American Encouraging Elites to Fly More, Offering Targeted Soft Landings for Dormant Flyers

American Airlines used to say they know why you fly. I always found that kind of creepy (in a “long before it was cool for the NSA to read your e-mail” kind of way).

Now they just know how much you’ve flown.

American has been sending out emails to their AAdvantage elite members, either reminding them that they’re close to re-qualifying for their status:

In my case I need about another 10,000 miles (already booked) to re-qualify as an Executive Platinum. Including award travel and on other airlines I’ll do about 200,000 miles this year.

For members that aren’t at all close, and aren’t even hitting a status level lower than what they’ve been this year, they are sending out status challenges.

American used to offer ‘soft landings’. Members would only lose one status level regardless of how much they flew. Starting this year that practice came to an end. An Executive Platinum that didn’t fly at all would become a General Member, and not a Platinum member.

But with these targeted offers it’s possible to retain some status. (HT: JonNYC)

You currently hold AAdvantage® Platinum status, but it looks like you haven’t had a chance to fly quite enough to earn elite status for the 2014 membership year. You have x,000 AAdvantage elite-qualifying miles, x,000 points and x segments, but, not to worry! We know your elite status is important to you, so we’re going to help you reach Gold with a special shortcut:
Fly a little more and you’re Golden
Only 5,000 more points

Gold status offers exceptional perks like:
• Priority Access at check-in, security and boarding
• 25% mileage bonus on eligible flights
• Complimentary access to Preferred Seats
• Two free checked bags
• Special upgrade privileges
Here’s how to qualify: Register by November 15, 2013 with code STR13. Keep flying American or our elite-qualifying participant airlines through December 31, 2013 to reach your goal of 5,000 more elite-qualifying points. Once you do, you’re set to enjoy Gold status beginning on March 1, 2014. Of course, you’ll continue to enjoy your current Platinum benefits until then.

It’s interesting that this promotion is based on points (which give bonuses for higher fares and award less than one per mile for lower fares) rather than miles, many recent status promotions have been mileage-focused — a switch from American’s practice prior to the end of 2011.

There are other versions of American’s email campaign as well, such as congratulating members on achieving status and encouraging them to strive for more.

American AAdvantage: We Know How Much You Fly.

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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, 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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  1. I’m EXP but currently only got about 18k EQM by the end of the year. No email yet. I don’t think they want me back.

  2. I’m EXP and not going to make it this year. After the soft landing bull@!@% they pulled I just don’t have it in my heart to reach for the higher status.

    All my remaining biz has gone to United since July (Platinum status match and I am in Chicago so that is the obvious choice and has been a good one as I see no discernible difference in overall service.)

  3. I also received the email which I thought was odd since I have 7 more trips booked this year and will go out at 130000

  4. It let me register with that code. Don’t know if 5,000 miles will get me gold but since they also have 25,000 bonus miles with business class to/from Europe I am trying for the double dip, thank you

  5. Why do you hide the number of miles / segment if later in the text you claim what you have left to fly?

    Sounds intriging?

  6. I’m EXP and was on pace to re-qualify but have sharply reduced all of my travel since July. I got a phone call from AAdvantage Customer Service last week asking if everything was OK, making sure nothing had gone wrong to cause me to switch my business away from them.

  7. @kevin – American always confirms that you’re registered for targeted promos but unless you were actually targeted you will not benefit from them

  8. I’m EXP with 7k EQM and Lifetime Platinum. It would take triple qualifying miles to get me flying AA the rest of this year.

  9. Gold here, soft landed from PLT last year, where I soft landed from EXP the year before. Only 1 AA flight this year – no e-mail. Then again, I would also need at least 3 more AA segments to qualify for anything.

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