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).
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.
Flagship First Dining New York JFK
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.
AA minor concierge-key update pic.twitter.com/akaFy3zr2h
— JonNYC (@xJonNYC) July 6, 2020
here's the CR part: pic.twitter.com/Y1RsDYRE8N
— JonNYC (@xJonNYC) July 5, 2020
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.