How to Get An American Airlines Business Class Upgrade?

american airlines business upgrade

Do you want to go for American Airlines Business Class upgrade? If yes, you are at the correct place. However, your chances to upgrade to business class might not be optimal if you don’t hold the status of an elite member of the American Airlines AAdvantage frequent flyer program.

To give everyone the premium facility of flying in business class, American Airlines has certain approaches. If you are planning to fly with American Airlines and want to get a seat upgrade to the front of the plane, you should know how to get an upgrade to first class or business class.

Let’s get an idea of these in the account below.

How to Get Upgraded to Business Class on American Airlines?

Are you feeling low for not being able to avail of this upgraded facility? Cheer up. It’s a fact that the demand for getting an upgrade is high, but with limited availability. You can still go for an American Airlines upgrade to business class.

Before starting with the process of getting an American Airlines upgrade, you must be acquainted with the following:

  • How the upgrade works
  • Gain information about leveraging your frequent flyer miles for opportunities to upgrade
  • Check for discount prices to take advantage of premium flights

Now, here’s how you can get a business or first-class upgrade on AA:

  • Upgrades with miles – Redeeming AAdvantage miles is the only way non-elites can upgrade to the flight’s front.
  • Systemwide upgrades (SWUs) – Available only to Platinum Pro (one Loyalty Choice Reward) and Executive Platinum elites.
  • 500-mile upgrades for companions – Initially, for flights greater than 500 miles, Platinum and Gold members had to use 500-mile upgrade certificates for upgrades. Now, all elites can get complimentary upgrades.
  • Complimentary upgrades – American Airlines Business class upgrade is now complimentary to all elites.
  • Upgrades through the airline’s small-business program – A bonus for eligible flyers, it offers upgrade certificates, only for small-business owners eligible and their travelers.

Please note that in January 2022 American Airlines completely overhauled the way AAdvantage members can earn elite status. It means that it is now easier to gain these upgrades than before.

How To Find Out If American Airlines Business Upgrade Space Is Available?

Among the host of challenges that AA upgrades bring is finding the seats available. If you can pay for a business class seat, this doesn’t assure that your seat is available for an upgrade.

So, it is better to check if you can easily upgrade to business class on American Airlines. Here’s how:

  • With ConciergeKey/ Executive Platinum Status

When you look for a flight on the official website of AA, you can check if you can use SWUs or mileage upgrade awards. For this, you should have either ConciergeKey or Executive Platinum status with the American. 

  • By Connecting to Customer Care Executives

If you don’t have any of the above-mentioned elite statuses, you have to call 800-433-7300 or  646-974-1422 and connect to a customer service representative. This will help you know if upgrade space is available and to upgrade on a particular flight, you can use miles/ 500-mile certificates (elite members).

  • Get a Third-Party Subscription

Another option to find out if American Airlines business upgrade space is available is to subscribe to a third-party service. Along with this, search for C (business class) or A (first class) award space.

Additionally, remember that when upgrading from:

  • Basic Economy or Main Cabin to domestic first, you need C inventory
  • Business class to Flagship First, you need A inventory
  • Basic Economy or Main Cabin to Flagship Business, you need C inventory
    Remember that your upgrade can clear immediately without an elite flyer status. For this, you have to be vigilant for available upgrade space while booking your ticket.

What If You Don’t Have An Elite Status With American Airlines?

Worried about not having an AA elite status? You can still get an American Airlines Business class upgrade. The best way is to grab a seat in a premium cabin with miles. 

Take a glance at ways to get a business seat upgrade on AA. You can use any of these for an upgrade.  

  • Buy a ticket and upgrade to the next cabin with a combination of cash and miles. 
  • Use miles to buy the ticket in a premium cabin. 
  • To get a better value of AAdvantage miles, book an off-peak award or a Web Special ticket in a premium cabin. 

In a nutshell, both elites and non-elites can enjoy business-class upgrades with AA.  However, American Airlines’ business class upgrade cost is pretty high, especially if you are upgrading from economy to business class. It is thus good to buy a premium economy at $100-$150 (approx.). Thereafter, purchase a cheap business class upgrade with frequent flyer points. Alternatively, you have to pay $40 for an upgrade or 40,000 AAdvantage miles for eight. 

Therefore, you can implement these ways to find an upgrade to business class with AA. When are you going for your upgrade? 

Visit Here For American Airlines Related Other Details:

American Airlines Low Fare Calendar

American Airlines Senior Citizen Discount


How to upgrade to business class on American Airlines?

To request an upgrade on AA:

  • Log in to
  • Check your SWUs available in your AAdvantage account.
  • Find flights with seats available for upgrade. 
  • Call an AAdvantage status customer service representative to confirm your upgrade.

How much to upgrade to business class on American Airlines?

For an upgrade, it costs $40 for elite members. You can also spend 40,000 AAdvantage miles to get eight. Non-elite members can purchase upgrades for miles and cash. However, the amount depends on the route taken and the ticket type.

How to upgrade from economy to business class American Airlines?

You can upgrade to business from a standard economy ticket. The next class of service will vary by flight if it is domestic or international.

How to Get An American Airlines Business Class Upgrade?

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