AA upgrade question

Jun 11th, 2007, 05:16 AM
  #1  
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AA upgrade question

I have 8 upgrades available to use on AA (million-mile perk -wohoo!) - and have no clue on how to use them. Can I book 2 domestic tickets using miles in economy, and then use 2 of these upgrades to get into first class?

Thanks for any help!

Cyn
cynstalker is offline  
Jun 11th, 2007, 05:19 AM
  #2  
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Sorry- posted too soon.

I do realize that they are 500 mile upgrades, so if I'm flying BDL/DFW/PHX, how many upgrades would I need? (Sounds like an algebra question!)
cynstalker is offline  
Jun 11th, 2007, 06:11 AM
  #3  
 
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Pretend you are making a reservation for that route. When you get the list of flights, it will show you the length of each segment in miles. Then divide the number of miles per segment (not in total) by 500 and round up.

After you make the reservation, call AA and ask them to put you and your companion on the upgrade list. I'm assuming you are a gold member. If so, the system will upgrade you if there are seats available 24 hours before the flight. In other words, it's not like upgrading with miles where you get the upgrade now.
hills27 is offline  
Jun 11th, 2007, 06:20 AM
  #4  
 
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Can I book 2 domestic tickets using miles in economy

I don't believe you can upgrade an award ticket--must be a paid ticket.

General 500-Mile Upgrade Terms and Conditions

* Each electronic upgrade is valid for 500 miles of travel on American Airlines within and between the 50 United States, The Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, the Caribbean, Mexico, and between the U.S. and Central America.
* Elite Status AAdvantage members may use upgrades for themselves and one travel companion on a paid Economy Class ticket.
* All other AAdvantage members may use upgrades only for themselves on a paid Full-fare Economy Class (fares booked in Y or B) ticket.
ms_go is offline  
Jun 11th, 2007, 06:25 AM
  #5  
 
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BDL-DFW is around 1470 miles; and DFW-PHX is around 870. So you will need 3 500-mile u/gs for the DFW leg and 2 for the PHX leg, each way.

If you are an elite member of AAdvantage (Gold or higher) they can be used for upgrading from most domestic fares ("all" for practical purposes.) If you're not an elite member, they can only be used to upgrade from "Y" or "B" fares - non-discounted economy.

If you're an elite member, you can also buy additional 500-milers to get enough for the full trip - in this case you'd need a total of 10 per round trip.

Note too that upgrades are confirmed ("clear") at some number of hours before the flight, and elite members' upgrade requests clear sooner than non-elites, varying from 2 or 3 days to one hour or less pre-flight.

And many flights these days they don't clear at all. My poor spouse had to suffer a Seattle - JFK RT this weekend sitting in the back of a 757 slave galley because her upgrades didn't clear at all (and she's Platinum elite.) If you want to ride up front, there one sure way and only one. $$$.
Gardyloo is offline  
Jun 11th, 2007, 06:29 AM
  #6  
 
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You will need 3 for the BDL-DFW segment as it's 1471 miles and 2 for the DFW-PHX segment which is 868 miles. That's 5 upgrades total and that's just one-way.

It's possible to purchase more upgrades at $30 each when done on the aa.com website or $35 each when purchased through a phone or airport agent. You don't need to have upgrades when requesting the upgrades, but you'll need the necessary number of them when you check in, assuming you clear the upgrades.

Since you crossed 1 million miles you have, at the very least, Gold status (btw, the status is yours for the life of the AAdvantage program).

As a Gold your upgrade rquest may start to clear at the 24th hour before the schedule time of the flight. Unfortunately for you, Executive Platinums will start clearing at the 100th hour and Platinums will start to clear at the 72th hour. So it's very possible that you may not clear for some of thje segments or at worst none of the segments as F may be full by the time it gets down to Golds.

If you don't clear at 3 hours before the flight, you will want to get to the airport soon after and ask to be put on a waitlist. Airport control takes over at 3 hours before the flight and the "old" waitlist" is scratched and a new one is started by the airport people. That waitlist will go by status and then by the time of check in, so it's a good idea to check in on line at the 24th hour before, so while Exec Plats and Plats will still trump you, you may be #1 on the waitlist within the Gold status if you are the first Gold to check in and then have yourself put on the airport waitlist at the 3 hour mark.

