There’s been some confusion over whether or not the April 23rd cut-off for US Airways upgrades sans co-pay allows you to upgrade flights that will be flown after April 22nd. (in fact, there’s been some confusion among agents at US Airways).
To recap, US Airways elites have had the co-pay for upgrades using miles waived and this is going away. Essentially, a couple traveling to San Francisco from DC would have to pay $600 round trip to upgrade their flights using their own miles. Elites did not have to pay this $600 fee.
Starting on April 23rd, elites will have to start paying this fee. But I’ve confirmed with US Airways that this is the day you need to start paying, not the cutoff for flights that require a co-pay.
If you are able to apply your mileage upgrades before April 23rd for any flight after April 23rd, you are in the clear co-pay wise. If you get a US Airways agent insisting you need to pay to the copay, get off the phone and get a new agent. Since a lot of US Airways award travel is manually processed, I’d be worried you’d get needlessly charged by them.
The problem is, flights may or may not be in the upgrade window. And there’s no way to predict when the upgrade windows for flights would open.
I’ve seen upgrade windows open six months out. I’ve seen them open two days out. This is why, even when you are a Chairman with US Airways, the elite upgrades will happen last minute. The upgrade window needs to be open for complimentary upgrades to process as well (though complimentary upgrades are not affected by this rule change).
I used to check on KVS to see if the upgrade window is open but that functionality is gone. So for all my flights coming up that I want to upgrade, I am calling every single day leading up to April 23rd, hoping the window will open before then. I’m especially hoping because these are flights for friends and family and this may be my last chance to treat them to first class.