While posting about the award changes at American earlier today, I neglected to mention the most ridiculous change of all. American has added a new a new $20 service fee for upgrades. Yes, this is in addition to the co-pays they charge. It’s not clear to me whether this is also in addition to the close-in fee that’s charged for requesting an upgrade within 20 days of departure or not.
Either way, this is downright stupid on American’s part. If I’m not mistaken the only way to request an upgrade with American is by phone, so they basically have you cornered. Either way, the concept of charging someone in order to use their miles and pay a co-pay is a silly business move. I’m sure they would much rather just give the seats away to Executive Platinum members. So this basically raises the price of a domestic upgrade to 15,000 miles and $70 for non-elites.