How To Upgrade To American Airlines First Class? [2024 Guide]

American Airlines First Class Upgrade Request

While booking flights, it can be very confusing which category to choose. According to their needs and budget, passengers sometimes choose a basic class, premium, or business class when they discover the benefits and features of first class, especially when traveling with American Airlines. They feel like they have made a mistake. Not to worry! American Airlines upgrade to first class feature is all you need. This service provides passengers to upgrade their classes after booking in different ways and through other memberships.

Types of American Airlines Upgrades To First Class

American Airlines First Class

The airline offers upgrades on all domestic and international flights. Yet, it is not quite possible if the passenger wants to upgrade their economy or premium economy class to first class. Moreover, only some flights have such categories, as American Airlines domestic flights have economy class, main, and first class.

  • On domestic flights, passengers might upgrade seats complimentary from basic economy to the main cabin with extra legroom.
  • On international flights, passengers can upgrade from economy class tickets to business class.

Complimentary Upgrade

  • Passengers can upgrade their class to first class on flights for all domestic, international, and central routes.
  • Travelers who have an Elite Flyer status get a complimentary upgrade to elite services.
  • Complimentary upgrades on awards tickets for passengers with Executive Platinum Status.
  • Passengers who book with AAdvantage loyalty program gold members will receive a confirmation for upgrade 24 hours before departure.
  • Platinum members receive confirmation 48 hours before departure.
  • However, passengers can upgrade their booking with miles plus cash.
  • American Airlines allows passengers to use their miles or award points across the world.
  • Passengers have to pay the price depending on the type of upgrade
  • While traveling with American Airlines, passengers will be offered an upgrade priority.

Systemwide Upgrade

  • American Airlines offers these upgrades to their Platinum Pro and Executive Platinum Elites members.
  • Passengers can select between systemwide upgrades, bonus miles, and admirals club access for an American Airlines first-class upgrade.
  • Passengers with Executive Platinum Elite membership might get extra systematic upgrades when they reach 350,000, 550,000, and 750,000 loyalty points, respectively.
  • This upgrade allows passengers to directly upgrade their premium economy class to first class on two-class flights. Therefore, business class to first class on three-class flights.

Upgrade with Miles

  • American Airlines allows their passengers to upgrade to first class with miles when the booking is made with AAdvantage miles, nonetheless, of their elite status.
  • However, passengers cannot upgrade to first class directly from basic economy via miles.
  • Single-class upgradation is applicable if booked with the mileage.
  • Passengers need to contact American Airlines for booking or to upgrade to first-class using miles
  • PNR number and passenger name will be received.
  • Passengers will receive a confirmation for American Airlines upgrade.

Cash Upgradation 

  • By using cash, passengers can upgrade their seats to business or first-class on the flight with American Airlines.
  • Once the passenger books the flight, visit the Find Your Trip section through American Airlines Manage Booking facility.
  • Fill in the passenger’s details and mention the PNR.
  • Lastly, pay for the upgradation of the flight ticket.

Upgrade with British Airways Avios  

  • Passengers can upgrade with Avios the cash booking to any class type.
  • Moreover, the seats can be upgraded to the next class type; passengers cannot upgrade directly to business or first class.
  • Once passengers raise a request, they will get a notification of an upgrade depending on the availability of seats.

Factors on which an Upgrade to First Class Depends

The airlines include many factors while deciding which passenger seat to upgrade on priority. The upgrade list depends from highest to lowest:

Factors on which American Airlines First Class Depends
  • The AAdvantage elite status.
  • The type of upgrade the passenger is requesting
  • While making an upgrading request which type of ticket class does the passenger has?

Benefits of securing an Upgrade to American Airlines First Class

Depending on the passenger’s status, the benefits of upgrading to First Class can vary.

With elite status

  • Earn systematic upgrade certificate
  • While booking on business or first class, purchase using miles.
  • Passengers can get an upgrade on American Airlines first-class at ticket-purchased, check-in, or the gate.

Passengers without AAdvantage Elite Status

  • Should have a sponsor with AAdvantage elite member
  • Purchase using miles the award tickets for first class and business class.
  • Upgrade with miles
  • For business class, set up a fare alert
  • The trip is disrupted or voluntarily denied boarding.

Priority Upgradation To First Class With AAdvantage Elite Status

Passengers with elite status have top priority to secure an upgrade to first-class seats on American Airlines.

