No 2014 AAdvantage Elite Rewards?

For the past few years American AAdvantage has offered Elite Rewards, whereby you earn additional rewards for exceeding the traditional elite status thresholds.

The intent was to get you to fly more with American than you otherwise may have, and at times it ended up being very rewarding. In the end I received an additional 60,000 AAdvanatage miles for having earned 125,000 elite qualifying miles, which was a nice added bonus. If I had earned 150,000 elite qualifying miles I would have earned an additional 40,000 AAdvantage miles.

AAdvantage-Elite-Rewards

In April I asked the question of whether AAdvantage would once again offer Elite Rewards this year, because I hadn’t heard anything one way or another at the time.

I outlined when the Elite Rewards programs were historically announced:

While I don’t have any more insight than I did then, now that it’s late October I think it’s safe to say American probably won’t offer Elite Rewards this year.

I can’t really say I blame them either. In general airline programs are becoming less rewarding, and that’s simply because they can be. Planes are full and fares are high, so they’re doing about as well as they could hope.

American-Business-Class-HKG-10

It doesn’t seem we’ll see Elite Rewards this year, though I should mention that it looks like American is giving some high value Executive Platinum members additional systemwide upgrades upon request.

This is something they did a few years back, and seemed to discontinue with the introduction of Elite Rewards.

For example, Rock Harders mentioned on FlyerTalk that he was offered an additional two systemwide upgrades upon asking, based on having done more than 150K EQPs, and that they’d give him another two if he reaches 175K EQPs:

I just got off the phone with EXP desk and Customer Service. As I am already at 155k EQP for the year with some flying still to come before year end on AA I figured I would call and request some additional SWUs. The Customer Service agent looked up my profile and said the most she could offer is two (2) additional SWU’s now (which were instantaneously deposited into my account) and that I could receive two more SWU upon passing 175k EQP.

I would only try if you have at least 125K elite qualifying points (not elite qualifying miles), though you may need 150K elite qualifying points in order to be eligible. So this is truly for “high value” Executive Platinum members.

Also keep in mind it’s automatically linked to your account, so if you do ask, it’s not a function of whether you can convince the agent or not, but rather based on whether it’s linked to your account (which presumably is based on your “Eagle” rating, which is American’s internal “rating” system for customers).

If you have 125,000+ elite qualifying points, have you tried asking AAdvantage customer service for additional systemwide upgrades? If so, was the request granted?

Comments

  1. Lucky-I understand when you comment on most of these clawbacks that you “understand” and the airlines don’t need to do them anymore but let’s face it, the programs are being slowly gutted and the next step are significant fare increases. This is exactly why most of us argued that this consolidation was going to be a nightmare to the public. The only people that the consolidation will benefit are the stockholders and top executives with lucrative bonus programs.

  2. @Lucky – I called the EXP desk last week, got transferred to Customer Relations and received 2 additional EVIPs for having earned 150,000 elite qualifying points. I will hit 175K by year end and the nice agent told me to call back and get an additional 2 eVIPs at that point.

  3. @Ray
    You say it like it is a bad thing that airlines are making money now. In the decade and change after 9/11, US airlines lost over $60 billion, it’s about time they start making that back.

  4. Also looks like no re-qualification gift for SPG elites 🙁

    Was really looking forward to a 35% discount on Cat 1-6 this year and using it at StR Punta Mita…

  5. @Lucky and Kris-I haven’t seen significant fare increases. I have seen some increases depending on the market but not what I call significant. I think they will get uglier. Kris-I have no problem with them becoming more profitable, but do they aren’t unprofitable due to fares and programs alone. The US airlines are poorly run. We all see situations when we are traveling that just make me wonder how any management team thought those ideas were good and would contribute to the bottom line.

  6. Lucky – I hit 150EQP this summer and called AAdvantage Customer Service and asked if there was going to be an Elite Rewards program this year. The agent told me she had not heard of one for this year but was not ruling it out either. She told me that she would place 2 eVIPs into my account and to call back each additional 25 EQPs I earn. I called when I hit 175EQP and received 2 eVIPs and I just hit 200EQP last week and called again and received 2eVIPs.

  7. Lucky – I called when I hit 130k EQPs and was given +2 SWUs and told that they would continue to give me +2 at 150k, 175k etc. I called again when I hit 150k and got +2 and I may well hit 200k this year which would get me to +8 total.

  8. Lucky I call every year, even after credited the ELTA promos, I got extra eVIPs on top of that. It was never a problem, it is worth the call to EXP to find out.

  9. This cutback will seem like nothing a bit down the road as AA and US continues its voyage into the MergerWorld vortex.

  10. Just spoke to an AAdvantage customer service supervisor. The policy is 2SWUs for every 25,000 EQP OVER 125,000. So you can call and ask for 2SWUs when you hit 150,000 EQPs and again every 25,000 EQP thereafter. I have 135,000 EQPs as of now and won’t quite make 150,000 in 2014. I tried arguing several times for an exception, citing the lack of any Elite Rewards this year (which the supervisor confirmed), but had no luck. The “guidelines” are apparently quite firm in this regard.

  11. Larry, it varies based on Helix/Eagle score. At higher levels it is +2 for each 25k achieved above 100k.

  12. Griffin Growl: Thanks. I mentioned the Eagle rating and got no response. But I didn’t refer to the “Helix/Eagle score.” Is there any way to find out what my score is? Or any rough guide to calculating the score, such as number of years EXP? I would prefer not to call back and argue with another AAdvantage custom service agent if it won’t get me anywhere.

  13. LarryH – Helix/Eagle is an internal (secret) rating system that AA uses. I have no clue what my score is but others have speculated that it is high because I was granted additional SWUs. If you received additional SWUs then you can also assume it is on the higher end. There is speculation that it is a five point scale with 5 being the highest. There are a number of threads on FlyerTalk on this topic.

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