Does American Airlines give upgrades to OneWorld Sapphire?

Discussion in 'Your Questions' started by jamessanders, Jan 26, 2010.

  1. jamessanders

    jamessanders Newbie

    Jan 26, 2010
    3
    0
    Hi everyone!

    I've read lots of posts here but this is my first threas - would greatly appreciate your help!

    In June/July my partner and I are travelling to America and I'm currently looking at some domestic flights: LAX - CLE - NYC - LAX

    Continental and American Airlines are approximately the same price (AA goes through Chicago to CLE, however) so I'm trying to decide which carrier to take.

    I'm a Qantas FF but my partner is Qantas Gold FF (OW Sapphire) so I'm wondering whether AA recognises OW Sapphire status as a reason to upgrade passengers where possible and how likely upgrades are for OW Sapphire passengers?

    Also, on the AA website there is information about AAdvantage members being able to purchase upgrades with points and upgrade vouchers - is there a way to get upgrade coupons, request an upgrade or upgrade using Qantas points?

    Thanks!

    James
     
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  2. MelUser

    MelUser Established Member

    Aug 6, 2007
    1,673
    110
    Melbourne
    No - AA does not give away free upgrades to OneWorld customers.

    I have successfully upgraded using AA miles.

    (1) Firstly, your itinerary has to show the AA flights with an AA flight number not a QF flight number.

    (2) You need to join the AA Frequent FLyer program and buy their miles - you can buy up to 40 000 per year. Note your travelling partner can also do the same.

    (3) If your AA flights are booked in Y class (unlikely) or B class (Also unlikely) it will cost you 5000 AA miles per person per one directional journey of up to 3 flights - eg LAX-DFW-MIA as a through trip.

    (4) If your AA flights are booked in other economy fare buckets it will cost 15000 AA points per person plus a co-payment taken via a credit card.

    (5) If seats are not instantly available you can ask the AA Office to put you on the waitlist for an upgrade. These waitlists have always cleared for me sometime in the week before travel if not before.

    (6) It is best to do this via the AA office in Brisbane as AA in the US gets very confused when the ticket is issued by Qantas (and starts with 081)) - AA Brisbane are proficient in upgrading AA flights where the ticket has been issued by Qantas (which is usually the case in Australia).
     
  3. drron

    drron Enthusiast

    Jul 4, 2002
    15,200
    10,492
    Sunshine Coast
    Welcome to AFF.
    Unfortunately it is extremely unlikely a QFF SG would get an op up on domestic AA flights-Their EXP(emerald)flyers are promised complimentary upgrades so with those and other Aadvantage flyers using stickers,points or cash to upgrade there are usually no seats left in F domestically.
    However one benefit a SG gets domestically on AA is entrance to the Admirals club with complimentary drink coupons.
    Enjoy your trip.
     
  4. jamessanders

    jamessanders Newbie

    Jan 26, 2010
    3
    0
    Thanks for your super quick responses and advice!

    I'll be booking the tickets through the AA website so they won't be issued by Qantas - no need to worry about the Americans getting confused!!

    It sounds like my best bet is to purchase some miles from AA and use them tp upgrade (I'll only try to upgrade the flight between LAX and NYC).

    MelUser - do you know how much 15000 miles cost to buy and also, when searching for flights on the AA website how do I see what fare class they're in (Y, B, etc)?

    Thanks again.
     
  5. MelUser

    MelUser Established Member

    Aug 6, 2007
    1,673
    110
    Melbourne
    THe Y class fares are called Economy Unrestricted or similar but if you were going to buy this then you would buy an Instant Upgrade which is in First Class (most domestic routes) or Business (3class domestic routes) which is cheaper than Full Economy.

    The AA website will tell you the booking class when you make (dummy) bookings.

    40000 points costs USD1000 + USD30 + US taxes
     


  6. drron

    drron Enthusiast

    Jul 4, 2002
    15,200
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    When you go to aa.com check the price and schedule box-that gives you the various fare classes-deep discount,discount and full economy plus an instant upgrade fare-this gets you into F,you get QFF first class miles and SCs-that is LAX-NYC will get you 180SCs.
    A quick check in june gives a price of $US1132 vs $US182 for deep discount-that you will not be able to upgrade.
     
  7. Lendav Orav

    Lendav Orav Member

    Sep 27, 2008
    177
    11
    Is the paid upgrade option also available if you have your QF FF number in the booking instead? I understand you have to join AA to do this but can you keep the reservation under QF? I have an upcoming booking which includes travel in AA in B class. But I'm plat QF so I wouldn't want the points to accrue to AA.
     
