As in past years, as February 28 approaches there are plenty of Executive Platinum members with systemwide upgrades that are expiring unused.
That’s a shame, and we used to see many of them burned on silly domestic flights like a New York – Washington National regional jet or Dallas – Austin. Of course even that’s rarely even possible anymore now that American doesn’t open up much confirmed upgrade space.
Fortunately — based on a ton of reports from readers and posts in my Facebook feed — American seems to be willing to extend expiring systemwide upgrades for some members through May 31 if you call and ask.
You probably have to be more profitable than the average Executive Platinum member for them to approve this since they don’t seem to do it for everyone — if I had to guess a four- or five-eagle Helix score or its equivalent.
American has long tracked profitability, and assigned scores entirely apart from status level (‘Eagle rating’ and ‘Helix scores’) that have helped to determine whether to grant exceptions to policies.
Probably the best short discussion of Helix scores is this Travelingbetter.com thread.
Regardless, whatever you do, do not sell your systemwides. Do not trade them either. AAdvantage Corporate Security has been on a nearly unprecedent warpath (measured by volume of accounts under audit).
If you made that mistake and got caught, American usually will go light on first-time offenders provided that they ‘come clean’ and are forthcoming about whom a systemwide was sold to or purchased from and what the terms were. They are most interested in serial brokers and are willing to ‘plea bargain’ with minor offenders to get the Evip-lords. There may be a consequence but it should fall short of account shutdown and forfeiture of miles.