How many 500-mile upgrades will US Airways elites receive in the new AAdvantage program?

Last October, American Airlines announced the new AAdvantage program. Announced in the program was the way US Airways elites would merge into the American elite status system

  • US Airways Silver will merge to AAdvantage Gold
  • US Airways Gold and Platinum will merge to AAdvantage Platinum
  • US Airways Chairman’s Preferred will merge to AAdvantage Executive Platinum

As part of this process, US Airway’s Silver, Gold and Platinum elites will no longer receive complimentary domestic upgrades, and instead will receive a deposit of starter 500-mile upgrades in their account, up to 24, to help them transaction into the new program. Once they transition, they’ll then earn (4) 500-mile upgrade vouchers per 10,000 miles flown.

How many 500-mile upgrades will US Airways elites receive?

You’ll receive (4) 500-mile upgrades for every 10,000 Preferred qualifying miles earned from March 1, 2014 through February 28, 2015.

  • If you flew 10,000 Preferred qualifying miles, you’ll receive (4) 500-mile upgrades
  • If you flew 20,000 Preferred qualifying miles, you’ll receive (8) 500-mile upgrades
  • If you flew 30,000 Preferred qualifying miles, you’ll receive (12) 500-mile upgrades
  • If you flew 40,000 Preferred qualifying miles, you’ll receive (16) 500-mile upgrades
  • If you flew 50,000 Preferred qualifying miles, you’ll receive (20) 500-mile upgrades
  • If you flew 60,000 Preferred qualifying miles, you’ll receive (24) 500-mile upgrades

According to the AAdvantage website:

So we’ll add four 500-mile upgrades for every 10,000 Preferred qualifying miles earned from March 1, 2014 (or the date you qualified for Preferred status) through February 28, 2015 (maximum of 24). This is similar to how these upgrades are earned by existing AAdvantage members. You can use these upgrades on flights over 500 miles or to upgrade a travel companion. If you are an AAdvantage Gold or Platinum member, you’ll earn four 500-mile upgrades for every 10,000 elite-qualifying miles you fly.

So, it looks like you’ll receive the same amount of 500-mile upgrades you’d normally earn under regular flying conditions – (4) for every 10,000 miles flown. While I think some US Airways elites were hoping for more than this, I think this is a good start into the new program.

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As a reminder, there will no longer be a “buffer zone” for upgrades – so, if a flight is 502 miles in length, you’ll need (2) 500-mile upgrades.

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