US Airways Changes the Way They Process Upgrades at the Gate

Whenever I was hoping for an upgrade at the gate, I’d cross my fingers that a Chairman who flew more miles than I have wouldn’t check in after me.  They would jump above me on the upgrade list.

Keri is a Chairman too and has flown more than me lately.  So whenever we were at the gate, her name would always suddenly pops up above mine.  But not anymore.

While US Airways used to use miles flown to break upgrade ties, it looks like the first to check-in wins.


us airways upgrade list

I checked in before Keri.  We are both Chairman.  The tie went to me.

Either way, the upgrade went to no one since it was checked-in full.

But I would have won.  That matters for something, right?


About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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  1. I think order of checkin has been the tiebreaker within status for day of departure upgrades for awhile…

    If you go to and click on “More about upgrades on US Airways” you will see this:

    “If we’re unable to confirm an upgrade during our automated process, we’ll try again when you check in for your flight online. Once check-in for a flight has begun, priority will be based on Preferred level and then on earliest check-in.”

    Personally, I am hoping the combined airline transitions to the American method — I would rather pick and choose my upgrades (and have others doing the same) with the hopes that the upgrades would be better available when they actually matter. That might also go toward maintaining higher catering standards since it’s less of a freebie as we’re accustomed to on US Airways… I was thinking US Airways might prevail in that regard (as noted by the catering reductions) but the recent revelation that catering will be somewhat improved gives me some hope that American will see the benefit of maintaining a higher quality product and actually sells it rather than automatically giving it away.

  2. I found the same – the check-in tiebreaker has been in place at least for this year.

    I’m glad the app has the standby list finally, I stumbled upon it recently and used it to convince a gate agent that 1st hadn’t actually check in full, so they could process it before boarding began. It was nice to board early to have my bag relatively near my row after the upgrade.

    Though of course my current route has so few upgrades, Chairman to ATL was 99%, to YVR is closer to 75%…and ABQ now has CRJ-900’s without F class so hardly worth keeping the status.

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