Did You Come ‘This Close’ to an Elite Status Level? American AAdvantage May Just Be Giving It To You Anyway!

Hat tip to JonNYC and then I’ve been seeing it pop up across my Facebook feed.

American AAdvantage appears to be sending out emails to members that didn’t quite make a status level, and granting them the higher status.

The criteria for their doing so does not appear clear.

I’ve seen a couple of folks within 500 miles of a status level given the higher status. I’ve seen at least one report of someone within that range not receiving the email (yet?). And there are reports of others that were substantially farther away being bumped up.

The email begins, for instance:

We appreciate your business so much that, even though you didn’t fly quite enough to earn elite status, we would like to offer you AAdvantage® Platinum membership in recognition of your revenue contribution.

(Emphasis mine.)

American offers three ways ‘officially’ to qualify for elite status:

  • Miles
  • Points
  • Segments

‘Points’ are the miles you fly adjusted for the fare class flown, you may earn half a point for miles flown on cheap fares and bonus points for miles flown on premium fares. So they already have a ‘revenue-based’ elite status method of qualifying for status (and have had this since long before United and Delta went to revenue-based minimum spends for status, which American has not done).

Despite the claim about awarding the higher level of status based on revenue, they’ve given higher status to folks that haven’t qualified using the traditional criteria that were close to that new status but who also had fewer points than miles.

This doesn’t appear to be the more traditional ‘500 mile grace’ that some programs have offered, at least at first blush and based on the examples I’ve seen and that have eeen emailed to me.

American has long tracked profitability, and assigned scores entirely apart from status level (‘Eagle rating’ and ‘Helix scores’) that have helped to determine whether to grant exceptions to policies. So tracking revenue wouldn’t be anything new, if indeed that’s part of the basis for this initiative.

If you were close to a status level, and didn’t mileage run for it, then check your email! Indeed, if you’ve got something booked in the next couple of days to push yourself over the top and you receive an email that you’re being gifted status anyway, you may be able to stay home, cancel your ticket, and retain a flight credit to use next year!

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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. that’s a very nice gesture … i wonder what’s the usual threshold/criteria to make the cut ?

  2. US Airways has done this several times over the last few years for next highest elite level for me, sometimes close to 10K short of threshold. Never sent an email, it just happened.

  3. Wow. I am 16% away from EXP in points and 12% away in miles. Have four more segments before the 1st, two in international J. If they were to bump me up gratis, that would seal the deal for me with AA. I have so far this year been so impressed with their return on loyalty. Just worlds away from what I used to experience on United and Delta.

  4. I didn’t get the email. I finished my executive Platinum year in 2014 at 25,200 points and about 15,000 miles. They offered me Platinum if I pay $1100

    I would love it if they just gave me a soft landing to platinum for free like they used to.

  5. Wow… my wife was 20K short in points and 25K short in miles and just got a bump to EXP. She is very high revenue but I didn’t expect that much of a bump. Nice end-of-the-year gift more than makes up for the lack of any international premium cabin award availability.

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