How to Get An American Airlines Business Class Upgrade?

american airlines business upgrade

When you upgrade from economy class to a higher one when flying, the travel excitement manifolds. That’s why you have the American Airlines Business Class upgrade feature. Getting an upgrade on AA is a breeze with elite status holders or miles. And why not? Soaring through the clouds on lie-flat seats of business class with upgraded in-flight features is an experience to cherish. So in this account, you will be introduced to different methods to upgrade. Time to fly on the coveted seat. Time for a comfortable retreat.

How to Get American Airlines Business Class Upgrade?

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

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

With AAdvantage loyalty program rewards, you can be among the airline’s top elite status holders. Thereby, you have complimentary upgrades and can earn worldwide upgrades. With your AAdvantage miles, you can upgrade your bookings, as per the availability.

Let’s proceed to look into upgrade approach –

Complimentary Upgrades

  • Complimentary upgrades are given to AAdvantage elite members on flights within the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean.
  • A companion is included on the same flight.

Systemwide Upgrades

  • Select these upgrades annually with the Loyalty Point Rewards system, starting at 175,000 Loyalty Points.
  • Up to 3 segments in each travel direction are allowed with these upgrades from Basic Economy or Main Cabin to business class or business class to first class.

Mileage Upgrade Awards

Upgrade worldwide flights that are American-marketed and operated with your miles.

Combine miles and cash co-pay for upgrades. It depends on the destination you are traveling to.

  • 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.

What are American Airlines Seat Upgrade Types?

When traveling with American Airlines, you can upgrade to business class on domestic and international flights, both. Take a look at the seat upgrade types.

Domestic Flights

Complimentary seat upgrade from basic economy to the main cabin with extra legroom

International Flights

Upgrade from economy class to business class

Please note

Basic Economy tickets are not eligible for American Airlines upgrade, but with an AA elite status you can upgrade them.

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

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 want to pay for a business class seat, it is not assured that your seat can be upgraded.

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 for a comfortable trip. Here’s how –

  • With Concierge Key/ 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 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 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.

How to be Added to the American Airlines Upgrade List?

To get on the American Airlines business upgrade list, you have to shell out some money. This will help you skip the line and get ahead of someone having a status higher than you. Use your 500-mile upgrades, cash and miles, or systemwide upgrades to pay and get up the list.

Over the years, the upgrade process of American Airlines has become more specific and strict. A majority of upgrades clear within 24 hours of the flight departure. So, scoring extra upgrades is no longer a breeze. Since the upgrade list on AA has a set priority, you have to earn your place.

In Conclusion

Therefore, you can easily get an 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 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?

Frequently Asked Questions

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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