American Airlines will offer space-available complimentary upgrades on “domestic” award tickets to all elite members, not just AAdvantage Executive Platinum members, starting on June 9, 2023.
Currently, only Executive Platinum and Concierge Key members of the American Airlines AAdvantage program are offered the possibility of a complimentary upgrade on an award ticket.
But as reported by JonNYC, that policy will change by the end of the week. Starting on June 9, 2023, all AAdvantage elite members will be eligible for complimentary upgrades on select AA-operated flights booked with miles. Those include flights:
- Within and between the US (including Hawaii)
- Between the US and:
- the Bahamas
- the Caribbean
- Central America
The change has been circulated internally and will be publicly announced tomorrow.
will change to elite upgrades (for “domestic”) for all statuses on award tickets, as it presently is for ExecPlat.
— 🇺🇦 JonNYC 🇺🇦 (@xJonNYC) June 6, 2023
JonNYC adds that this upgrade policy will also cover one companion traveling on the same flight.
Upgrades will be confirmed based upon the following criteria (in this order):
- AAdvantage status
- Loyalty Points earned during the past 12 month
A tie is generally settled by who checked in earlier.
Is This A Good Idea?
We’ve seen quite a transformation in terms of how award tickets are valued. On Delta and United, your award tickets now count toward elite status. On Delta, United, and now American, elites will be eligible for complimentary upgrades on award flights.
As the value of “miles” become more dynamic and simply another currency of payment, it only makes sense that that award tickets be treated more like revenue tickets.
While this policy change hurts lower-tier elite members on paid tickets, it certainly makes having higher status more valuable. A Platinum Pro traveling on a saver award ticket will suddenly have priority over a Platinum member traveling on a full fare revenue ticket.
I do not care for the AA upgrade system overall because I think instrument upgrades, regardless of status, should be prioritized over complimentary upgrades, but that’s different than the manner before us. Here, I have no problem with elites benefiting not only on revenue tickets but on award tickets.
And for those mid-tier elites who may be griping, on certain routes they might suddenly find themselves upgraded at no cost when using miles, which is something they were not eligible for until now.
But the way American Airlines has been monetizing upgrades lately, the more likely outcome is that no elites will receive complimentary upgrades…
Starting on June 9, 2023, American Airlines will offer space-available complimentary elite upgrades to all elite members on “domestic” flights (including Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean).
Are you in favor of or opposed to this change?
image: American Airlines