American’s Elite Qualifying Reports Are Broken, and State Dept. Says You’re Ugly

News and notes from around the interweb:

  • First airline lets you change seats, check-in, and get boarding passes via Facebook messenger.

  • Scott Mayerowitz on why TSA waits have gotten so long. During slower travel periods I don’t think it’s fair to blame it on budgets or number of passengers as much as poor planning. The failure to ramp up PreCheck is a much a failure of the government contracting process as anything else. And they’ve lengthened the time out of the airport required for screener training. But there’s all the stuff in the AP investigative piece, too…

  • Sending this to me about six weeks after the fact isn’t super useful… but still better than nothing since American AAdvantage doesn’t show any kind of breakdown, detail or buildup for your year to date elite qualifying mileage total. So.. “trust us.”

  • Registration is now open for Hyatt’s new promotion that starts tomorrow

  • US State Department Travel Tip: You’re Ugly

    Not a “10” in the US? Then not a 10 overseas. Beware of being lured into buying expensive drinks or worse—being robbed. #springbreakingbadly

    — Travel – State Dept (@TravelGov)

  • How many people does it take to run an airport? One to run the airport, and 19,000 to…

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 hate that we have NO WAY of really knowing how Elite miles are credited to our account

    I have a spreadsheet that I try to monitor but I always have a different amount

    We can only trust that we are getting credited for everything

    Delta has a much better system

  2. KLM is not by any means the first airline to use facebook messenger. I’ve been using it to communicate with TAP Portugal regarding many many issues for a number of years now (at least 3).

  3. @Gary – You can download reports on YTD spending on the Citi site, then use Excel to tally up only the expenses. That’s what I do, and if you ask a Citi rep to check for you, that’s basically what they do.

  4. I found out the hard way that the 10K bonus is only for spend through the closing of the December statement, instead of for the calendar year. Since my December statement closed on December 7, I most of my Christmas shopping count did not count towards the bonus EQMs and thus I narrowly missed the bonus. My fault for not reading the T&C’s more closely, but the readily available headlines for this account feature sure made it seem to me that the bonus was for calendar year spending. I don’t think I get $450 of value from this card, so I’ll be cancelling or downgrading.

  5. I had a disastrous experience with this. Same issue as Larry. Last year, I tried to keep track, and called every few months to make sure I was on track. I was told i’d made it so stopped spending extra after November.. In the new year, i called and was told I missed it by just several hundred dollars. Outrageous. Customer service would do nothing. The Customer Service folks don’t know the rules, and I was misinformed by more than one agent. I’ve moved my spending to Barclay Aviator where it’s more transparent.

  6. Beyond the credit card issue, the EQM system is broken. I have been carefully monitoring my EQM’s and the system is definitely not calculating correctly. Since the calculation is not transparent you have to manually track it. This was not the case with US when it was standalone. They had a very clear way to track what was being calculated for status. Even with class of service bonuses taken into consideration, the numbers in the current AA system do not add up. AA is shorting me base EQM’s. I will have to call the AAdvantage desk to have them true up the numbers. I have spoken to other EXPLAT members that have called in and they are being told that this is a “known issue.” Gary, this seems to be an issue that deserves more attention in your blog. This brief mention does not really address the magnitude of the issue. Frankly, this could end up as a class action suit against AA as it clearly violates the agreement it has with its customers.

  7. There was also a problem with AA 500 mile upgrades that was recently “corrected.” I had to call and spend quite a bit of time addressing the issue, including getting them to fix an incorrect deduction.

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