How Many Elite Members Are There?

Back in November, a reader asked how many elite frequent flyer members programs have.

American AAdvantage is ~ 100 million members. United’s program should be in the 80-90 million member range, and Delta SkyMiles should be in the 75-80 million member range.

There are 50,000 – 60,000 Executive Platinum top tier American AAdvantage members. There are about the same number of Delta Diamond members.

I’m always interested in these numbers, so I was intrigued to learn about Leclub Accor hotels elite numbers as reported via their CEO:

  • there are 20 millions of Le Club members, among which 4 millions are active (20%). Active means at least 1 stay/year.
  • 300-400K Silver members (so 7.5 to 10% of active members)
  • 150K Gold members (so <4 % of active members)
  • 70K Platinum members (so <2% of active members)

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. Interesting, and a good lesson in applied mathematics. It seems every other guy at the airport has a Diamond tag, but Diamonds fly more than others. Same reason why colleges advertise that X (typically >>50) percent of classes have fewer than 20 students, but ask any undergrad and you’ll hear most classes are humongous.

  2. do we know how many United 1ks there are? it feels like 100 million when I’m flying…

  3. Have these numbers been officially published, because I personally know more than six of the 60,000 odd AA exec platinum members and that seems a bit strange. I would have guessed close to a million AA exec platinum.

  4. Just the other day I saw what was claimed to be the total membership of HHONORS: 40 million.

  5. Gary, any estimate on how many hold top-tier status in multiple airline or hotel programs?

  6. Gary, it appears that the AAdvantage program membership number (100 million) includes the former Dividend Miles members but the Executive Platinum number (50-60K) might not. What’s the estimate of the combined top tier of both programs? It seems like .05% of top tier AAdvantage (both program) members is program is awfully low . . .

  7. That is odd. I thought United is the biggest program. On flyertalk, United has 3.23 million posts and AA has 1.85 million. United BBS is far more active than that of AA.

  8. For what it’s worth- I am a senator in Lufthansa. And I fly sfo – fra business class often (many times upgrade on points) and from what I can see (lufthansa has a very interesting way they engage with senators) that there are not many senators around in this particular flight (which should loaded with them) . So elite status is not very very common. And I always get upgraded with points ( not courtesy- lufthansa has no idea what that means !) so not so many Hons I guess – at least not on upgrade competition ..
    I do think all the U.S. programs are top heavy – it’s too easy to get status.

  9. Any data on whether the number of elites — particularly top elites — is shrinking? I’ve got to believe it is because: 1) with revenue requirements, it’s harder to be top elite; and 2) with the USA airlines selling most of their first class seats upgrades are harder to come by, so the benefit of being top elite is diminished, so presumably fewer try to qualify.

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