Reader Gary emailed me a couple of days ago to say he was invited to American’s Concierge Key status, and he asked what benefits it comes with. Many may know of Concierge Key status through “Up In The Air,” a movie several years back starring George Clooney, where he had the status.
What is Concierge Key status really? How do you earn it, and what benefits does it come with? The truth is that there’s little published information out there about it, but lots of data points. So this post is based on what I’ve heard and read.
What is American Concierge Key status?
On the most basic level, Concierge Key is American’s invitation only status level. There’s no published criteria to earn it, and it has to be renewed every year, so you can earn it one year and lose it the next.
Concierge Key status is completely separate from the rest of the AAdvantage program, so Concierge Key members are also Executive Platinum members. A Concierge Key Executive Platinum doesn’t necessarily beat a “regular” Executive Platinum on the upgrade list, though. I’ll get more into that below.
How do you earn American Concierge Key status?
The criteria to earn the status are unpublished, but generally there are a few ways to earn it.
One way is to spend a ton on American Airlines travel. We’re talking $50,000+ of spend per year. That’s not to say that spending $50,001 will get you Concierge Key status, but rather that if you spend less than that, don’t assume you have any chances of being invited. So in theory you can earn Concierge Key purely through your own travel.
We don’t fully know what American looks for in this regard, though. Do they care purely about the dollar amount you spend, the typical fare classes you fly in (consistently full fare first class, for example), or something else?
But you can also earn Concierge Key through the influence you have over others’ travel. Sometimes American will give Concierge Key nominations as part of a big corporate contract, or to key travel planners who have influence over a lot of others’ travel.
American is even known to comp Concierge Key to social “influences.” For example, a YouTuber who was comped Concierge Key made a video about how he was unhappy when American took it away from him.
For avoidance of doubt, I’ve never been offered Concierge Key status. 😉
What are the benefits of American Concierge Key status?
The benefits of Concierge Key status are pretty “soft.” In other words, you’re not getting guaranteed first class upgrades with every flight, unlimited award seats, and 1000% bonus miles on flights.
Per the FlyerTalk wiki about Concierge Key status, benefits of Concierge Key include the following:
- Executive Platinum status
- An Admirals Club membership
- Two additional systemwide upgrades
- Copays waived on international upgrades
- A dedicated phone number and email address with 24/7 support
- Flagship check-in
- Assistance during irregular operations
- Airport escorts and pre-boarding
American’s Flagship check-in at JFK, which Concierge Key members have access to
Those last two are probably very much a case of “your mileage may vary.” On a good day, Concierge Key will get you proactive rebookings when flights are canceled and delayed. American even has some Cadillacs with which they provide tarmac transfers, so during a short connection you may be picked up planeside and driven to your connecting flight.
At the same time, there are also instances where you’ll likely be disappointed, because they’re not always going to deliver 100% of the time.
Concierge Key members receive extra systemwide upgrades
Concierge Key status bottom line
Concierge Key status won’t be life changing, and probably isn’t as widely recognized as United’s invitation only status, Global Services. So day to day, don’t expect this status to be life altering.
At the same time, Executive Platinum status, two extra systemwide upgrades, an Admirals Club membership, and all around better treatment when things go wrong, is nice.
If you’ve a Concierge Key member, what has been your experience with the status?