New American Airlines Website Details Benefits Of Secretive ‘Concierge Key’ Level

American used to keep the details of its revenue-based Concierge Key status under tight wraps. They would refuse to answer questions about it. It was even referred to in hushed tones as George Clooney’s character was revealed to have this status in Up in the Air.

Now though there’s actually a new website detailing the benefits that Concierge Key offers. (HT: @xJonNYC)

What Is American Airlines Concierge Key Status?

ConciergeKey began mostly for corporate travel buyers and folks in their old VIP program back in 2007. They gradually expanded to individual high revenue customers.

  • Benefits have primarily centered around assistance during irregular operations. ConciergeKey will at times provide airport escorts and offers boarding ahead of first class as well as a dedicated customer service line. And since 2012 they get access to Flagship First check-in.

  • ConciergeKey get proactive monitoring of flights for rebooking assistance.

  • Before it was a separate status level it came with Executive Platinum status (since 2012). Members receive Admirals Club membership. They can use miles to upgrade without paying the cash co-pay required of other members.

conciergekey members can use flagship check-in at lax
Flagship Check-in, LAX

One nice benefit is that on tight connections they may be met on the jetway of their arriving flight and driven on the tarmac to their onward gate in a Cadillac (United uses Mercedes and Delta Porsche).

    conciergekey members get american airlines cadillac transfer

ConciergeKey became the top tier in the AAdvantage program receiving top placement on waitlists for flights and upgrades. ConciergeKey are ahead of Executive Platinums. Their domestic upgrades start to clear 120 hours in advance of travel versus the current 100 hour Executive Platinum upgrade window.

upgrades for conciergekey members

There’s also a next flight guarantee for ConciergeKey members. There’s also access to American’s Flagship Lounges (so far open at New York JFK, Chicago O’Hare, Los Angeles, Dallas Fort-Worth and Miami, and opening next in Philadelphia).

american airlines flagship lounge
Flagship Lounge Miami

For the past couple of years American has extended electronic coupons for access to Flagship First Dining too.

american airlines flagship first dining jfk
Flagship First Dining New York JFK

american airlines flagship first dining food
Miami Corn Chowder With Corn Fritters

How Many Concierge Key Members Are There?

Just over a year ago the chocolate company American ordered a gift from for its Concierge Key members announced it had provided 11,300 chocolates. That’s consistent with the 10,000 to 15,000 estimate I’ve been using since 2014.

What Does It Take To Earn ConciergeKey?

You cannot qualify for ConciergeKey with a specific amount of flying or a published amount of spending. Over $50,000 has historically been enough – at least buying a $50,000 ‘AAirpass’ of prepaid travel would come with the status. Spending alone isn’t the only driver. Margins matter more. For instance spending $50,000 and flying 300,000 miles isn’t likely to earn ConciergeKey, while there are members spending $45,000 to fly no more than 100,000 miles who will make it.

American has run ‘challenges’ for ConciergeKey membership. A targeted fast track has included four spend levels for American Airlines flights that had to be met during a 90 day period. Different members received different amounts, $10,000; $12,000; $14,000 EQDs; $16,000. (Those are annual run rates between $40,000 and $64,000.)

ConciergeKey is also given out to decision-makers of big corporate contracts.

There are also more than one tier of ConciergeKey. There are a handful of members (perhaps a dozen) that are tagged Do Not Miss because of their commercial importance to the airline.

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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Comments

  1. Wish Citi would take advantage of the current state of things to add american as a transfer partner

  2. This website has been around for a while (1 year+) if I’m not mistaken. It’s included in the CK welcome packet that comes with the luggage bragtags and whatever else. Source: I’m a Multi-year CK

  3. UA doesn’t give GS members lounge access, let alone Polaris access on domestic flights

    But UA is much more generous with separate inventory for upgrades and the ability to upgrade mileage awards with instruments

  4. I can’t understand these two sentences together:

    “Over $50,000 has historically been enough – at least buying a $50,000 ‘AAirpass’ of prepaid travel would come with the status. Spending alone isn’t the only driver.

    Do you mean it used to be automatic with $50,000 spend and now they changed it?

  5. Your information about AirPass is incorrect. You could have easily called that department at AA and obtained the correct information.

    Why post a welcome virtual CK email information packet as a hidden website? That’s misleading and actually is private for intended parties only.

    And yes I do know because I have an AirPass and separately CK also.

  6. I always thought the upgrade thing was silly for CKs as I’m guessing 99% of them are flying J all the time anyway?

  7. Former multi year CK. Happy to have left AA behind.

    I won’t bash, but I am one of the few that don’t feel the need to be treated like a superstar because of the loyalty. I’m not into the snobbiness and because of my age, it was always a shock for others to see a younger person with the status over EXP’s and the like.

    I’d always have people ask me what I did, how much I flew, etc, when they’d announce boarding for CK’s. Even at boarding, when it was switched from EXP’s and CK’s to board first to then CK’s, I’d get second looks from the agents who assumed I must be in a different group. Then, apologizing profusely for making the error.

    I’m not snobby, don’t care about boarding first, and honestly, it makes CK’s no better or worse of a person than anyone else.

    I realize others need/want their ego’s stroked but just irritated me.

    Glad I’m done with AA.

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