American Airlines Extends Systemwide Upgrades

American Airlines Extends Systemwide Upgrades

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This was initially rumored last week, but has now been confirmed.

Systemwide upgrades extended through July 2022

American Airlines has once again extended the expiration of systemwide upgrades that were issued in 2019 — they’re now valid for bookings through July 31, 2022. While there hasn’t been a formal announcement, you should see the expiration date extended in your account.

For some context:

  • Systemwide upgrades were initially supposed to expire as of January 31, 2021
  • In light of the pandemic and lack of travel demand, in late 2020 the expiration date of systemwide upgrades was extended to July 31, 2021
  • In other words, the expiration of systemwide upgrades is now being extended by a further 12 months, for a total of an 18 month extension

You can apply systemwide upgrades towards travel beyond the expiration date, as long as you confirm the upgrade before the expiration date. In other words, these systemwide upgrades need to be used by July 2022, but will potentially be usable for 2023 travel (finding confirmable upgrade space isn’t easy sometimes, so that presents its own challenges).

American systemwide upgrades issued in 2019 have been extended once again

Don’t expect 2020 systemwide upgrades to be extended

Interestingly at this point systemwide upgrades issued in 2020 are valid through January 31, 2022, meaning that systemwide upgrades issued in 2019 have a longer validity than those issued in 2019. While that might seem counterintuitive, I can see American’s logic in this regard.

The primary intent of extending upgrades has been for those who haven’t felt comfortable traveling, or who saw their business travel fall drastically. Those who actually qualified for status in 2020 likely don’t fit into either of those camps, so I don’t think it’s unreasonable if systemwide upgrades issued last year aren’t extended in the same way.

While it’s possible that we’ll see systemwide upgrades issued in 2020 extended, personally it’s not something I’d count on. For that matter, American is only extending these upgrades within a couple of months of them expiring. If there is an extension for 2020 ones, perhaps expect similar (limited) notice.

Only time will tell if 2020 systemwide upgrades are extended

Bottom line

American Airlines has extended the expiration date of systemwide upgrades issued in 2019 by a further 12 months, for a total extension of 18 months. These now expire as of July 31, 2022. That’s fantastic to see, and frankly only seems fair.

Now we’re just waiting on an announcement from American AAdvantage about it hopefully being easier to qualify for status in 2021. This is expected shortly.

What do you make of American’s systemwide upgrade extension?

Conversations (10)
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  1. GP Guest

    @BJ, I'm sure you would better continue on the flight because your inconvenience is more important than safety!

  2. Sir Walter Raleigh Guest

    "upgrades issued in 2019 have a longer validity than those issued in 2019."

    Second 2019 should be 2020, right?

  3. BJ Guest

    Terrible experience on American. Four hour delay of flight 1798 DFW to CHS which returned to DFW, 2 hours after boarding!

    Captain made announcement in flight that there was a maintenance problem and he was contacting tower for assistance. He came back on and said wheels would not go up,, but since still down, heading back to DFW!

    Then he announced we flew by the tower to confirm that our wheels were still down...

    Terrible experience on American. Four hour delay of flight 1798 DFW to CHS which returned to DFW, 2 hours after boarding!

    Captain made announcement in flight that there was a maintenance problem and he was contacting tower for assistance. He came back on and said wheels would not go up,, but since still down, heading back to DFW!

    Then he announced we flew by the tower to confirm that our wheels were still down and locked!! Two hours after boarding, we landed back at DFW!

    Finally 4 hours later on a plane from the hangar, we departed again. In CHS more than 4 hours late!

  4. wayne New Member

    Mine typo: "meaning that systemwide upgrades issued in 2019 have a longer validity than those issued in 2019"

  5. TMP Guest

    Typical lack of strategic thinking on AA’s part. Great that they are once again extending expiring SWU’s that were due to expire in 2020, but really poor thinking in how not to reward those that did travel in 2020 and requalified for EXP who have SWU’s expiring in Jan ‘21. The unintended consequences of their decisions continue to mount. I also agree that they will be forced to extend status due to lack of international...

    Typical lack of strategic thinking on AA’s part. Great that they are once again extending expiring SWU’s that were due to expire in 2020, but really poor thinking in how not to reward those that did travel in 2020 and requalified for EXP who have SWU’s expiring in Jan ‘21. The unintended consequences of their decisions continue to mount. I also agree that they will be forced to extend status due to lack of international travel this far in 2021. Sadly I use the word forced as opposed to proactively caring for their most loyal flyers.

    1. TMP New Member

      Sorry for typo, should read that EXP’s who traveled in 2020 and have SWU’s expiring in Jan ‘22.

  6. Michael Kaplan Guest

    Same for me. I am EP now, but will only be gold (based only on million miler) if status is not extended.

    Started flying again last week (seemingly with very few business travelers), but will not do enough to keep status without lots of help.

  7. JC1 Gold

    @Ben

    I checked yesterday after Viewfromthewing posted that systemwide were extended through July 31, 2022 and mine still reflected a July 31, 2021 date. So this morning after seeing your story, I checked again and they still show July 31, 2021.

    So are they only extending select customers systemwide or is this being done in batches and since I earned mine in November 2019 they just haven't reached that batch yet?

    What about for...

    @Ben

    I checked yesterday after Viewfromthewing posted that systemwide were extended through July 31, 2022 and mine still reflected a July 31, 2021 date. So this morning after seeing your story, I checked again and they still show July 31, 2021.

    So are they only extending select customers systemwide or is this being done in batches and since I earned mine in November 2019 they just haven't reached that batch yet?

    What about for those individuals who have systemwides currently attached to a reservation where the flight is in the future but may need to be cancelled due to a schedule change. Will they be redeposited with the new expiration date

  8. The nice Paul Diamond

    A data point: I haven’t flown since last March, but BA keeps extending my OWE status — now until Oct 2022.

    I guess most airlines will similarly extend (and especially AA because of the JV with BA).

  9. John Guest

    Interestingly, unless they extend status I’ll be (I think) a lowly lifetime Gold with systemwide upgrades

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The nice Paul Diamond

A data point: I haven’t flown since last March, but BA keeps extending my OWE status — now until Oct 2022. I guess most airlines will similarly extend (and especially AA because of the JV with BA).

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GP Guest

@BJ, I'm sure you would better continue on the flight because your inconvenience is more important than safety!

0
Sir Walter Raleigh Guest

"upgrades issued in 2019 have a longer validity than those issued in 2019." Second 2019 should be 2020, right?

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