What Is an American Airlines Instant Upgrade?

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What Is an American Airlines Instant Upgrade?
Many large airlines offer an instant upgrade for a higher class of service. (aeroplane window image by chadidork from Fotolia.com)

A flight upgrade allows you to enjoy a higher class of service on eligible flights. Like many big airlines, American Airlines offers an unadvertised way to upgrade your seat to first or business class at a lower price.

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Which instant upgrades are available on American Airlines flights depends on what type of classes are offered. If it is a two-class flight, you can upgrade from Economy to First Class. If it is a three-class flight, you have the option of upgrading to Business as well.


For travel in the United States and Canada, American Airlines offers a "Y-Up" fare that will upgrade you automatically. When purchasing a "Y-Up" ticket, you pay the full-fare economy fare -- known as a Y fare -- and, on eligible flights, you will be instantly upgraded to the next class of service. Y fares are fully refundable, cost less than full Business or First Class fares, and have fewer restrictions than discounted business and first class fares.

Getting Your Discount

American Airlines generally doesn't advertise Y-Up tickets, and ticketing agents are not trained to offer them. You can call the airline directly and ask for the discount by name, or you can find Y-Up fares on the airline's website, aa.com.

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