Airlines

Upgrading on American Airline as a US Airways Elite

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“If at first you don’t succeed, try try again” was the first thing that popped into my head when reading the US Airways instructions for “How to upgrade on your next American Airlines flight“.

us airways upgrades on american airlines for elites

Basically if there’s a First Class seat available when you check in, you get it (regardless of level of status). If there’s not, you should periodically pull up your reservation and click Change Seats to see if one has opened up. They will not add you to the airport standby list.

This sounded a little stressful, but in travel nerd style, I was actually rather excited to try it out on my flight home from Albuquerque.

24 hours out I checked in for my flights. During the check in process I went to “Select/Change Seat” but only economy options showed up. Bummed I hit the check in button and was redirected to this page:

American Airlines upgrades for US Airways Elites

Woohoo! There was a seat available on one of the flights. The instructions just hadn’t suggested the upgrade option would come up later in the check in process.

Throughout the day I proceeded to pull up my reservation and select “change seats” for my DFW-DCA portion, right up until about an hour before departure, but no luck.

It’s a very awkward system, but better than before when I was guaranteed to be sitting in American coach as a US Airways Chairman.

It works a little differently for American Airlines elites flying US Airways. They’re eligible for upgrades within 24 hours of departure, which is after all US Airways elites will have automatically cleared. However, if it comes down to upgrades at the gate, they are added to the standby list.

And unlike American Airlines where only Executive Platinum status qualifies for complimentary upgrades, all American elites are eligible on US Airways. Of course, that’s assuming there’s any available First Class seats…

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