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Can I Upgrade Seats on a FF Flight on AA?

pittsburgh
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Can I Upgrade Seats on a FF Flight on AA?

A few months back I booked a flight in economy to Rome on American using my FF miles. Since then I have accumulated a significant number of miles. Question - is it possible to upgrade to business using additional miles or am I locked into my seats in economy?

Maryland
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for Las Vegas, Washington DC, County Donegal, Western Ireland
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1. Re: Can I Upgrade Seats on a FF Flight on AA?

Why not call American directly? They're the only source that is going to know whether there are any available award seats available in the business cabin.

Lanai, Hawaii
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2. Re: Can I Upgrade Seats on a FF Flight on AA?

The American Airlines website offers the ability to search for mileage awards. Just select the redeem miles check box when you search for awards. The AAdvantage section of the American website and forums such as Flyertalk and Milepoint are also good resources.

Third party subscription search sites such as Expert Flyer may be worth it if you book many awards during the year.

A call to American will be needed to change your Award. Note: this may involve canceling your existing award, redepositing and then redeeming for a new award. Depending on your frequent flyer status, additional fees will be incurred. It is always a good idea to do some searching online before calling.

pittsburgh
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3. Re: Can I Upgrade Seats on a FF Flight on AA?

Thanks for the information and resources. I wanted to have some information before I made the call to AA and explored the options.

Any likelihood of simply waiting and trying to pull off an upgrade at the airport? I just looked at the available seats for my flight in Business and most of them were still open...

UK
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4. Re: Can I Upgrade Seats on a FF Flight on AA?

Any likelihood of simply waiting and trying to pull off an upgrade at the airport? I just looked at the available seats for my flight in Business and most of them were still open...

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What do you mean by that? Do you mean ask for one? Or upgrade on the day using miles? Or for money? Or what?

pittsburgh
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5. Re: Can I Upgrade Seats on a FF Flight on AA?

Sorry, I should have been clearer. I was wondering if it would be possible to ask for an upgrade at the airport on the day of my flight and try to use miles or cash to secure an upgrade to business. Have no idea if that is even in the realm of possibility.

Chicago, Illinois
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6. Re: Can I Upgrade Seats on a FF Flight on AA?

There may be seats available. There's no way to tell. However, it won't be free. If you want to go business class, you're better off trying to get the upgrade now instead of waiting. If you wait, all that will happen is more people will buy the seats or elite travelers will use system wide upgrades to take them before you get a chance.

Also, most international econ tickets are not upgradeable to business class with miles only. If you have a full fare ticket, you can do it with miles. However most people the lowest price tickets which are a discounted fare class and require a several hundred dollar charge in addition to the miles. It depends on the fare class. Here's the chart from aa.com. Note that from discount economy to Europe is $350 plus the miles. Maybe worth it to you as it's not that much compared to buying a business class ticket, but it's not free.

aa.com/i18n/…one-way-upgrade-chart.jsp

Seattle, Washington
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7. Re: Can I Upgrade Seats on a FF Flight on AA?

First big question - is it all on AA?

Second big question - when?

They're reportedly not charging fees to swap coach for business IF BUSINESS IS AVAILABLE. But that's the rub - recently AA has been more than happy to let planes take off with lots of empty premium seats, even if people are wait-listed for "U" (business class award) seats. And unfortunately AA tends to open business cabins for redemptions very late in the game (if at all - see above) unless you have top-tier elite status (EXP) and even then it doesn't always work.

Phone AA and see if they're allowing wait-lists on your flight(s). Or, if you're especially flush with miles, consider switching to an "AAnytime" award (double the miles needed) which will book you right into a seat.

Read this - flyertalk.com/forum/american-aadvantage/9457…

Lanai, Hawaii
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8. Re: Can I Upgrade Seats on a FF Flight on AA?

You can always ask but the odds are very low that you would be successful.

Check your current itinerary for aircraft type. American 767-300's now have a small section of extra legroom coach seats behind the business cabin. Not sure of your AAdvantage status but booking one of those seats might be an option.

Note: American's 767 seat conversions have not started yet. The current business class seat is angled flat. New seats are available to LHR (on the 777-300's) which would require a connection to British Airways for the flight to Rome.

Best of Luck.

pittsburgh
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9. Re: Can I Upgrade Seats on a FF Flight on AA?

Thanks again everyone for all the helpful information.

I fly AA from ORD to LHR and then BA to FCO on October 14. I am just looking to upgrade on the Chicago/London leg. That flight is on a 777-200 which according to Seat Guru doesn't have any of the Extra Legroom seats.

Lanai, Hawaii
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10. Re: Can I Upgrade Seats on a FF Flight on AA?

There is anytime business award availability on the non-stop flight AA110 ord-fco on 10/14. That award requires 100,000 miles one way.

Again best of luck.