Reciprocal Upgrades on American Airlines and US Airways

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This data was relevant in 2014-15 during the American Airlines/US Airways merger.  It is out of date and no longer accurate.

I wrote a series of posts about reciprocal upgrades on American Airlines and US Airways for elites of either airline before the programs are merged in 2015 to become the new American.

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This data was current as of fall 2014 and will assist elites seeking to upgrade on flights booked on one carrier while holding status on the other.

* Part I – American Airlines elites upgrading on US Airways metal

* Part II – US Airways elites upgrading on American Airlines metal

* Part III – Upgrading on itineraries with both carriers

* Part IV – Challenges and strategies for elite upgrades

Key takeaways:

* Always book flights on the native carrier, NOT codeshares.

* Reciprocal upgrade policies are not equal – it is easier for lower status elites to obtain upgrades on US Airways than on American Airlines.

* American Airlines allows for waitlisting for upgrades for their elites, US Airways does not allow requesting until the 24 hour check-in mark (if the upgrade is unavailable).

* US Airways requires manually checking for upgrades.

* These policies only apply until the programs merge in 2015.  When that happens, the policy will be uniform for the combined carrier.