Aadvantage 1st class upgrade

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by emd014, Mar 9, 2014.  |  Print Topic

  1. emd014

    emd014 Member

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    Hey sorry if this is a newbie question but I just got gold status on American Airlines and am wondering how the 1st class upgrade works?
     
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  2. tom911
    Original Member

    tom911 Gold Member

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    First class on domestic? You'll need to have 500 mile upgrades in your account and request the upgrade when making the booking. If you don't have upgrades in account and clear the list, you'll need to buy them. They're cheaper to buy on-line versus at the gate, and they don't expire should you not clear. Keep in mind that EXP and Platinum level flyers will clear ahead of Gold.

    If you didn't request upgrades at booking, look at your itinerary and each segment will have a box next to it indicating you want to request an upgrade. You should check the box of the appropriate flight.

    You can also upgrade with cash and miles.
     
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  3. Mapsmith
    Original Member

    Mapsmith Gold Member

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    And if you drop from Gold. . . . Supposedly the upgrades that you have in your account can then only be used on full fare Y fares.
    Don't know if that has changed since I lost gold about 10 years ago.
     
  4. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    Welcome to Milepoint. Congratulations on your new status, but don't expect too many upgrades as a gold member. I wouldn't buy any 500 mile upgrades in advance, as you can buy them at the airport if needed.
     
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  5. Pizzaman
    Original Member

    Pizzaman Co-founder

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    While Marc and I generally agree on most things, I might offer some clarification on upgrades as a gold member. You're certainly not going to get upgraded 100% of the time. But, good members can qualify for a reasonably high percentage of upgrades, though it's very route specific IMO.

    For example, my home base is IAD. As a gold member, you should expect to clear roughly half your flights to DFW, and more if you fly off-peak. You should expect to never clear on IAD-LAX. And, upgrades out of ORD are going to be generally tougher to a pretty good chunk of destinations.

    My personal recommendation would be to always have enough upgrades in your account for any flight you'd like to upgrade BEFORE you check-in. Though rare, I've heard of situations where folks were waiting for an upgrade to clear before buying stickers and an agent booted them off the list (incorrectly, IMO) since they didn't have enough stickers in their account to clear the upgrade.

    If you do wait until you arrive at the airport to purchase upgrades, make sure you use a self-service kiosk as AA charges $5 more per upgrade if you use an agent.
     
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  6. Max M

    Max M Gold Member

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    Agreed as well. It does vary from route to route in terms of upgrade chances.

    One other thing to keep in mind:

    If your upgrade doesn't clear prior to getting at the airport, you'll be on the list at the gate for last minute upgrades. However in order to be on this list, you must have enough 500 milers to be able to get the upgrade.

    Pro tip: If you don't typically check-in with the kiosk, consider using the check-in kiosk in the event that you need to purchase upgrades last minute at the airport. It's cheaper to buy any necessary upgrades from the machine versus buying upgrades from the ticketing agent.
     
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