According to internal American Airlines documentation issued to coincide with the official launch of ‘Loyalty Points’ as the new way that frequent flyer tier status is earned, customers will no longer be called elite. Instead “[t]he term “Status” replaces Elite.”
Changing the nomenclature around frequent flyer status tiers seems a bit of a strange thing to fixate on, but the airline notes that they expect people that aren’t exactly frequent flyers to have status, now that status can be earned by sending flowers, buying Bonsai trees or just by buying a set of tickets to the Super Bowl.
As they explain,
With these changes we expect to see more status customers that may not be as travel savvy as our traditional road warriors, so many of them may not be as familiar with the benefits tied to their status. Hence, a good opportunity to “show we care” about their journey, regardless of
how status was earned.
The elimination of 500 mile upgrade certificates for Gold and Platinum members made sense, since those were earned in the past based on elite qualifying miles and elite qualifying miles have gone away. But this also makes sense because asking people that have done some online shopping to understand the E-Upgrade system may not make sense. Understanding the notion of upgrade inventory and priority lists will be hard enough!