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Want to upgrade to business class on American? Depends where you rank

American ticket agents at Terminal D. The carrier announced new upgrade priority policies that will go into effect on May 20.
American ticket agents at Terminal D. The carrier announced new upgrade priority policies that will go into effect on May 20. pmoseley@star-telegram.com

American Airlines has announced changes to its upgrade policies for frequent fliers and getting to the airport early won’t necessarily get you the seat you want any more.

Last year, the Fort Worth-based carrier put in place several changes to its AAdvantage program, including switching to a revenue-based program where elite frequent flier status was determined by how much a customer pays for the flight rather than how many miles you travel.

Starting Saturday, May 20, American said upgrade requests will now be based on the AAdvantage member’s elite qualifying dollars, sorted by status level. Previously, upgrade lists were based on a passenger’s elite status and when they requested the upgrade.

The carrier said the new policy will apply to 500-mile upgrades, mileage award upgrades and systemwide upgrades.

American is also offering its Executive Platinum and Concierge Key members complimentary upgrades on award tickets when they are traveling on a route that is eligible for a 500-mile upgrade.

The airline disclosed the new policies on its AAdvantage website on Tuesday morning.

Andrea Ahles: 817-390-7631, @Sky_Talk

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