American Airlines has just sent out a round of targeted status challenge offers. American seems to send these out a couple of times per year.
We’ll never know exactly what targeting techniques they use, though I imagine:
- In some cases they’re probably going after former elite members who now fly American less
- In other cases they’re probably going after non-elite members who have purchased full fare tickets on American in the past
American’s latest targeted status challenge
These offers are typically fairly widely targeted, and this one seems to be no exception. If you want to see if you were targeted, check your email for something from American with the subject line “Free Platinum status for you” or “Free Gold status for you.”
You can also follow this link to see if you were targeted, though if you didn’t get the email it’s unlikely you’ll be able to register.
With this offer, you:
- Need to register by January 25, 2019
- Receive complimentary status through May 15, 2019
- If you were targeted for the Gold challenge you receive 10 free 500 mile upgrades, if you were targeted for the Platinum challenge you receive 20 free 500 mile upgrades (these don’t expire)
Then to earn the status through January 31, 2020, you need to earn a certain number of elite qualifying miles and elite qualifying dollars. There seem to be three versions of the offer for Gold, Platinum, and Platinum Pro.
For the Gold version of the offer you can earn Gold with 7,000 elite qualifying miles and 850 elite qualifying dollars.
Then with the Platinum version of the offer you can either earn Platinum with 12,500 elite qualifying miles and 1,500 elite qualifying dollars, or Platinum Pro with 20,000 elite qualifying miles and 2,400 elite qualifying dollars.
Then for the Platinum Pro version of the offer you can earn Platinum Pro with 20,000 elite qualifying miles and 2,400 elite qualifying dollars.
In order to qualify for the offer you need to register before flying (though it’s fine if your ticket was previously booked). Furthermore, eligible flights only include those operated by American Airlines or marketed by American Airlines for travel on British Airways, Finnair, Iberia, and Japan Airlines.
Why I’m conflicted about these challenges
I find the logic of these challenges to be interesting. Anecdotally it sure seems to me like the number of offers they’ve sent out the past couple of years has increased, which is interesting, because it’s at the same time that they’ve increased elite requirements.
I get the concept of trying to target new customers in order to create loyalty, and sometimes it works. There are some reports of people who haven’t flown American in years receiving this offer, which does make me wonder, though.
But what I question most about this is the logic of increasing elite requirements and alienating existing customers while also giving huge shortcuts to status with these challenges.
Were you targeted for one of these American status challenge offers, and if so, do you plan on taking advantage of it? What do you make of American’s frequent targeted status challenges?