American AAdvantage Is Sending Out Targeted Status Offers

I’m getting many reports from readers who have been sent targeted AAdvantage status offers. Many of these are members who haven’t flown with American in a long time, so this is some interesting targeting. It seems like there’s a few different versions of the offer.

Some non-status members are reporting receiving targeted fast track offers, where they can earn Gold, Platinum, Platinum Pro, or Executive Platinum, based on how many EQMs or EQDs they earn between now and May 25, 2018. Going from no status to Executive Platinum status with just 35,000 EQMs and 4,000 EQDs is a quite good offer. Here’s an example link of one of the offers, though registration likely won’t work if you weren’t targeted.

Others are reporting AAdvantage just outright gifting them status, valid through May 25, 2018. I’ve heard of these offers for Platinum and Platinum Pro so far. I find this offer to be rather bizarre, since there’s no provision to earn status beyond that. It’s great to give someone status for four months, but is the expectation that a non-elite member will suddenly qualify for Platinum Pro from scratch over the course of four months?

It seems to me like a targeted fast track offer makes a lot more sense than just giving status without a realistic way to earn it. Or perhaps their goal is to get people hooked on status, and hope that it will get them to go for status in the future.

While I don’t like to read too much into things, generally loyalty programs send out offers to boost their elite tiers when they’re not otherwise meeting their targets in terms of the numbers of elite members at each tier, etc. These programs all have targets at each level, and they wouldn’t be sending out these offers if they were surpassing their goals.

So I’m inclined to believe that with all of the negative changes that AAdvantage has made, perhaps they’re not meeting their previous targets, and that’s why we’re seeing this offer.

What I find especially interesting is how these offers seem to be coming out of the blue for many members. It’s one thing to give a Platinum member Platinum Pro for a few months, or to give a Platinum Pro member an Executive Platinum status fast track offer. But to give a non-elite member an Executive Platinum fast track, or to give a non-elite member Platinum Pro outright, is an interesting way of targeting this offer.

Were you targeted for one of these AAdvantage offers, and if so, what kind of a deal did you get?

Comments

  1. I received the outright Platinum status until May 25th. I flew with AA on one segment last year so I have no idea why I was targeted. The real perk to me was added “Plus, we’ll give you twenty 500-mile upgrades just for registering — no strings attached.”

  2. legit slap in the face for us EXPs to offer someone 1/3 of the qualifying level. I can see this for lower tiers but to include you highest published elite tier on this just doesn’t sit well. I’m sure many others are echoing the same thoughts.

  3. Frankly I’m a bit miffed about this. I stuck with AA and their shitload of negative program changes and re-qualified for Exec Platinum the old fashioned way. Now because so many members apparently gave up on AA it appears they’re not making their numbers have have resorted to begging for new elites. Not a wise move on AA’s part.

  4. I’ve decided not to fly AA in 2018 but if they grant me status, I would probably change my mind. The reality is these marketing campaigns can work.

  5. Part of this pisses me off, but for high-spend EXPs, this won’t really affect you much. Upgrade priority is based on last 12 months’ EQDs, so someone who qualifies with only $4k is bottom of the barrel.

  6. I received the platinum email with status through May 25. When you go to signup it does say you can maintain status with $2000 EQD and 12,500 EQM through January 2019. No idea why I got this.

  7. i’ve flown absolutely *zero* cash flights on AA last year (plus zero on any of their JV partners), and I’ve been EXP exactly once in history (and that was also due to a status match instead of actually earning the old fashioned way), so I have no idea how i was even targeted.

    Mine says earn 20K EQM + $3K EQD by end of May to extend Plat Pro till Jan 2019.

  8. I was given gold status at some point last year, I think, that runs out at the end of this month. While it was nice to have, I guess, I don’t know that I actually used any benefits of it. I have their co-branded credit card, and as a result, receive the only benefits that I actually use. I am solely a budget traveler. They have given me several offers to buy up to it now, but I have no reason to do that.

  9. First piss off the elites in 2017 who won’t re-qualify, then piss off the elites who did re-qualify. What’s the next move in this chess game? Concede?

  10. AA is realizing that they’re losing many of their most loyal flyers due to the current dumpster fire. Those with status that are still with AA should be furious about this. Or maybe AA wants more people to be able to status match to other airlines and to leave AA 🙂

  11. I re-qualified for Platinum the old fashioned way–earned by flying AA as much as I can. I think these offers devalue the product. Giving people status and 10 500-mile upgrades for NOTHING is ridiculous. You have to fly 10,000 miles to earn only 4 500-mile upgrades–20,000 miles for just 8 upgrades. They are giving them away?! Seems like a LOT of people are receiving these offers. If American is going to treat people who have not flown American for years better than long time, loyal revenue generating customers, then I am going to put my business over to Delta.

  12. Not happy about this. It would be nice to offer elites an extension, as an acknowledgment of those who *actually cared* about the airline enough to earn status in the first place.

