This news alone makes American Executive Platinum status miles better than United 1K status. As of today, all American coach fares are upgradeable with miles, but of course with a co-pay. Up until now the bottom of the barrel fares couldn’t be upgraded with miles, even with a co-pay. The real GREAT news, though, is that all coach fare classes are now upgradeable using eVIP’s, which are the international upgrade instruments that Executive Platinum members receive.
Executive Platinum, solely as a status level, always had a slight edge over 1K — international first class lounge access when traveling internationally, eight systemwide upgrades instead of six at United, and some would argue unlimited complimentary upgrades. This is the biggest difference yet. Now you can upgrade $400 tickets to Europe, $800 tickets to Asia, etc., all while United has increased the fares for upgradeable fare buckets.
Logically United should match, but I doubt they will. Now I totally regret not going for Executive Platinum.