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

Apr 23, 2020

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.

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.

Sign up for the free daily TPG newsletter for more airline news!

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.  

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.

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.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
  • 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 up to 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 in the U.S., 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 $80 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 PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • 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
Regular APR
17.24%-26.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.