Explore Routes Learn how to book this upgrade
- 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 two travelers (and possibly more), FCF’s research team has discovered an opportunity to save up to 77% in cash OR save up to 67% in miles compared to normal / everyday prices when traveling between several U.S. cities and Asia.
Sample Savings via Starwood’s (now Marriott Points) points-to-miles transfer partnership with Asiana: Los Angeles to Tokyo for 160,000 Asiana miles and it costs even less if you have a Starwood/Marriott account: only 130,000 Starpoints (now 390,000 Marriott Points). United charges 140,000 miles for Business class.
In other words, if you have a Starwood/Marrriott card and book via Asiana, as opposed to earning miles via mainstream ways, you’re getting First Class for less than Business.
NO MILES? NO PROBLEM
LifeMiles, a Star Alliance partner (29 airlines), is currently running a deal whereby miles can be acquired for as low as 1.4¢ each (includes taxes and processing fee), through a new, 125% bonus promo, which runs through December 9, 2018.
New to buying miles? Know: FCF’s Beginner’s Guide: How to Play the “Buy Miles to Fly In Style” Strategy to Net Up to 90% Off Premium Travel.
A similar promotion was announced in the How Most Anyone Can Get Domestic and International Business and First Class from 41% to 81% Off — please refer back for the two major benefits of the LifeMiles Miles + Money feature.
Note: Applies only to current members (so sign-in here to view promo).
Sample Savings from U.S. to Asia in First class:
The published First Class fare on Singapore’s Los Angeles – Tokyo route is $11,900 r/t; through the LifeMiles purchase and transfer strategies, you can pay $2,713 r/t (including taxes with LifeMiles loyalty program and generally costs $85 dollars), a savings of $9,187 (77%).
More here on getting free or low-cost add-on flights (based on availability) from around the U.S. to the hub (Los Angeles) AND / OR free or low-cost flights from the destination (Tokyo) to all over Asia.