I wrote a series of posts about reciprocal upgrades on American Airlines and US Airways for elites of either airline before the programs are merged in 2015 to become the new American.
This data was current as of fall 2014 and will assist elites seeking to upgrade on flights booked on one carrier while holding status on the other.
* Part III – Upgrading on itineraries with both carriers
* Part IV – Challenges and strategies for elite upgrades
* Always book flights on the native carrier, NOT codeshares.
* Reciprocal upgrade policies are not equal – it is easier for lower status elites to obtain upgrades on US Airways than on American Airlines.
* American Airlines allows for waitlisting for upgrades for their elites, US Airways does not allow requesting until the 24 hour check-in mark (if the upgrade is unavailable).
* US Airways requires manually checking for upgrades.
* These policies only apply until the programs merge in 2015. When that happens, the policy will be uniform for the combined carrier.