Bizarre: Why Did American Stop Sending Out Upgrade Emails?

I’m curious if I’m the only one who has noticed this, or if this is happening to everyone else as well.

Back in the day American would always send out emails when an upgrade cleared. You’d think that doing so would be common sense. The airline offers certain elite benefits, so they should be thrilled when they can tell customers “hey, look what we did for you.” It’s an easy way to remind customers how they’re appreciated.

The emails would typically look something like this:


However, I haven’t gotten a single one of these emails in 2017 — the last one I got was in December of last year. No, it’s not because a single upgrade hasn’t cleared (though they are definitely tougher to come by). To me this is just so odd. You’d think they’d take every opportunity to remind customers they’re getting these benefits, but rather I’m constantly having to refresh their app to see if I cleared.

More often than not it makes me sort of resentful, as I realize how rarely my upgrades clear in advance when I refresh the app religiously.

Is anyone else not getting American upgrade emails anymore? Can anyone make sense of this?


  1. Ben, I have been getting the emails every time my upgrade cleared during 2017. Specific system glitch on AA’s side? Anything changed on your profile preferences?

  2. I get them if an upgrade clears (and sometimes mid-flight), which seems pretty sporadic these days.

  3. Easy, just in case they need to screw you for someone with better status like conceierge key. Not that applicable for lucky but certainly​ for any platinum or platinum pro folks who get screwed last second due an exp needing one.

  4. I’ve not been getting them and I’ve had a few upgrades clear on 22 segments flown so far (I’ve not requested upgrades for all, tpa-clt is 508mi and it’s a waste).

  5. Hmmm….I’ve gotten plenty of upgrade cleared e-mails this year from American (except, of course, the battlefield upgrades).

  6. ExPlat Here. I have not been getting them either but I want to say that this started before 2017 for me. It was sporadic in 2016 but not every time. The app will occasionally send me a seat change notification but it is usually delayed by at least 30 minutes from when my upgrade cleared. Even this is not all the time. Since the beginning of 2016 I have noticed inconsistencies in the airport info, the app info and the actual info.

  7. I haven’t been flying AA a lot this year, as in past years – but have been flying more OW partners internationally and because of that will make EXP again this year. On AA I’ve been upgraded 5/8 times from hubs on transcon flights. For those times, I received an email notification. At the gate, I used to be 1 or 2 on the upgrade list, and for my recent transcon flights, now I’m 6 or 7. Are there really more EXPs?

  8. Our trip last weeked was a complementary upgrade 4 days in advance MIA-BGI. We received the “You’ve been upgraded” email. So, for us, it is working. (We are both EXP.)

  9. That’s really odd. I’ve been getting my EXP upgrade emails this year without a problem. There just be some issue with your (and other) accounts?

  10. I’ve been getting them as recently as last week when they clear in advance (usually about 12 hrs prior to departure or earlier).

  11. I got the email for an itinerary on 4/30, but did not get it for a different itinerary on 5/9.

  12. I think you have a bad data point and making a non-story here. I get he emails. Received one last week even.

  13. Stopped getting them for months starting December 2016 and since ~late March they’ve been showing up again. There’s a thread on flyertalk discussing this; it seems that since some IT change AA had last year there’s been a mixed bag of emails going out and not.

  14. In every instance that my upgrade has cleared, I have received an email notification. I did however notice something strange on the AA app the last time. In my last instance, my upgrade had cleared and I received my email notification. However, just for grins, I went to my app to see how many were on the upgrade list. In this case, the upgrade list never showed on my app. I don’t know if it was because my upgrade had already cleared and thus, the upgrade list was no longer applicable to me – or, if they have stopped posting the upgrade list approx. 3 hours before departure. Does anyone know??

  15. Last one I’ve gotten was in March. Though admittedly I haven’t down a whole lot since then

  16. I generally receive e-mails when I get upgraded a day or two before. Same day e-mails I rarely get. I’m Platinum, BTW.

  17. I had the same issue for most of last year, and then, with no action on my part, they just started reappearing early this year. Odd.

  18. It has not been an issue for me. Received notifications for upgrades cleared T-72/48/24 and even a couple hours prior to the departure (yesterday).

  19. I have been upgraded almost every flight so far. Some I did receive a notification but some I did not. Maybe it’s another computer glitch

  20. No changes for me this year. Still getting them as recently as this week, usually without fail unlesss an UG clears at gate.

  21. Worth bringing to folk’s attention. I’m an EP and haven’t received a single upgrade email in 2017, despite having been upgraded 10+ times. It’s clear there is something broken here with so many receiving/not receiving emails.

  22. No changes for me either. I get them regularly…actually, every time an upgrade clears (unless it’s at the gate).

  23. I’ve been getting these just fine. Had 5 out of 6 of my past flights get upgrade (above 72 hours for 4) as EXP, and got the emails. This was late April to as recent as May 9.

  24. Stopped getting them after I tweeted that their food was inedible. Probably just a coincidence.

  25. I’ve been getting them for 500 mile upgrades when they clear, but *not* for mileage/SWU upgrades. They’ve been clearing silently (it’s a nice surprise, I suppose!)

  26. EP here. I got all the upgrade related emails, twice, one in my travel email, one in my personal email. not sure where i can remove my personal email from AA system.

  27. I still receive them if the upgrade is cleared in advance (1 day or more). I just got one this week for an upcoming flight. I don’t think I get them if they clear day of departure or within a few hours of flight.

  28. I think your booking platform matters in this case. I had a conversation with an agent about a premature upgrade email I received and I didn’t understand most of it, but the gist was that it had to do with how my corporate travel department booked the ticket.

  29. My wife and I got one todayon LAX-MIA 777W. Nice ride good crew. Notifications are hit and miss. Once LHR-LAX I checked my ap after boarding in premium economy and found I had an upgraded seat in business that no one had bothered to tell me about so I was the good husband who sent his wife to upper class. I’m life time platinum.

  30. When it was USAIRways, I always received notification. Plus was always upgraded. With AA? I can count the times I’ve received an upgrade on one hand. It’s a shame that AA had become such a non-appreciative airlines. As a one million mile plus member, I see very little in the way of “Thanks”. It’s never statisfied with the money I’ve spent. So now, I’m starting to fly more Star Alliance flights

  31. I still receive these emails if the upgrade clears before the upgrade list goes to gate agent control – more than 4 hours before departure. Sounds like an IT thing.

  32. Upgraded today at T-96 hours for SAN-PHX, but no email sent. Haven’t gotten any emails in 2017, despite upgrades. I’m EXP.

  33. Exp here and I just googled this to see what the deal was. For last month, no emails. Was consistent until then.

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