  13. This is anothe horrible message to existing elites that spend a ton of time and money on AA. Things like this make me consider switching. I live in NJ and have other options. Shame on you AA

  14. Not sure you guys that worked for status should get too bent out of shape. 35K miles by May basically means they’d pace to hit 80K or so, and obviously this is targeted specifically they think would become permanent flyers.

    I was plat last year, nothing this year, and got no offer. If I got it, I’d probably shift a couple international business class flights I had planned, but 35K miles is not that easy to do unless you are someone who already qualified for status elsewhere, so I’d guess this is more akin to a status match.

  15. I received gold status through May 25 and 10 500-mile upgrades.

    I’ve flown a few thousand miles with AA in 2017 but was never close to status (I only fly on my personal dime).

    Any downside to taking this?

  16. Here’s a novel idea AA, open up SWU upgrade inventory and go back to the 8 or even 6 SWUs and maybe people would want to actually fly butt in seat to qualify for EXP instead of giving the crap away. Heck keep it at 4 but give us a freaking chance to use the useless things.

    This might be my last year of EXP if they don’t fix this program that is a mere shell of what it used to be.

  17. You guys all should stick with AA, they’re the best! (read sarcasm to mean, please don’t come over to Delta and take my few open upgrade opportunities 🙂

  18. Lol at those angry AA is giving away status.
    They’re trying to win new customers, not keep existing ones.
    If you want bonuses, be a new customer on another airline and jump back and forth. Just like with cell phone companies.

  19. This will only work against the airline.

    Give Mary “status”, and she’ll start flying AA more…..and experience all of the airline’s service failures……and then she’ll leave AA for a different airline.

  20. I haven’t flown AA in more than 3 years. I made a $5 purchase on from homedepot.com 4 months ago to avoid having my 700 aa miles expire. Now I am Platinum Pro! I probably won’t even use it.

  21. I understand the people who earned status and see it given to others. I went through TSA PreCheck process and stand in long lines behind people who got random assignments.

  22. I have never flown American, but have the American credit card. I was offered platinum-pro status through May.

  23. I was gifted MVP Gold on Alaska even though I only qualified for MVP. So it’s not only AA using the same approach.

  24. This is so frustrating! I was going to start a Platinum challenge in a few weeks since AS no longer credits AA flights. This could have saved me the challenge fees (and maybe even have got me Platinum Pro apparently)! Not a good way to start our relationship AA…. 🙁

  25. This is absurd! I made EXP for the last two years and just requalified for my 3rd. I qualified all three years by actually flying over 100K+ miles every year with just domestic travel. To achieve this status level, I traveled with AA nearly every week.

    I stuck with AA as the continued to strip away all of the benefits which made earning EXP special by reducing system wide upgrades from 8 to 4, increasing mileage requirements for award travel and adding a spend requirement. Now they are reducing the value of our loyalty even further by giving away EXP so cheaply.

    To add insult to injury they’re giving away 500 mile upgrades too. Those sure would come in handy for EXP companion upgrades which still require EXPs to pay for 500 mile upgrade stickers. Time to look for a status match somewhere else.

    Great job treating your most loyal customers so well AA! NOT!!!!

  26. someone please post the code they received… the rest of us would like to see what the response is!

    Honestly, this just pisses me off royally. My Gold status is already virtually worthless — I’ve never successfully used any of the upgrade coupons I’ve earned, and am regularly #20+ on the list. Now a bunch of people who haven’t flown AA at all in the last year will get complimentary upgrades ahead of me?! what’s the point of me even trying now, AA?

  27. Xtina, I heard some people calling the challenge department and getting a refund. You should try that if they extended you an offer.

    I’m an EXP for the first time this year and it does bother me alot. I flew AA and One World only for the entire year. Made three transpacific flights with them and this is how they decide to do things. Not cool

  28. I got targeted for free Platinum Pro status through May. I am a top Alaska status holder; thinking this is to draw me away from Alaska.

  29. Got the same offer as Kim above- Platinum through May (with 20 stickers) with the option to extend by hitting 12.5k miles and $2k EQD.

    I got a Citibusiness AA card (my first) last year, but haven’t set foot on AA metal since a last minute paid flight in December 2015. Never held status with them.

    If I have a revenue flight between now and May I will consider AA to blow some of those 500 mile upgrades, but there is no way I would re-qualify with even lower requirements. I don’t understand how their algorithm picked me and I can understand organic elites being mifffed.

  30. I was Plat who did not re-qualify for 2018, and did not receive any offers except in December – the offer to pay to re-qualify. My 18 year old son who has not flown AA in 2 years received free Plat Pro until May. Who are the fools running this program?

  31. My mother was offered platinum. She’s only ever flown AA on a redemption and has only ever earned miles through purchases AA (or back in the day US) miles.

    SG

  32. Delta Diamond here who did a Q4 AA promo for gold because hey, I had tons of MQMs and found myself in an AA market. After being targeted for gold I asked and they said that’s they best offer they had for me.

    Now I can’t help but wonder if AA would have offered me something better now. But as is, no new offer and this crappy gold status for the year.

    Guess I’m sticking with Delta.

