American Embraces Transparency in Award and Upgrade Classes for US Airways!

Just a couple of weeks ago Delta reminded us that their best customers are poorly-informed customers. They forced Expert Flyer — a collection of really useful tools for frequent flyers (that charges a subscription fee — to remove all information about Delta. Even flight schedules.

Now Expert Flyer emails their registered members to let them know of even more information that’s now available for US Airways. And includes a quote from American about this that underscores a totally different philosophy towards customers than Delta. (American doesn’t hate them.)

“We are pleased that customers who choose to fly US Airways will now have the same service from ExpertFlyer that they have had for American Airlines flights,” said Cory Garner, American’s managing director – distribution. “This agreement provides another step toward a more seamless customer experience during the integration of our two airlines.”

(American is no saint here — they removed access to domestic upgrade inventory some time ago, but they did bring back Award Wallet’s access to AAdvantage member accounts.)

Expert Flyer is already the only source I know for viewing confirmed upgrade space to international business class on American Airlines. I also use it to let me know when confirmed domestic first class upgrade space is dwindling on flights where an upgrade especially matters to me (I have it send me an email, for instance, when ‘A’ inventory drops below 3). And I use it to email me when specific seats open up on a seatmap if I’m not happy with seats I book initially.

Now there’s better information on US Airways, too:

As part of our continued partnership with American Airlines, we are pleased to announce that as of today ExpertFlyer now supports full US Airways Award & Upgrade searching and alerting. The addition of awards and upgrades from US Airways operated flights will complement the existing American Airlines operated award/upgrade data currently available to subscribers of ExpertFlyer. In addition Flight Alerts can now be created for award and upgrade inventory for US Airways operated flights.

The newly supported classes are:

O – First – Award/Upgrades, also complimentary Preferred upgrades into First
I – Business – Award/Miles Upgrade
J – Business – Upgrades into Business using Certificate upgrades for ALL applicable routes (not just PHL-TLV)
X – Economy – Award

This is fantastic news!

(And worth noting that while US Airways has aligned revenue booking classes with American, their award classes remain tied to their Star Alliance history and have not yet been aligned.)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »


  1. I thought it was pretty ridiculous that DL forced Expertflyer to remove even flight schedules.

    When I’m on AA during IRROPS, the first thing I do is log into Expertflyer to review flight availability and my rebooking options, BEFORE I call AA. IMHO this saves them a lot of call center time and thus money.

    Same thing with confirmed upgrades… instead of endlessly calling them to inquire about availability, I just check on Expertflyer.

  2. This just proves that American will be spectacularly successful if they just do the exact opposite of Delta and United.

  3. I don’t understand why Delta have decided to start playing from the United playbook.

    I used to like DL specifically because they rewarded the informed and engaged passenger.

    It’s nice to see that, as AA and US combine, they’re really working hard to find best practices on both sides. It was tough going through the HP/US merger and watching the failing side (US) have so many of their practices adopted by the merged airline.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *