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Obtaining Systemwide Upgrades

AAdvantage® Executive Platinum members receive eight complimentary one-way systemwide upgrades upon qualification or re-qualification for your elite status level. These upgrades entitle you (or any passenger you designate) to confirmed upgrades to the next class of service at the time of booking (provided upgrade seating is available) when flying on most Business Class and Economy Class fares.

Requesting an Upgrade

Requesting a systemwide upgrade is easy. First, you should check aa.com to see if your flight has upgrade availability.

  1. Log in to your AAdvantage account and be sure you have systemwide upgrades available.
  2. If you do, search for the flight you’d like to book. The Price & Schedule option in the flight search tool will let you know if a systemwide upgrade is available for one or more of your requested segments.
  3. When you are ready to book, simply call your Elite Service Desk and we will secure your systemwide upgrade for you.

We are working hard to make your travel as convenient as possible. In the future, we will be rolling out additional enhancements which include allowing you to book systemwide upgrades online. Check back soon for updates.

Systemwide upgrades are subject to upgrade seating availability. If an upgrade is not available at the time of booking, systemwide upgrades may be waitlisted.

We always strive to confirm your systemwide upgrade as early as possible, however if your upgrade hasn't been confirmed as of check-in, we will automatically add you to the airport upgrade standby list, using your original request date and time stamp. In order for this to occur, please be sure you have the appropriate number of systemwide upgrades in your account at least 48 hours prior to departure.

Eligible Markets and Fares

Systemwide upgrades are valid for one-way travel from most American Airlines Business Class and Economy Class published fares to the next cabin of service. The following fares are not eligible for use with systemwide upgrades: Government or military fares, or any fares not eligible for mileage credit (such as award tickets)

Tracking Your Upgrade Balance

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

Systemwide Upgrade FAQs

Q: How can I check my systemwide upgrade balance and activity?
A: Check your systemwide upgrade balance online at aa.com. Simply log in, go to "My Account" and select the "View My Upgrades" tab. Here, you'll find helpful information regarding the number of systemwide upgrades currently available for use, the date they were deposited and their associated expiration date. You will also be able to view the number of upgrades used or associated with future trips. In order to provide you with the most up-to-date details, your summary information will be updated on a daily basis. The date in the upper right-hand corner of the Systemwide Upgrade Summary section will show you the last date/time updates were made. Should you have any questions about your balance or usage details, contact the AAdvantage Desk at 1-800-882-8880 or your Elite Service Desk.

Q: When will my systemwide upgrades be deposited, and how will I know they are available for me to use?
A: When you earn systemwide upgrades, they are credited to your account within 48 hours of the update to your account. Once the upgrades have been credited to your account, they are available for your immediate use and can be viewed on aa.com, as described above. We will also notify you in writing whenever you earn these upgrades, such as when you qualify or requalify for Executive Platinum membership.

Q: How long are my systemwide upgrades valid?
A: Upgrades that were earned based on your 2013 flight activity are valid through February 28, 2015. Upgrades earned based on your 2014 flight activity are valid through February 29, 2016. So, the earlier in the year that you qualify or requalify for Executive Platinum membership, the longer you will have to use your systemwide upgrades. All travel using a systemwide upgrade must be completed by the expiration date. Upgrades will expire at 12:00 midnight (CT) on the date shown.

Q: What should I do if I want to use my systemwide upgrades for travel?
A: Call your Elite Service Desk. If seats are available, your upgrade will be processed with your reservation and deducted from your available balance.

Q: Can I share my systemwide upgrades with other people?
A: Yes, and you can travel with them, or they may also travel alone.

Q: How do I share a systemwide upgrade with another passenger if I'm not traveling?
A: Call your Elite Service Desk in advance to make the reservation and request the upgrade (the same way you do when you claim a mileage award from your account for someone else). Then the passenger can go to the airport to check in without you being present. If you do not call your Elite Service Desk in advance, the passenger cannot be accommodated at the airport unless you are also present.

Q: If I cancel my trip prior to travel, what action should I take?
A: Simply call your Elite Service Desk so that we can reinstate the systemwide upgrade into your account for future use. This step is important in keeping your upgrade balance up-to-date.

Q: Why don't I see my systemwide upgrade balance information on aa.com?
A: Summary details will only display for customers who have earned systemwide upgrades that have an expiration date in the current year or a future year. Should you have questions regarding historical data, please contact your Elite Service Desk.

Q: Why does my Systemwide Upgrade Summary show upgrades under the "Used" column even though my trip is for a future date?
A: Systemwide upgrades are deducted from your account at the time your upgrade is confirmed and are, at that time, considered as "used."

