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.