500-mile upgrades

500-mile upgrades American Airlines

Elite status members: Upgrade your experience

AAdvantage® elite status members can upgrade from any purchased, published fare in the Main Cabin to the next class of service on American Airlines and US Airways marketed and operated flights.

For now, upgrade benefits will work differently on American and US Airways flights since we're still operating as two separate airlines. Once we have a single reservations system later in 2015, we'll adopt the American upgrade process for all flights.

On American flights

Upgrades are always complimentary for Executive Platinum members. For Platinum and Gold members, upgrades on flights less than 500 miles are complimentary and flights greater than 500 miles require 500-mile upgrades.

If possible, upgrades will be confirmed before departure based on elite status

On US Airways flights

Upgrades are complimentary for all AAdvantage elite status members and a companion (as long as you're traveling in the same reservation).

If possible, upgrades will be confirmed before departure based on elite status

On codeshare flights

Upgrades on American and US Airways codeshares, flights marketed by one airline and operated by the other. Upgrade policies are based on the airline operating your flight.

Upgrades are only offered at check-in, based on availability

Want upgrades confirmed before check-in?


Upgrades on American

When booking your flight on aa.com, you'll see the number of flight miles and whether or not the upgrade is complimentary. After you book your flight, you can view your reservation from 'My Trips' to see if your upgrade is complimentary.

  • Complimentary, auto-requested and confirmed upgrades
    On American Gold Platinum Executive Platinum
    Flights 500 miles or less: Unlimited, auto-requested complimentary upgrades available available available
    Flights over 500 miles: Use earned or purchased 500-mile upgrades available available Unlimited, auto-requested complimentary upgrades on flights over 500 miles
    Upgrade one companion traveling with you on the same flight with 500-mile upgrades* available available available
    Upgrades confirmed before departure
    (as early as)
    24 hours 72 hours 100 hours

    Upgrades on American are valid on American marketed and operated flights, within and between the U.S. (including Hawaii) and between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, the Bahamas, the Caribbean, Bermuda and Central America (based on availability). Upgrades are valid from the Main Cabin to the next class of service.

    *Your travel companion can be booked in the same reservation or in a different reservation when traveling on American Airlines marketed and operated flights. If your companion is booked in a different reservation, call American Airlines reservations to link the two reservations.

Two ways to get 500-mile upgrades

Earn upgrades

AAdvantage Platinum and Gold members will earn four 500-mile upgrades for every 10,000 elite-qualifying miles flown (including guaranteed minimum miles) during each membership year - beginning March 1 or the date you qualify for elite status, through the last day of February. Mileage counters that are used to determine the number of 500-mile upgrades earned are reset to zero every March 1.

Buy upgrades

You can buy 500-mile upgrades at a discounted price:

You can also buy 500-mile upgrades:

  • Upgrade prices
    Purchase method Price
    (per 500-miles) 1
    aa.com or airport kiosk $30
    Agent-assisted purchase $35

    1Price is subject to applicable taxes and fees if purchased outside of the U.S.

    Elite status members can also buy eight upgrades for 35,000 AAdvantage miles.

How to upgrade on American marketed and operated flights

Step 1

If everyone in your reservation is eligible for a complimentary upgrade, upgrades will be auto-requested.

If you need to use your 500-mile upgrades, you'll need to request an upgrade when you make your reservation or any time before departure:

If you want to opt-out of automatic upgrades, contact American Airlines Reservations.

  • Traveling with a companion or other people in your reservation?

    Traveling with a designated companion?

    Traveling with other people in your reservation?

Step 2

If your upgrade is confirmed, we'll send an email to the address in your AAdvantage profile to let you know you've been upgraded.

If you're not upgraded right away, we'll keep checking for upgrade availability – up to 3.5 hours before your flight.

  • What order are upgrades confirmed?
Upgrade not confirmed at check-in?

Checking in with another airline? If your first flight is on another airline, including US Airways, you won't automatically be added to the standby list. You'll need to see an American agent to be added to the list.

Step 3

If you need to use your 500-mile upgrades, they'll be deducted from your account before departure.

*The 51 mile buffer will no longer apply.

Track your 500-mile upgrades


Upgrades on US Airways

Upgrades for elite status members are automatically requested for all eligible US Airways flights.

  • Complimentary, auto-requested and confirmed upgrades
    On US Airways Gold Platinum Executive Platinum
    Unlimited, auto-requested complimentary upgrades available available available
    Auto-requested complimentary upgrades for one companion traveling with you on the same flight* available available available
    Upgrades confirmed before departure (as early as) 2 days 3 days 4 days

    Upgrades are valid on US Airways marketed and operated flights, within and between the U.S. (excluding Hawaii) and between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, the Bahamas, the Caribbean, Bermuda and Central America (based on availability). Upgrades are valid from the Main Cabin to the next class of service.

    *Your travel companion must be booked in the same reservation to be eligible for an upgrade when traveling on a US Airways marketed and operated flight.

How to upgrade on US Airways marketed and operated flights

Step 1

Upgrades on US Airways marketed and operated flights are auto-requested (so long as everyone in your reservation is eligible for a complimentary upgrade).

If you want to opt-out of automatic upgrades, contact US Airways Reservations.

  • Traveling with other people in your reservation?

Step 2

If your upgrade is confirmed, we'll send an email to the address in your AAdvantage profile to let you know you've been upgraded.

If you're not upgraded right away, we'll keep checking for upgrade availability – up to 24 hours before your flight.

Upgrades are confirmed based on your year-to-date elite-qualifying points balance.

Upgrade not confirmed at check-in?

Checking in with another airline? If your first flight is on another airline, including American, you will not automatically be added to the standby list. You'll need to see a US Airways agent to be added to the list.


Upgrades on codeshare flights

Upgrades on codeshares, flights marketed by American and operated by US Airways, or flights marketed by US Airways and operated by American, will continue to be offered based on availability at check-in only by the airline operating your flight. The policy of the airline operating the flight will determine your upgrade benefits.

  • Upgrades on American-operated and US Airways-marketed flights

    Upgrades are always complimentary for Executive Platinum members.

    Upgrades are complimentary for Platinum and Gold members on flights less than 500 miles; for flights greater than 500 miles, Platinum and Gold members can buy or use their earned 500-mile upgrades.

    How it works:

    Upgrade not confirmed at check-in?

    Executive Platinum members and Platinum and Gold members on flights 500 miles or less will automatically be added to the airport standby list if no seats are available.

    Platinum and Gold members on flights greater than 500 miles, should continue to check aa.com to see if an upgrade becomes available.

  • On US Airways-operated, American Airlines-marketed flights

    Upgrades are complimentary for all AAdvantage elite status members and a companion (as long as you're traveling in the same reservation).

    How it works:

    During check-in, you'll see the option to upgrade if seats are available or be added to the standby list if you're the only person in your reservation.


Keep in mind: