Have Systemwide Upgrades Expiring January 31? Call American and Ask to Extend Them

As in past years, as January approaches there are plenty of Executive Platinum members with systemwide upgrades that are expiring unused.

That’s a shame, and we used to see many of them burned on silly domestic flights like a New York – Washington National regional jet or Dallas – Austin.

Fortunately American seems to be willing to extend expiring systemwide upgrades for some members through April 30 if you call and ask.

Even if American isn’t willing to extend your systemwide upgrades, and though things aren’t supposed to work this way, if you have future expiring systemwide upgrades and confirm an upgrade before your expiring ones disappear January 31 the computer seems to just take the one that expires soonest. So as long as you have future dated systemwides you may be able to use your expiring ones for travel after January 31 anyway. Don’t ask about this, just do it, and report back if it works.

Regardless, whatever you do, do not sell your expiring systemwides. Do not trade them either. Giving them away is fine. AAdvantage Corporate Security has seemed to be on a tear the last few years.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. @JMM United is letting 1ks extend 2 expiring GPUs by three months. There’s a big FT thread on this.

  2. Called two times, in December and a couple days ago, both time I was told that extending SWU wasn’t a possibility (I guess im not good enough for AA . Finished last year with 25k EQD).
    But yesterday I found C inventory available on a flight to PVG called immediately to apply one SWU… And voilà the system pulled one of my expiring SWU ✌

  3. I just called and spoke with reservations and then they transferred me to AAdvantage. Both said AA has no policy to extend any SWU’s. I asked about Helix/Eagle and both denied knowing anything about that. I guess being an EXP means nothing to AA. I guess I will go back to UA who does extend 2 Globals till April 30th with no BS like AA. I am a 3 MMiler with UA and thought I would give AA a chance but this policy turns me off.

  4. My agent was about to pull my SWUs, then said, “oh! wait! ok, we’ll pull from your most recent expiring systemwide upgrades!”


  5. Two attempts. Wouldn’t even check for me, immediate no. 30 years of AA loyalty not meaning much for one upgrade extension. Might be time to try that DL challenge.

  6. I just booked a trip to Paris, departing in August and was able to use my expiring SWU’s (expiring 1/31/19).

    I can confirm that expiring SWU’s are pulled when upgrade inventory is immediately confirmed / ticketed AND you have additional SWU’s in the bank for the following year.

    Booked the ticket on 1/31/19 (morning). Said nothing about expiring SWU’s, just asked to apply upgrades. Agent confirmed the upgrade and ticketed the reservation. Received the confirmation email 3 hours later. Checked my SWU balance and the 2 expiring SWU’s were used for the reservation!!

    Seems like of the agent doesn’t notice, you’re good to go!

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