  8. drron

    drron Enthusiast

    Jul 4, 2002
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    You have to be on the AA flight number but can still have your QFF number in when flying.I have done this for mrsdrron when using my AA points or EVIPs to upgrade her.She still got her QFF points and SCs.
     
  9. Lendav Orav

    Lendav Orav Member

    Sep 27, 2008
    177
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    How would that work though? I have a booking with QF and BA flights and just the one AA flight in the middle. My QF number is in the booking. Would it still be possible? Just joined AA now hoping to make this work... but can it??
     
  10. subharpoon

    subharpoon Member

    Apr 30, 2007
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    SYD
    In 2007 myself(SG) and wife(NB) snagged an upgrade to Business Class on an AA 767 LAX-IAD. Was booked on a QF number and original aircraft was a 757. Yes Virginia there is a Santa Claus!:lol:
     
  11. samh004

    Moderator

    Apr 1, 2009
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    Assuming you’ll book your tickets together, the best bet is to fly AA. You’ll get free luggage (there was a thread recently about how much it costs and the benefits OW status gives you), you’ll have priority boarding, and you’ll have lounge access. All because of SG (OWS).

    I wouldn’t base flying with them on whether you’ll get upgraded or not, seeing as you’ll likely have even less chance with Continental, if you’re not a member of their program?
     
  12. drron

    drron Enthusiast

    Jul 4, 2002
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    Doesnt matter too much whether you have your QFF number in the booking as you wont have status with AA.The important thing is to have an AA flight number not the QF codeshare.
     
  13. serfty

    Moderator

    Nov 16, 2004
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    Note, this changed last year

    Points upgrades are now available from most revenue fare brackets, including O and Q classes.

    Wholly Within Continental U.S./Canada the upgrades cost 15,000 AAdvantage points and USD75 "co-payment" for up to three segments in the "one 'direction'".

    Booking class "A" needs to be available ("I" for 3 class transcontinental flights); if it is, then your upgrade would be confirmed immediately.

    e.g. In November, I was able to upgrade my wife and I BOS-MIA-DFW-SEA to first class for 30,000 AAdvantage miles and USD100. (Note the Co-pay was USD50 each then.)

    For more, see here:

    American Airlines - American Eagle - AmericanConnection

    http://www.aa.com/i18n/disclaimers/one-way-upgrade-chart.jsp
     
  14. drron

    drron Enthusiast

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    But you still do have to be lucky Serfty.Having no AA status and on the lowest fare bucket puts you way down the list.Now luck does happen particularly with a substitution as with subharpoon.
     
  15. serfty

    Moderator

    Nov 16, 2004
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    apphire?

    I was specifically referring to Point upgrades (as distinct from Elite upgrades, sticker or EXP).

    If intending to upgrade, I look for (2 class) domestic flights with availability of A class before booking. Once identified I then book and as soon as it's ticketed I call to upgrade - bingo - confirmed!

    As far as the OP goes, I once went on "same day" standby on an N class fare for an earlier LAX-SFO flight; in the F/L I was called and handed a First class BP (booking code X) along with a comment regarding my Emerald status. Note that, for once, the First cabin was only ½ occupied (which is rare).
     
  16. Lendav Orav

    Lendav Orav Member

    Sep 27, 2008
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    Yes I'm booked on the AA flight number (it's to Central America there's no QF number). But is it even possible to do the upgrade if my booking is linked to my QF FF number, that's my question.
     
  17. drron

    drron Enthusiast

    Jul 4, 2002
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    Yes.Some Aagents though may want you to put in an Aadvantage number but it is simple to change it back even at time of checkin.
     
  18. Lendav Orav

    Lendav Orav Member

    Sep 27, 2008
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    Thank you! And as I'll be an AA nobody, it means that I can't KK the upgrade until 24hrs prior, is that right? So I understood from the AA site...
     
  19. Lendav Orav

    Lendav Orav Member

    Sep 27, 2008
    177
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    OK I've checked the site again figured out that there are two upgd options. One with pts the other with 500mile upgd certs. To Central Am, with points I'd need 8000 miles which is $200 to buy (I don't have any AA pts, just joined because of this upgd thing). That can be KKd prior as I understand it. Anyone know what class inventory? The other option is I'd need to buy 3x500mile certs @$30 each. So it's much cheaper but as I understand it, it's only if there's space avbl on the day.

    Does that sound right?
     
  20. Cyclogenesis

    Cyclogenesis Member

    Mar 26, 2009
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    Melbourne
    As an AAnobody I do NOT recommend using 500mile certs.. AFAIK you can only upgrade B and Y class with these... (unlike Gold and Plat that can use them on any class and unlike Exec plat that dont even need to use them...)
     

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