American Airlines App Now Shows Upgrade List 8 Hours Out

Filed Under: American

It sure is nice to know where you stand on a flight upgrade list. Not only does it help you manage expectations, but it can also be useful if you have an opportunity to easily change to another flight, or are considering a paid upgrade. I’ve managed to make same day changes in order to confirm upgrades with some luck.

How different airlines display upgrade lists

I don’t know any airline that shows passengers upgrade lists more than 24 hours out. Presumably this is because of how fluid upgrade priority is, and also because airlines want to encourage people to pay for the seats they actually want.

But among the “big three” US airlines and how they display upgrades:

  • United is the best, as anyone can look up the upgrade list for a flight starting 24 hours, through either the website or app
  • Delta is second best, as they start displaying upgrade lists 24 hours out through the app, but you can only see the list if you’re actually booked on the flight
  • American Airlines is the worst, as they’ve historically just shown upgrade lists through the app starting four hours before departure

Delta starts showing upgrade lists 24 hours out

American now shows upgrade lists eight hours out

As noted by JonNYC, American Airlines is now displaying upgrade lists through their app starting eight hours before departure.

As of now it looks like this is only available through iOS and not Android, though it’s my understanding that this should be rolling out to Android soon.

Do keep in mind that the upgrade lists only display passengers who have already checked in, so it’s normal for the list to get longer (and for your position to change) as the departure time approaches.

American’s app now shows upgrade lists eight hours out

Bottom line

While American still doesn’t show upgrade lists as early as Delta or United, this is a great improvement. I’d much rather have a general sense of the odds of an upgrade earlier before departure, so I can either mentally prepare, or otherwise change my flight. šŸ˜‰

Anyone else excited that American is now showing upgrade lists eight hours out?

  1. Minor correction – On United, you can see how you stand 2- 3 days before the flight, and even further if you change settings on your phone. Plus, the 1K/GS desks will usually tell you where you stand when you ask.

  2. From what I understand for UA there is a trick on iPhones where if you change the date and time you can even see the upgrade list days in advance.

  3. Also, since the introduction of PlusPoints, UA now shows everyone on the list, not just those who are checked in. At the airport, thereā€™s now an additional check mark next to each name on the upgrade list if they are checked in.

  4. Yeah United still far ahead. If you change your phoneā€™s date to within 4 days of an upcoming flight (<5 months it seems) you can see upgrade list. Helpful for international flights if not GS to see how many are using PlusPoints ahead of you.

    Itā€™s clearly a glitch they may fix but even so seeing the upgrade list 4 days out as youā€™re meant to do on United is helpful.

  5. What is wrong to just going to 24 hours like they’re competitors. Why does AA take baby steps on everything?

  6. Although, it will be nice to see the list earlier, my experience over the past 6 months or so of being Platinum Pro is that my upgrade either clears 72 hours in advance or it doesn’t clear at all. I don’t think American holds back as many seats last minute as DL and UA.

  7. Why can’t you just see it using any old web browser like United? Why hide it on the web and only publish it (from the internet) in the app?

    “We’re American Airlines, the airline who hates customers!”

  8. For what it’s worth, I think the 24 hours thing with DL (don’t fly UA) a blessing and a curse. I often see myself move down the list over the course of 24 hours. As a NY-based Platinum flyer, there’s tons of Diamonds who will push me down, and I’m sure I’m middle of the pack among Platinum in terms of fare class or however DL does it. For AA, I’m EP, and I find that the list is pretty much static 4 hours out, sometimes there’s an occasional CK who will bump me down.

  9. I think United has the best upgrade list. I donā€™t get pushed down the list anymore because it shows everyone on the list regardless of whether they are checked in.

    Gives me a lot more certainty. I donā€™t know why anyone is making a big deal out of AA increasing its timeframe to 8 hours from 4 hours when itā€™s still only people who are checked in. Not everyone checks in early!

  10. UA does 48 hours. Iā€™m flying UA101 on Thursday and you can go to their site, check any flight status, and itā€™ll show you the upgrade list.

    After the Dao incident, UA has really stepped up their game and invested in technologies and overall experience. In terms of the big 3, Iā€™ve seen a ton of growth from UA whereas AA is still very much in last place by far.


  11. @Joseph: I think Lucky tends to cover AA (and to some extent DL) much more since he is based out of MIA, and often under reports or gets small things wrong about UA as he doesnā€™t fly them often.

    I think this blog could certainly benefit from a UA-centric contributor! It would round out what is otherwise (by far) the best aviation / points blog on the web.

  12. Confused. As a top AA flyer, I can access the upgrade list immediately. I understand from friends, lesser AA status, that they get far fewer details from AA on the app. They don’t get systemwide upgrade status info at booking, as I do, for example. Not complaining:)

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