Tag Archives: swu

Giveaway: One American Airlines SWU (Expires February 28, 2015)

UPDATE: This contest is now over. Thanks for entering!

To kick off my week being a featured blogger, I’m giving away one American Airlines systemwide upgrade! This can be used to upgrade any one-way flight (up to 3 segments) in any fare class, but be warned that international flights can be hard to upgrade (e.g. DFW-HKG), and some upgrades can trigger additional taxes/fees (e.g. LHR). The flights must be marketed and operated by AA to be upgraded. The SWU expires February 28, 2015, so your flight needs to happen on or before that date to be eligible. The giveaway will end at some point before I stop being a featured blogger, so ideally, your flight occurs after February 8, 2015 as well.

To enter to win, all you need to do is comment on this post with something you’re grateful for (e.g. “I’m grateful for the wonderful information provided in this blog!” but something that’s actually true and not inane). You can comment as many times as you wish, provided that you list out a separate thing that you’re grateful for in each comment. I will randomly select one comment as the winner. Note that I reserve the right to delete/make ineligible comments that I believe are nonsensical (e.g. “Blejiooisa”) or otherwise not something that anyone should be grateful for (e.g. “I am grateful for ISIS”).

All of us who participate in this hobby have so much to be grateful for, and I hope that this giveaway helps us cultivate gratitude just a little bit more.

Inefficiencies in My Life: American Airlines Systemwide Upgrades

I call myself Efficient Asian Man, but there are really a number of inefficiencies in my life that I’m aware of but haven’t really understood. Here’s one such inefficiency.

I qualified for AA Executive Platinum status last year thanks to an overly generous promotion that should have been targeted but wasn’t for a short period of time. Along with this status came 8 systemwide upgrades, which are great as they can be used to upgrade a ticket purchased in any fare class. So not only do you get 8 of them, you can buy cheapo tickets and upgrade those cheapo tickets. It’s great! (so great that I doubt they’ll last given the merger, or we probably won’t get 8 of them).

Here’s the inefficiency: if presented the offer at check-in, I would almost never pay $250 to upgrade my seat to business class, but I have happily used 5 of my 8 SWUs for the year. I am willing to endure 10 hours of international coach instead of pay $250 to get those 10 hours in business class, but I could also sell my SWUs (ignoring the fact that you’re not supposed to sell them) for roughly $250 each, which means that I shouldn’t be using them on myself.

Perhaps I’ll feel differently after flying AA’s 77W in business class (which I’m slated to do in September), but I’m honestly fine with coach most of the time. Sure, you might not sleep as well, but I find that my ability to sleep on planes is mostly a function of whether or not I’m actually tired and not so much a function of seat comfort. Plane food isn’t great either way, and I could instead pay $20 at the airport to buy better food (good thing AA flies out of Terminal 2 at SFO); I could also pay $20 for IFE that I truly want; service isn’t necessarily better in business class (as seems to be common for domestic carriers, many of the flight attendants in business class seem to be more “experienced”–to put it euphemistically–with widely varying levels of how much they give a s***); and I already get first class lounge access via my Executive Platinum status. I guess availability of power ports is one thing that doesn’t really exist in AA coach, but I could always be ghetto and camp out in the bathroom and use the power port there.

Granted, as I said before, you’re not allowed to sell SWUs, which is perhaps the best reason to justify my usage of SWUs on myself, but it looks like I’ll requalify for AA Executive Platinum this year, which means I’ll have 8 SWUs to use next year, and it’s apparent to me that I’d strictly prefer trading them for cash rather than use them on myself. Hmmm…