Upgrade Question - EXP upgrading someone else

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by ChicagoEric, Feb 9, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. ChicagoEric
    Original Member

    ChicagoEric Silver Member

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    Apologies if there is an upgrade master threat - searched and didn't find one.

    My wife is going away for a girls weekend and flying American. She does not fly often and has no status.

    As I understand it, my options for upgrading her are:

    1. SWU. Seems like a waste on a 2 1/2 hr domestic segment
    2. Miles with copay. Because she is on a discounted ticket, it's 30,000 miles roundtrip plus $150.

    My question is: am I missing anything? I have tons of 500-miles upgrades that I have never needed to use (always fly AAirpass for work) but as I understand it, I can't use those for her unless I am traveling with her. I would be happy to use miles, but the $150 co-pay seems hefty. I thought these fees were waved for EXP but I was told that only the ticketing fee is waved, not the copay. Am I missing anything? Any way to help her without $$$ or SWU?
     
  2. DestinationDavid
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    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    I'm fairly new to the AA program but it doesn't look like you've missed much to me, if I'm wrong someone more knowledgable about "the wAAy" will swing by to correct me.

    Looks like using a SWU or Miles is your only option. The agent was correct, the copays still exist for EXPs. You could hope that she can purchase a LFBU when she checks in, but that's luck of the draw and will cost money. Since she has no status the 500 mile upgrades aren't useful to her, she'd need to be on full fare economy to use those without you being on the PNR.

    If its a girl's weekend, wouldn't she want to be sitting with her friends anyway though? Or are they all flying on their own and meeting there?
     
  3. ChicagoEric
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    ChicagoEric Silver Member

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    All on seperate flights....

    Thanks for the info - copay just seems steep given I've already paid $$$ for her ticket and would also have to pony up 30K miles... but if there's no way around it, there's no way around it... should have just booked a first class ticket for 50K miles!
     
  4. DestinationDavid
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    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    Also, lots of good info here.

    Good luck!
     
  5. gemac
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    gemac Silver Member

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    The copay is steep, but AA can get it.
     
  6. Sagy

    Sagy Gold Member

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    You are probably right. If you value a mile at $0.02 then you are "paying" 37,500 for the upgrade so the so you saved 12,500 mile for the cost of the RT ticket. Yes, your wife will earn miles for the trip but since she has no status, it is likely to be under 5,000 and these might have little value if she doesn't have AA miles already.

    Bottom line, if the RT is under $250 then going the upgrade route (<$400 + 30K vs 50K) is not a bad deal. If the RT is over $350 then taking the award is better (50K vs 30K + $500+), in between depends on how much you value a mile. The only reason to use a SWU is if it expires at the end of the month and you can't use it for any other flight.
     

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