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).
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.
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?