You Can Now Use American Miles and Systemwide eVIPs to Upgrade US Airways Flights

With the merger of US Airways Dividend Miles into the American AAdvantage program, there’s no more separate US Airways program. There are no more US Airways miles or elite upgrades.

There’s only AAdvantage. US Airways members are now American AAdvantage members.

The two airlines remain separate and will continue to operate separately until late this year.

    American’s new domestic first class product

Until now, American miles could be used to upgrade American flights, and US Airways miles used to upgrade US Airways flights. Each airline’s top tier elite systemwide upgrades could only be used on the issuing-airline’s flights.

    American’s business class seat onboard the Boeing 777-300ER

That changes now.

  • American AAdvantage elite status is valid for complimentary upgrades on US Airways domestic flights.
  • American miles can be used (with cash co-pay) to upgrade US Airways flights.
  • American systemwide eVIP upgrades can be used to upgrade US Airways flights.

American has the most generous top tier elite upgrades — eight confirmed upgrades per year valid on any paid fare. Now US Airways Chairmans Preferred members, who are new Executive Platinums, get these as well.

And upgrades can be had on both American and US Airways flights.

    American’s business class onboard the A321 flying between New York and San Francisco/Los Angeles

The key to booking upgrades – in addition to upgrade space being available of course, ‘C’ for upgrades from coach to business and ‘A’ for upgrades to first class — is to avoid booking codeshare flights. You need to book a US Airways-coded US Airways-operated, or an American-coded American-operated, flight if you want to confirm an upgrade in advance.

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, 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. Gary,

    For the SWUs (Exec Plat), would having a codeshare segment in the itinerary prevent using the SWU, or would it just mean that the codeshare segment could not be upgraded in advance with the SWU? Thanks!

  2. So is the US Airways Shuttle from DCA-JFK/LGA-BOS going to be painted as the American Airways Shuttle?

    That’s a lot of planes to paint — I recall AA saying they didn’t paint their planes so that they could save on fuel costs. Now all their planes are painted.

  3. “You can now use American miles and systemwide EVIPs to upgrade US Airways flights” – yes, but why would you want to? *rimshot*

    @ED – I would be in favor of them repainting to the Trump Shuttle – maybe as branding to coincide with the opening of the new Trump hotel in the Old Post Office?

  4. Just tried to apply eVIPs to a fully-US itin with C space showing on the TATLs. At first I called the EXP desk, and the agent told me that “I wouldn’t be able to apply the eVIPs until Monday,” but after I prodded, she agreed to contact her counterpart at US. The US agent did look at my US PNR, but re-confirmed that she was unable to apply the eVIPs for me at this time, and that “while [I] can call back on Monday, the process may take until Wednesday before eVIPs can be applied.” The US agent also seemed to indicate that I would receive an email when my accounts were in the process of being merged, and another email after the AA/US account merger/migration is complete.

  5. UPDATE: My accounts are in fact being merged, but I did NOT get an email indicating the process had begun. I’ll be hitting refresh like a mad man in the mean time, and once it appears the migration is complete, I’ll call the EXP desk again to see if the eVIPs can be applied (hoping the C space remains open…)

  6. UPDATE 2: WOW! The pmUS customer service rep with whom I spoke earlier called me back on my mobile phone and indicated that “she just got a memo about processing of AA eVIP upgrades on US flights,” and *proactively* upgraded me on all four US segments (two domestic, two TATL). As good as the pmAA EXP desk has usually treated me, I have to say that the level of personalized service I just received from a presumably US Chairman’s Preferred desk rep is some of the best I have ever received in 23 years of being a frequent flyer elite member!

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