AAdvantage: Lifetime Gold Status changes?

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by rwyeager, Apr 29, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. As AADVANTAGE MEMBERS SINCE 1981 AND 1984 we have obtained Lifetime Gold Status for 1m miles flown. The current program still requires us to amass 50k miles for Platinum Status. No credit is given for our current status. Inasmuch as we do travel a lot, there is minimal incentive to requalify for Gold status. As a result, we now look for the best itinerary and cheapest flights on all airlines to meet the 25k minimum for elite status with them. Is AA considering any changes to their program to recognize million milers?
     
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  2. I doubt it. AA is just mean when it comes to status. I qualify for Plat status every year by flying 60 segments versus miles, since I do short hauls. I had 58 credits one year, they bumped me back to gold and would not let me do a challenge to requalify. They would happily take my money and let me pay to upgrade. I of course declined. I am a 1 mil earner and it made no difference at all. I hate them, can't wait for SWA to come to DFW and crush them like a bug!
     
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  3. Wow, Friscomylab,

    Thats pretty harsh. What makes you think you are entitled to the next level by getting close. They are abiding by the rules that you agreed to. I personal;ly think you are off-base. I am a Gold for life member as well and getting ready to push 2M miles. I think out of all the incentive programs out there, AA's is one of the best.

    As for SWA, you're kidding, right? I cant stand that cheap-___ airline. Seats are shot with no padding and thier bordingprocess is a complete cattle call. Oh, by the way, where in Europe, Asia or South America can you fly SWA with points or free tickets? I would love to know?
     
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  4. onlybeef42
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    onlybeef42 Silver Member

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    While I don't necessarily know about who to root for. With the Wright Amendment phasing out by 2014 all hell will probably break loose between SWA and AA as they try to kill each other off
    ("crush like a bug")
    .
     
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  5. travelinmike33
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    travelinmike33 Silver Member

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    I don't have a dog in this fight, but under the new RapidRewards program you can redeem for international travel if you have the SWA credit card.
     
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  6. DestinationDavid
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    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    Welcome to MP rwyearger! :)

    You might find this thread in the American Airlines forum interesting since it discusses the possible changes to the Lifetime status program that are rumored.

    Despite what you've said, AA appears to be moving in the direction of making the requirements MORE strict because they already have the lowest standards for lifetime status in the industry.
     
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  7. I certainly think that it would be great if the 1 mil mile situation started you with 25 segments or 25,000 miles each year. In essence, that's what we've earned by flying as much as we do. Last year I was Exec Plat. and wound up with 86 segments and about 86,000 miles so now, I am just Plat again this year with NO credit for the 36 extra segments that I flew last year. I get it. I know the rules but with all the money that my people and I spend with AA it would have been nice to have had some kindness for getting close. (Unrealistic I know). This year, I already have 42 segments and the year is young. No doubt I'll make it to Excec... but if I could have started with the gold credit to begin with I would consider that a tremendous perk for being a 1 million miler... (which I am). I also have one other mileage thought. I really believe that you could turn late or delayed departures into a wonderful situation by awarding 500 miles for a delay of departure that in NOT related to weather. There is NO downside to the airline. Every passenger would be soothed because they "won" something (500 free miles) because the plane was late in getting off. If a passenger is not a frequent flyer, they'll never amass enough miles to fly free anyway. If they aren't a member, they are motivated to join. And for those of us who fly all the time, it is a neat perk to use for an upgrade or to have the miles to take a free flight another time.
     
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  8. DestinationDavid
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    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    Hi BethS, welcome to MP! :)

    AA offered a "buy up" program where you could pay a fee to retain your GLD or PLT status for the year if you fell short, but with the exclusivity of EXP it sadly is not an option. While I sympathize with your frustration, I would say that AA is currently pretty generous with it's lifetime status award program. AA allows any miles accumulated by an individual, whether from flying, the dining program, or credit card use, to count toward lifetime status. Technically speaking, someone could never even get on an AA plane and get lifetime status with American. You can't do that on any other US airline! :)

    The link I provided in the post above will take you to an ongoing discussion in the American Airlines forum where they discuss possible changes to the lifetime status AA gives, and unfortunately it looks like they're going to get stricter and change the program so it matches what the other US carriers offer.

    In terms of providing miles for delays, it doesn't happen all the time, but AA does give miles to passengers for severe delays without being asked. They deposit the miles in the member's account and send an email apologizing for the delay. Again, this doesn't happen all the time, but often enough that frequent fliers here on the forum have discussed it.

    It might seem like giving away miles are free, but they aren't. AA has to count any outstanding miles as liabilities from a financial stand point. Miles can be cashed in for services including flights, car rentals, hotels, magazines, etc. While they're free to you, there are costs associated with providing those items/services that AA would pay when you redeem the miles. With that in mind, AA has to account for that financial obligation on it's books. Awarding 500 miles to each AAdvantage member for any delay might quickly add up to a lot of liability on their books.

