Last week I wrote about how I’d be earning American million miler status this week on my flight from Orlando to Los Angeles. I don’t make a point of going for lifetime status anymore, given the rate of consolidation in the airline & hotel industry.
Lifetime status isn’t valid for your lifetime, but rather for the lifetime of the program, so it’s silly to make any sort of effort to work towards a moving target.
That being said, if I happen to earn lifetime status, that’s great! A few weeks ago I noticed that I was nearing million miler status with American, and based on my calculations would hit it on my flight yesterday from Orlando to Los Angeles.
So, what happened on my million miler flight?
Well, shortly after takeoff the flight attendants brought a bottle of Krug to my seat, and then about two thirds through the flight, the captain came on the PA to congratulate me for the achievement, right as we were 850 miles out of Los Angeles (where I officially crossed the threshold).
Just kidding, of course. 😉 The flight was unmemorable, and it slipped my mind that this was even my million miler flight until this morning, when I updated my AAdvantage account on AwardWallet and saw my mileage balance had increased more than I was expecting.
My account reflected that I had crossed million miler, and also that I was now lifetime Gold.
One of the perks of achieving million miler status is that you get 35,000 AAdvantage bonus miles upon crossing the threshold.
So that’s actually what I was most excited about, especially since the miles posted before the upcoming devaluation.
As I explained in the last post, American’s million miler program is lackluster nowadays, which is a stark contrast from how it used to be. All miles earned used to count towards million miler status, which was far too generous (rather than just “butt in seat,” flown miles). So given the existing population of million milers I’m guessing it’s tough for American to add substantial benefits to the program, due to how many people they’ve have to grandfather in. But it sure would be nice…
Though perhaps the highlight of all of this was Ford’s surprise. Today Ford gave me a healthier version of a donut (apparently?) with a candle for achieving million miler, so there’s that. Just what I needed after my million miler flight, where I had warm nuts, an ice cream sundae, and those delicious packaged coconut cookies and fig bars. Mmmm…
I’m happy the 35,000 bonus miles posted the same day my million miler status did, rather than 6-8 weeks later, as bonus miles often do. That’s all I expected in the way of “recognition,” and my expectations were met.
So, is there a new million miler secret handshake I have to learn? 😉