Earlier in the week I posted about a rumored impending announcement from American AAdvantage, and speculated about all the things it could be. I think most people will be relieved when they find out it’s “just” this (at least as far as I know).
For a bit of context, historically American has usually “rounded up” elite status and offered soft landings. By “rounded up” I mean if you were a Platinum member and ended the year with 49,000 miles they’d typically requalify you. Similarly they also offered soft landings, whereby you wouldn’t drop more than one status level per year. Under the old rules that meant if I were an Executive Platinum member and didn’t fly a single mile the following year I’d automatically get Platinum, and the year after that I’d get Gold. American announced earlier this year they would no longer offer soft landings, which I can’t really blame them for.
Anyway, what they have done this year is published a way to boost or renew your status if you’d otherwise end the year short. If you end the year within the following ranges you’d be eligible for a buy up:
- If you’re within 5,000 elite qualifying miles, 5,000 elite qualifying points, or five segments of earning AAdvantage Gold status
- If you’re within 10,000 elite qualifying miles, 10,000 elite qualifying points, or 10 segments of earning AAdvantage Platinum or AAdvantage Executive Platinum status
The costs look as follows:
If you want to reach AAdvantage Gold status and are within 5,000 miles/points or five segments you could pay $399 to boost your status. Alternatively, if you’re currently an elite member and won’t requalify, you can pay $649 to renew AAdvantage Gold status.
If you want to reach AAdvantage Platinum status and are within 5,000 miles/points or five segments you could pay $699 to boost your status. If you’re within 10,000 miles/points or 10 segments you could pay $899. Alternatively, if you’re currently a Platinum member and won’t requalify, you can pay $1,199 to renew AAdvantage Platinum status.
If you want to reach AAdvantage Executive Platinum status and are within 5,000 miles/points or five segments you could pay $1,199 to boost your status. If you’re within 10,000 miles/points or 10 segments you could pay $1,799. There’s no renewal offer for Executive Platinum, though.
These prices are steep and no doubt you’re better off doing a mileage run if you really want status and have the time. But I guess it’s nice to have the option as well. In an ideal world American would still offer soft landings, though they already have the most generous elite program out there, and given the devaluations we’ve seen at other airlines, I don’t really think we can complain. Furthermore they were upfront about no longer offering soft landings this year, so this shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone.
(Tip of the hat to Gary)