US Airways Domestic Upgrades Clearing Early? Way Early!

Many things with the American Airlines/US Airways merger have gone better than planned/feared.  Given the debacle that was the United/Continental merger (and residual effects today), it was fair to think that this one could be equally as bad.  But, things have gone really well.

About the only “complaint” was the complimentary domestic upgrade procedures on both codeshare flights and for elites of one airline flying on the other airline.  Domestic upgrades were almost a sure thing for me over the last 7+ years as an Executive Platinum member.  Even though there were more total flight choices as the merger started, upgrades became murkier.

Codeshare flights were pretty much controlled by the airport while upgrades ahead of time involved working through a manual process 24 hours ahead of departure.  Since upgrades were first come, first served, time was back to being an element of the check-in procedure.

While I may have been hiding under a rock and missed the memo, my upcoming US Airways flight appears to reflect a very positive change in the process.

Upgrades for AAdvantage Executive Platinum members on American Airlines flights are supposed to clear at 100 hours prior to departure.  They’re supposed to clear 96 hours (4 days) ahead of departure on US Airways.

My most recent upgrade cleared 107 hours prior to departure for my entire itinerary that day (two connecting flights).

I even got a nice e-mail from US Airways telling me.  I’ve gotten the occasional upgrade ahead of 100 hours from American, but certainly never from US Airways.  This is something I was expecting in October when both reservations systems come sooner.  Given, I haven’t had a whole lot of flights that were booked directly with US Airways that only had US Airways flights on the itinerary.

The subject line of the e-mail was “Your upgrade status”. And, it confirmed the happy news:

Domestic Upgrades

I might be late to this party.  Others may have seen this already.  And, it may not be the case for all flights.  But, it demonstrates to me that another piece of tech that needs to be completed for the merger to be successful appears to be testing well.

And early!


  1. I’m seeing the exact opposite. My upgrades never clear on us airways flights. Aa clears as usual, often early in the window. On U.S. Airways I never get them before arriving at the airport, and then it’s usually at the gate. A few times I’ve been on us airways flights and ask about upgrades only to be told I need to be a premier member…huh? I’m an EXP and its on my ticket. I show them and they’ve told me it’s not in the computer that way…I,ms hoping up as a non member. On the plane I’ve been refused the comp snack due to the same issue…their paperwork doesn’t show me as EXP and so they charge for the snack. The FAs always say it doesn’t matter what the ticket says, it’s the system paperwork they need to follow. I’ve complained to AA and been told it’s growing pains. Yet I get credit for the flight without saying a word… something is wrong in their systems and I don’t believe they are working on it. Pretty sure there is some edge case I’ve fallen into. And ,y flight on US tomorrow I have a middle seat from iad to lax. No sign of that upgrade and when I call the only option I ha e is to pay $35 for the aisle seat next to me….or hope try upgrade me at the airport. I’m resigned to not taking Us airways flights anymore….too much headache, I’ll stick with aa metal from now on.

    1. Matt, are you booking codeshare flights? That’s where I’ve had most of my problems. If you’re booking US Airways flights on US Airways ticket stock, then you may be in some weird box. I would expect that condition to resolve itself in October, but I am curious for more details.

  2. Welcome to the way US does things – hopefully, this will stick around – and maybe even become more closely aligned with the way upgrades cleared for Chairman Preferred, ie 7 days out.

    1. You mean including all the upgrades that didn’t clear in the last 6 months on US flights for me? :P. Seriously, though. Hopefully this is the last of the bumps in the road.

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