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Upgrading on American LAX to Auckland

Discussion in 'questions. answers. conversations.' started by JakeMHS, Dec 30, 2017.

  1. JakeMHS

    JakeMHS New Member

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    Hello everyone,

    We are planning a honeymoon to New Zealand for next November and were hoping to fly in business for the trans-Pacific flight from LA, making use of AAdvantage miles.

    We don't have enough miles to purchase a business ticket but in theory have enough to upgrade after purchasing coach tickets. However, looking at Lucky's post from 2016 on AAdvantage, I'm wondering if this is false hope.

    I have plenty of miles and am obviously booking quite a ways out. However, most of my miles come from using the Citi AAdvantage card for everyday purchases. I don't have elite status and certainly don't spend tens of thousands on air travel each year.

    With this in mind, do I have any hope of using my miles to upgrade from coach to business? Or is that reserved for the true "loyalists?"
  2. MidSouth Skier

    MidSouth Skier Well-Known Member

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    Welcome @JakeMHS - those upgrades mentioned in the blog post are mostly complimentary upgrades or ones that elite members can secure using 500-mile upgrade coupons and don't apply to a situation like yours.

    For most airlines (and I assume it's true for AA) you can only upgrade one cabin. So you'd need to buy premium economy seats and not just regular economy. And of course before you buy you want to be sure you've got a flight with confirmable upgrade space.

    That being said, you're more likely to run into the issue of AA not releasing any award space than having all the upgrade space already taken. AA just doesn't like to make much award space available these days.
  3. rickyw

    rickyw Well-Known Member

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    The price premium for Premium Economy has been extremely minimal (to my surprise). I just booked a trip to Europe on American a couple weeks ago for October 2018 and Premium Economy was $220 more than Coach.

    Even if you can't confirm the upgrade all the way to business class, I'd definitely recommend looking at outright purchasing Premium Economy.
  4. Gaurav

    Gaurav Well-Known Member

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    @JakeMHS, you still have a little bit of lead time. Have you considered opening additional AA cards between your fiancee and yourself to pad your mileage balance? As MidSouth Skier mentions, you'd still be looking at limited amount of space but can't hurt to put yourself in a better position for redemption.