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American Airlines - With Aadvantage Platinum status how do upgrade work?

American Airlines - With Aadvantage Platinum status how do upgrade work?

Aug 25th, 2004, 09:43 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2003
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American Airlines - With Aadvantage Platinum status how do upgrade work?

I have aa platinum status I would like to know how the upgrade certificates work. Can you only use them on domestic flights? Am I able to use them on AA partner airlines for international flights? Any tips/info would be appreciated. Thanks.
retiredinflorida is offline  
Aug 25th, 2004, 09:48 AM
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rif....Here's the scoop.....
BeachBoi is offline  
Aug 25th, 2004, 09:53 AM
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Can you tell us which certifs?
There are sooooo many in circulation.
If you look at the document it will tell you in great detail how it can be used.
TxTravelPro is offline  
Aug 25th, 2004, 09:56 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Something that confuses me a bit is that you have to travel A LOT to get to Platinum status. I travel 3 times a month and barely made it to Plat status last year.
How are you Platinum and do not understand how things work????
I don't think I have ever met someone at that level who didn't have a pretty good grasp on upgrades!!!!
TxTravelPro is offline  
Aug 25th, 2004, 03:04 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2003
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I just got Platinum status at the end of last year. I have asked AA telephone agents about upgrades and I find none of them seem to know properly. I'm hoping experienced fodorites would know about this.
I have not been mailed any certificates. Am I supposed to receive some? Thanks.
retiredinflorida is offline  
Aug 25th, 2004, 03:35 PM
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Well, my agency gives me actual certificates that upgrade me without using up my electronic "stickers" or whatever they are called these days.
No, you should not be getting these from AA.
I can tell you that you must earn or purchase ($$ or miles) upgrade stickers (points) and each one is worth 500 miles.
My upgrade today from LGA to DFW took 3 stickers.
You can request an upgrade at the time of booking and it will auto upgrade 72 hours prior to departure if space is available.
If you do not fly your scheduled flight, like me today... I took the 705 am flight instead of the 9 something flight, I am standby for coach on the new flight and then I go on the list for first... so in effect, I am behind everyone confirmed on the flight, even regular Gold and AAdvantage level members. Exec Platinums ALWAYS get upgraded so everyone is behind them in upgrade priority.
Just remember, you need to have earned upgrade credits or buy them like 24 hours prior to departure.
That's about all I know, unless we get into the paper certifs. I rarely fly international and I ONLY fly AA.
TxTravelPro is offline  
Aug 25th, 2004, 04:26 PM
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Just make sure you try to use them. I was platinum for just one year and had six upgrades available, but never got to use one -- none available. One time when I arrived to change planes in DFW I was informed that I had been upgraded. But then that flight got cancelled and so I lost it.

I still supposedly have those 6 credits -- they still show on my statements. But because I'm no longer platinum and/or because I do low fare advance purchases, my reservations always show "no upgrade possible".
Patrick is offline  
Aug 25th, 2004, 05:06 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Patrick... On AA???
I am totally confused.
I fly the lowest possible fares, always.
L,N,V,M, among other fare classes.
My r/t flight to LGA from DFW was 260.00!!! I get upgraded 95% of the time. I request my upgrade at the time of booking, if I want one and I almost always get it because I am just under the Exec Plats in priority.
The lowest fares are booked in advance and it is that very fact that almost guarantees my upgrade since I am one of the first to request it.
The only time I am aware of that you can't use an upgrade on AA is when you buy a Priceline or Hotwire ticket.
TxTravelPro is offline  
Aug 25th, 2004, 05:19 PM
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Maybe you didn't get the fact that I am no longer a Platinum. I could have used the upgrades when I was, but now the reservation always says "not available". When I called once and asked why I was told because I have no elite status, but the credits would remain until I regained it (doubtful ever).
Patrick is offline  
Aug 25th, 2004, 06:48 PM
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There are several flavors of upgrades that apply to elites in the AAdvantage program. As Plat, you will earn four "sticker" (no longer, now electronic) upgrades for each 10,000 qualifying miles (most miles) you fly. Each is good for 500 miles, so a 2500 mi coast-to-coast trip (remember, airmiles, not road miles) will require 5 "stickers" each way. You can also purchase upgrade thingys for I think $25 or $30 each. Non-elites can't do this. You call the Platinum line to AA to ask for the upgrade. If a seat becomes available within 72 hours of your flight, you get upgraded (24 if you're Gold, not Plat.) No availability, the upgrades remain available in your account. You can also be waitlisted at the gate for an upgrade if nothing happens in the preflight 72 hours. Note these 500 mi upgrades are only good on domestic flights, no such animal for overseas travel.

Otherwise, you can exchange miles for upgrades, various amounts for various booking classes and destinations.
If you don't have a Platinum guidebook thingy that explains this, you can download the .pdf file at aa.com. Also go lurk at the AA forum on flyertalk.com - more info than you ever wanted to know.
Gardyloo is online now  
Aug 25th, 2004, 07:45 PM
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i stopped flying AA because the upgrade situation is hard to figure out. I now fly Continental whenever possible and they ALWAYS upgrade me without me asking! It's night and day!
Dan is offline  
Aug 26th, 2004, 01:33 AM
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has pretty much cover all the info, but I just want to clarify some of it.

AA version of domestic travel = US includig Hawaii and Alaska, Canada, Mexico, Bermuda, Central and top South America and the Caribbean.

The only flights that stickers can't be used on are: Japan, Europe and deep South America.

Non-elites are allowed to purchase stickers and use them, but it's practically useless exercise for them. They need to fly on full fare economy and they are the last on the waitlist to be upgraded, so, I would say that about 99% of the time their request will not go through and they are stuck paying for a full fare ticket. Not a good option, but it's possible.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Aug 26th, 2004, 05:23 AM
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Continental good for upgrade? That's the first time I've heard of that. Yes, my parents do get upgraded sometimes (mostly on CO 51 EWR-IAH, as that's one of the few domestic route with the 772 with 48 BF seats). Otherwise, CO is cutting FC seats left and right. Check out their newest plane the 757-300. 12 FC and 200+ economy, for probably the worst FC/coach ratio in the industry.

So, if you want to get CO upgrades, check the schedule to make sure your route is routinely flown with 767s, 777s or the newer 737-900s. If they are usually 757s or the older 737-500s, you can generally forget upgrades, unless you're Platinum Elite.
rkkwan is offline  
Aug 26th, 2004, 05:37 AM
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Thanks for clarifying that one point AAFrequentFlyer. I know that the last two flights I've booked on line on AA, clearly came up "upgrade not possible" even though my credits show right there. I wasn't sure why -- just assumed it was because of either the low fare or because I'm no longer elite status. I guess it's a combination of the two. The low fare would allow an upgrade IF I were elite. Incidentally those "low fares" were $155 round trip Ft. Lauderdale to New York, and $255 from Ft. Myers to San Francisco and return Las Vegas to Ft. Myers, so I'm not complaining. Both web specials.
Patrick is offline  
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