• How do AA System Wide Upgrades (SWU) Work For Executive Platinum Elite Status?

    Posted by Margaret Weller on November 9, 2023 at 1:32 pm

    When it comes to using System Wide Upgrades (SWU) or mileage upgrades on AA’s long haul flights, on departure date if there are still unsold seats in business/first, do they all get assigned to pax who are still waiting for their upgrades to clear?

    Is there ever a situation where a flight might take off with unsold premium cabin seats even though there are pax on board whose SWUs or mileage upgrades did not clear?

    Also, if two pax are both EXP and have identical 12-month rolling LP balances, and one is trying to use an SWU and the other is trying to use a mileage upgrade for the same flight, does the SWU get priority over the mileage upgrade?

    Linnie replied 4 weeks ago 2 Members · 2 Replies
  • 2 Replies
  • Isaac

    November 9, 2023 at 1:33 pm

    It’s not a straightforward answer. Imagine we have a 77W with F, J, Y+ and Y. F has 3 seats open, no J seats open, 3 Y pax waiting for SWUs to clear, 3 standby pax on employee benefits (who can fly in any cabin with empty space). No J-> F SWUs.

    SWUs don’t clear Y->F in four class and AA doesn’t have to roll J pax to F to clear those SWUs so those employees get first class seats. If there were only 2 employees one F seat flies empty.

    You’re asking for certainty in something where there are a ton of shades of gray (if Y was oversold you could roll J pax to F, etc) and the gate agent is under pressure to get flights out on time. You are unlikely to find it. Most of the time the answer is “it depends” for things like upgrades.

  • Linnie

    November 9, 2023 at 1:33 pm

    It’s a very straightforward answer. If there is a J seat open at the airport just before departure then SWUs will be cleared into it in the predetermined order.

    SWUs will get preference over mileage upgrades within the same status band, LPs don’t matter.

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