AAdvantage Elite Re-Qualification Soft Landings going away...

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by malikguy, Jan 17, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. malikguy

    malikguy Silver Member

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    So I just got off the phone with the AAdvantage desk to ask about the new Elite cards and luggage tags and found out that this year is allegedly the last year for soft landings. After this year, what you qualify for is what you get which means you can go from EXP to nothing if you don't fly the required mileage.

    Bummer, oh well, it makes sense to some degree. What are your thoughts on the change?
     
  2. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Someone's got to pay for the new paint job :D
     
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  3. mowogo
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    mowogo Gold Member

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    But I much prefer having to pay for it via soft landings instead of minimum spend requirements ;)
     
  4. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    I would have adopted minimum spend requirements were I in their situation. Rather than the SM case I'd rather see spend be an either/or situation so that premium passengers could qualify on spend alone. That would seem much more in AMR's interest.
     
  5. legalalien
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    legalalien Gold Member

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    Bummer...there goes my plan to concentrate on UA 1k re-qual and drop to PLAT on AA. :(

    We need DEQM! Better yet, TEQM!
     
  6. mowogo
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    mowogo Gold Member

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    With where I live, I'm hoping for the merger to be able to fly AA, yet connect in CLT rather than having to fly a minimum of 600 miles to connect
     
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  7. Philphactor
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    Philphactor Silver Member

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    I'm saddened to hear this. I've been an AAdvantage member since 2000, and have soft landed from PLT to GLD three times over time due travel requirements (or lack thereof) for work.
     
  8. Aktchi
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    Aktchi Silver Member

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    My immediate thought, perhaps because I would not like this change, is that AAgents are known to have said things that didn't pan out, :) so let's wait and see if there is more information.
     
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  9. foxberg

    foxberg Gold Member

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    If I was an EXP or even PL I'd be pretty much bummed by these news.
     
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  10. Photonerd71

    Photonerd71 Silver Member

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    Is/was the "soft landing" ever an official policy? Or just an unofficial program like the million mile club used to be.
     
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  11. malikguy

    malikguy Silver Member

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    It was never official as in not in the T&C's of the program.
     
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  12. anabolism
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    anabolism Gold Member

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    When you say you were talking to "the AAdvantage desk," do you mean an AAgent who handles award bookings, or do you mean AAdvantage Customer Service?

    I doubt that soft landings were done to be nice. I've always assumed that soft landings are a way to generate additional revenue. For example, if someone is EXP and has a period of unemployment or illness and doesn't even qualify as GLD, if that person has no status he or she is more likely to switch to another carrier than if he or she is PLT. It just makes sense.

    Doubtless that similar logic applies to all the reports of people being unexpectedly bumped to EXP when they barely made PLT in 2012 -- AA figures they can get a lot more revenue from them as EXP than as PLT.
     
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  13. epiding

    epiding Silver Member

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    with so many changes underway/planned, i doubt soft landings going way is a hard fact yet. all AA needs is another strike or worker slowdown to cause havoc and make AA offer more DEQMs and promos to beg elites to stay. and the soft landings are the easiest ways to get higher revenue passengers to stay. i dont think anything is said and done until AA reemerges from all the recent upheaval.
     
  14. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    I think you're correct. It is not as though there ever were a fixed policy anyway. It's logical that they might well have an informal, quasi-revenue-based policy now, based on comments from people who've benefitted from soft landings in the past.
     
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  15. JonNYC
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    JonNYC Silver Member

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    I don't think what you're saying makes sense-- or (far more likely) I'm not understanding it.

    When you say "it's logical that they might well have an informal, quasi-revenue-based policy now, based on comments from people who've benefitted from soft landings in the past," that makes no sense as up until this very moment-- every member-- no matter what-- got soft landing. No comments have or could have led you to any other conclusion. No criteria, no targeting-- nothing. You drop one level a year, period. Even if you've died in the interim (and no one notified them.)

