American Airlines extends systemwide upgrades through mid-2022

Jun 1, 2021

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.

Not yet ready to take a long-haul flight? Well, American Airlines has your back.

The Fort Worth-based carrier is rolling out an extension for its systemwide upgrades that were originally slated to expire this year. In a statement shared with TPG, an AA spokesperson said that “we are pleased to share with our elite AAdvantage members that all active systemwide upgrades scheduled to expire in 2021 will have a new expiration date of July 31, 2022.”

Last year, American extended expiring systemwide upgrades by six months, giving any unused systemwide upgrades with an expiration date of Jan. 31, 2021, a new expiration of July 31, 2021. Now, the carrier’s giving flyers another full year to use those unused upgrades, with the new expiration now on July 31, 2022.

Want more airline-specific news? Sign up for TPG’s free new biweekly Aviation newsletter!

The updated expiration date should already be reflected in your account and can be seen by looking at your “Wallet” section of your AAdvantage profile.

You can use a systemwide upgrade to confirm AA’s Flagship First product (Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Of course, long-haul international travel is still largely suspended due to the pandemic, so the carrier’s taking a generous approach to extending systemwide upgrades.

In fact, American’s extension is now the most generous of the major U.S. airlines. Delta’s regional and global upgrade certificates selected between March 1, 2019, and Dec. 31, 2020, have already been extended through the end of 2021.

United, on the other hand, gave top-tier Premier members two six-month extensions on PlusPoints that were slated to expire on or after Jan. 1, 2021. Those PlusPoints are now valid through Jan. 31, 2022.

Related: How to use American systemwide upgrades

AAdvantage elite members earn systemwide upgrades when they hit either Platinum Pro or Executive Platinum status. AA now lets top-tier elites get a pick from a catalog of elite choice rewards, including systemwide upgrades, bonus miles, travel vouchers and more.

Systemwide upgrades, or SWUs as they’re affectionately called by loyalists, can be used to confirm a one-way, one-cabin upgrade any time after booking, subject to availability. In fact, as of Oct. 1, 2020, they can even be used on discounted basic economy tickets as well.

Tuesday’s news doesn’t include any update to earning status in 2021, as American is now the only one of the Big 3 to not yet announce a mid-year promotion or fast-track offer for those taking to the skies once again.

Featured photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants in the first three months of card membership.

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
  • Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
  • 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
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
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.