My American Airlines Executive Platinum Conundrum

My American Airlines Executive Platinum Conundrum

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I’m sure I’m not the only one in this situation, so I figured it would be useful to start a conversation around this, and see how others are feeling about requalifying for status.

How to earn American AAdvantage status in 2021

I’m an American AAdvantage Executive Platinum member, given that I (usually) live in Miami, and the airline is by far the biggest there. Obviously travel has been way down for many people during the pandemic, so airlines have adjusted elite requirements accordingly, and in many cases have even extended elite status.

So far American AAdvantage has done the following to make it easier for people to earn status:

Especially with that last promotion, American has no doubt made it pretty easy to requalify for status. However, American hasn’t gone quite as far as Delta has, as SkyMiles has extended all Medallion status by a further year.

Personally I wouldn’t count on American similarly outright extending status, at least not this far in advance, or so publicly. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the airline quietly extend status at the very end of the year for those who didn’t requalify, but even that’s not a sure bet. Anyway, that’s all just speculation on my part.

American AAdvantage has several promotions for earning status

I’m trying to decide on the best strategy

For some context, here’s where I’m currently at on requalifying for AAdvantage Executive Platinum status (this includes the 3,000 “free” EQDs I was given with the June promotion):

I have a trip coming up shortly that will earn me 9,000 EQMs and around 800 EQDs, and that’s the only absolutely certain travel I’ll have. That would put me at around 8,000 EQDs and 44,000 EQMs, given or take.

But beyond that I’m not sure. It’s possible I’ll easily fly quite a bit more this year, and it’s possible I won’t. I really don’t know, for a variety of reasons.

So, what’s my strategy? At an absolute minimum I plan to earn 2,000 EQDs in the last four months of the year, which would allow me to maintain my status. I already have 800 EQDs planned, so that’s only 1,200 more EQDs.

But I keep going back and forth on whether I should make an effort to requalify for Executive Platinum “the hard way,” by earning 80,000 EQMs and 12,000 EQDs. Why? Because I’d then qualify for all AAdvantage elite choice rewards, rather than just having status extended without those perks.

While there several options for elite choice rewards, on the most basic level I could select 85,000 bonus AAdvantage miles. At a valuation of 1.5 cents per point, that’s like $1,275 worth of miles right there. Beyond that, there are other benefits to requalifying the hard way — upgrades are prioritized based on your rolling 12-month EQD total, so the more you spend, the better your upgrade odds are (yes, I realize this is total “the more you spend, the more you save” vibes).

So I think my plan as of now is as follows:

  • I’ll definitely earn 2,000 EQDs between September 1 and December 31, 2021, so that I’m assured Executive Platinum for another year; hopefully I reach this naturally, but if I have to do a last minute mileage run to maintain status, I guess I will
  • Depending on how my travel evolves over the coming months, I might almost be within a range where doing a mileage run to qualify the “hard way” could make sense, since 85,000 AAdvantage miles are at stake, and that has some real value
There are some awesome ways I could redeem 85,000 AAdvantage miles

Bottom line

American Airlines hasn’t gone so far as to extend all status by a year, but the AAdvantage program has launched several promotions to help members requalify. There are several pathways to requalifying for status, and I imagine I’m not alone in not knowing which method to take.

Currently I think my plan is to requalify by earning 2,000 EQDs in the last four months of 2021. In the event that I do have a fair amount of travel on American in the last four months of the year, then I’ll make an effort to requalify the hard way, so that I can earn elite choice rewards (at a minimum that would get me 85,000 bonus AAdvantage miles).

To fellow AAdvantage elite members, what’s your strategy for requalifying, if any?

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  1. steph

    It’s hard for executive platinum members overseas to regain. I’m in Singapore and was able maintain Executive Platinum mostly through flying oneworld partners throughout the region with the occasional trip home to the US on AA. Since Singapore has effectively been shut off from the world since March 2020, I haven’t flown any airline since then. And even with moderate opening up in the next few months, will probably have to fly SQ. So, no...

    It’s hard for executive platinum members overseas to regain. I’m in Singapore and was able maintain Executive Platinum mostly through flying oneworld partners throughout the region with the occasional trip home to the US on AA. Since Singapore has effectively been shut off from the world since March 2020, I haven’t flown any airline since then. And even with moderate opening up in the next few months, will probably have to fly SQ. So, no hope to re-qualify for me which is a pity because exec platinum and oneworld emerald are so valuable when travelling. Will have to start from scratch, hopefully in 2022.

  2. David McKendry

    The company should extend status by another year. If you live in DFW you really have few choices other than Southwest for flights. My position requires close to weekly air travel to the southeast and central US. Like most other employers they have cut way back. Other comments are probably correct. We will have to learn to live with Covid, much like the flu. It will take another year or longer for that to happen...