  • Concierge Key– it includes all the upgrades benefits of executive platinum plus upgrade.
  • Executive Platinum– passengers can earn 2 systemwide upgrades and the option to earn more systemwide upgrades with earned loyalty points.
  • Platinum Pro– it provides complimentary upgrades on all flights within the US and Canada, Mexico, the Bahamas, and Central America.
  • Platinum Gold– passengers with this membership are at the top of all elite members and earn complimentary upgrades on all eligible flights.

How Much Does An Upgrade To American Airlines First Class Cost?

American Airlines Upgrade To First Class Cost
  • There is no particular upgradation cost for seats; it depends on upgrading to different types of seats with American Airlines.
  • Therefore, the upgrade cost in cash or miles varies on the basis of the route.
  • While upgradation of the booking with mileage upgrade award ticket is determined to be liable to taxes and security fees and might include extra taxes.

Upgrade To First Class through Online or Offline American Airlines Channels

There are three methods by which passengers can upgrade to first class on American Airlines. The online and offline methods make it convenient for passengers to get the time of class and seat they require.

Get Upgraded via Manage Booking

Visit the American Airlines website or use the mobile app to upgrade to first class with American Airlines.

  • Mention the name and booking number to log in to your account.
  • From managing my booking option, check the flight for which you need to upgrade
  • Select the upgrade to first class option from the list.
  • Pay from the miles or cash, which suits the passenger.
  • After completion, a confirmation mail will be sent to the mail address.

Contact Airlines Representative To Request An Upgrade

Passengers can directly call the American Airlines customer care number to upgrade their category to first class. An executive will guide them through the process and mention the passenger’s name and booking number. The flight details will get open from where the executive will upgrade. Passengers can pay through miles or cash. Later, a confirmation mail will be sent to the mail address.

Upgrade To First Class Directly At The Airport

If a passenger, after boarding at the airport, changes their mind to upgrade their cabin class. They can ask American Airlines staff to upgrade to first class at check-in time before boarding the flight. Hence, complete the process accordingly.

Is American Airlines First Class Worth It?

Yes, booking on the first class of American Airlines is not only having a flat-lie bed. It includes exceptional facilities like priority check-in and boarding, lounge access, complimentary meals, and drinks. Moreover, American Airlines’ first-class seats are spacious and comfortable, with remarkable service by the cabin crew during the flight. The price is relatively high for the category, but it is all worth it after experiencing the first class.

Related: How To Do Seat Selection on American Airlines?

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I upgrade to American Airlines first class after booking?

Yes, passengers can upgrade their category to first class by visiting the official website through an online process or by logging into their account through a mobile app. Moreover, passengers can call the customer care number of the airline.

Can you upgrade to first class on American Airlines?

Passengers can upgrade to first class for both domestic and international flights. It is impossible if the passenger wants to upgrade their economy or premium economy class directly to first class.

Is American Airlines first class refundable?

Yes, the airline allows refunds if the passengers have booked a refundable ticket. And also, passengers can cancel their tickets 24 hours before departure.

How much does it cost for miles to upgrade to first class on American Airlines?

The airline charges 15000 AAdvantage miles from discount economy to first class, including $75 for taxes and fees within the US, Alaska, and Canada. If it is a premium economy ticket and want to upgrade, it would cost 5000 miles without cash and co-pay.

Is it cheaper to upgrade to first class after booking?

The convenient way to save money is to buy an economy class ticket and upgrade it to first class. Passengers can upgrade just after the booking or change later, as on the travel date.

How to get a free upgrade to first class on American Airlines?

There are many ways by which passengers can get a free upgrade to the first class:

  • Earn Airline Elite Status
  • Redeem Miles and Points
  • Use an airline-branded credit card
  • Buy a last-minute upgrade
  • Fly with Elite friend

What types of upgrades does American Airlines offer?

American Airlines offers some types of upgrades excluding miles are:

  • 500-mile upgrade certificate
  • Systemwide upgrades
  • Business extra upgrade
  • Upgrade with cash

Can you upgrade award tickets?

Yes, passengers can upgrade, but not free of cost. For upgradation to first class, they need to cancel the existing flight ticket and redeposit the miles. Later, book the flight again in whichever class the passenger wants. There is a specific fee for replacing the miles unless the passenger has executive platinum status.

Does Elite get complimentary upgrades?

When a passenger has a gold status or higher, they receive complimentary upgrades with American Airlines. There are more benefits with higher elite status, and upgrades are free.      

What classes can I upgrade to?

While upgradation, passengers might be able to upgrade to the next cabin class. The price in miles listed is for single-way, so if the passenger wants to upgrade both sides of flights, they need to double that price for a round-trip. For instance, an upgrade to first class from business class for a domestic flight on American Airlines would cost around 15000 miles.

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