All American Elites Will Soon Get Free Upgrades on Awards

by Anthony Losanno
American Plane

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The American Airlines AAdvantage program is about to add complimentary upgrades to award tickets for all of its elite members. This was previously limited to Concierge Key and Executive Platinum members (the airline’s top two tiers).

What’s Changing?

American has offered complimentary upgrades to all elite members within North America on revenue tickets for some time. Concierge Key and Executive Platinum members could also get these when booked on award tickets. As of June 9th, AAdvantage Platinum Pro, Platinum, and Gold flyers can get these as well. Upgrades will be prioritized by elite tier and then the rolling 12-month total of Loyalty Points. Upgrades on award tickets will no longer come after upgrades on revenue tickets as the ranking above will determine place on the upgrade hierarchy. A companion can also be upgraded on award tickets. Partner flights don’t count as this is just for American operated flights booked with American Airlines.

American Plane

Will This Matter?

Upgrades are so hard to come by right now. Unless you’re a top-tier elite on an expensive ticket, good luck. I don’t think this will have much of an impact on most of the members of American’s AAdvantage program, but it’s nice that they have added the option to give flyers that glimmer of hope.

Anthony’s Take: I’m not a huge fan of American, but will give them props for adding the ability to upgrade award tickets. Do I think this will make a big difference for most flyers? No. It’s nice that there is the possibility though, as I’m sure there is a super early flight between Charlotte and Akron on a random Saturday where this will benefit someone.

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1 comment

Christian June 6, 2023 - 3:45 pm

Smart move by American. This way a few lower tier elites will be upgraded but not many while the positive PR is great. I’ve been lower tier with Delta and United and had very different experiences with each. On United (pre Kirby) I was upgraded a number of times on award tickets; with Delta I was never upgraded on any flight, award or paid. That really bought some goodwill with me for United.


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