Shared "Inventory Code" Makes Booking First Class Upgrades and Discount Fares Easier
We've discovered something interesting and unique in one of American Airlines' "booking codes" or "inventory codes" for domestic First Class travel that helps identify flights with mileage upgrade availability.
In other words, where AA has discount First Class inventory available, the chances for an upgrade are the same. (This is highly unique for an airline to be this transparent with mileage program seat inventory.)
That means, if you have access to a Computer Reservations System -- or a friendly travel agent who does -- you can search for discount First Class fares, and mileage upgrade inventory, all at the same time. Just by searching for "A" coded booking inventory.
On a Los Angeles to Chicago flight, you could pay for the lowest upgradeable fare ($258); plus a $100 surcharge; plus 30,000 miles. That's a savings of $1,458 (or 80 percent) over the lowest published Business Class fare.
Figuring out if you should pay in miles OR cash can be made quicker and easier.
Keep in mind that you don't have to fly to get the miles. You can buy them in minutes.
It's both cheap and easy.