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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: Redeem Points Online.
Gone are the days when you needed to have a certificate mailed to you. It is possible to do this all online.
Go to Redeem points
Go to Upgrades
Then BXP1 redemption will appear
You’ll be prompted to select the number you wish and reminded of exclusions:
You’ll receive an email, but also a prompt that looks like this with an 8 Digit Code. That’s what you need for redemption.
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 8 Digit Code
- hours are limited and open 7am CST
Step 3: Alternatively, you can upgrade online now.
After loggin in, simply click the book award travel button up top
Then click the Business Extra Upgrade button at the bottom and enter the information. It’ll notify you if you qualify and then you’ll add in your information in the following steps.
Step 4: 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 on a flight today from JFK to LAX, and the closer the flight gets to a true redeye, the better the space is to nab. In fact, there were several flights throughout the day ( I counted 5 ) that all had C inventory available at one point or another. I ended up using a Same Day Flight Change to get in on the one with space and it only cost me $75 to change.
“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 on certain domestic routes.
Have you had luck utilizing your Business Extra upgrades?
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