After Delta Air Lines announced a major devaluation of its SkyMiles elite program and new restrictions on lounge access, Alaska Airlines quickly offered to match the status of Delta elites. American and United were quiet.
United promised its members no material changes to next year’s program. But American, in its laboring way, sees an opportunity both with Delta and United top elites, Platinums and above.
American Airlines quietly launched an elite status match offer for United and Delta elites – and top tier status is available.
- United and Delta Platinums get American’s Platinum Pro
- United and Delta 1Ks and Diamonds get American’s Executive Platinum.
It’s really a status challenge. There’s no fee to participate. American wants proof not just of current status, but details on 2022 and 2023 year to date activity:
American Airlines has status challenges, called Instant Status Pass, that are way too confusing.
- Earn points in the first few four months that determines your status in the next four months
- And your earning during those four months determines what status you have for the next four and what status you’re “going for”
- Finally, during the last four months to earn points to keep the status for the year ahead
However these offers aren’t always available and aren’t always free. This is an explicit offer for anyone with United or Delta Platinum and above.
At the same time American straight-up sold status earlier this year. And these Instant Status Pass offers are complicated. They’re a lot of hoops to jump through for a competitor’s top customers to move their business.
- A Delta Diamond would receive 4 months of American Executive Platinum
- They’d need to earn 67,000 Loyalty Points in 4 months to keep it for another 4 months
- And then do something similar in the next four months to keep the status
For top Delta (and United) top elites, American Airlines shouldn’t use this tool at all. American should want Delta Diamonds. Match them to Executive Platinum through February 2025. Send them a couple of lounge passes, “we know your lounge access at Delta is limited, we welcome you to our Admirals Clubs.” And take the message a step farther, “we value your business, every time you step into the airport. You have full benefits every time you fly, no matter what the fare. We’ll upgrade you on basic economy fares, and welcome you into our lounges.”
They should strive for fast, simple, and welcoming. A customer that’s matched status is at the peak of their interest. The status match is focal. The customer will pay attention to the product, and American should be educating them about it and helping them to educate themselves. It should be a simple process for a customer they actually value, and there should be a follow up communication strategy. JetBlue is calling everyone they matched with Delta status to try to win their business.
In contrast, the terms and conditions of American’s offer say “Please allow at least 4 weeks for AAdvantage® Customer Service to review your submission.”
(HT: Jonathan B)