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Upgrade BA seat with AA miiles of upgrade certificates - how do I do this?

Upgrade BA seat with AA miiles of upgrade certificates - how do I do this?

Old Aug 28th, 2009, 02:51 AM
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Upgrade BA seat with AA miiles of upgrade certificates - how do I do this?

My 80 year old mother is going to Scotland and London in Oct for her birthday with a friend (flying separately). How can we use our AA miles or upgrade "units" to get her a business or first class upgrade as a birthday present? After I get hold of her e-ticket/confirmation number, do I need anything else, do I call BA or AA or can I do this on-line.
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Old Aug 28th, 2009, 04:01 AM
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You can't use AA miles or upgrade certificates to upgrade an economy class ticket purchased on BA. You can only use BA miles to upgrade a BA ticket, or AA miles to upgrade an AA ticket.

You can try using your AA miles to get her a ticket in a premium cabin (Premium Economy, Club (i.e. Business) or First on a BA flight but: 1) it will require a lot of miles; and 2) the odds of being able to get an award seat only a few months before travel are relatively low.
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Old Aug 28th, 2009, 04:05 AM
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Oops. I pressed send too soon. Another option you might consider is paying for her to fly World Traveller Plus (i.e. Premium Economy for the trans-Atlantic portion of the ticket. If she hasn't already bought a ticket, you could pay the full cost of the ticket (probably about 30-50% more than regular Economy) or pay for the difference between Economy and World Traveller Plus. If she has already purchased an Economy class ticket (called World Traveller by BA), you probably can pay to upgrade the ticket - you can do it online if she bought the ticket online. Otherwise, try talking to the travel agent.
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Old Aug 28th, 2009, 07:36 AM
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Ticket is already purchased. I thought as part of One World alliance miles from one airline could be used on another int he group - either to purchase or upgrade - guess not.

No way are we able to purchase her a premium cabin ticket.
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Old Aug 28th, 2009, 07:54 AM
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In some cases you can use FF miles on one carrier to purchase a ticket on another within an alliance, but each airline has their own rules about using miles to upgrade using another carrier's miles - and many, inc BA, won't allow upgrades using another's miles.
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Old Aug 28th, 2009, 10:36 AM
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In all instances, with all their partners you can use AA miles to "purchase" tickets so <b>dfr</b> is only partially correct.

and <b>frfog</b> is also partially correct stating that it will be impossible to get BA ticket with AA miles since it's only few months before the flight. I usually use my AA miles to "purchase" tickets on many different OneWorld partners including BA, about 3-4 months ahead and hardly ever had a problem.

That said, no you can't use AA miles or certs to upgrade a BA ticket.
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Old Aug 28th, 2009, 11:06 AM
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Thanks. I guess she is flying coach since ticket has already been purchased by her.
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Old Aug 28th, 2009, 11:20 AM
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You can't use AA miles to upgrade on BA, but quite often BA allows upgrades at check-in, typically for around US$250-$300 one way for World Traveller (coach) to World Traveller Plus (premium economy) or US$500 one way for World Traveller Plus to Club World (business class.)

There is interesting scuttlebutt (and calling it that is presumptuous - maybe "fantasy" is closer) floating around at the moment that one of the possible changes that might occur following granting of anti-trust immunity (ATI) for British Airways and American Airlines (applications now pending before US and European authorities) would be allowance for "cross-upgrading" between AA and BA. This is still completely iffy and nothing is likely to happen for at least a year, probably longer, but it would be a change that would have AA FFers in heaven and probably quite a few BA folks too. Fingers crossed.
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Old Aug 28th, 2009, 03:38 PM
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You might want to look at paying to upgrade her economy class ticket to World Traveller Plus. World Traveller Plus will get her a somewhat larger seat, more legroom (38" vs 31"), in a smaller, separate cabin.

As Gardyloo noted, it is possible to buy an upgrade and you may be able to do it now, rather than waiting until check-in. I did a dummy booking on BA for a flight in October, and got a price of about $280 to upgrade one leg and $300 to upgrade the other. The cost of an upgrade is highly variable, though - so it would depend very much on exactly which flights she has booked. You can also upgrade just one or the other leg (e.g. upgrade the flight over so that she can sleep more comfortably, or upgrade the return so she can fly home in style). If she has a booking reference, you can try looking up the options on ba.com.
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