The Elite Status Of American AAdvantage Platinum Pro Members Gets Upgraded June 30

Back in December American Airlines announced that their Platinum Pro members would become oneworld emeralds. That will go into effect June 30. Flying American Airlines that means a bigger checked bag allowance, and earlier boarding, as well as benefits when flying on oneworld airline partners.

When flying American their free checked baggage allowance goes up from 2 to 3 free bags, and instead of boarding in group 3 they will board in group 2.

Currently Platinum Pro members – American’s ’75K’ tier above Platinum and Gold – get ‘sapphire’ status in the oneworld alliance. That’s good for some airport priority services, and business class lounge access if traveling abroad in economy.

As oneworld ’emerald’ members they, like Executive Platinum and Concierge Key frequent flyers who are also emeralds, will receive access to first class lounges of oneworld partners like Qantas, Cathay Pacific, and Japan Airlines (when those lounges are re-opened). There’s also access to first class check-in when traveling on these partners (versus business class for sapphire). It means a greater checked bag allowance as well.

Being able to use the Qantas first class lounge in Sydney is a great benefit (try the salt and pepper squid) and grabbing a cabana in the first class section of Cathay Pacific’s The Wing lounge in Hong Kong is arguably the best way to shower in an airport. First class lounge access was a real differentiator between top tier status with the oneworld alliance versus Star Alliance.

Qantas First Class Lounge, Sydney

Two minor items of note,

  • This change is effective with check-ins starting June 30. So if a Platinum Pro is flying on June 30, but checks in June 29, their boarding pass won’t reflect the new higher status. They’ll want to get a new boarding pass issued.

  • Alaska Airlines may be a day or a little longer behind in recognizing Platinum Pro members for upgrades.

Alaska Airlines 75K flyers are also oneworld emerald and when Alaska introduces a new higher elite tier those members will be also. So American needed to do this for competitive reasons within their alliance as well.

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. This really devalues AA EXP. No real point in going for that anymore above platinum pro.

  2. So why strive for EXPLT status except the extra systemwide upgrades? Am I missing something here? Oh wait, domestic upgrades will still require stickers, right?

  3. @JH – I think Platinum Pro gets unlimited domestic upgrades just like EP. good points that now basically the only difference between EP and Platinum Pro is that you are in a higher upgrade group and you clear upgrades a few hours earlier. I was long time EP (now retired and lifetime Platinum) and if I was still on the treadmill earning status I would see the value in pushing for EP over Platinum Pro

  4. Memories of the Emerald Club by National Car Rental 35 years ago. Lucrative merchandise while amassing rentals.

  5. SWUs/50k miles are the only reason to go for EXP now. Technically something, but not a huge reason to go out of your way to fly more.

    Upgrades are pretty rare, so priority isn’t a big motivator. Award changes/redeposits are free for all.

  6. Wow, not sure why they’re diluting first class lounges and check-in. Definitely very little reason to aim for EXP anymore.

  7. With this change, the SWUs remain a benefit, as mentioned, For me, an added benefit is the EXP desk. I know that this service has routinely been crapped upon in comments in various forums. I can’t speak for others’ experiences, but mine has been quite good for all the years we’ve been EXP. Quick to get through, quick to fix things and even able to help with some AA vacations issues.
    Still haven’t decided if this will be enough to go for EXP beyond this year (already booked for EXP in 2021), but it is a consideration for us.


  8. Platinum Pro seems to be the way forward from 2022. If I didn’t have some substantial EQD and EQM via QR Africa trips rollover from 2020, I’d settle for Plat Pro this year.

    As a leisure traveler it’s very hard to justify the additional expense.

  9. Most of you are wrong. I’ve cleared 100% of upgrades as EXP and partner 40% as Plat Pro. I’ll keep EXP. Thks.

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