Can I upgrade my AA flight with Avios?

Old Sep 6, 19, 5:22 am
  #1  
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Can I upgrade my AA flight with Avios?

Details as follows:
  • Flight/Class BA1502 - B / Economy Class
  • Operated By American Airlines
  • Ticket Number: 125 xxxxx
If it's possible for me to upgrade this flight using Avios, what fare bucket am I looking for availability in?
Can I call BA to process the upgrade?
The booking was made via a travel agent (American Express Travel).

Thanks for any advice!
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Old Sep 6, 19, 5:24 am
  #2  
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Old Sep 6, 19, 5:26 am
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Upgrade American flight using avios

It seems that B cannot be upgraded with AA.
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Old Sep 6, 19, 5:31 am
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I think a BA codeshare B is different from an AA Prime B, which is an HBO fare. If the ticket is relatively expensive then I believe it can be upgraded, so long as there aren't other complexities.
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Old Sep 6, 19, 5:35 am
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Originally Posted by corporate-wage-slave View Post
I think a BA codeshare B is different from an AA Prime B, which is an HBO fare. If the ticket is relatively expensive then I believe it can be upgraded, so long as there aren't other complexities.
Thank you. I just called BAEC and the lady said my ticket would be upgradeable if availability opens up. It was pretty expensive (c. 1300) so I hope that is the case.

Now I just need to hope availability opens up. I assume I am checking for AA availability in "C" class?
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Old Sep 6, 19, 6:00 am
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Okay, so the guide to spending Avios says the following:
  • Flights booked on AA and IB must be booked under their own flight numbers and not as a codeshare
My flight is "BA1502" which, I assume, means it is a codeshare? So was the woman at BAEC wrong in telling me my ticket is eligible for UuA?
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Old Sep 6, 19, 6:01 am
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You will not be able to upgrade using Avios because codeshare flights cannot be upgraded; that you booked via a travel agency is another obstacle.
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Old Sep 6, 19, 6:22 am
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Originally Posted by Andriyko View Post
You will not be able to upgrade using Avios because codeshare flights cannot be upgraded; that you booked via a travel agency is another obstacle.
I've spoken to 2 agents at BAEC now and both tell me I can. Confused.....
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Old Sep 6, 19, 6:26 am
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Originally Posted by oceanscape View Post
I've spoken to 2 agents at BAEC now and both tell me I can. Confused.....
I can only assume that they see that it is a BA flight number and booking class B (which is upgradeable) and that's where they stop. I suspect that when it comes to actually processing the upgrade they'll кгт into an issue or two. However, if they can do it then you are in luck. Stranger things have happened with these joint business upgrades in my experience.
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Last edited by Andriyko; Sep 6, 19 at 6:52 am
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Old Sep 6, 19, 6:50 am
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If/when they rebook to process the upgrade, you’d be rebooked on the AA flight number from the BA code.

I think the travel agent part will still prevent this though.
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Old Sep 6, 19, 6:54 am
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Originally Posted by JAXBA View Post
[COLOR=&quot]If/when they rebook to process the upgrade, you’d be rebooked on the AA flight number from the BA code.

I think the travel agent part will still prevent this though.[/COLOR]
Thanks for clarifying. Funnily enough, the travel agent part was the bit I was not worried about. I was told in no uncertain terms that it made no difference it was booked through Amex corporate travel and they can still process the upgrade at BA, but maybe the travel agent part will be the issue with rebooking it on to the AA flight number. Why is it never simple?!
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Old Sep 6, 19, 6:57 am
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Originally Posted by JAXBA View Post
[COLOR=&amp]If/when they rebook to process the upgrade, you’d be rebooked on the AA flight number from the BA code.[/COLOR]
Yes, the used to rebook onto AA prime flight numbers when upgrading BA*AA codeshares was allowed. BAEC changed the rules a few years ago requiring that AA and IB flights to be booked as prime flight numbers to begin with.

Originally Posted by oceanscape View Post
I was told in no uncertain terms that it made no difference it was booked through Amex corporate travel and they can still process the upgrade at BA, but maybe the travel agent part will be the issue with rebooking it on to the AA flight number.
It looks like the agents you spoke to did not realize that you were inquiring about a join business upgrade. It is possible to upgrade BA flights even if you purchased the ticket from a travel agent. But you're not upgrading a BA flight. What you want should not, and probably would not, happen. I don't know why you're getting a different answer from the call centre agents.

Last edited by Andriyko; Sep 6, 19 at 7:10 am
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Old Sep 6, 19, 1:37 pm
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Originally Posted by Andriyko View Post
Yes, the used to rebook onto AA prime flight numbers when upgrading BA*AA codeshares was allowed. BAEC changed the rules a few years ago requiring that AA and IB flights to be booked as prime flight numbers to begin with.


It looks like the agents you spoke to did not realize that you were inquiring about a join business upgrade. It is possible to upgrade BA flights even if you purchased the ticket from a travel agent. But you're not upgrading a BA flight. What you want should not, and probably would not, happen. I don't know why you're getting a different answer from the call centre agents.
Okay, so seems I'm completely out of luck. I might call Amex corporate travel and ask how much it would be to switch it to AA flight numbers but even then I'd still be prevented from upgrading as it would be ineligible as a travel agent booking? And to add further complexity, I think these flights have a Premium Economy cabin so even if everything else worked out I guess I'd only be able to upgrade from econ to prem. and not all the way to business ....

Anyone know if I might have any luck at OLCI? Do AA ever offer cash upgrades at OLCI or at the airport desk?
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Old Sep 6, 19, 1:54 pm
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Roughly when OLCI opens, tha airline takes over travel agent tickets so that part shouldn't make a difference at the airport. However, look at your receipt carefully to check whether you have a published fare or some sort of bulk or consolidator fare from AmEx. That could create problems too.

If the ticket was purchased within 24 hours, you should be able to call AmEx and cancel for free, then purchase a new ticket with the AA flight number at prevailing fares for the AA marketed version of the flight. It could be cheaper or more expensive, but chances are that AmEx ticketed it under the codeshare to save money.

BTW, have you checked IAP fares for premium economy and business class? If you have a fairly expensive coach ticket, there's the chance that a discounted premium cabin ticket could be cheaper.
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Old Sep 6, 19, 2:15 pm
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
Roughly when OLCI opens, tha airline takes over travel agent tickets so that part shouldn't make a difference at the airport. However, look at your receipt carefully to check whether you have a published fare or some sort of bulk or consolidator fare from AmEx. That could create problems too.

If the ticket was purchased within 24 hours, you should be able to call AmEx and cancel for free, then purchase a new ticket with the AA flight number at prevailing fares for the AA marketed version of the flight. It could be cheaper or more expensive, but chances are that AmEx ticketed it under the codeshare to save money.

BTW, have you checked IAP fares for premium economy and business class? If you have a fairly expensive coach ticket, there's the chance that a discounted premium cabin ticket could be cheaper.
Luckily it's a published fare as the BAEC person I spoke with confirmed that and that's why she said she could upgrade it even though it was a TA booking.

Unfortunately it's my company policy to fly fully flex economy even if PE / J is available and cheaper! So I'm stuck with my expensive coach ticket regardless of what else is available. My only option is to upgrade it.
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