A couple of weeks ago I wrote about American closing an international upgrade loophole.
American AAdvantage gives out 8 confirmed upgrades per year valid on any American flight (both domestic and international) to their 100,000 mile ‘Executive Platinum’ members. They also give out these certificates at million-mile thresholds.
The rules of the certificates are that they have to be used to travel by the expiration date on the certificate.
But it wasn’t actually enforced that way. If you had any certificates that would be valid into the future, you could use your earlier expiring upgrades, because the system was set up to pull the closest-to-expire upgrade certificate first.
This meant that it was possible to use systemwide upgrade certificates for travel beyond their expiration date, stated rules notwithstanding.
A system update, though, meant that the rule about having to use (not just confirm) systemwide upgrades by their expiration date would now be enforced. That was the rule all along, so fair enough.
It appears that the system update though has also made the process of applying confirmed international upgrade certificates a smoother one as well.
I applied a VIP [confirmed systemwide upgrade] today for use prior to expiration. The AAgent was able to instantly see my existing SWU balance and was also able to immediately apply the upgrade. No call to the “rate desk”, no putting me on hold. The upgrade appeared to occur in real time. Also, no-reticketing occurred; the itinerary appears as ticketed with the original ticketing date, and this seems to have happened very close to instantaneously. This differs from all of my experiences applying VIPs for international or domestic upgrades prior to 6/26/14. This was for a domestic transcon upgrade.
It would appear that American no longer needs to re-issue tickets in order to process upgrades.
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