American Airlines, like many other travel companies, has reduced requirements for earning elite status in 2021. However they haven’t done nearly enough considering that business travel won’t restart for some time.
|Gold||Platinum||Platinum Pro||Executive Platinum|
|Elite qualifying dollars (EQD)||2,000||4,500||7,000||12,000|
|Elite qualifying segments (EQS)||20||45||70||95|
|Elite qualifying miles (EQM)||20,000||40,000||60,000||80,000|
Airlines like American are going to need to do more, because they don’t want to lose their best customers. Even if the second half of 2021 were ‘normal’ – and for business travel it won’t be, at best we’d get a normal fourth quarter – a 20% reduction in flying to earn status isn’t nearly enough.
An Executive Platinum member used to need 100,000 miles and $15,000 spend. Instead they’ll need just 80,000 flown miles and $12,000 spend ($12,000 was the spend requirement through 2018).
But even for someone who is traveling, how can you hit $12,000 in spend when it’s almost impossible to legally fly long haul international business class and cross-country flights are selling for $31?
It’s usually the end of the year before American starts selling elite qualifying miles and ‘buy ups’ for customers to retain their elite status. Now, though, they’re reportedly getting an early start – selling packages of qualifying miles, segments, and qualifying dollars at the beginning of the year.
I’ve gotten multiple reports, moreover, that American isn’t just doing direct marketing for this – they’re actually cold calling customers to offer them these packages, and following up on these phone calls with an email. Pricing may vary by customer – I do not know if each package is priced the same for everyone – but here’s a sample:
Thanks for speaking with me today!
As we discussed, we have a few options to help you get a head start on 2021 elite qualification requirements that will get you that much closer to the next level of status. For additional information or to purchase, please call us back at (888)225-0725. Our hours of operation are Monday – Friday, 8:00am to 7:00pm CT>
Below are the bundle of options you can choose from:
…Finally we just want to say thank you so much for your loyalty. We mean it when we say that the best flyers fly American, and we’re honored to be your chosen airline. We look forward to welcoming you aboard again soon.
Here’s a list of packages offered in one such email:
While this offer may be targeted, if you’re interested it can’t hurt to call and ask about it. Personally I’m going to wait to see what else American does this year: reduce requirements further, offer promotions to earn status faster, or introduce further buy up or buy back opportunities.
I’ve been an American AAdvantage Executive Platinum member every year for the past decade. And with my own work travel on ice at least until September I simply don’t see a way that I will re-earn that status otherwise. I don’t value lower status, and I’m already a lifetime Platinum member. Unless American acts, they’ll make me a free agent again and I suspect that’s true for other customers and other airlines as well.