American Lets You Self-Upgrade to Main Cabin Extra for Free
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Want a free drink and more legroom on American Airlines? Just switch seats. On Wednesday, American sent a memo to front-line employees, detailing some passenger-friendly changes to the carrier’s Main Cabin Extra product — most notable of which was complimentary beer, wine and spirits for MCE passengers. Now, we’re learning that AA is not going to monitor if passengers self-upgrade, meaning you can switch seats after doors close to one that offers free booze. (Update: American Airlines has cracked down on the practice.)
The Forward Cabin has published a memo that American sent to employees regarding the upcoming changes to Main Cabin Extra. In the memo, American answered the following questions:
“Outside of complimentary beer, wine and spirits, what does MCE include?
In addition to complimentary beer, wine and spirits, MCE seats will receive preferred boarding, additional legroom, and reserved overhead bin space.
Can customers move into open MCE seats once boarding is complete?
Yes. Once the door is closed, customers are allowed to move to any available seat within their ticketed cabin (no change to current procedure).”
So, according to AA’s procedures, you can be booked in an economy seat and move to a MCE seat, as they’re in the same cabin. Once the door is closed, if there are still open seats in the Main Cabin Extra cabin, you can self-upgrade to a seat with complimentary alcohol, more legroom and more overhead bin space.
We’ve reached out to American Airlines for confirmation but have yet to hear back.
While this policy is good if you’re able to take advantage and get one of the Main Cabin Extra self-upgrade seats, it could cause some trouble — for both passengers and crew. Allowing passengers to experience a seat for free that others have paid extra for could create some issues. Plus, if there’s a mass rush of passengers after the doors close to claim an open MCE seat, it could get messy.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees