- 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 210,000 miles more than normal / everyday prices when traveling between the U.S. and Asia OR save $5,623 / 65% if you don’t have any miles and want to pay in cash.
Sample Savings via Starwood’s (now Marriott Points) points-to-miles transfer partnership with Japan Airlines: San Francisco to Hong Kong for 85,000 Japan Airline miles and it costs even less if you have a Starwood/Marriott account: only 70,000 Starpoints (now 210,000 Marriott Points). American charges 70,000 miles for economy.
In other words, if you have a Starwood/Marriott card and book via Japan Airlines, as opposed to earning miles via mainstream ways, you’re getting a free upgrade.
More here on getting flights (based on availability) from around the U.S. to the hub (Los Angeles, San Francisco or Washington, DC) AND / OR flights from the destination (Hong Kong) to all over Asia.