ASK LUCKY (and each other)


Have a travel related question? Post it here, and I’ll do my best to answer it as quickly as possible.

Anyone can post a question, but you'll get the most benefit from registering to join our forum. You'll be able to see when your question is answered, and like comments from other users.

This space is intended to be more of a community as well, so feel free to jump in and share tips!

Thanks for reading!

Best,
Ben

Award Redemption Easy ticket upgrades??

Discussion in 'questions. answers. conversations.' started by Jeff5512, Apr 16, 2019.

  1. Jeff5512

    Jeff5512 Reader

    Which airlines are the easiest to upgrade a paid ticket with? You've had many useful lists over the last 2 years that I've been following OMMAT. I'd like to know I have the best chances of a points upgrade to business class once I purchase an upgrade-able ticket. Thanks.
     
    #1
  2. David W

    David W Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,952
    Likes Received:
    1,657
    It's highly dependent on the route and time of travel. There's really not going to be one airline that's easier than another when it comes to paid upgrades. Furthermore, each airline has different rules for mileage upgrades.
     
    #2
    Gaurav likes this.
  3. Jeff5512

    Jeff5512 New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    I understand that each airline will be different..... What I was looking for was an in-depth analysis of which airlines might be the easiest to upgrade a paid upgradeable ticket with points. There have many of these types of lists on OMAAT over the years - I was hoping to get some guidance on the most efficient way to do this to maximize my United and American miles.
     
    #3
  4. David W

    David W Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,952
    Likes Received:
    1,657
    Well with United miles you're limited to upgrades only on tickets issued by United on United metal so you're subject to their rules.

    UA only has miles+cash upgrades on flights if you book a certain fare class, usually a more expensive one. There's also Star Alliance upgrade awards but the same rule applies - only if there's space and if you book certain fare classes.

    Same for American - you only upgrade with miles on tickets issuer by them on American metal, plus select partners when booking the right fare class.
     
    #4
    Gia likes this.
  5. Gia

    Gia Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    408
    Likes Received:
    329
    @Jeff - It used to be a whole lot easier to buy upgrades with miles and cash going back four years or so as I recall. Even flying in typically low demand seasons today it’s not predictable whether there will be upgrade space. The difference now is that more people are buying J class seats, the economy is strong so there’s more business travelers and AA has removed seats from J and converted them into premium economy seats. I haven’t done an upgrade in four years. It’s rough out there.
     
    #5
    Gaurav likes this.
  6. OCTinPHL

    OCTinPHL Active Member

    Messages:
    197
    Likes Received:
    81
    @Jeff - there is no way to "maximize" your UA or AA miles for upgrades, at least on domestic flights. (My following anecdotal experience is limited to firsthand AA experience and UA hearsay.) AA and UA (and Delta) offer complimentary upgrades domestically, and while the airlines offer upgrades using miles, no one uses them, rather relying on the complimentary upgrades. Second, the airlines are selling more first class seats than ever before. I've been on AA flights on E90s and A319s where all first class seats are sold more than two weeks in advance, well before the 100 hour window opens for complimentary upgrades. Finally, if you are asking about international upgrades, the miles upgrades do clear before the system-wide upgrades offered by AA to elites (and something similar to UA and Delta), but there is a $ copay unless you are buying a full-fare Y ticket. The reality is that an in-depth analysis re: miles upgrades is worthless, because they are so far and few between. IMO. YMMV.
     
    #6
    Gaurav likes this.