American Airlines app now displays upgrade, standby list by cabin and more

Apr 23, 2020

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As an Executive Platinum member, one of my biggest gripes with AA has been that the upgrade list wasn’t nearly as informative as it is on Delta and United.  Though many of my upgrades have cleared well before departure, I’ve had a few close calls that’ve been decided at the gate — and there’s been no good way to know where you stand on the list until right before your flight.

Fortunately, AA updated its app at the end of February to allow the upgrade list to show up eight hours before departure (before, it was just four). And today, the app received even more features that get me excited about using it again once travel resumes.

Related: The ultimate guide to getting upgraded on American Airlines 

With the latest release of the iOS version of the American Airlines app, AA has rebranded the upgrade list into a “waitlist” screen. This new feature breaks the upgrade list down by cabin and also displays the standby list for your flight.

If you score the upgrade or snag the seat, you’ll then see your name highlighted along with your new seat. Plus, your upgraded seat assignment will now show on the airport monitors as well.

This is great news for those traveling on American’s four-cabin Boeing 777-300ER. Previously, the upgrade list would combine all the upgrade requests together, and it would be impossible to decipher who was waitlisted for a seat in Flagship First or biz. Now, you’ll get the list broken down by cabin.

Indeed, this is great for travelers looking to score a coveted seat up front. You’ll have a better sense of where you stand and can make changes accordingly.

For example, if your upgrade chances are looking bleak, you could use the same-day change feature to find a new flight with better odds (thankfully, this is a perk included with Executive Platinum and Platinum Pro status).

While this is a positive development for AA fliers, it still lags behind the other two major U.S. airlines. Delta and United already separate the upgrade and standby list, and these airlines display the list well before your flight (Delta’s at check-in and United’s two days before departure). Plus, they also show you how many seats are remaining in the premium cabin.

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Nonetheless, I’m always a fan of seeing more data as it relates to my upgrade requests. If you’re an AA elite, make sure to update your app — there may be an upgrade waiting for you once travel resumes.

All photos by the author.

This post has been updated with new information.  

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