Q: I'm currently waitlisted to use a systemwide upgrade on a future trip. Does this information show on my summary?
A: No, this information does not appear on your summary. Systemwide upgrades will not be deducted from your account until your request is confirmed. If you have questions regarding the status of your waitlist request, please contact your Elite Service Desk.

Q: What if my systemwide upgrade is not confirmed by the time I check-in?
A: If your systemwide upgrade is not confirmed as of check-in time, we will automatically add you to the airport upgrade standby list. You must have the appropriate number of systemwide upgrades available in your account at least 48 hours prior to departure to be moved to the standby list. Once at the airport, you can view the airport upgrade list on the American mobile app, four hours before departure, or on the Gate Information Display close to departure time. As upgrade requests are confirmed, a checkmark will appear next to each name. Once your upgrade has cleared, the mobile app and Passbook will automatically update your mobile boarding pass.

Q: How does this work if I'm traveling on a one-way trip that has multiple flight segments?
A: If a seat in the upgraded cabin is not available at the time of booking, AAdvantage Reservations will add you to the waitlist for the longest haul flight in your itinerary. This allows us to ensure your upgrade is confirmed for your preferred flight first, before trying to confirm any shorter connecting flights. Once your longest haul flight is upgraded, we will attempt to confirm or waitlist any shorter connecting flights associated with your one-way trip. Dependent on the timing of when your long haul flight is confirmed, there could be some scenarios where we are unable to automatically add you to the standby list for connecting flights. Should that occur, please ask the gate agent to add you to the upgrade standby list manually. In this scenario, the request date/time will be your check-in time.

Q: Where in the flight search tool can I find the systemwide upgrade availability?
A: The Price & Schedule option in the flight search tool will display “systemwide upgrade” under the flight number if (1) you are logged in to your AAdvantage account (2) you have enough systemwide upgrades available to meet your search criteria and (3) the flight has upgrade availability.

In addition, after selecting “systemwide upgrade” you may view upgrade availability to the next class of service. Systemwide upgrades are offered to the next class of service depending on the aircraft when flying on most Business Class and Economy Class fares.

Q: How can I determine how many systemwide upgrades are available for my flight?
A: The Price & Schedule option in the flight search tool will display “systemwide upgrade” if there are enough systemwide upgrades available on the flight for the number of upgrades you are requesting in your search. For example, if you have two travelers selected in your flight search, the tool will display “systemwide upgrade” if there are two or more seats available. It would not display if there are not enough systemwide upgrades available to meet your search requirement, or, if you do not have enough systemwide upgrades in your account to meet your search requirement.

Q: I would like to see if I can use my systemwide upgrades for a trip I have already booked. How do I do that?
A: If you would like to check upgrade availability for a current reservation, please call your Elite Service Desk for assistance.

Read more questions and answers on the upgrade process here.

Systemwide Upgrade Terms and Conditions

Upgrade entitles passenger to a one-way upgrade to the next class of service at no additional charge for travel on American Airlines or American Eagle to any destination served by either airline.

This upgrade is subject to capacity controls and is limited to a single one-way ticket with a maximum of three segments. Reservations are subject to seat availability at the time of upgrade.

Reservations may be made and tickets purchased from any authorized Travel Agency or American Airlines. Upgrade requests using systemwide upgrades cannot be made on aa.com at this time.

Upgrades are valid only on scheduled flights marketed and operated by American Airlines, or American Eagle flights offering a First or Business Class cabin for travel. Not valid on codeshare flights.

Open tickets may not be issued.

Stopovers, joint and through fares are permitted if fare purchased allows.

If, after ticketing, your ticket must be reissued, a change fee may apply based on your purchased fare.

Any tax liability is the responsibility of the user.

Upgrades are only valid on individual published-fare tickets. Upgrades are not applicable to AAdvantage travel awards; any free ticket; military or other government fares; opaque fares; infant tickets (including INF50 fares) or purchased extra seats.

Travel must be completed by the expiration date. Unused upgrades will not be refunded, exchanged or transferred.

Upgrades will be deducted from your account as soon as upgrade seating can be confirmed on one or more requested flight segments of your itinerary. It is the responsibility of the member to contact the AAdvantage department if a trip involving the use of a systemwide upgrade is canceled and reinstatement of the upgrade is required.

Any itinerary changes to a confirmed upgrade are subject to seat availability for the new itinerary.

AAdvantage mileage will accrue for the class of service on which your fare is based when you are ticketed, not for the class of service flown.

Any voluntary refund of a ticket issued against the upgrade shall be in accordance with applicable fare rules for the fare purchased.

Use of upgrades to any future American Airlines destination is subject to approval.

Upgrades are void if sold for cash or other considerations.

Members may designate another passenger to use their upgrades.

Passengers may be requested to show identification at any time during travel.