Along with extending elite status by a year American Airlines is also extending systemwide upgrade certificates. Any systemwide upgrade expiring by January 31, 2021 will be extended to July 31, 2021.
In other words Executive Platinum and Concierge Key members get an extra six months to use their confirmed upgrade certificates. (Members hitting the two million mile and subsequent million mile thresholds receive systemwide upgrades as well.)
- Historically if you had already qualified for Executive Platinum (or above) elite status for the next year when using an expiring systemwide upgrade you could apply that upgrade to travel beyond the expiration date – you just just had to apply and confirm the upgrade by the time the certificate expired. (It wasn’t supposed to work this way, but the system would pull your soonest-to-expire upgrade certificate.)
- Using the upgrade for travel beyond its expiration date was explicitly permitted for upgrades expiring in early 2020.. Not all agents realized it, and this sometimes required hanging up and calling back.
I should point out that although members are having their elite status extended, Executive Platinum and Concierge Key members only receive additional systemwide upgrades if they requalify for status in 2020 or earn additional ones for continuing to fly after qualifying.
Several readers have asked what happens to those systemwide upgrades that were slated to expire January 31, 2020, but that they applied to future travel that they now cannot use. For instance an Executive Platinum member may have used a January 2020-expiring systemwide to upgrade a June flight to Europe that is no longer operating.
That systemwide upgrade will, unfortunately, simply expire unused.