My first two complimentary first-class upgrades just cleared on American Airlines!!! In addition to a larger seat located toward the front of the plane, I’ll also receive a meal and unlimited, complimentary beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic). My flight has a layover en route to and from Michigan, so I’ll take advantage of the Admirals Clubs at those airports (a perk of my Citi Prestige card) which also provide complimentary food and beverages (alcoholic and non-alcoholic). As a result of the layovers, I’m flying four segments on American metal.
Only two segments have cleared (the return trip), so I’m crossing my fingers that the other two will clear at the gate. Since American Airlines allows you to pick your seat before paying for a ticket, I can view how many seats are taken in the first-class cabin. The first-class cabins are at most 25% full on those two segments, so my odds of receiving complimentary upgrades on each segment look promising.
As I’ve mentioned before, American Airlines has my favorite elite status program for frequent fliers. All levels of elite status receive complimentary first-class upgrades on flights under 500 miles (space permitting of course), and all elite members can spend $30 (soon to be $40) per 500 miles to request upgrades on longer domestic flights. Members of the top elite status, executive platinum, receive complimentary upgrades on all domestic flights so the 500-mile vouchers are less important for them. Your level of elite status determines the order of priority for receiving the first class upgrades: executive platinum > platinum > gold. I have platinum status so my upgrades can clear up to 72 hours prior to departure.
I’ll let ya know what the upgrade process looks like at the gate, assuming of course that I receive upgrades on the remaining two segments of my trip.