    IF that has changed-- and that's a big IF-- then you'd only be guessing as to how/if/when/why and what the change would mean, assuming, of course, it isn't a simply "no more soft landing" change.

    Please let me know if I've misinterpreted you post in any way.
     
  16. malikguy

    malikguy Silver Member

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    AAdvantage Customer Service, not Reservations. Here's briefly how the conversation took place.

    Me: So I wanted to confirm that if I don't re-qualify for my elite tier that you guys are still doing soft landings for the AAdvantage program. If I'm EXP, will I go to Platinum the next year and Gold the year after that or do I have to just start from scratch?
    Agent: What we are hearing from management is that this will be that last year that this will be done, but we have the rest of this year left and that could change, but the word is that it will be discontinued.

    The agent did not hesitate and seemed very knowledgeable and tenured in the program.
     
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  17. anabolism
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    anabolism Gold Member

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    Thanks very much for clarifying and for characterizing the conversation. That helps a lot.
     
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  18. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    Actually every member did not get a soft landing. AFAIK the soft landing was limited to US members and maybe not all of them. My specific reference was to a discussion I did not specifically quote that took place a few months ago. A small group of colleagues were discussing that subject because some of us had had soft landings, others had not. All of us had been either employed by or consulted to a large company taht had a contract with AA taht had expired, so the company switched to otehr carriers of preference. Some of were employees of the company, others consultants to it, but all of us were non-residents of the US. Only I had the Lifetime Platinum status. None of the company employees had a soft landing, they all went from EXP to Gold or Silver, depending on actual accruals. Some of us who were consultants had soft landings. Everyone other than me had not requalified for EXP. Each of the ones who'd had soft landings had been buying paid Business or First long haul. Based on routes they flew they were spending around US$10,000 minimum for two trips they'd need to make Gold. Those people had soft landings to Platinum, but I repeat, none of the employees of the company that had ended the AA contract had soft landings.

    This is the only direct experience I have, all based on five people, excluding me, all non-us registered members, again except me, I maintain my old US-registered account from 1981. So, I do not know whether this now makes any sense to you, but it is all I know.
     
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  19. JonNYC
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    JonNYC Silver Member

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    No-- it doesn't make any sense-- to me or otherwise-- because it's not reality and not the way it works.

    There is no AAdvantage Silver and, to be frank, none of the rest of this makes any more sense than "AAdvantage Silver" does.

    All members soft-land to a level below.

    The system is programmed that way.

    Any claim that at present or in recent past that there's a spend-threshold to qualify for soft-landing is patently ridiculous and completely fabricated or imagined.

    And, based on the new post on this:

    This whole thing is a bunch of unfounded nonsense at this point until/unless confirmed by someone who actually knows if there has been any change. The "we are hearing" stuff means absolutely nothing-- they say stuff like that all the time, especially when they haven't "heard" anything.
     
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  20. anabolism
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    anabolism Gold Member

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    What you're describing sounds to me like the exceptions to allow those who didn't requalify to nonetheless retain their status. As I understand it, this is a case-by-case decision based on criteria established year-to-year, likely based on anticipated revenue (employer and past spend are likely inputs).
     
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  21. malikguy

    malikguy Silver Member

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    So true, lol.
     
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  22. dayone
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    dayone Silver Member

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    The AAdvantage program is certain to change over the next few years. The removal of the unpublished "soft landing" is a realistic possibility.
     
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  23. Jaimito Cartero
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    Jaimito Cartero Silver Member

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    I've only used the soft landing once, but appreciated it when I did get it. It would certainly change the loyalty program that I considered my first choice.
     
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  24. JonNYC
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    JonNYC Silver Member

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    That sounds very likely upon re-reading-- not referring to "soft-landing" situations at all.
     
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  25. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    Sorry, it was Gold. Silver was a typo. I'm sorry yu think this was fabricated. It was not.
     

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