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The Who, What, When, And How Of Upgrading


Systemwide Upgrades | Upgrade Awards | 500-Mile Upgrades (Complimentary)
500-Mile Upgrades (Earned or Purchased)
AAdvantage Upgrade
What's New

Ready for an easier airport upgrade process? We've heard your feedback, and have implemented two new enhancements that will streamline your airport experience.

Now, if your systemwide or mileage upgrade award request is not confirmed as of check-in, we'll automatically add you to the airport upgrade list using your original request date and time stamp (as is done for 500-mile upgrades). Learn more about systemwide upgrades and upgrade awards.

Plus, you can now view the airport upgrade list on the American mobile app as early as four hours before departure. For your convenience, the mobile app and Passbook will automatically update your mobile boarding pass with your new seat assignment. Learn more about the mobile upgrade list.

The AAdvantage program offers three types of upgrade products which allow you to upgrade your ticket to a premium cabin on American Airlines marketed and operated flights. We've outlined the who, what, when, and how of each product to give you a better understanding of your upgrade opportunities.

Systemwide Upgrades
Who:   AAdvantage Executive Platinum® members receive eight (8) systemwide upgrades per membership year for themselves or any passenger they designate.
What:   Systemwide upgrades are valid one way from most American Airlines Business and Economy Class published fares to the next cabin of service.

Fares not eligible for systemwide upgrades are:
  • Government or military fares
  • Any fares not eligible for mileage credit (such as award tickets)
When:   Systemwide upgrades can be requested at the time of booking, subject to availability. If not available at the time of booking, systemwide upgrades may be waitlisted.
How:   Systemwide upgrades are stored electronically for you, so when you are ready to use them, simply call your Elite Service Desk and a representative will be happy to help you.

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. Your check-in options include Flight Check-in on aa.com, Self-Service Check-in, Curbside Check-in, and traditional airport ticket-counter check-in.
Important notes:   Subject to seating limitations and capacity controls.
See FAQs for complete terms and conditions.


Upgrade Awards
Who:   All AAdvantage members may use their miles (plus a non-refundable co-pay where applicable) to upgrade.
What:   Upgrade awards are valid from most American Airlines Business and Economy Class fares to the next cabin of service.

Fares not eligible for upgrade awards are:
  • Any fares not eligible for mileage accrual (such as award tickets)
Mileage levels and co-pay amounts vary based on destination and fare class purchased. See Upgrade awards for details.
When:   Upgrade awards can be requested at the time of booking, subject to availability. If not available at the time of booking, upgrade awards may be waitlisted.
How:   When you are ready to request your upgrade award, simply call AAdvantage Reservations at 1-800-882-8880.

We always strive to confirm your upgrade award 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 miles in your account at least 48 hours prior to departure. Your check-in options include Flight Check-in on aa.com, Self-Service Check-in, Curbside Check-in, and traditional airport ticket-counter check-in.
Important notes:   Subject to seating limitations and capacity controls. Upgrades are valid for one way travel with a maximum of three segments. Co-pays are nonrefundable. Once your upgrade has been confirmed, the ticket must be issued immediately or in accordance with the advance purchase rules of your fare. Depending on the date the upgrade award is requested, an AAdvantage Service Charge may apply.


500-Mile Upgrades (Complimentary)
Who:   AAdvantage Executive Platinum members traveling on any published fare, and AAdvantage Platinum® and AAdvantage Gold® members traveling on fares booked in Y or B (excluding military/government fares).
What:   500-mile upgrades are valid from Economy Class to the next class of service on flights within the U.S., Canada, Mexico, The Bahamas, Bermuda, the Caribbean, and between the U.S. and Central America.
When:   Upgrades can be requested at time of booking and will be processed based on the applicable upgrade window (see below).
How:   Step 1 – Request an upgrade when making your flight reservations on AA.com, 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:

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 receive confirmation via e-mail, voicemail, or alpha-numeric pager (available through selected providers only).

If your upgrade hasn't 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.

Your check-in options include Flight Check-in on AA.com, your mobile device, Self-Service Check-in, Curbside Check-in (Airport Upgrade Standby List is not available with this option), and traditional airport ticket-counter check-in.
Important notes:   Subject to seating limitations and capacity controls.
See 500-Mile Upgrades for more details.


500-Mile Upgrades (Earned or Purchased)
Who:   AAdvantage Executive Platinum members upgrading companions traveling on any published fare, AAdvantage Platinum and AAdvantage Gold members traveling on any published fare, non-elite members traveling on fares booked in Y or B.
What:   Upgrade from Economy Class to the next class of service on flights within the U.S., Canada, Mexico, The Bahamas, Bermuda, the Caribbean, and between the U.S. and Central America.

AAdvantage Platinum and AAdvantage Gold members earn four (4) 500-mile upgrades for every 10,000 qualifying base miles earned during the membership year.

All elite status members may purchase 500-mile upgrades via AA.com.

Each 500-mile upgrade is valid for up to 500 miles of travel. Each flight segment requires at least one 500-mile upgrade.
When:   Upgrades can be requested at time of booking and will be processed based on the applicable upgrade window (see below).
How:   Step 1 – Request an upgrade when making your flight reservations on AA.com, 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:

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 – You will receive confirmation via e-mail, voicemail, or alpha-numeric pager (available through selected providers only).

Step 4 – At flight departure, the appropriate number of 500-mile upgrades will be deducted from your Upgrade Account.

If your upgrade hasn't 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.

Your check-in options include Flight Check-in on AA.com, your mobile device, Self-Service Check-in, Curbside Check-in (Airport Upgrade Standby List is not available with this option), and traditional airport ticket-counter check-in.
Important notes:   Subject to seating limitations and capacity controls.
See 500-Mile Upgrades for more details.