What a difference from my 1K United status in 2013 where I was 0 for 14 on domestic upgrades from EWR and LGA (granted, Newark is a major UA hub and the NY market has tons of United 1K elites). I’ve had lifetime AA Gold status for years, but just increased my AA flying in 2014. American has plenty of its own elite fliers in New York, yet I’m batting 100% this year on upgrades….and not to small non business markets either. Of course, unlike United, AA requires the appropriate number of 500-mile upgrade certificates for any upgrade. The latest, which came this morning (I love getting those emails), is for tomorrow’s flight to San Juan which was $108 one-way. My other successful 2014 upgrades have admittedly been to hubs with decent capacity, JFK/LGA/EWR to Chicago (2x), LAX, Dallas, Miami, and Barbados. I even had success upgrading from business to first on a Dallas (DFW) to Tokyo (NRT) flight…though that might not have been worth it 😉 No TV and Poor Service on AA 777 Dallas (DFW) – Tokyo (NRT) in First (full trip report coming soon).

Anyone else noting similar success this year?

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Tech April 2, 2014 - 5:46 pm

I’m a million miler on CO/UA and when I stopped getting upgraded, I moved my 150K miles/year to AA and I have a 90%+ upgrade rate domestically and 100% on SWUs to Asia.

Marshall Jackson April 2, 2014 - 6:01 pm

I’ve always had good success with AA upgrades. Most recently, Atlanta to Miami on the Friday morning of President’s Day weekend…..following a big (for Atlanta) snow event. MrsMJ and I were #1 and #2 on the list….and we were the only 2 to clear. I was amazed. I honestly hope AAdvantage does not switch to the “comp” upgrade plan for all elites.

Adam April 2, 2014 - 6:50 pm

So far I’m also at 100%, AA Platinum here who came over from DL as Gold in January.

Nick April 2, 2014 - 7:23 pm

Yeah the upgrade process on UA really sucks these days, something is quite broken when you realize almost everyone in first has flown less than you this year and spent less as well.

joetraveler April 2, 2014 - 7:39 pm

I’m new on the path to AA gold. How do you accumulate multiple 500 mile upgrades in your ‘bank’? thank you

UnitedEF April 2, 2014 - 9:25 pm

I dropped to Gold this year from EXP fearing the worst but I hvae been 100% as well which is quite remarkable. I hope USeless airways doesn’t ruin the current AA upgrade program.

James April 2, 2014 - 9:38 pm

Same here. Most recent was LAX-HNL and HNL-LAX last week and yesterday, respectively.

David April 2, 2014 - 9:58 pm

I dont know what you’re doing right and I’m doing wrong, but I’m Lifetime Platinum and and 1 for 12 this year…..
maybe I should switch to United (no way)

DavidB April 2, 2014 - 10:14 pm

I’m pretty much 100% since moving to AA from UA as a ExecPlat vs 20% the year before I switched on UA as a 1K. One of the features of AA is that upgrading is a positive request process, i.e. elites must indicate they want to upgrade (even ExecPlats) when completing the booking process, and of course use 500s. (I suspect many ExecPlats don’t even do this selection and are happy to sit in the back and get free booze and food.) When UA announced its UDU program it was going to do away with domestic upgrade certs but at a MagoDo gathering we insisted these were still a valuable perk to advance confirm upgrades. The other thing we suggested was that UDUs be made something one requested and not automatic…thus reducing the demand and thus better likelihood of success. UA kept the RPUs but didn’t take our advice on making UDUs a positive option instead of universal.


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