    The company should extend status by another year. If you live in DFW you really have few choices other than Southwest for flights. My position requires close to weekly air travel to the southeast and central US. Like most other employers they have cut way back. Other comments are probably correct. We will have to learn to live with Covid, much like the flu. It will take another year or longer for that to happen though. In the meantime, it's time for the airline to show the same loyalties to us that are literally required from most Texans and those near other major hubs ie....extend status.

  3. Robert L Jamerson

    I'm currently a platinum member due to some quirky promotional program earlier this year. This status ends Jan 31st, 2022, not happy about it. But I am currently a few miles and dollars short of gaining platinum status normally. That will be done by end of October. So hopefully I won't have to do anything else crazy to go keep it past my current date.

  4. Jay

    Why get the Aviator Biz card and spend $25k? Sounds like the $3,000 EQD would put you over $12k EQD. That at least solves the spend requirement.

    I'm in a similar but slightly better situation sitting on $9800 EQD's, 60k EQM's and 20 segments. I already received both the free $3K EQD's and the Aviator Biz $3k EQD's. Much of my other spend and EQM''s rolled over from November 2020 on the Qatar "book...

    Why get the Aviator Biz card and spend $25k? Sounds like the $3,000 EQD would put you over $12k EQD. That at least solves the spend requirement.

    I'm in a similar but slightly better situation sitting on $9800 EQD's, 60k EQM's and 20 segments. I already received both the free $3K EQD's and the Aviator Biz $3k EQD's. Much of my other spend and EQM''s rolled over from November 2020 on the Qatar "book with confidence" promotion (LAX-DOH-ZNZ RT for $1600).

    I grabbed a BA SFO-LHR J deal for September ($1300 RT after AARP) and that will put me over for EXP. I can't say they'll ever be another year that I fly a single OW long haul flight and make Executive Platinum.

  5. Eskimo

    I would assume your 2021 income didn't affect significantly, as you still have lots of loyal readers. Plus many card signup bonus is at all time high this year.
    Your expense however, likely dropped significantly. So depending on how you do your tax planning. You should still make more trips for more tax deductions. (bet you didn't consider this didn't you)

  6. Frank

    Does anyone know if using AA Flight Credits from previously cancelled flights due to Covid will qualify as EQD spend for the 2k EQD status retention offer?

  7. Rob in Miami

    It's now all about EQDs. I will meet EQMs but difficult to meet the $ amount due to fact their luxe 777 premium economy is only $98 per flight.
    Also, for a note, I have been EXP for about 6 years now ONLY twice has someone acknowledged that with a note or an introduction.
    Still, at MIA, it is the only option.

  8. Eldred Ellis

    I knew I wouldn't have that much travel to years end, so I took the advantage of spending 15k on my new Breitling with my AA Citi Card.

  9. Reno Joe

    Here's the math:

    - EQM-efficient flights earn roughly 8 to 10 EQMs per dollars. Super-EQM-efficient flights earn as high at 15 EQMs per dollar of fare.
    - You need 46,000 EQMs to maintain EP status.
    - At best, you would likely spend about $3,000 to do so.
    - More realistically, you would spend between $4,000 to $6,000 to get there.

    MIA to LAX to HNL in "I" will cost about $2,000 and...

    Here's the math:

    - EQM-efficient flights earn roughly 8 to 10 EQMs per dollars. Super-EQM-efficient flights earn as high at 15 EQMs per dollar of fare.
    - You need 46,000 EQMs to maintain EP status.
    - At best, you would likely spend about $3,000 to do so.
    - More realistically, you would spend between $4,000 to $6,000 to get there.

    MIA to LAX to HNL in "I" will cost about $2,000 and will earn about 19,300 EQMs. (The point here is that one can have a very good EQM earn rate even with higher cabins.)

    ==========

    For planning purposes in 2022 and after, to retain EP:

    - You need 100,000 EQMs
    - You need 15,000 EQDs

    So, let's say a person's airfare budget is exactly that $15,000 per year. One needs to find fares that earn at least (say) 7 EQMs per dollar. It really is that simple. There is no reason why a person who intends to spend $15,000 per year can't earn EP. The key is "intends to spend." (AA had a promotion to buy EQMs (which ended August 31st). An EP could buy 10,000 EQMs for $450.)

    The same math can be applied to smaller budgets to ensure one achieves some other tier level.

    ==========

    Here's an alternative thought for everyone.

    What is it that tier status gives a person?

    - Higher award points earning rate
    - Priority check-in
    - Free checked bags
    - Priority security
    - Upgrade potential
    - Lounge access when traveling internationally

    Putting the awards point issue to the side, a person who purchases a domestic first class ticket or an international business / first class ticket get all of these benefits. (The ticket itself takes the upgrade issue off the table. And, as a practical matter, CKs and EPs are the only members to likely receive upgrades.)

