How to Get An American Airlines Business Class Upgrade?

american airlines business upgrade

Who doesn’t like to enjoy premium features and more convenience when flying? That’s why American Airlines allows you upgrades to up your flight trip experience. With the American Airlines Business Class upgrade, you can delight in an overall enhanced trip through the clouds.

With miles in your AA account or having an elite status, getting an upgrade is a piece of cake. So, get ready to fly to your dream destination while enjoying the upgraded in-flight features of AA. Now, explore the following account and learn how to get an AA upgrade and much more.

Can I Get a Business Class Upgrade on American Airlines?

Yes, you can easily Upgrade to business class on an American Airlines flight. However, make sure to check your elite status. Alternatively, you can pay with miles to get an upgrade.

How Can I Upgrade to American Airlines Business Class from Economy?

If you are wondering how to upgrade from economy to business class on American Airlines, you are at the correct place.

Follow the steps mentioned below-

Getting an Upgrade on American Airlines

  • Visit the official website of American Airlines.
  • Log in to your AAdvantage account.
  • Check available Systemwide Upgrades (SWUs) in your account.
  • While booking, find the SWUs link for flights available with seats.
  • Call an AAdvantage status service team for upgrade confirmation.
  • If an upgrade is available, AA deducts the required number of upgrades from your balance.
  • On unavailability of upgrades while booking, the airline puts your request on the waitlist.

Please note

  • If AA doesn’t confirm your upgrade when you check in, you will be automatically added to the airport upgrade standby list. However, you must have the required upgrades before 48 hours of your scheduled departure.
  • To use a systemwide upgrade for the current booking, call your AAdvantage® status service desk. It will help you check upgrade availability for your flight(s).
  • SWUs are subject to upgraded seating availability.
  • Once your upgrade is confirmed, the airline updates your mobile boarding pass via its app.

Getting an Upgrade on British Airways (BA)

  • Sign in to your AAdvantage account.
  • Check your available SWUs.
  • Contact an AAdvantage status service desk to get confirmation of your upgrade.

Please note

On upgrade unavailability while making a reservation, check it with AA. BA doesn’t have an upgrade waitlist.

What is the AA Business Class Upgrade Cost?

The cost of your American Airlines business class upgrade is according to the destinations worldwide. Here, take a glance at it –

Destinations to/From From Full-Fare Economy / Premium Economy From Discount Economy / Premium Economy
Contiguous 48 U.S. states, Alaska, Mexico, Canada, Central America, Caribbean Contiguous 48 U.S. states, Alaska, Mexico, Canada, Central America, Caribbean 5,000

15,000 + $75

Contiguous 48 U.S. states, Alaska, Canada Contiguous 48 U.S. states, Alaska, Canada 8,000
North America Central America 8,000

North America

Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname 8,000 15,000 + $150
Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, China, Indian Subcontinent, Australia, New Zealand 15,000 25,000 + $350
Contiguous 48 U.S. states, Alaska, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean Hawaii 8,000 15,000 + $175
North America Europe, Middle East, Africa 15,000 25,000 + $350
North America Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay 15,000 25,000 + $350


Can I Track My American Airlines Upgrade Balance?

Yes, American Airlines allows you to track your business upgrade balance. Here’s how –

In your AAdvantage® account, you will find:

  • Available systemwide upgrades
  • Deposit and expiration dates
  • Upgrades you have used or plan to use

Please note

Summary details display only if you have SWUs in the existing or future year with an expiration date.

Can I Get an AA Upgrade from Economy to Business Class?

With American Airlines, status members can upgrade to business class to enhance their experience.

With space availability, AAdvantage® status members automatically receive a complimentary upgrade. This applies to flights within North America, from any eligible purchased, published fare in the Main Cabin or Premium Economy to the next class of service.

Please note

American Airlines doesn’t upgrade Basic Economy tickets. However, you can upgrade the tickets if you are an elite status holder.

For more information, get in touch with the airline’s customer service representative.

How Can I Secure an American Airlines Upgrade?

Do you want to know how American Airlines gives an upgrade to business class and increases your chances for the same? Here are some tips to help you.

For American AAdvantage Elite Members

Earn SWU certificates
With American Airlines

Use these SWUs for an upgrade on international or domestic flights. These certificates are for any ticket type that includes the Basic Economy.

On British Airways

With transatlantic BA trips, get a confirmed upgrade from –

  • Business fares to First
  • Premium Economy to Business, or
  • Economy to Premium Economy

Use SWUs for one-way trips for up to 3 flight segments on –

  • BA Marketed and operated flights or
  • BA Operated flights marketed by American

Please note

Your itinerary must have one or more flights marketed by American Airlines to be eligible for an upgrade.

Purchase an upgrade

You can get upgrades while booking, during check-in, or before departure at the gate. You might buy discounted gate upgrades.

Buy business/first-class award tickets

Get your business or first-class tickets with miles to get a premium cabin seat.

For Non-AAdvantage Elite Members

Fly with an AAdvantage Elite member

If you are flying with a high-status holder AAdvantage elite member, your AA seat upgrade chances are enhanced. Request the member to ask the airline to give you an upgrade and the airline will do it.

Upgrade with miles

Discounted economy tickets can get mileage upgrade awards if space is available. Here’s how –

  • Use miles to purchase business or first-class award tickets.
  • Set up fare alerts for business class fares.
  • If an AA fault resulted in missing your connecting flight or the overbooked flight doesn’t have seat, request an upgrade on the next flight.

Please note

Upgrades are high in demand but limited in number.

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

Worried about not having an AA elite status? You can get an American Airlines Business class upgrade easily. 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.

Does American Airlines Give Complimentary Upgrades?

Yes, AAdvantage® status members receive a complimentary upgrade automatically. However, it depends on the space availability. These Upgrades are given –

  • For flights within North America
  • With one travel companion flying on the same plane
  • From any eligible fare in the Main Cabin or Premium Economy to the next service class (Business or domestic First)
  • On flights that are marketed and operated by American Airlines
  • All AAdvantage® status members can upgrade on AAdvantage® award tickets.

In Conclusion

Therefore, you can easily upgrade to business class on AA flights. Thanks to its simple approach and flexibility that makes things smooth for travelers. However, keep an eye on American Airlines business class upgrade cost as it might be higher than you think. But the airline facilitates you to get an upgrade at your ease, so proceed accordingly and you won’t burn a hole in your pocket with the upgrade.

So, manage your AA journey with upgrades of up to three segments in one direction and delight in a comfortable and relaxing flight trip.

Therefore, you can implement these ways to find an upgrade to business class with AA. When are you going for your upgrade? It’s time to fly on the coveted seat. It’s time for a reviving retreat.

You May Visit:

How do I talk to an American Airlines representative?

American Airlines Seat Selection

American Airlines Missed Flight

Frequently Asked Questions

How to upgrade to business class on American Airlines?

Log in to, check SWUs in your AAdvantage account, find flights with upgrade availability, & call the AAdvantage customer service team to confirm your upgrade.

How much to upgrade to business class on American Airlines?

It costs $40 for elite members to upgrade. Non-elite members can purchase upgrades for miles and cash. However, the amount depends on your route and ticket type.

How to upgrade from economy to business class American Airlines?

Basic Economy tickets don’t get an AA upgrade. However, elite status holders get upgrades. The next service class varies by flight – domestic or international.

How to Get An American Airlines Business Class Upgrade?

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