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Step by Step – Here’s how you do it.
Business Extra is American Airlines small business rewards program. You earn a completely separate currency of points ( Business Extra Points ) concurrently with your Aadvantage miles, or whichever program you credit your flights. The long and short of the program is that you earn 1 points for every $5 spent on airline tickets with AA, BA, Iberia, and flights marketed by AA, but operated by FinnAir, JAL, and Qantas. If you have questions regarding the program, go here. One of the best redemption options for Business Extra points are 1 segment upgrades. The very best…650 points will get you a one segment upgrade – good on transcontinental flights. Let’s walk through how to upgrade using Business Extra so you can make the most of your points.
Here’s the goal…to get your feet up and your back flat.
First Step: Make sure that there is C or A space on the flight you wish to upgrade
- A is the first class upgrade inventory on planes marketed with 3 cabins. It will allow you up bump up from Biz to First
- Transcontinental, i.e. LAX-JFK
- C is the business class upgrade inventory on planes with 3 cabins, or economy to first on a 2 cabins
If there is avail it will look like this:
Great, there is space…
Step 2: Make sure your fare bucket is eligible.
In order to use Business Extra you need to request redemption certificates. These certs are then applied to your ticketed reservation.
As you can see here it takes 650 points to upgrade one segment. Be aware that not all fare buckets are eligible to be upgraded so buyer beware. If you have B, N, O, Q, or S – you can not apply this upgrade. However, there is a work around. You can call AA and ask to buy up the fare bucket to one of the eligible buckets.
Step 3: Request the Certificate.
Go to Generate Award Certificate
Upgrades and within North America
Request the quantity you want and mailing address.
- It took roughly 7 days to receive my certs in the mail. You can have them expedited for a fee
Step 3: After receiving your Business Extra cert, Call and add it to your record locator
- Call 1-800-433-1790
- Provide them with the serial number, etc
Step 4: Bring the certificate to the airport
The upgrade will be reserved on your record locator, but you must bring the cert with you to the airport. It’s not consistently attached to your ticket, but if you are asked for it you must provide it.
Step 5: Get your Lie-flat, champagne sipping, upgraded self into relax mode.
“C” inventory isn’t the easiest to find on transcon routes, but it’s possible. I was able to upgrade with C inventory last year from JFK to LAX, and the closer the flight gets to a true redeye, the better the space is to nab.
“A” space is available on most flights, and is very easy to nab. It’s the 1-1 cabin shown in this post’s feature image, or the International First Class cabin on the 77W that runs from LA to Miami.