Last summer, after more than a decade as an American AAdvantage Executive Platinum member, I was elevated to ‘top secret’ ConciergeKey status. The airline rarely talks about ConciergeKey, meant for their highest-spending customers. I was one of the ‘accidental ConciergeKeys’.
- American revamped how status is earned, no longer just counting flights but looking at most miles earned. Customers doing a lot of credit card spend and online shopping are much higher margin than those who just fly. (Selling miles is more profitable than selling tickets.)
- For the first time, the most profitable customers of AAdvantage overall were invited into ConciergeKey mid-year. And I had earned 7 million miles from American’s way-too-generous year-end 2021 SimplyMiles promotion.
There were plenty of others like me. It seemed that anyone who took advantage of SimplyMiles earning 5 million or more miles. This included several readers (I had heavily covered the offer).
ConciergeKey has been amazing. Benefits I took advantage of,
- Emails to reservations for things I needed. I received text messages and was met at gets when dealing with delays.
- No cash co-pays on mileage upgrades.
- Met at gates with a golf cart when I had long connections. (I never received a tarmac transfer, currently a GMC from one gate to another on tight connections at hubs.)
- Use of business class Flagship lounges when flying domestically, even on arrival, as well as Flagship check-in. At New York JFK this means access to the Soho lounge on domestic trips, and Chelsea on international.
- Guaranteed next flight, they actually booked me onto a sold out flight to get me where I was going when my flight was cancelled.
Chelsea Lounge, New York JFK
I received the status in July, valid through March 2023. I’d hoped that the status would last ‘a minimum of 12 months’ and therefore I’d be renewed and keep it through March 2024. But that wasn’t to be. Others, like me, who got invited to ConciergeKey after earning millions of miles through the SimplyMiles deal – for the redeemable miles, having no idea it would have any effect on status – aren’t being renewed either apparently. These ‘accidental ConciergeKeys’ are being shed from the rolls.
I’ll never be in the league of those spending $50,000 – $60,000 on high yield tickets, and without a twice in a lifetime type of promotion like December 2021’s deal I’m unlikely to ever see that status again.
According to a company memo, it seems that many current ConciergeKeys who date from before the pandemic were simply extended again. That same policy didn’t apply to those of us who had it under a new approach, however.