I received a free offer for American AAdvantage Platinum status. I hate writing about targeted offers, because (a) I never get them, and (b) they are usually useless for general public. Except when I do get targeted offers myself, because then it tells me one thing: if a targeted offer — any kind of offer — has found its way to my mail box, it’s widely targeted. Because, once again, I get them almost never. So check your emails including promotion and spam folders if you haven’t done so already.
My first reaction was Wait, what? Me? Why me? What did I do? I mean what did I do to deserve it?
The answer is nothing. And by that, I mean absolutely nothing! It’s been years since I paid for a flight on American. I do appreciate the freebie, but why they chose me and a bunch of other “freeloaders” for this – I have no idea. That I’m not alone, I’ve learned from this Flyertalk thread and multiple blog posts over the weekend.
Apparently, the new offer began rolling out 2 months ago…
…until the number of invitations exploded on Friday, Jan 12, 2018.
Most Flyertalkers who have or are earning the status the hard way are very unhappy and not unreasonably so. I’d be bitching too, if I were in their shoes. Hell, I should be bitching anyway because some folks out there got an offer for Platinum Pro, not just for lowly Platinum like me. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Then again, some folks only got Gold.
American Airlines AAdvantage Platinum Status Offer and Challenge
Here is the gist.
- Get free American Airlines Gold, Platinum, and Platinum Pro status from now until May 25, 2018.
- Get 20 500-mile upgrades.
This offer doesn’t use the word “challenge,” but that’s exactly what it is.
Keep status longer
To extend your elite benefits through January 31, 2019, earn 12,500 Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) and $2,000 Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQDs) on American or other eligible airlines for travel between the date you register and May 25, 2018.
Here are the benefits you get as an American Airlines AAdvantage Platinum Status Elite Member.
- Complimentary upgrades on flights 500 miles or less within North America (confirmed as early as 48 hours before departure)
- Priority through the airport at check-in, security and boarding
- 8 award miles/U.S. dollar (60% bonus)
- Complimentary access to Main Cabin Extra and Preferred seats
- 2 free checked bags
- oneworld® SapphireSM status on partner airlines
PLUS, as I’ve said before, you will get 20 500-mile upgrades.
Let’s just say, these are not bad benefits. If you regularly fly American or American partners, you can benefit greatly from the status. My little brain started spinning as soon as I saw the deal, and it’s not too hard, actually, to meet the requirements for extending the status until 2019. All it would take is one flight to Asia in economy or Europe/South America in Premium Economy (for earning 1.5x EQDs) and paying $2,000 for the corresponding ticket. That’s not too bad, is it? Well…
Elite status and me
I had an airline status once: Delta Gold Medallion many, many years ago. There was also a challenge, but an easy one.
I don’t remember the details, but, I believe, they gave me Silver first, and then one international flight would bring me up to Gold Medallion. The idea of mileage run has never appealed to me, but I wanted to go someplace anyway, so I flew to Cancun. And got upgraded on the way back, IIRC.
And then… here’s the thing, I never used it again. Not once! I rarely fly on business, and I never found Delta to be competitive for those few revenue flights I needed. So the whole value of elite status was completely lost on me. No wonder real frequent flyers get pissed when airlines come out with this kind of creative marketing. I’d be too.
It took about 2 hours for my account to reflect my new Platinum status and a few hours for getting 20 free upgrades.
So, am I going to try and get the AA status extended? Probably not. For someone who mostly flies on miles, it’s just a bad investment. And besides, the bulk of my travel is slated for summer and fall. I will admit, if I have planned a few flights before May 25, I’d be more tempted.
Is American Airlines AAdvantage Platinum Elite status worth it for the right kind of traveler?
Oh, yes! It’s not what it used to be, but if you have more than a few flights lined up that can be served by American Airlines, you would be foolish not to try and complete the challenge by May 25th, (even throw in one or 2 mileage runs if you have to). But while the benefits you’re getting are solid, do not expect anything earth-shattering.
For example, free 500-mile upgrades are nice (when you can get them), but let’s be honest: we’re talking an hour, hour-and-a-half flight. I honestly can tough it out in coach, and even in the dreaded middle seat. To get a really sensible upgrade above a 500-mile flight you need Platinum Pro – congrats to those of you who have netted that bounty.
And let’s not forget that these upgrades are only valid for revenue flights. In order to get a shot at the upgrade on an award ticket (something that I personally would greatly appreciate) you need at least Executive Platinum status. As far as I know, no one has gotten that for free.
In addition, these upgrades are only valid in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the Bahamas, the Caribbean, Bermuda, and Central America. If you’re flying to other parts of the world, you’ll need Systemwide Upgrades available only to Executive Platinum and Concierge Key members.
And if you think this status gives you extended award availability, then no. It doesn’t. That’s right, only Executive Platinum and Concierge Key will scratch that itch.
On the other hand, free access to MCE (Main Seat Extra) even on award travel is damn good! Brings you back to the old and more civilized era of air transportation.
A lot of people have received invitations for free AAdvantage Platinum status (also Free and Platinum Pro) with a relatively easy challenge to complete by May 25.
You get free status (either Gold, Platinum, or Platinum Pro) right away.
There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason for targeting people except that they don’t do a lot of revenue flights on American.
The benefits that come with this offer are as follows:
- 20 500-mile upgrades
- Free access to Main Seat Extra even on award tickets
- Free upgrades on flights 500 miles or less within North America (48 hours before departure)
- Priority at check-in, security and boarding
- 8 award miles/U.S. dollar (60% bonus)
- 2 free checked bags
- oneworld Sapphire status (with access to Business Class lounges)
Did you receive an elite Aadvantage status offer and, if so, which one?