American makes Executive Platinum requalification easier for status matched United 1Ks

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:

Dear _______,

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.

Sincerely,

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.

Comments

  1. AdamH says

    Had wifi on my LH flight across the pond the other day — it was great. Boggles my mind how they can do that yet UA can’t even decide/act on getting a product pushed out across their fleet domestically.

  2. Brody says

    I, for one, think this will be the salt in the wound for the existing (and true) EXPs. I really hope AA plans on doing something for those who work and fly hard to ensure they are EXPs year after year. And this is coming from a lowly PLT.

  3. lucky says

    @ Brody — At the end of the day American has the most generous top tier status program, in my opinion, so if attracting high value customers is what it takes for American to stay in business, I’m all for it.

  4. Steve says

    Guess my complaint is with the fuzzy math.Seems like it should have been 70000 miles ie: just over 2/3rds. I hope if my SO only hits 96000 EQM’s they are equally generous.

  5. Sue says

    Im an EXPLAT member who earns it every yr by only fly domestically- I hate to have more competition for the first class seats but want to see AA continue to survive and thrive. What aboutalan award for earning 5+ yr EXPLAT or 10 yr award?? Being loyal long term matters right?

  6. lucky says

    @ Sue — And you do get rewarded with great benefits each year, lifetime status, etc., no? What kind of an award would you like beyond that? Ultimately I can appreciate that American is trying to earn new, premium business.

  7. hsw25 says

    I’m with you on this one, Lucky. I really wouldn’t mind giving up a few upgrades if it helps American’s long term viability and maintain our elite perks.

    I have to ask though: Do you feel “lucky” that you jumped that ship early, after everything that’s gone on since the merger?

  8. MGD says

    it’s actually a slippery slope … if DL / UA / AA engage in an all-out matching war, existing low-and-medium tier loyal members lose, and the airlines lose (assuming in equilibrium, match out equals match in). only highest tier flyers win.

    we’ll get to the point that 1K and EXP SWUs won’t clear even with F9.

  9. Sue says

    Hey Lucky. Yes earned lifetime plat few yrs ago and close to 3M mark – not sure what the perfect perk is but somedays it might be nice if a cool perk was available. Thanks for asking – ps AA is much better than Untied or flying on Bubba, I mean delta- not to mention safety records

  10. Dan says

    I wish they would pro-rate this for former UA PremEx’s that AA comped to Platinums.

  11. chitownflyer says

    Do those whom requaify for Executive Paltinum by earning the 55K EQMs or EQPs receive 8 AA SWUs upon requalification or is their status merely extended without the 8 AA SWUs?

  12. A. S. says

    As a long-time Executive Platinum who has continuously qualified “the hard way,” I am, of course, jealous and wish all the matched flyers nothing but misconnects and nasty crews. But, from AA’s point of view, yes, it was a good business move…

  13. lucky says

    @ chitownflyer — I suspect they’d still earn the eight SWUs, though I’m not positive.

  14. Brian says

    Ugh- after missing two upgrades this week, this really stinks. Their flights are jam packed and elite heavy enough, without giving away the farm.

  15. Martin says

    … brilliant? Bull! Once again AA is simply watering down the perks of loyal Executive Platinum members like myself! Maybe this will result in increased revenues, but it will also result in decreased revenues too. For example, given how useless VP upgrades have become on international flights, there really is no need to book AA for all my flights anymore in order to earn those extra two coupons . . . often I go out of way fly only AA . . . but given the declining value of the VP upgrades have turned into and the declining upgrades (much harder to use than a few use years ago) . . . I see no reason to remain loyal to the disloyal

  16. Rick says

    Last year I booked all my end of the year travel a week before AA came out with the double elite qualifying miles LAX/ORD, SNA/ORD, DFW/LAX etc… 1)Does anyone think they will do this again? & 2)If so, do you recall when they released that info last year?

    Rick
    5.4 Million

  17. lucky says

    @ Rick — Unfortunately I doubt they will, sorry! This was done in response to Virgin America entering the market.

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