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Can you upgrade an AA award ticket involving a partner airline on the day of the flight?
I’m flying JAL in the coming weeks, I have an award ticket in business which is fine, but I’ve never flown to Asia and since first is available for 12,500 more AA miles why not. So I called AA and found out they could not assign me a window in first with 1A/1K available so I guessed they were withheld for elites and decided to keep my seat. After some research they are really withheld as only JALs highest elites or full paid can select these seats prior to being at the gate. When does the option to upgrade an award involving a partner airline close? My connection arrives at ORD almost three hours prior to departure, if I can look at the map and see if either of those seats are available then call and upgrade I will. Otherwise without that certainty, I’d much rather have a window in business. Any input is much appreciated.
Hi Blake! JAL blocks almost all first class seats until airport check-in for the reasons you mentioned, but they’ll still assign them to you eventually.
AA doesn’t have a limitation as to when you can upgrade a ticket, technically, but if you’re already checked-in they have a hard time getting control of the ticket back from JAL. It’s possible, but not a fast process.