American AAdvantage Gold elite-level members no longer receive automatic upgrades at booking to Main Cabin Extra seats when purchasing economy tickets. These members, along with US Airways Dividend Miles Silver, oneworld Ruby and Alaska MVP members can purchase Main Cabin Extra seats at a 50 percent discount or can try their luck at a free upgrade on a space-available basis within 24 hours of a flight departure. AAdvantage Executive Platinum, AAdvantage Platinum members and their oneworld equivalents, as well as US Airways Dividend Miles Preferred members and customers who purchase a full-fare Main Cabin ticket will continue to receive complimentary access to Main Cabin Extra seats confirmable upon booking.
Bottom line: This benefit for the lowest level elite members was always meant as a temporary perk. The benefit was originally set to end at the end of 2013, so they had more time to enjoy the benefit than originally announced. AAdvantage, however, did not make a formal announcement to members, but rather, simply changed the wording of some of the program details online.