In late April American offered status matches to United elite members, which I thought was a brilliant move given how dissatisfied many United customers are with the merger. The deal offered Executive Platinum status upfront with no requirements, which is the most generous status match program they’ve ever had. It lasted for a couple of days and then they shut down the program, given how much interest there was.
Well, today American sent the following email to those matched Executive Platinum members:
We hope you are enjoying the exclusive benefits of your AAdvantage Executive Platinum® status, including unlimited complimentary upgrades, access to Main Cabin Extra and Preferred seating, PriorityAAccessSM privileges, and more.
I’m delighted to tell you about a special offer to extend your AAdvantage Executive Platinum status for another year.
Earn 55,000 elite-qualifying miles or points between April 24, 2012, and December 31, 2012, and extend your AAdvantage Executive Platinum status through February 28, 2014.1
It is not necessary to register for this promotion. You have been pre-enrolled for this offer.
Plus, we know that staying connected while you travel is important, so I am pleased to let you know that we will offer Wi-Fi service on the majority of our domestic fleet by the end of summer, with more aircraft being added each month. For more information about Inflight Wi-Fi onboard American Airlines, please visit AA.com/wifi.
Even as an Executive Platinum member that has to requalify “the hard way,” I think this is brilliant. Yes, American got a lot of people to status match, though I doubt they would have retained all that many members if they had to fly 100,000 miles in under eight months to requalify, given that in many cases switching loyalty is a slow process for those that have travel booked for future dates.
By essentially pro-rating the amount of flying required I think they stand a much better chance of actually keeping matched members long-term, and while it might swell elite ranks a bit, I think it was the right move. Oh, and I love their emphasis on in-flight wifi, which I suspect is something that United flyers might appreciate.
So kudos to American.