    Rather than cram as many trips as possible into your budget, take fewer but more enjoyable trips with that same dollar target. (Somewhere around 50 years old, one's body begins to object to long-haul flights in main cabin.) And, for Admirals Club access, get the Citi AA Executive Mastercard.

    Best of luck to everyone.

  10. DCS

    This "conundrum" makes UA's offer to requalify one's elite status seem like a pot of gold!

    As one who was 1K in July 2021, I just need to earn 3K PQP by November 30 to requal for 1K until Feb. 2023, thanks to UA's "Fly to the Finish" promo. After my JFKSFO trip a couple of weekends ago, I was already more than 50% of the way there. Then next week, I am flying...

    This "conundrum" makes UA's offer to requalify one's elite status seem like a pot of gold!

    As one who was 1K in July 2021, I just need to earn 3K PQP by November 30 to requal for 1K until Feb. 2023, thanks to UA's "Fly to the Finish" promo. After my JFKSFO trip a couple of weekends ago, I was already more than 50% of the way there. Then next week, I am flying out to HNL on a biz ticket that will easily put me over the 3K PQP threshold to requal for 1K. No only that, I was selected for UA's Mile Play offer, whereby anyone who flies on two tickets costing more than $1K each by the end of September would earn 62,000 redeemable miles. My JFKSFO trip did qualify for 'Mile Play' offer, and so will my HNL trip next week. This means that not only will I easily requality for 1K, I will also earn, on top of the regular redeemable miles for flying JFKSFO and JFKLAXHNL on tickets that cost more than $1K each, 62,000 redeemable miles for completing the Mile Play challenge, which I assume was a targeted offer.

    Just like that, I will requalify for 1K while also earning tons of redeemable miles along the way, which squarely challenges the silly claims about how UA MileagePlus is a subpar FF program, and UA is a subpar airline!!!

  11. Randy

    Say you will get EXP by meeting carry over requirement but actually qualify for Plat Pro. Then I assume you would get the Plat Pro Elite choice along with EXP.

  12. Brad

    Honestly, for me, the conundrum is whether to fly American at all, anymore.

  13. C Brown

    Just buy FC and forget this Elite Drama.

  14. AA Luxury Liner

    Every day AA doesn’t extend I am more and more likely to jump ship to Delta. No reason to settle for an inferior premium product anymore!

  15. Randy

    I am Plat Pro - but still earned it in 2020 by revised rules - having earned it by end of Feb 2020. I am sorry I did not spend the extra amount in 2019 which would have had me at EXP for 2020. and 2022 as well.

    I have similar to you: $7.1K EQM and 54K EQM. (I only got the $1.5 EQD bonus as Plat Pro). I have enough travel booked to get...

    I am Plat Pro - but still earned it in 2020 by revised rules - having earned it by end of Feb 2020. I am sorry I did not spend the extra amount in 2019 which would have had me at EXP for 2020. and 2022 as well.

    I have similar to you: $7.1K EQM and 54K EQM. (I only got the $1.5 EQD bonus as Plat Pro). I have enough travel booked to get to 80K EQM, but I am sort $3K spend to get to $12K.

    I have already spend the CC $15K and will exceed the $2K EQM - so I get Plat Pro multiple ways - but still earning which is best.

    So my issue - should I spend the extra $3K for EXP?

    In your case you are rolling over from EXP 2 years ago. My view - not sure it is worth the spend for the select bonuses.

  16. D3kingg

    Ben is way ahead of the pack even at this point. With only four months from 2022 and Covid still unresolved. Reduced 2022 airline and hotel status requirements are imminent.

  17. Zach

    Ben - did you buy the 10,000 EQMs for $495 that AA was offering EXPs? Offer expires tonight, and the $495 counts as EQDs. May help you get there the hard way, but won’t help with the $2000 EQD route, which begins tomorrow. Also, new intro offer on the Citi AA world elite card comes with 10,000 EQMs, but I think you already have that card.

  18. Laura Byrd

    I couldn’t even get through the article. I am currently executive platinum with American due to a status match offer. My client booked me on AA and because of my Diamond status on Delta, American offered me a status challenge. I flew four legs recently and was upgraded to first on three of the four. All good. What struck me was the experience of the airline overall, from checking a bag (which I rarely do),...