Upgrades can and many time do clear up to 15 minutes before the flight departs as there is always a possibility of misconnects, cancellations etc.etc.

You want to request the upgrade as soon as you make the reservation. On www.aa.com there will be a request box during the reservation process, but make sure that after you tick the little boxes you also tick the "Submit upgrade request" BEFORE you actually finalize the reservation. And then double check that the request was submitted. If not then it's still possiblle to do it after the reservation was made so don't worry too much, but just make sure the request was submitted. Also, during schedule changes, sometimes the requests were cancelled so keep an eye on the reservation every few days and double check the upgrade request box.

Good luck and Congrats on the lifetime Gold status!
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Jun 11th, 2007, 07:23 AM
  #7  
 
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Right - forgot about lifetime Gold w/1M miles.

You can also use the 500-milers (still call them "stickers") to upgrade a traveling companion, but only if (s)he's flying with you.
Gardyloo is offline  
Jun 11th, 2007, 10:44 AM
  #8  
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Thanks for the info - it doesn't take long to use up 500 miles - so all told, for DH and me, I would need 20 upgrades for this roundtrip?

And I'm still a little fuzzy - Gardyloo, you said "If you are an elite member of AAdvantage (Gold or higher) they can be used for upgrading from most domestic fares ("all" for practical purposes.)". Meaning it is as ms_go said - it must be paid - not flying on miles? Sorry to be so dense!

Cyn
cynstalker is offline  
Jun 11th, 2007, 11:02 AM
  #9  
 
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Yes, it has to be a revenue fare. You can't upgrade an award ticket (at least not with upgrade currency).

The only way to upgrade an award ticket outside of an occasional, but very rare lately, operational upgrade, is to re-deposit your miles from the coach award ticket, pay $100 for the pleasure and then take out a business or first class award, if available.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Jun 11th, 2007, 11:10 AM
  #10  
 
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oh and FYI,

when and if you cross the 2nd million, the 4 system wide upgrades are a much better perk and you will also get Platinum for life status. (100% bonus miles, 72 hour upgrade window with "stickers, business class lounge access to any OneWorld Lounge when flying internationally, etc)

1 e-VIP can be used for up to 3 segments anywhere AA flies (AA metal only), on just about any economy fare, except for O or Q fare.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Jun 11th, 2007, 11:14 AM
  #11  
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Thanks AAFF. I may hit the 2million mark this year - gotta love using a credit card for major house renovations - helps add them miles up quickly! Appreciate the info!

So platinum gets international bc lounge access even if flying coach? Nice!
cynstalker is offline  
Jun 11th, 2007, 11:23 AM
  #12  
 
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So platinum gets international bc lounge access even if flying coach? Nice!

Yes, and even on award tickets, provided you're flying onward using a Oneworld carrier.
Gardyloo is offline  
Jun 12th, 2007, 06:36 PM
  #13  
 
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Man, I'm never going to get anywhere with my lousy 20,000 miles ;(

I don't even know hey the work.
redshoe is offline  
Jun 13th, 2007, 03:56 PM
  #14  
 
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in resonse to cynstalker's original query you can only use the vip upgrades on a paid ticket and can only upgrade one class of service - pretty much the same as using miles to upgrade - and there are certain fares that don't qualify for upgrades (i.e. "I" business class is not upgradeable - you have to purchase a "D" or "J" fare). also some of the coach purchased fares are not upgradeable. in response to some of the other posters regarding using the 500 mile upgrades, i don't even bother to try for those unless its a short flight like lax - sfo since it's almost impossible to get them. i prefer to use miles and make sure that i'm up front than wait the 72 hours, hence i've got 60 -500 mile upgrades that just sit in my account and i keep acruing more.
esernel is offline  
Jun 13th, 2007, 06:11 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
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Wow, I'm platinum and I almost always get the upgrade with 500-mile upgrades.
hills27 is offline  
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