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On my American Airlines AAdvantage account, I see a lot of references to "500 Mile Upgrades".

I don't quite understand how these work. Can someone explain what these are for (and what does the "500 Mile" part mean)?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 9 down vote accepted

As to the reason for the name, from the Terms and Conditions:

Each upgrade is valid for 500 miles of travel. Each flight segment requires at least one upgrade.

Thus, if you wish to upgrade your seat on a flight which is 1500 miles long, you would need to use three of these 500-mile upgrades.

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This page also has some good info: aa.com/i18n/urls/aadvantageupgrades.jsp –  todofixthis May 19 '12 at 16:09

From FlyerGuide.com:

An e500 (also known as a “500 miler”) is an upgrade certificate that allows a one-cabin upgrade on a flight of 500 miles or less within Region 1. They can be combined to upgrade longer flights (details below). Mileage Plus elite members who are Premier or above earn 4 e500s for every 10,000 miles flown on revenue tickets on flights operated by United or United Express (also referred to as "BIS" or "butt-in-seat" miles). e500s may also be purchased.

The page goes on to explain how to earn them, purchase them, use them, and calculate the requirements for them based on mileage.

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The link and quote you have are for United Airlines' program, not American's. Although the principles are similar, they are not related. –  Andrew Ferrier Jun 15 '12 at 16:18

AAdavntage has a section on their site explaining what the 500 Mile Upgrade is:

500-mile upgrades allow you to upgrade from Economy Class to the next class of service for travel on American Airlines or American Eagle:

  • Within and between the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, The Bahamas and Bermuda
  • Between the U.S. and Central America

What your account must be showing are the '500 Miles' you have earned:

AAdvantage Platinum and AAdvantage Gold members earn four 500-mile electronic upgrades for every 10,000 qualifying base miles flown (including guaranteed minimum miles) during your membership year (March 1 or the date you qualify for elite status, through the last day of February).

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Thanks for the info. Do you know why they are called "500 Mile" upgrades? –  todofixthis Jan 22 '12 at 18:37
    
Probably just a branding thing and people in AA's marketing department running low on coffee when they came up with name. My best guess. :) –  Ankur Banerjee Jan 22 '12 at 19:21
2  
They are called "500 mile upgrades" because each one is redeemable for 500 miles of travel. The other answer should be accepted imo. –  victoriah Jan 23 '12 at 3:27

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