American AAdvantage gives out 8 confirmed upgrades per year valid on any American flight (both domestic and international) to their 100,000 mile ‘Executive Platinum’ members. They also give out these certificates at million-mile thresholds.
The rules of the certificates are that they have to be used to travel by the expiration date on the certificate.
But it wasn’t actually enforced that way. If you had any certificates that would be valid into the future, you could use your earlier expiring upgrades, because the system was set up to pull the closest-to-expire upgrade certificate first.
This meant that it was possible to use systemwide upgrade certificates for travel beyond their expiration date, stated rules notwithstanding.
JonNYC writes at TravelingBetter about an American AACoRN system update propogating later this week that will make some changes to how agents process upgrade awards, and close this loophole.
Here’s what the American system update will do:
- begin enforcing the rule that customers can only use their eVIP international upgrade certificates for travel through the expiration date of the certificate [building in an exception for certain high value customers who are permitted to confirm the upgrade by the certificate expiration date for future travel beyond the certificate’s expiration.
- help agents make sure sufficient miles or eVIP upgrade certificates are available in a member’s account prior to processing an upgrade.
- change default prompts to make for a cleaner and easier process for agents to get upgrade confirmation and waitlisting correct and minimize agent error.
For a limited number of members, I suppose there is still a window, if you already have re-qualified for Executive Platinum status for next year or otherwise have eVIP upgrade certificates expiring late in 2015 or early 2016, but want to use earlier-expiring certificates to upgrade travel after February 28, 2015… you could probably still set that up over the next couple of days.
I can’t imagine that’s very many members in very many situations. The window for this has pretty well slammed shut. All fair of course, they’re simply enforcing a rule. Not that I loved American Express beginning to enforce a rule last week…