- Confirm that the flights/dates you want are available for the upgrade using miles by requesting upgrade award space on the “All search options” page.
- Click on the “Upgrade type” search in the middle of the page.
- Select the “Buy Economy and upgrade” option to search for upgrade space to Business Class from economy in the “Fare preferences” section, after you click on “Upgrade type.” See below:
- When your search results comes back, it will not only show fares and flight schedules, it will also show what flights offer an upgrade, and what the cost is.
- Click on “Details” to find out if the upgrade space is available.
- Select your flights, making sure that you are logged into your mileage account, and that you have the miles required in your account; then pay for your ticket.
This can all be done online. If you want to book over the phone, call 800-421-4655.
After you get a sense of “where good availability is” (perhaps using our survey), call American and confirm that the flights/dates you want are available for the upgrade using miles, and book it.
If the upgrade on the flights/dates you want are not available, have the agent check other dates/flights.
This cannot be done online. Call 1-800-433-7300.
For up to four travelers (and possibly more), FCF’s research team has discovered an opportunity to save up to 31% in cash OR save 200,000 miles compared to normal / everyday prices when traveling between several U.S. cities and Europe.
Downside: Taxes can be $1,200+ – yet relatively paltry when you think about normal First Class fares otherwise running from $5,910 to $10,000.
Sample Savings via Starwood’s points-to-miles transfer partnership with Japan Airlines: Atlanta to London for 100,000 Japan Airline miles and it costs even less if you have a Starwood account: only 80,000 Starpoints. American charges 115,000 miles for Business.
In other words, if you have a Starwood card and book via Japan Airlines, as opposed to earning miles via mainstream ways, you’re getting First Class for less than Business.
More here on getting flights (based on availability) from around the U.S. to the hub (Atlanta, Chicago, or Washington, DC) AND /OR flights from the destination (London) to all over Europe.