American Platinum Pro Members Will Receive Free Same Day Flight Changes

Filed Under: American, American AAdvantage

As of this year American introduced a new elite tier, Platinum Pro. Prior to that American offered Platinum status at 50,000 elite qualifying miles and Executive Platinum status at 100,000 elite qualifying miles, so they wanted something in the middle. This matched what the old US Airways Dividend Miles program offered, as they only had four elite tiers.

The main things differentiating Platinum Pro from Platinum are the following:

  • Unlimited complimentary upgrades within 500-mile eligible regions (as opposed to Platinum members, who have to earn “stickers,” and redeem those for upgrades)
  • Higher upgrade priority than Platinum members
  • Nine miles per dollar spent, rather than the eight miles per dollar spent for Platinum members

Unlike Executive Platinum members, Platinum Pro members don’t receive four systemwide upgrades per year, don’t receive oneworld Emerald status, don’t receive free upgrades on award tickets, etc.

Well, it looks like American is quietly adding a new benefit for these members. As of February 1, 2018, American AAdvantage Platinum Pro members and companions in the same record will receive free same day confirmed flight changes, similar to Executive Platinum members. Otherwise there’s typically a $75 per person fee for this.

As with any same day flight change, this benefit is only available for the same origin and destination, the same calendar day of departure, and for travel between the 50 United States, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, Canada, and the Caribbean, as well as flights connecting at New York JFK and London Heathrow.

There needs to be availability in the “E” fare class in order to make a same day flight change, and as far as I’m concerned American has among the stricter policies in terms of the availability needed to make a change.

This seems like a nice way for American to improve the elite privileges for Platinum Pro members in a way that shouldn’t greatly impact others. Well done, American.

Are any of you Platinum Pro members, and if so, what has your experience been like since the tier was introduced?

  1. Some key component of the rules that make this benefit nearly worthless for me (for many too I am sure).

    To SDC the number of flight sectors can’t change and you must use the exact routing you originally booked.

    If AA somehow thinks they are offering a competitive SDC benefit then they are insane.

  2. I would imagine my case is not unique. aa alienated me enough that I did not feel compelled or missed much not renewing exec plat for the first time in 18 years (I was also concierge key 3 years in a row).

    This being the case, they might be attempting some damage control by throwing a bone (provided they will still honor soft falls, which at this point I frankly don’t feel confident and don’t care).

  3. As an exp – I probably used this 10 times in 2018 and find it to be a very usefull benefit when trying to get on an earlier flight.

  4. Considering how limited SDC seat inventory is, I find it extremely annoying that they’re extending this benefit to a larger group of people. It’s hard enough to come by as it is.

  5. Call me cynical if you must, I dont see this as a benefit but more of a marketing ploy on American’s part. Not needing stickers to upgrade in 500-mile-eligible regions sounds nice, until you factor in the fact that upgrades are harder and harder to get these days – and on some routes are almost non-existent. For me personally, the times I have done it I have found the SDC experience on American to be painful and in the end not worth the aggrivation.

  6. I fly UA. Use SDC regularly. Mostly when flying around the US. However, only this week, I used a SDC on an SFO-IAD-LHR rerouting to a direct (not dried fruit, thank you autocorrect) flight. The GPU cleared on the direct flight and I avoided risks of getting stuck in run up to the winter storm. A super useful perk.

  7. A little disappointed to compete with more elites for SDFC space, but it’s a valuable benefit and realistically, with the EQD requirements, I suspect there will be fewer EXP’s to start the year in the first place. So maybe it will be about a wash for EXP effects.

    It is high on my favorite benefit list.

  8. @Raj, I think you’ve hit the nail on the head.
    It is my guess that there are fewer EXP’s due to the gutting of the program, and higher thresholds to achieve (EQD’s).
    The timing of this announcement may not be co-incidental. I suspect AA ran the numbers, and now know how many will qualify for each level for 2018. Could it be that after combining EXP and Platinum Pro, that the number of members now eligible for SFDC are about the same as 2017? If so, this ‘enhancement’ will be of no cost to AA.
    It’s a good benefit for U.S.-based members that have stayed with AA, and didn’t quite achieve EXP.

  9. Delta allows free award cancels at 75k level. Until that is a feature on AA for Plat Pro
    the DL program is better for flying domestically as it is a better airline overall
    The DL skymiles are worthless, but free upgrades and free cancels make it much more useful for an actual road warrior

  10. General question: I’m a 3rd year AA Plat, but my current work setup makes it unlikely I’ll fall above (or below) Plat anytime soon.

    Do you think AA will eventually reduce Plat benefits with the intention of making Plat Pro more enticing? For instance, putting myself in the shoes of a Plat Pro (who flies a good deal more than me – I had just 62 segments and a $6.2k spend last year), it would be frustrating to not be able to board before Plats, to have the same OneWorld status and lounge access, etc.

    Interested to hear peoples’ thoughts on if/how they’ll further differentiate these two tiers in the future.

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