business-class How do I Upgrade to Business Class on American Airlines?

Flying in luxury is every traveler’s dream. That’s why American Airlines (AA) allows you to upgrade your booking to its business class or higher as required. With an American Airlines Business Class Upgrade, your regular air trip is transformed into a magnificent one.

The upgrade treats you to the best experiences such as premium amenities, enhanced comfort, and myriad benefits. Whether you are flying for leisure or business, upgrading to business class enhances your travel delight immensely.

With its simple approach and flexibility, AA makes things smooth for you. So, scroll down to learn more about getting a business class upgrade on AA flights and elevate your flight trip experience.

What is a Business Class on American Airlines?

As the name suggests, American Airlines provides you with premium service and amenities on its business-class flights, coupled with Loyalty benefits. From the ground to the air, you enjoy the best services on shorter international flights between the U.S. and Bermuda, Canada, the Caribbean, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and select South American cities.

No wonder, travelers look forward to an American Airlines business upgrade to enjoy a trip marked by comfort, convenience, personalized service, and luxury. Relax on its spacious seats, savor gourmet meals, get priority check-in, and access to exclusive airport lounges.

How Can I Get an AA Business Class Upgrade?

You can get an upgrade to Business Class with American Airlines in various ways. To up your AA air trip delight, here are the methods with highlights of each.

Upgrade with Miles

  • The only upgrade option for non-elite members is by redeeming AAdvantage miles.
  • Bookings made with cash may be upgraded with AAdvantage miles as per the eligibility.
  • Pay for an upgrade in both miles and cash according to your fare class.
  • The route, fare class, and availability determine the number of miles needed for an upgrade.
  • Check the mileage upgrade options on the AA website or contact its customer service for assistance.

Systemwide upgrades (SWUs)

  • SWUs are available to:
    • AAdvantage status members with Loyalty Point Rewards starting at 175,000
    • Million Miler members getting 4 SWUs at 2 million miles and for every Million Mile level after

Complimentary upgrades

AAdvantage status members get a complimentary upgrade on space availability -

  • To fly within North America
  • For up to one companion on the same flight
  • On eligible AA-operated and marketed flights

The airline requests the upgrade automatically for you.

Upgrading with a companion

Is your travel companion flying on the same booking as you? Then, AA allows you to add a companion with your complimentary elite upgrades. If not, call AA Reservations to connect the bookings.

The airline then upgrades you and your companion as per the seat availability.

Please note

  • Non-elites can take advantage of the upgrades with miles option. SWUs and complimentary upgrades are available only to elites.
  • You can upgrade to business class while booking.
  • If you haven’t requested an upgrade during booking, go to the AA kiosk or check-in counter at the airport to ask about it.

What is the American Airlines Business Class Upgrade Cost?

AA passengers get cash and mileage upgrades on all eligible tickets. It is not restricted to the elites. So, here is the American Airlines business class upgrade cost breakdown for various options.

For example from North America to Central America, pay 15,000 miles and $75 for an upgrade. Now, go through the table below to know the upgrade cost with miles and a cash copay.

To/FromFrom Full-Fare BusinessFrom Discount BusinessFrom Full-Fare Economy / Premium EconomyFrom Discount Economy / Premium Economy
Contiguous 48 U.S. states, Alaska, CanadaContiguous 48 U.S. states, Alaska, Canada15,00015,000 + $1755,00015,000 + $75
North AmericaCentral America15,000    -8,00015,000 + $75
Contiguous 48 U.S. states, Alaska, Canada, Mexico, CaribbeanContiguous 48 U.S. states, Alaska, Canada, Mexico, Caribbean15,000    -8,00015,000 + $75
North AmericaColombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru, Suriname15,000    -8,00015,000 + $150
Contiguous 48 U.S. states, Alaska, Canada, Mexico, CaribbeanHawaii15,000    -8,00015,000 + $175
North AmericaHong Kong, Japan, South Korea, China, Indian Subcontinent, Australia, New Zealand25,00025,000 + $55015,00025,000 + $350
North AmericaEurope, the Middle East, and Africa25,00025,000 + $55015,00025,000 + $350
North AmericaArgentina, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay25,00025,000 + $55015,00025,000 + $350


Please note  

The cost of upgrading to business class can vary depending on factors such as the route, availability, and fare class.

Can I Get a Free AA Upgrade?

Yes, AAdvantage® status members can get a complimentary American Airlines Business Class upgrade as per the space availability.

Such upgrades are available from any eligible purchased, published fare in the Main Cabin or Premium Economy to the next service class (Business or domestic First) to fly within North America.

Does American Airlines Upgrade on International Bookings?

Yes, American Airlines Business Class international upgrades can be obtained on American marketed and operated flights -

  • Within and between the U.S. (including Hawaii)
  • Between the U.S. and Canada, Mexico, the Bahamas, the Caribbean, Bermuda, and Central America

How to Upgrade from American Airlines Economy to Business Class?

Basic Economy tickets don’t get an AA upgrade. However, elite status holders get upgrades. To get an American Airlines upgrade from economy to business class, follow the steps mentioned below -

On American Airlines

  • Visit the official website of American Airlines.
  • Log in to your AAdvantage account.
  • Check available SWUs in your account.
  • Find the SWUs link for available flights while booking.
  • Call an AAdvantage status service team for upgrade confirmation.

AA deducts the upgrades required from your balance on an upgrade availability.

Please note  

  • If AA doesn’t confirm your upgrade at check-in, you will be added to the airport upgrade standby list.
  • You must have the required upgrades before 48 hours of the scheduled departure.
  • SWUs are subject to upgrade seating availability.

On British Airways (BA)

  • Sign in to your AAdvantage account.
  • Check your available SWUs.
  • Contact an AAdvantage status service desk to get confirmation of your upgrade.

Please note 

BA doesn’t have an upgrade waitlist.

In Conclusion

Therefore, with an American Airlines Business Class Upgrade, you are assured of a luxury trip. With various options to upgrade and an easy upgrade process, you can proceed in a streamlined manner. Also, remember that upgrades are based on availability.

Upgrades are available up to three segments in one direction. For any assistance, contact American Airlines customer service.

So why wait? Treat yourself to luxury air travel with an upgrade to business class on your next flight with American Airlines. Grab your AA business-class upgrade today!

You may visit:

American Airlines Group Travel

American Airlines Cancellation Policy

Frequently Asked Questions

How to upgrade to business class on American Airlines?

You can upgrade to Business class with your AAdvantage miles, SWUs, or get complimentary upgrades.

How do I contact American Airlines for an upgrade?

Call 800-433-7300 or contact AA online to ask questions or make special travel arrangements. Dial 711 for hearing or speech impaired assistance to get connected via the National Relay Service.

Can I get American Airlines upgrade to business class after ticket purchase?

Yes, you can request your upgrade before check-in by calling American Airlines Reservations. However, getting an upgrade is not confirmed and AA might put you on a waitlist.

How to upgrade from economy to business class American Airlines?

Log in to, check SWUs in your AAdvantage account, find flights with upgrade availability, & call the AAdvantage customer service team for upgrade confirmation.

How much for an upgrade to business class on American Airlines?

Elitess can upgrade at $40 (call AA for updated prices). Non-elite members can buy upgrades with miles and cash. Your route and ticket type decide the upgrade amount.