    Again, welcome to MP and I hope you find some good information here! :)
     
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  9. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    The benefits of AA Lifetime are fairly marginal anyway for people who fly a lot. there is almost nothing for additional millions beyond two, the only things are some SWU's and luggae tags with a circule around you number of millions. That's it. I have almost 8mm. The odds that AA would change anything I think are quite low. If people fly regularly or spend enough to become 2mm miles they'll continue to have high status anyway. if they fly little the status costs AA nothing. Why would they change a profitable dynamic like that?
     
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  10. Well I became a million miler last year and didn't expect anything. So I was extremely pleased with my lifetime gold card. In fact, as someone sinking slowly into retirement, I can't imagine a better gift from the airline, because the one thing I hate most about flying - and which gets more arduous as you get older - is standing in long checkin and boarding queues. I really value never having to do that again with AA.
    There are a couple of things though that I think AA could do for their frequent fliers that, as far as I can see, wouldn't cost them anything. I have a huge heap of upgrade certificates that I can never use because almost all my flying is international. Why can't I use them on international flights, and award flights? Presumably AA always has to cater for a full business cabin, so why won't they allow empty seats to be filled in this way?
     
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  11. wanderlust
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    wanderlust Silver Member

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    Off-topic, but saying there is "NO downside" for the airline giving out miles for delays is just wrong, obviously. There are downsides, you just think the upside outweighs it. Do other airlines give miles for these sorts of delays? That could be evidence of whether or not it actually is beneficial overall for the airline.

    Agreed that the benefits for lifetime status aren't that great for actual frequent flyers. However, AA does have the most generous status granting program out there, and in an age where airlines are making much of their money on ancillary fees (like baggage fees!), even casual flyers who obtain lifetime status can save quite a bit of money.

    Also, the evidence is pretty strong that changes are coming, but what exactly those changes will be is speculative at this point. One reason to change course is because until now the lifetime status thresholds are an unpublished benefit, and, ironically, publicizing a Million Mile program that counts more than just BIS miles would distinguish themselves from other airlines and might draw more business and attention.
     
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  12. DestinationDavid
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    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    Hi mikefreeston, welcome to MP!

    Two things I would say to your comments:

    1. If you have unused stickers that you don't think you can use, you can call AA's customer service and have them convert them to miles. I believe 1 sticker = 500 miles.

    2. In terms of upgrades, AA has a vested interest in protecting the "exclusivity" and "premium" nature of the cabin. They have to juggle keeping their elites happy and getting people to actually pay for the product. If AA allowed stickers for international flights, many people simply book the economy fare and use their free stickers. Allowing the stickers for domestic travel and keeping international premium cabins open to upgrade with miles or SWUs keep the healthy balance between allowing access and providing the business/premium traveler an incentive to actually pay for the product.

    Just my opinion though! :)
     
  13. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    I cannot disagree with that. I did not even know there were lifetime status until I was above 6mm, when i found out about it on FlyerTalk. One would think they'd be able to do better than that. Probably make more money too. It is interesting, too, taht there is no change at all in my display on AA.com, other than the cosmetic ones done while back.
     
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  14. superscot
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    superscot Gold Member

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    Not sure that I follow the OP's argument. In the last 30 years he has accumulated 1M miles for lifetime gold - avg 33k miles per year. That may seem like a lot to him, but it hardly counts as 'travelling a lot'. So why does he think he should be comped plat status? He's been given LT gold (as an unpublished benefit); if he wants plat status then either fly 50k mile pa like the rest of us or reach 2MM within the next 2 months or so.
     
  15. euromannn
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    euromannn Gold Member

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    Bank Direct account systems are dysfunctional.

    Finally, got internal secure email to work but the bank could send emails...only reply from me.

    And, BD won't allow customers to talk to the IT department!
     
  16. ceieoc

    ceieoc Silver Member

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    Bank Direct also cut mileage accrual by 75% on accounts over 200K this month. I wonder why this bank is trying to broom their elite clients with and cater to only the smaller account customers.
     
  17. euromannn
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    euromannn Gold Member

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    It was my understanding BD cut off 100% of mileage above $200,000.

    Still a good deal but getting an account setup is tiring as they have made many errors. Even BD IPAY system is cumbersome.

     
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  18. Kaanapali
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    Kaanapali Gold Member

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    First - welcome to MP! (You obviously started something...as the first 3 posters here all joined today :confused:)
    Since you have LT Gold status already, there is no reason for one to (nor can one) re-qualify for Gold. You can fly on AA whenever you wish and receive Gold benefits at the minimum...even if you only fly a couple times a year.
    Secondly, I don't understand why you try to meet 25k on other airlines? Before you get to 25k with any other airline, you do not have any status/benefits with them - and you have to requalify for them each year!
    Finally....if you do travel a lot (ie 50k miles/year or more) why not do it on the airline that you already have status on (everything else being equal)?
     
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  19. dayone
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    dayone Silver Member

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    Can I get some of those odds?
     
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