  33. Got free plat + 20 stickers, retain if 12.5k eqm/2k eqd.

    Was aa exp (from that 2013-2014 LinkedIn status challenge that really got elites fired up), then gold x2 years, then dirt last year. Flew a few AA flights but credited to BA, got BA bronze status. Maybe they interface with one world elites database? Hopefully my eagle rating is now positive. More likely that they’re hemorrhaging elites due to EQD BS, lack of awards, and terrible food and service.

    Not sure why people are getting butt hurt though – obviously requalified so AA doesn’t need to entice you. Not to mention since dougie’s PMUS policy of BIS miles moved to AA, in the form of 12 month EQD, almost any legitimate elite would beat a temp elite.

    Finally, getting stickers is a joke- what good are them if you can’t use them? Good luck as a gld or plt. Even if they handed out SWUs, it would still be hard given lack of upgrade space.

  34. Just an FYI. I have 6 500 mile upgrades that I bought 2 years ago and I’ve never been able to use them so the upgrades are practically worthless. I was EP for a couple of years a while back and am now lifetime Gold – at least I get one free checked bag and priority boarding. Those upgrades are nothing.

  35. I can understand their new to attract new customer base however they should also take care of their current elites and not try to piss them off even more. AA also find new ideas to piss their current elites and drive them away. When they offer non elites such an offer, they need to come up with an offer to current elites that qualify the traditional way, to make them feel they are valued by the company. Poor strategy of the company that always look at 1 side of the picture.

  36. Very clear that aa is focused on gaining new customers rather than keeping what they have. Just got dumped from CK with 65K spend and 335K EQM…and they are handing out EXP like candy. I am dumping them completely for Delta.

  37. I’m a plat with 12k EQD last year. I think that level of spend makes me reasonably profitable for them. I’m not sure I cleared a single stickers upgrade last year though I did get a couple on <500 mile flights. So now there will be a bunch of people who didn’t focus their travel on AA with plat pro or exec plat with higher upgrade priority? I just booked my next flight on Southwest — hoping to get a companion pass this year. This only reinforces my lack of interest in continuing to pursue elite status with AA this year. Platinum just isn’t worth much and this kind of promo shows why! I may still requalify but not by working hard for it.

  38. I agree with those upset here that it’s bewildering to see AA giving out EXP status for such an easy run (relatively).

    BUT… with the new EQD system, why does it matter? I flew $20K+ EQD last year, so how is a $4K rolling EQD newly-minted EXP going to infringe on my EXP benefits? They mostly don’t.

  39. Very frustrating to even Gold level flyers who “earn” their status by being loyal customers. As at is, it’s already almost impossible to successfully use my upgrades (which I earned by actually flying) due to the huge number of people who have them, inflating that pool of people even more by giving out free upgrades is just insulting. This year I’ll be dropping from Plat to Gold; next year who knows.

  40. @AndrewMarshall said “The real perk to me was added “Plus, we’ll give you twenty 500-mile upgrades just for registering — no strings attached.””

    I have 178 500-mile upgrades in my account and have NEVER been able to use any of them. It’s the most useless “perk” I’ve ever seen. Let me know if you figure out a secret to use them.

    @Lucky: This may be a good article…. how to use AA’s 500-mile upgrade segments successfully.

  41. You guys complain about everything. There’s no way a new Exec Platinum under this offer will be in front of an organic Exec Platinum. And for those like Jennie who think going to Delta is better, guess what, Delta does the same challenges for its elite status.

  42. I earned Gold through flying in 2017, and I was about 500 EQMs away from Platinum during the last week of December (ouch!). They sent me an e-mail offering to give my Platinum status thru Jan 2019 for a price. They also said that while the purchase would not count towards my EQMs, but it WOULD count towards my “rolling EQDs” which, to my understanding, are only used when calculating upgrade priority. Oh, and it didn’t feature the 2X miles on my Citi PlatniumSelect card. Sad face all over the place. 🙁

  43. Sort of made sense to me. Since I retired I’ve been looking for the best price and schedule. I either use miles or buy domestic first or international business. Usually just below gold on AA but all paid tickets are premium cabin. If they could get me to buy more AA premium tickets by giving me more RDM that makes sense to me. They all want to sell more and upgrade less so I might fit their desired leisure traveler. Who knows but I’m Platinum Pro through the end of March. Maybe through Jan 2019 but not beyond.

  44. This initiative is telling. AA must be hemmoraeging Elite members due to their gutting of AAdvantage. Just days ago they extended same day change benefit to Platinum Pro which was an odd thing to do spontaneously. Now gifting elite – although I wasn’t one of them.

    What they must be worried about is not only do they lose air revenue, but also credit card spend to on their AAdvantage cards. I was EXP last year, and didn’t even try for Gold last year. I spent $30k on my AAdvantage credit card in 2016, and $5 in 2017 only to keep it alive. The banks are probably not happy.

  45. I was given Platinum Pro status through May 25th.
    I’ve only flown AA once in the last 2 years, but I did just complete my bonus with the AAviator card from Barclays, maybe that’s what triggered this.

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