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Move Up to a Higher Class of Service

500-mile upgrades allow you to enjoy a higher class of service when available. On American Airlines-marketed and operated flights, you may upgrade from a purchased Economy Class ticket to First Class on eligible domestic flights with two classes of service or to Business Class on eligible flights with three classes of service. Learn more about upgrade options for AAdvantage elite status members flying on US Airways at the time of check-in.

Learn about 2015 AAdvantage elite benefits

Overview

500-mile upgrades allow you to upgrade from Economy Class to the next class of service for travel on American Airlines or American Eagle:

  • Within and between the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, The Bahamas and Bermuda
  • Between the U.S. and Central America

500-mile upgrade requests are subject to capacity controls and seating limitations.

Eligibility

AAdvantage elite status members may upgrade from any purchased, published Economy Class fare. Regular AAdvantage members may upgrade from full-fare Economy Class tickets only (fares booked in Y or B).

AAdvantage Executive Platinum members receive complimentary upgrades from any eligible fare; AAdvantage Platinum and AAdvantage Gold members receive complimentary upgrades from full-fare Economy Class tickets (fares booked in Y or B, excluding military/government fares).

Elite status members may request an upgrade for themselves and one travel companion on a paid Economy Class ticket. All other members may request an upgrade only for themselves on a paid full-fare Economy Class ticket (fares booked in Y or B).

Requesting 500-Mile Upgrades

Upgrades can be requested when making your flight reservations. You can request an upgrade on AA.com, on your mobile device, through an American Airlines agent, or your travel agent.

Upgrades will be confirmed based on your elite status level.

Obtaining 500-Mile Upgrades

500-mile upgrades may be purchased at a discounted rate on AA.com and at the airport Self-Service Check-In machine during flight check-in.

AAdvantage Platinum and AAdvantage Gold members earn four 500-mile upgrades for every 10,000 qualifying miles flown.

One upgrade unit is required for every 500 miles of travel. Each flight segment requires at least one upgrade.

Tracking 500-Mile Upgrades

Keep track of your upgrade account on AA.com and via your monthly AAdvantage eSummary®.

View complete 500-mile upgrade terms and conditions.

Learn about other types of upgrades

Requesting an Upgrade

Step 1 – Request an upgrade when making your flight reservations on AA.com, on your mobile device, through an American Airlines agent, or your travel agent.

Step 2 – Your upgrade request will be processed automatically if upgrade seating is available based on the applicable upgrade window:

Tip – The earlier you request your upgrade, the better. Upgrade requests are prioritized based on your elite level.
Within each elite level, full-fare Economy Class tickets booked in Y or B are confirmed first, followed by all other fares, in the order in which the upgrade request was received.

AAdvantage Executive Platinum® members 100 hours prior to departure
AAdvantage Platinum® members 72 hours prior to departure
AAdvantage Gold® members 24 hours prior to departure
AAdvantage non-elite status members* 24 hours prior to departure

* Applies only when traveling on a full-fare Economy Class ticket (Y or B fares)

Step 3 – Once confirmed, you will be notified via e-mail, or voicemail.

Step 4 – If your upgrade has not been confirmed as of the time of check-in, you will automatically be given the opportunity to be added to the Airport Upgrade Standby List** while checking in via AA.com, your mobile device, Self-Service Check-In, or with an airport agent. The date and time of your original request, along with your elite status level, will determine your priority on the Airport Upgrade Standby List. For any flight on which you are a confirmed passenger, standby priority at the airport will be AAdvantage Executive Platinum members first, AAdvantage Platinum members next, AAdvantage Gold members, then all other AAdvantage members.

** Note: In order to be added to the Airport Upgrade Standby List, you will need to have the required number of upgrades in your account at the time of check-in.

Step 5 – The appropriate number of 500-mile upgrades will be automatically deducted from your account at flight departure.

Complimentary Upgrades

All elite status AAdvantage members enjoy complimentary upgrades to the next class of service when traveling on an eligible Economy Class ticket on American Airlines or American Eagle within and between the U.S., Canada, Mexico, The Bahamas, Bermuda, the Caribbean and between the U.S. and Central America and between the U.S. and Central America, as follows:

  • AAdvantage Executive Platinum® members may request complimentary upgrades when traveling on any purchased, published fare on eligible flights. You may also request a complimentary upgrade for one companion, if the companion is traveling on a full-fare* Economy Class ticket.
  • AAdvantage Platinum® and AAdvantage Gold® members receive complimentary upgrades for themselves and one companion, provided both are traveling on a full-fare* Economy Class ticket.

*Fares beginning with Y or B, excluding military/government fares. Companions traveling on any other eligible fare may be upgraded using purchased or earned 500-mile upgrades.


Purchasing 500-Mile Upgrades

500-mile upgrades can be purchased online at AA.com and during check-in at the Self-Service Check-In machines at the airport*. Upgrades purchased through either of these automated means are available at a discounted price. Also, upgrades may be purchased over the phone by calling AAdvantage Reservations at 1-800-882-8880, or in person at most American Airlines ticketing locations and Admirals Clubs® lounges (for Club members).

Purchase Method Upgrade Price1
( per 500-mile unit)
Automated Purchase - AA.com or Self-Service Check-In machines*
$30
Agent-Assisted Purchase
$35

AAdvantage elite-status members may buy upgrades with AAdvantage miles at a rate of 35,000 miles for eight (8) upgrades.

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

One upgrade unit is required for every 500 miles of travel. Each flight segment requires at least one upgrade.

*AAdvantage members checking in for an itinerary that requires additional 500-mile upgrades may purchase the needed upgrades and continue check-in at the Self-Service Check-In machine.

To purchase upgrades online, simply:

  • Login to AA.com with your AAdvantage number and password (Need a Password?) You may also login with the email address associated to your AAdvantage account. To use this alternate login feature, the email address should be unique and not associated to more than one AAdvantage account.
  • Be sure your contact information includes a valid phone number which is required for purchase. (Need to update your phone number? It's easy, go to 'My Account' then select "Personal Information and Password"
  • Next, go to the AAdvantage section and select "Buy Upgrades"
  • In the Buy Upgrades section, you can choose to buy your upgrades with a credit card. (AAdvantage elite status members may also purchase upgrades with AAdvantage miles.)
  • Select the number of upgrades you would like to purchase and press "Submit." (Be sure to select "Continue" to confirm your purchase.)

Upgrades purchased on AA.com will be available for use within two hours of purchase, but will not be viewable on AA.com until the following day.

To buy upgrades today, go to the Buy Upgrades section of AA.com.

Earning Upgrades

AAdvantage Platinum and AAdvantage Gold members earn four 500-mile electronic upgrades for every 10,000 qualifying base miles flown (including guaranteed minimum miles) during your membership year (March 1 or the date you qualify for elite status, through the last day of February). So, the more you fly, the more upgrades you earn.

Note: The mileage counters that are used to determine the number of 500-mile upgrades earned are re-set to zero every March 1.


Tracking Your Upgrade Activity

Your upgrade activity is itemized on your monthly AAdvantage eSummary® (to subscribe, click here). You can also check your balance online, by calling AAdvantage Customer Service at 1-800-882-8880 or your specific AAdvantage
Executive Platinum®, AAdvantage Platinum®, or AAdvantage Gold® toll-free number.