American Airlines Award Ticket Upgrade

Last week, I wrote about my experience requesting a wheelchair on American Airlines. The one-way trip was booked as an award ticket for 7,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles + $5.60 USD. I strategically chose seats near the front of the economy cabin so I did not have to travel too far on the airplane. 

As an AAdvantage Gold member, I wanted to see if an upgrade to First Class was possible. Of the prior reading I accomplished, it seemed as if an upgrade was possible according to elite status. I checked the upgrade list prior to arriving at the airport and did not see my name. 

As we approached departure time, only one person was upgraded. Surprisingly, the eight other first class seats on the CRJ-900 were booked already. Speaking with the agent, he told me I would have been on the list if there were more seats available. It was not a big deal as no additional amenities are offered in First Class on American Airlines regional flights, I only wanted to see if it were possible…and it was, so I thought.

After returning home, I checked American Airlines’ website and here is the upgrade eligibility and priority for an award ticket:

As a side note, upgrades begin up to 100 hours prior to departure for Executive Platinum, 72 hours for Platinum Pro, 48 hours for Platinum, and 24 hours for Gold.

Final WOrd

I pride myself on knowing the services provided by airlines I travel on before boarding. In this case, I did not have a clue about the upgrade process and merely took someone’s word on it. The upgrade, or lack thereof, was not a big deal. The flights were less than hour combined. I do, however, have four 500-mile upgrades that are burning a hole in my pocket.

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