In late 2020, it was announced that American AAdvantage Platinum Pro status would be upgraded to oneworld Emerald in 2021 — this policy change is now finally being implemented.
In this post:
Platinum Pro upgraded to oneworld Emerald
There’s some great news for AAdvantage Platinum Pro members — as of June 30, 2021, Platinum Pro will get you oneworld Emerald status, rather than the oneworld Sapphire status it currently offers.
This is only one of the positive changes to Platinum Pro for 2021, as these members now also receive an elite choice rewards selection, offering the choice of an additional benefit, ranging from a $200 travel credit, to a systemwide upgrade, to up to 25,000 bonus miles.
Platinum Pro is getting a oneworld status upgrade
What is AAdvantage Platinum Pro status?
Platinum Pro status was introduced back in 2017, and is intended to address the significant gap between Platinum status (which required 50,000 elite miles), and Executive Platinum status (which required 100,000 elite miles). At a typical qualification requirement of 75,000 elite miles, Platinum Pro status is right in the middle. Do keep in mind that for 2021, elite requirements have been lowered by around 20%, and on top of that there are promotions that make it easier to earn status.
What are the incremental perks of Platinum Pro over Platinum?
- Unlimited complimentary domestic upgrades (rather than needing 500 mile stickers)
- An 80% mileage bonus (rather than a 60% mileage bonus)
- oneworld Emerald status (rather than oneworld Sapphire status)
- Fast track security at airports
- Higher priority for everything, from upgrades to standby
Platinum Pro members get unlimited space available domestic upgrades
What is oneworld Emerald status?
American Airlines is in the oneworld alliance, and each elite tier in the AAdvantage program maps over to a certain elite tier in oneworld. I’ve written a detailed post about the perks of oneworld Emerald status, given that it’s my favorite alliance status.
What are the incremental perks of oneworld Emerald status over oneworld Sapphire status?
- Access to oneworld first class lounges (rather than access to oneworld business class lounges)
- Access to oneworld first class check-in (rather than access to oneworld business class check-in)
- Priority boarding, often with first class (rather than business class)
- An incremental baggage allowance
Without a doubt my favorite oneworld Emerald perk is access to incredible oneworld first class lounges, so this will be a real treat for Platinum Pro members (at least when these lounges reopen).
Access some amazing lounges with oneworld Emerald status
This policy change aligns with Alaska Mileage Plan
It seems pretty clear that this oneworld Emerald policy change is related to Alaska Airlines, which joined the oneworld alliance this spring. Alaska Mileage Plan’s elite tiers map over to oneworld status as follows:
- Alaska MVP is oneworld Ruby
- Alaska MVP Gold is oneworld Sapphire
- Alaska MVP Gold 75K is oneworld Emerald
It seems pretty clear that American is making this change to align with Alaska, given that the two airlines are working more closely together beyond their mutual oneworld membership. For example, Alaska and American have an awesome reciprocal upgrade program, which is continuing to be improved over time.
American Platinum Pro and Alaska MVP Gold 75K both ordinarily require 75,000 elite miles per year to earn status. With Alaska and American trying to create as much metal neutrality as possible, it makes sense for elite perks to also generally be aligned.
Alaska MVP Gold 75K offers oneworld Emerald status
As of June 30, 2021, American AAdvantage Platinum Pro will come with oneworld Emerald status, offering superior lounge access and other airport benefits. When you combine this with the new elite choice rewards selection, I’d say this is a very nice improvement for Platinum Pro members.
It’s great to see genuinely positive changes at AAdvantage, with (seemingly) nothing being taken away.
What do you make of this change to Platinum Pro status?
(Tip of the hat to View from the Wing)