After the latest round of easing elite requirements, you might be surprised to find that the next rung on the elite-status ladder could be well within your reach.
US Airways Dividend Miles members who fly one paid roundtrip anywhere US Airways flies through Dec. 31 can earn Preferred status for 20 percent fewer miles or segments than would normally be required. The thresholds for qualifying members will be reduced to 20,000 miles or 24 segments for Silver Preferred; 40,000 miles or 48 segments for Gold Preferred and 80,000 miles or 80 segments to earn Chairman’s Preferred.
Another incentive: your qualifying flight will earn double miles if taken through Nov. 15 – or through Dec. 31 if it is a US Airways Shuttle flight. Dividend Miles members must register to earn double miles.
Of course American AAdvantage and Alaska Mileage Plan members need not worry about requalifying. American AAdvantage is extending elite-status recognition for AAdvantage Executive Platinum, AAdvantage Platinum and AAdvantage Gold members through February 2003. Elite memberships are normally valid for a one-year period based on annual travel, and the extension applies to all memberships that would have expired in February 2002. Alaska Mileage Plan MVP and MVP Gold members will have their elite status extended by one year. Memberships that will expire in Dec. 31 will automatically be extended to Dec. 31, 2002.
Still, it could be a good time to squeeze in a few extra flights on American Airlines. New credentials will be sent to those who have achieved a higher membership level by Dec. 31, and we are going to assume that they too will be valid through February 2003.
Delta SkyMiles members can earn double miles through Nov. 15, with bonus miles counting toward 2002 Medallion status. Members residing in the United States, Canada, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands must register with promotion code 2014 and may do so at: http://www.delta.com/travel/sp_offers/sm_doublemiles/index.jsp.
Continental OnePass readily matched Delta and is also offering double miles that count toward 2002 elite status through Nov. 15. Enter promotion code 50095 when registering.
Midwest Express Frequent Flyer Plus has reduced the qualification threshold to 15,000 miles or 18 one-way trips. This is a reduction of 5,000 miles or seven one-way trips. Don’t forget, Frequent Flyer is one of the last bastions of threshold bonus miles: 5,000 miles after 30,000, 40,000 and 50,000 miles flown.
Hotel programs are equally anxious to help out their elite-level members.
Marriott Rewards has extended the time frame in which members can earn points that qualify toward elite – pushing it out to March 31, 2002. In addition to the extra three months, Marriott is offering a double points promotion – mentioned above.
Priority Club Worldwide is lowering the qualifying thresholds for 2002 elite-level status. It is also extending elite-level status through Feb. 28 from Dec. 31. Fifteen qualifying nights will secure Gold status and 50 qualifying nights will secure Platinum status.
Respite may be on the horizon for Starwood Platinum members. With just one stay through the end of this year, their status will be secure through February 2003. Unfortunately we have no further details at this stage.