500 mile upgrades

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by michael21, Nov 18, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. michael21

    michael21 Silver Member

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    So I just got some of these for free and looking for some tips...what is the order like who wins if I apply these to a flight as a basic member and a platinum requests an upgrade...who's higher up?
     
  2. miamigrad
    Original Member

    miamigrad Silver Member

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    Not sure that I understand how you got any for free?

    Elite members earn 500 mile electronic upgrades (aka "stickers") at a rate of (4) per 10,000 EQM flown. Additional upgrades can be purchased online, at an airport kiosk, or from an AAgent.

    Here's the relevant page on AA.com regarding these:
    http://www.aa.com/i18n/AAdvantage/eliteStatus/upgrades/500mileUpgrades.jsp

    The upgrades can only be used by non-status members if traveling on full fare tickets (Y/B fares). Elite status members can request from any revenue fare bucket.

    Priority of the upgrades clear by status, and within each status level by original time/date of request.
     
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  3. michael21

    michael21 Silver Member

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    How do I book a y/b fair
     
  4. flynow

    flynow Silver Member

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    Call and let a AAgent.
    do it for you!
     
  5. miamigrad
    Original Member

    miamigrad Silver Member

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    Those are the most expensive coach fares (aka "full fare")
    During the booking process on AA.com, they are usually on the "refundable" tab when you see you flight choices (the website will default to the 'lowest fare' tab). From there, you would choose the "fully flexible" fares (normally)

    To verify the fare bucket, click on the [+] next to the fares to expand, and you'll see the fare buckets (Q, S, O, N, G, H, V, M, Y, B, etc.)
     
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  6. miamigrad
    Original Member

    miamigrad Silver Member

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    If the OP doesn't mind paying the telephone booking fee :)
     
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  7. flynow

    flynow Silver Member

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    Yes that is true . Sometime the booking fee is over look by some of the Agents!! ( if you are Luckey)
     
  8. MSYgirl

    MSYgirl Gold Member

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    Thank you! I didn't know this and have always wondered how to find it, but I kept that to my newbie self. :p

    EDIT: Just tried it and the price difference is $298 to $1192. I think I'll stick with steerage. :(
     
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  9. michael21

    michael21 Silver Member

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    So are they pretty useless if the refundable coach seat is more than a regular 1st class seat?
     
  10. MSYgirl

    MSYgirl Gold Member

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    I had to call my elite desk for something else and asked for you. She told me non-elites cannot use 500-mile upgrades.

    If you will not obtain elite status or have any use for them, I'm sure plenty of people here will take them off your hands (myself included). ;) Although getting them for free makes me skeptical.
     
  11. miamigrad
    Original Member

    miamigrad Silver Member

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    Unfortunately, this appears to be a case of another misinformed AAgent. 500 mile upgrades CAN be used by non-elites, but only if the non-elite is traveling on a Y/B fare (as I noted above, as well as outlined in T&C posted on AA.com in the link provided. NB: I'm only addressing when a non-elite is attempting to use these upgrades for themselves and not when an elite attempts to upgrade them as a companion on the same PNR)

    As well, these upgrades cannot be refunded, exchanged, or transfered. So, I'm still confused by the OP's comment that some were received for free.
     
  12. Photonerd71

    Photonerd71 Silver Member

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    They (AA) should redo their website to allow searching for specific fare buckets. (Like UA...ducking ). Every time I look for fares it always pops up Q,S,O,N,G fares and it is only 1/2 eqp's. Makes it hard to get status when everything is 1/2 points. :(

    Sent using a small piece of fruit.
     
  13. zpaul

    zpaul Gold Member

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    Just an FYI...if you can't use the upgrades given the price of Y/B, they can usually be converted to miles. 500 RDM per sticker.
     
  14. michael21

    michael21 Silver Member

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    I got one of those emails from Aa about a shortcut to gold statys and a thank 10 free 500 mile upgrades but point with the yb necessity they seem useless
     
  15. miamigrad
    Original Member

    miamigrad Silver Member

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    Got it. The confusion is clearing.

    But, the point is, if you received these upgrades along with a shortcut to GOLD status, you would no longer be a "regular" AAdvantage member. You would have Gold elite status, so the conversation about Y/B fares becomes a moot point in your case. As a Gold elite member, you can use them on any revenue fare bucket.

    Obviously, I don't know the details about the offer. Perhaps you are given the upgrades, but not instant status? If that's the case, they would be used -AFTER- you get Gold status. If they come along with instant GOLD, then you're set to use them on any flight (just look for the "request an upgrade" box when you purchase your ticket.

    As noted previously, you can't transfer them to other members (you can USE them to upgrade other members as your companion on the same PNR, but not transfer from your account to another)
     
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  16. michael21

    michael21 Silver Member

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    Ah OK...The thing is they offered me instant Gold for the rest of the year but if I want to keep it through Feb 2015, I need to fly 6,000 miles...How much would a mileage run like that usually cost and do you think it is worth it if my wife and I fly 2-4 times a year domestically..

    And does anyone know if you choose a main cabin extra seat and then get upgraded if your money is refunded from the main cabin extra seat?
     
  17. zpaul

    zpaul Gold Member

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    Currently Gold elites have access to MCE at no charge (until March 1, 2014) - did you book before your status was confirmed? If so, you might be entitled to a refund even if you don't get an upgrade.

    Here's the chart of benefits: http://www.aa.com/i18n/AAdvantage/eliteStatus/elite-benefits-chart.jsp

    Not sure if they refund the price for a preferred seat if you get upgraded, though. I'll leave that answer to a more knowledgeable person here.

    It's a personal decision regarding elite status and if it's worth it for you. Given what you mention, even if you are both flying 4 transcons a year you're not in a position to requalify for Gold (JFK-LAX r/t is 4,950mi x 4 = 19,800...short of the 25,000 EQM by 5,200. If you're flying F you could qualify with EQPs). Making a mileage run for 6,000 miles may not be worth it, but again, that's a purely personal decision.
     
  18. michael21

    michael21 Silver Member

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    I only need 6000 miles though to hold it for 2014. Is it worth it for 2014?
     
  19. MSYgirl

    MSYgirl Gold Member

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    How much do you plan on flying in 2014?
     
  20. michael21

    michael21 Silver Member

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    3-4 trips with wife...mostly domestic
     
  21. dmel

    dmel Gold Member

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    I believe this 'convert to miles' option is only available to folks living outside the US.
     
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  22. basiface

    basiface Silver Member

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    Depends....Where do you fly out of? Do you guys typically check a bag a piece? Right now SFO/SEA-JFK weekend flights in December are on sale for around $220. That's 5K miles right there so you could find another short, cheap trip to cover the rest. If you're flexible those last minute weekend sales are pretty good depending once again on where you live. If you check bags when you travel you'll recoup your $$ from the free bags on your 4 trips and still get the rest of the benefits of having Gold. I wouldn't bet on too many upgrades as a Gold (I'm striking out A LOT as a PLT this year) but the priority security and boarding are nice, plus the bonus miles.
     
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