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American Airlines Companion Upgrades Are Now Free!

Last updated: July 26,2022
Originally Published: July 26,2022
by Jestan Mendame

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AA Companion Upgrades are officially free! American Airlines officially retired its 500-mile electronic upgrades last July 14, 2022.

Now, all AAdvantage elite members with a non-status traveling companion on a same-day reservation will get priority-based waitlisted companion upgrades on select flights.

Image courtesy of American Airlines.

Here are the guidelines if you want to get companion upgrades:

  • Your travel companion must be booked in the same reservation on an American Airlines marketed and operated flight.
  • Eligible routes include all domestic U.S. flighats, and flights between the U.S. and Bermuda, the Bahamas, Canada, the Caribbean, Central America and Mexico.
  • A traveling companion who are booked in a different reservation are also eligible for upgrades but you must call customer service first to link your reservation to the companion reservation.

Your 500 mile upgrades will be converted to 250 status-qualifying points if you still have any more left in your account. However, a lot of AAdvantage members were complaining about this type of compensation so American included an option where members can get full refunds instead.

Here’s a tweet shared by Twitter user @JTGenter about American Airline’s policy regarding the 500-mile upgrade certificates. It says that you can only request for a refund if your 500-mile upgrades were purchased before April 19, 2022.

Apart from the refund, some AAdvantage members are reportedly having an option of converting their 500-mile upgrades into miles (5000 miles per 500-mile upgrade certificates). Wheter it’s true or not, we looked at American Airline’s latest policy and confirmed that converting your certificates into miles isn’t possible.


This change is very beneficial to all Platinum Pro and Executive Platinum statusholders who have saved up a lot of 500-mile upgrades. They can now have these converted into status-qualifying points so they can maintain their status for the next calendar year,

  • Earn 60,000 Bonus Points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • $50 Annual Ultimate Rewards hotel credit
  • 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 3x points on dining, online grocery purchases, and select streaming services
  • 2x points on other travel purchases


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