One of the worst changes happening to American AAdvantage next year is that Executive Platinum members are getting their systemwide upgrade earnings cut in half. Starting next year (for status valid through early 2018), Executive Platinum members are going from earning eight systemwide upgrades to earning just four.
This year American has had a very generous program whereby you could earn additional systemwide upgrades beyond the initial eight. Specifically you could earn:
- Two additional systemwide upgrades for passing 150,000 elite qualifying points
- An additional two systemwide upgrades for each 25,000 elite qualifying points beyond 150,000
In August I shared how I received four additional systemwide upgrades for passing 175,000 elite qualifying points, while in November I shared how I received an additional two systemwide upgrades for passing 200,000 elite qualifying points.
Just this past week I passed 225,000 elite qualifying points for the year, so I phoned up AAdvantage to see if I could get another two systemwide upgrades. The friendly associate pulled up “the tool for figuring that out,” and after putting me on hold for a couple of minutes he informed he there should be another two systemwide upgrades in my account.
Sure enough there are now 14 systemwide upgrades in my account, valid through February 2017. I’ve earned a total of 16, but already redeemed two of them.
With just a bit over a week left in December, be sure to call up AAdvantage if you’ve earned more than 150,000 elite qualifying points this year, as you may be eligible for some extra systemwide upgrades. For what it’s worth, these bonus systemwide upgrades are just being issued based on surpassing the number of elite qualifying points required, and not based on surpassing elite qualifying miles or elite qualifying segments thresholds.
Next year American will also offer bonus systemwide upgrades, though not as generously as this year. Beginning January 1, 2016, Executive Platinum members will have the opportunity to earn up to four more based on flight activity — two for every 50,000 EQMs earned above the 100,000 EQM threshold up to 200,000 EQMs. So that means you can earn at most eight systemwide upgrades per year, but only if you earn 200,000 EQMs.
Use systemwide upgrades to score a business class seat on the 777-300ER
Having 14 systemwide upgrades to play with next year is sort of bittersweet. I’m excited to use them, though am sad that the rate at which I’ll earn them will decrease so drastically after that.
If you’ve over qualified for status this year, be sure to call up American to see if they’ll hook you up with some extra systemwide upgrades. Or if you’re close to reaching 150,000 EQPs or a higher threshold (in increments of 25,000 EQPs), it might be worth taking a year end trip to earn some more systemwide upgrades, if you’d get value out of them next year.
Did you qualify for extra systemwide upgrades with American this year?