American Airlines ConciergeKey Changes: Concorde Room Access And Extra Confirmed Upgrades

The best treatment at American Airlines goes to their top secret ConciergeKey level. They do not release much information about it publicly, but I’ve shared full details before. ConciergeKey is the ‘super secret’ level that George Clooney had in Up in the Air, in some sense equivalent to United Global Services and Delta 360.

With some of American’s best ground services suspended during the coronavirus pandemic, they’ve also introduced two new opportunities: more confirmed international upgrades and access to the British Airways Concorde Room at London Heathrow airport.

ConciergeKey Members Get American’s Best Treatment

When ConciergeKey members have really tight connections they may be met on the jetway of their arriving flight and driven on the tarmac to their onward gate in a Cadillac (United uses Mercedes and Delta Porsche).

    conciergekey members get american airlines cadillac transfer

ConciergeKeys are ahead of Executive Platinum members on wait lists. Their domestic upgrades start to clear 120 hours in advance of travel versus the current 100 hour Executive Platinum upgrade window. There’s also access to American’s Flagship Lounges (so far open at New York JFK, Chicago O’Hare, Los Angeles, Dallas Fort-Worth and Miami, and opening next in Philadelphia) although these are currently closed.

ConciergeKeys Lose Flagship Dining For This Year, Gain Access To Concorde Room And Extra Confirmed Upgrades

For the past couple of years American has extended electronic coupons for access to Flagship First Dining too.

american airlines flagship first dining jfk
Flagship First Dining New York JFK

american airlines flagship first dining food
Miami Corn Chowder With Corn Fritters

ConciergeKey members have been given 2 additional Systemwide upgrades but will not receive Flagship First Dining invitations this year, as all Flagship First Dining rooms are closed.

However they have a new lounge access benefit as well: with American’s move to Terminal 5 at London Heathrow, first class (on Boeing 777-300ER aircraft) and ConciergeKey members may use the British Airways Concorde Room according to insider JonNYC.


British Airways Concorde Room Terrace

What this means is that American has reached a deal with British Airways to pay for access, similar to how British Airways pays American for access to Flagship First Dining (when open) where American and BA depart from the same terminal.

American’s move to terminal 5 is convenient for connections on BA beyond London, however for everyone other than international first class and ConciergeKey passengers access to British Airways lounges will be a downgrade from the Qantas and Cathay Pacific lounges in terminal 3.

How To Become A Concierge Key Member

You cannot qualify for ConciergeKey with a specific amount of flying or a published amount of spending. Over $50,000 has historically been enough – at least buying a $50,000 ‘AAirpass’ of prepaid travel would come with the status. Spending alone isn’t the only driver. Margins matter more. For instance spending $50,000 and flying 300,000 miles isn’t likely to earn ConciergeKey, while there are members spending $45,000 to fly no more than 100,000 miles who will make it.

ConciergeKey is also given out to decision-makers of big corporate contracts. Before the US Airways merger there were between 10,000 and 15,000 in this elite pool. That remains roughly valid today. Like other elites, most ConciergeKey members had their 2020 status extended through January 2022.

It’s worth noting there is more than one tier of ConciergeKey. There are a handful of members (perhaps a dozen) that are tagged Do Not Miss because of their commercial importance to the airline.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. So far I don’t think AA fully realizes they are using T5 at LHR. I tried to book a connection from AA to BA andwas denied even though there was 75 minutes between flights. These Alliances do not work as good as advertised.

  2. @Gary, it’s $60K on an Airpass for Key now, lathough I expect the guys in the Airpass dept may be open to negotiation….

  3. @Rusty: Published MCT at LHR T5 is 90 minutes for International arrival to International departure (outside the UK). What was the destination of your LHR outbound flight?

  4. I’m sad that we won’t be able to enjoy lounge hopping in T3. It is probably the best terminal for lounges on the planet.

  5. Woofie, when aa had their sale in airpass they didn’t have any wiggle room in the threshold, unless you count the $5k reduction in prices ‘wiggle room’ …

  6. @Rusty-

    Published Min Connect time at LHR T5 for International inbound, connect ex- to ZRH is 90 Minutes

  7. @doug,

    Indeed. In February we had a T3->T5 connection to go to GLA, but a schedule change made for 8-hour layover. Didn’t feel like going into London, so was able to convince security to let us back into T3 after arrival so we could use the lounges. I do like South Galleries First in T5…but not for 8 hours 🙂

    Cheers.

  8. On the basis that the CCR room is not open as of yet ( only the terrace is open and then only to CCR Key holders – if you’re in BAs ultra top tier then you have a CCR Key but it’s not a physical one it’s actually a card ) I’d hold tight on any excitement for now.

    Also to any AA pax reading this your flights will go from T5B which has a noticeable transit time so I’d always suggest checking with lounge staff for both transit times and directions as it requires the use of an underground transit train ( you can walk it if you know where you’re going but let’s not complicate things for now).

    All that said if I bump into you then happy to welcome you with a few glasses of champagne pre flight

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