American Airlines is making some changes to how upgrades will be requested for American Airlines AAdvantage members. The upgrade prioritization will be elite status then the type of upgrade, and now your EQD spending, followed by the booking class and time of request.
Changes to American Airlines Upgrades for AAdvantage Members
In addition ConciergeKey and Executive Platinum members will receive complimentary upgrades on award tickets, and for companions who are not eligible for free upgrades, they can use 500-mile upgrade certificates.
Here’s a look at the changes for AAdvantage members:
On May 20 we’ll start changing upgrade prioritization, but the process could take a few days to complete in our systems. Upgrade requests will be prioritized by elite status level, then:
- Type of upgrade
- 12-month Rolling EQDs
- Booking code
- Date and time of request
Type of Upgrade
Before you get to the airport, requests for systemwide and mileage award upgrades are processed independently from 500-mile upgrade requests.
At the airport, upgrades requested will be prioritized in this order:
- Systemwide and mileage award upgrades
- 500-mile upgrades on purchased tickets
- 500-mile upgrades on award tickets
12-month Rolling EQDs
Your 12-month Rolling EQD value is different from your Year-to-Date (YTD) EQDs, which is used to track your progress toward elite status.
Rolling EQDs will initially be based on 3 things:
- EQDs that would’ve been earned for eligible travel August 1 – December 31, 2016
- EQDs actually earned January 1, 2017 – now (less than 12 months)
- EQDs earned from reaching qualifying spend thresholds on eligible AAdvantage® AviatorTM MasterCard® cards
Over time, this will build to a full 12 months and be updated daily.
In the event that two members have the same Rolling EQD balance, we will then look at booking code and request date/time stamp.
Booking code priority:
- From Business to First (for systemwide and mileage award upgrades only): J, R, D, I, C
- From Main Cabin to the next class: W, P, Y, H, K, M, L, V, G, S, N, Q, O, T
These changes go into effect on May 20, 2017 and it’s clear that airline continues to become more revenue focused as Delta and United are already. Factoring in your Elite Qualifying Dollar Spending (EDQ) could have an impact on those who aren’t spending as much as business travelers, and may find themselves now lower on the upgrade list.
However the change to award tickets for ConciergeKey and Executive Platinum members is a positive one, so depending where you fall into the mix of spending, you may find both these changes positive.
Share your thoughts below on the new upgrade changes that American Airlines is rolling out.