the Chelsea Lounge. Of course now that route changed to PHL.
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Old Mar 15, 2024, 2:17 am
  #71  
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Originally Posted by arabiamark
Last year I used SWUs for Doha to JFK and back, feeling like it was good value. Got me into the Chelsea Lounge. Of course now that route changed to PHL.
I wish I knew why people like the Chelsea lounge so much... it is fairly small and super dark, not to mention that the food for F standards is nothing to write home about. Personally, I prefer the Soho Lounge.
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Old Mar 15, 2024, 5:53 am
  #72  
 
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Originally Posted by fly747first
I wish I knew why people like the Chelsea lounge so much... it is fairly small and super dark, not to mention that the food for F standards is nothing to write home about. Personally, I prefer the Soho Lounge.
Ive not done the Chelsea, but the SoHo was a rather nice lounge. Id be pleased to visit either.

Frankly sometimes the F lounges are a bit too cozy. I actually prefer the CX C class lounge at LHR than the CX F class lounge - save for the self pour bar at the CX lounge.
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Old Mar 22, 2024, 2:24 pm
  #73  
 
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Let's not waste this SWU! Open to anywhere.

I've got one SWU expiring in about 8 days. I am a digital nomad and can work from anywhere. I have to go to Paris for the Olympics in July/August and see my sister in Bali in the fall/early winter. But, not finding anything confirmable to Doha, Tokyo, or Paris or even Nice during those date ranges. I even checked LAX-SYD for Christmas time. Anyone see any confirmable international routes lately, starting out from anywhere in the USA? Or actually I am fine with it being TO the USA as I could book it as the return.

Ideally avoiding South America, just spent 6 weeks there. Do love it though.

P.S. Aware I could donate it and aware if I change my mind later it'll go up in smoke, but alas.
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Old Mar 22, 2024, 2:51 pm
  #74  
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Originally Posted by Carolina2Cali
I've got one SWU expiring in about 8 days. I am a digital nomad and can work from anywhere. I have to go to Paris for the Olympics in July/August and see my sister in Bali in the fall/early winter. But, not finding anything confirmable to Doha, Tokyo, or Paris or even Nice during those date ranges. I even checked LAX-SYD for Christmas time. Anyone see any confirmable international routes lately, starting out from anywhere in the USA? Or actually I am fine with it being TO the USA as I could book it as the return.

Ideally avoiding South America, just spent 6 weeks there. Do love it though.

P.S. Aware I could donate it and aware if I change my mind later it'll go up in smoke, but alas.
AA typically never releases upgrade space in advance on any of those routes you mention. France in the summer, during the Olympics, haha. Doha and Tokyo are equally as tough now regardless of timing. And Sydney at Christmas time, come on.

If you want to hope to grab anything in advance you're going to have to be more flexible than just shooting for peak routes and peak peak times.

AA actually has some semi-decent one-way fares to Europe at the moment, so if it were me, I would just book a one-way sometime next winter to confirm the SWU so it doesn't go to waste. Then just change your ticket at a later date once availability opens up in the later summer and fall time.

For example, not sure where you're starting from, but you can book LGA-CLT-FRA for $561 in mid-January 2025, with confirmable SWU space on CLT-FRA. LGA-PHL-AMS is $460 with upgrade space open on PHL-AMS. Just park it somewhere.
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Old Mar 22, 2024, 2:57 pm
  #75  
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Originally Posted by JJeffrey
AA typically never releases upgrade space in advance on any of those routes you mention
Agreed. Those J cabins can be 100% empty and it will be C0 cast in stone.

Your best bet is to use JFK as a launch pad to LHR as that is your best chance to get any advance C availability but you will still need to be flexible. From LHR you can use that SWU to anywhere on BA CE and the SWU will cover that leg that as long as it's available for saver award redemption.
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