American May Be Willing To Extend Expiring Systemwide Upgrades

Filed Under: American

As I wrote about a few days ago, I have four American systemwide upgrades expiring on February 28 (though I’m in the process of trying to give them away). I guess I didn’t plan my travels well for this year, as I kept saving them thinking I’d have some great use eventually, but I didn’t.


Going back several years, American was typically happy to extend the expiration date of systemwide upgrades, or at a minimum, allow you to apply them for travel after their expiration date, assuming the space could be confirmed by the end of February. However, over the past couple of years they’ve gotten stricter.

Per View from the Wing, it looks like American is willing to extend the systemwide upgrade expiration date for some Executive Platinum members to May 31, 2017, which is a three month extension.

The catch is that this is only available to select Executive Platinum members. American has an internal metric by which they measure the profitability of customers, often referred to as the “Eagle rating.” American won’t tell you what your rating is, though it’s absolutely something they consider when making these types of exceptions.

So it seems like American is allowing extensions for certain customers. If you’re an Executive Platinum member with expiring systemwide upgrades, it can’t hurt to call AAdvantage customer service and ask if they’re willing to extend the expiration of them. There’s a good chance you’ll be told no, but you might as well try.

I just tried calling and was denied. Be aware that if you’re not eligible for the extension, they probably won’t admit that this is being done. So if they say it’s not possible or they haven’t heard of it, they’re probably just trying to not hurt your feelings for not having a high Eagle rating. After all, denying that something is being offered sounds better than saying “yes we’re doing that, but not for you.”

In my case I asked the representative, and she said “let me check if that’s something that’s available.” After being on hold for a moment she came back and said “that’s not something we are doing right now, sorry.”

This isn’t something where hanging up and calling back is likely to produce better results.


Bottom line

American seems to be extending systemwide upgrades by three months for at least some Executive Platinum members. If you have expiring upgrades, give AAdvantage customer service a call. You might be denied (like I was), but it’s worth a try, as it only takes a minute.

Have any readers had luck extending their American systemwide upgrades this year?

  1. @patrick
    Eagle ratings are based on profitability, among other factors. Ben’s historical retention of Exp status appears to be based largely on mistake fares and cheap business class status runs, so I’d doubt if his rating was that high.

  2. One the phone with EXP desk trying to get 2 of my SWUs extended. They didn’t apply 2 of my SWUs to an outbound flight I took last week but booked many months ago and requested the SWUs at time of booking. EXP customer service desk told me to send in the request via I will say the odds are not in my favor but hope they grant an extension.

  3. I just called AA. I have 4 SWUs scheduled to expire on 2/28. I’m Executive Platinum and in 2016, had approximately 150k EQMs, 110 segments, and spent $18k. But the answer was “no.” AA refused to extend the expiration date. Apparently, my Eagle ranking is not high enough.

  4. They did use my 2 SWU expiring 2/28 for a flight I booked 2/14 flying later this Spring as I was able to confirm the upgrade at booking and get seats assigned. I questioned this and was told they have the ability to extend to end of May depending on the client. Don’t have a clue about my Eagle rating but I have been EP for years with over 3 flown million miles on AA and spend about $25-$30K a year.

  5. Does anyone have a leg they’d be willing to part with? I have a flight at 10pm tmrw from JFK to LHR. Have platinum status but no system wides unfortunately. Please let me me know! 4405379709

  6. I was also told “told” immediately, on two separate calls. Maybe they knew I was already planning to ditch AA. I plan to use my 4 four expiring in 2018 to upgrade flights which I’ll credit to AS.

  7. I just lost 1, 2, 3, 4, …… FIVE system-wide upgrades on American Airlines. I got bogged down with work and temporarily forgot about them. When I realized what happened I tried to salvage the situation by calling the AAdvantage number and politely explaining my situation but after 10 minutes and one escalation, they told me that there wasn’t anything they could do. They did say my suggestion of sending out an email or text about expiring upgrades would be socialized to management and that they would put a note in my record. Being an executive platinum with +500k miles didn’t get me the mercy and compassion I was looking for. I hope this reply saves someone from the stomach kicking pain that I am feeling.

  8. I have a handful I am trying to use before end of year (unless they extend). But honestly, we can share with our friends so the kind thing to do would be to offer our systemwides to those we care about – if we can’t use them, right? no restrictions on that, is that correct?

  9. I called as well, they transferred me to another person… After asking about the extension, there was a moment of silence, I think that’s when they looked at my “Eagle Rating”… LOL!

    Then after that moment of silence, they continued like they are trying to answer the question right away and said “No, unfortunately that is not something we can do, the SWU must be used by their expiration date”!

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