A Few Miles More: American Airlines Business Class New York to Los Angeles

A few minutes after I booked this trip, I called the Executive Platinum desk to apply one of my systemwide upgrades expiring at the end of February 2013 to my reservation to upgrade my OGG-DFW-LGA segments.  At the time, the agent suggested I upgrade my JFK-LAX-OGG segments as well, as there was upgrade space available.  At the time, I tempted fate and observed that my upgrade success rate on AA185 was 100% (since making EXP).

As Friday approached, my upgrade hadn’t cleared.  At check-in, I was number 5 on the upgrade list with 2 seats left.  I overlooked two key points:

  • AA prioritizes upgrades by time of request.  I booked this trip 10 days in advance.  I generally had 14-21 day advance purchases for my trips in 2012.
  • I was traveling on a holiday weekend.

Since AA added Admirals Club access with all business and first class tickets on JFK-LAX/SFO in September (aligning the product with United’s p.s. offering), I’ve kicked around dropping my American Express Platinum card as I mostly fly this particular route on AA and my upgrades generally would clear… until now.  Between this and having access to the Admirals Club during Sandy’s IRROPs, I’ve found it invaluable.  As I entered the club, I inquired as to whether there was an C (three-cabin business class upgrade space) inventory available.  There was, so the agent went about confirming my upgrade and called me back a few minutes later.

While I’ve written about AA’s Flagship Service on JFK-LAX/SFO before, I couldn’t help but notice that even the cheese plates have been upgraded.

American 185
New York Kennedy (JFK) – Los Angeles (LAX)
Friday, January 18th, 2013
Depart:  9:45PM
Arrive: 12:17AM
Duration:  5 hours, 32 minutes
Aircraft: Boeing 767-223ER (N339AA)
Seat: 10D (Business Class)

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