While nothing is confirmed yet, a reliable poster on TravelingBetter is reporting that AA will start charging $80 for Gold challenges and $150 for Platinum challenges. For those not familiar with these AA challenges, it’s basically a fast track, whereby you earn 5,000 “Q-points” in 90 days to get Gold status or 10,000 “Q-points” in 90 days to get Platinum status. You do have to register beforehand though.
I’m not surprised at all, and would go so far as to say that this makes perfect sense. I know many people will take a trip to Asia, for example, and through that complete a Platinum challenge which gets them status. Since the value of status is on the incline with bag fees and all the other stuff the airlines are nickel and diming us with, I can why they want to keep the number of elites down. If someone really wants to make a switch, they’ll be willing to pay $80/$150, while others might not be willing to dish out that much.
So if you want to do an AA challenge, now would be a really good time to sign up, before the charges are put in place.