    I couldn’t even get through the article. I am currently executive platinum with American due to a status match offer. My client booked me on AA and because of my Diamond status on Delta, American offered me a status challenge. I flew four legs recently and was upgraded to first on three of the four. All good. What struck me was the experience of the airline overall, from checking a bag (which I rarely do), to boarding, and connecting. From Dallas to Nashville, I walked down the jetway only to encounter a highly agitated flight attendant who immediately threw out her arm and exclaimed they were not ready for us. After five minutes of banging and slamming aboard the aircraft, she let first class board. No smile, no greeting, and clearly angry at her co-workers. On the return flight, connecting from Phoenix to San Diego, we were delayed three times for a 30 minute flight. The first explanation was a small mechanical problem. The second explanation was a flight attendant had gone missing and they were trying to track her down, because they couldn’t for the aircraft without the entire flight crew present. The third excuse was just they had a flight attendant landing on another flight at the airport it was coming to our gate but the flight had not arrived yet. We could have rented cars and gotten there more quickly. Now, I’m not saying that every flight I’ve ever taken on Delta was perfect. And every airline is going to have issues at some point in time. But what I experienced on this one trip with American was exactly the same type of experience I had 10 years ago when I vowed to never fly them again. Somewhere at the top, there is a flawed culture at American Airlines. Too often, it is clear the flight crew and the ground crews don’t enjoy their jobs. Trickle down effect from the top is that the consumer always experiences this. I can understand why American has more disruptive incidences with passengers. So my executive platinum status is not something I’m going to continue to pursue or retain. Somebody in their training camp needs to read the DELTA playbook.

  19. Mark

    I don't understand your strategy to retain your Exec. Platinum status. You only mention earning sufficient EQD's but that alone won't keep your status. You also need to post enough EQM's (or the high number of required segments). Am I missing something here?

    On my end, I intend to retain my status by spending the $15K minimum on my Aadvantage branded cards before the November 15 deadline. That won't earn me the elite choice awards...

    I don't understand your strategy to retain your Exec. Platinum status. You only mention earning sufficient EQD's but that alone won't keep your status. You also need to post enough EQM's (or the high number of required segments). Am I missing something here?

    On my end, I intend to retain my status by spending the $15K minimum on my Aadvantage branded cards before the November 15 deadline. That won't earn me the elite choice awards but I'd keep my Executive Platinum status. I have a trip to Europe on the books in October and one to the east coast later this fall which would also put me over the top for qualifying the hard way, but with COVID restrictions rearing their ugly head in the EU and the ebb and flow of the surge, I am not 100% sure that I will be able to complete either of those trips. There may be another opportunity to do a "mileage" trip before year end, but COVID will affect that option as well.

    Certainly difficult times!! I love to travel and am really frustrated by the ongoing and seemingly never ending challenges to travel forced on us by COVID.

  20. treyflipper

    Due to the uncertainty of COVID, requalifying for Executive Platinum using the $2000 EQD in Q4 method is the best choice. Who knows what travel and routes and lounges and countries will be open in 2022? Who knows what the level of service will be reduced to even in First/Business due to the pandemic? It is safest to be conservative now. Once the quality of travel picks up, then at that time fly the extra...

    Due to the uncertainty of COVID, requalifying for Executive Platinum using the $2000 EQD in Q4 method is the best choice. Who knows what travel and routes and lounges and countries will be open in 2022? Who knows what the level of service will be reduced to even in First/Business due to the pandemic? It is safest to be conservative now. Once the quality of travel picks up, then at that time fly the extra miles and spend the extra dollars to qualify for EXP the 'hard' way. For a boost of 16,700 EQMs, consider MIA-DFW-FAI 10/1-10/3 in business for $664 https://www.google.com/travel/flights/s/h6wF

  21. Michael

    I am a long time USAir and AA flyer, on layover now even.

    I had the Barclays card and they let me down over and over. Even after notifying them of international travel they were the card to leave me hanging with a decline and no answer on the phone. Their website was ancient, and always found a way to give me a fee.

    They also annoy the heck out of everyone with their in flight pitches.

    1. D3kingg

      @Michael

      Yes they annoy you with inflight credit card pitches. “Ladies and gentleman we are about 45 minutes out of Houston and we have a special credit card offer for you “
      ***** You aren’t the captain don’t reference as to where we are. My favorite was the FA attempting to hand out applications on the jet bridge while disembarking from a 5AM flight.

  22. Alex

    I feel your pain being a former EXP myself. Those system wide upgrades alone were worth the mileage runs to keep EXP status. I used those on some long haul flights to/from Brasil when I worked down there.

    If I were you I'd continue to try and get EXP status. Delta is a different company with a different mindset and a better product. Though only recently added to my companies preferred travel provider whereas...

    I feel your pain being a former EXP myself. Those system wide upgrades alone were worth the mileage runs to keep EXP status. I used those on some long haul flights to/from Brasil when I worked down there.

    If I were you I'd continue to try and get EXP status. Delta is a different company with a different mindset and a better product. Though only recently added to my companies preferred travel provider whereas AA used to be the only option.

    As for the Premium cabin comment for long haul flights that is definitely *not* the case. My company will not pay for anything over Economy. Not even Economy Plus. So when I have to go long haul to Asia, S America or EMEA it is on me to figure out how to upgrade and it ain't cheap or possible most times. So the perks of having EXP is worth its weight in gold. Especially the SWUs.

    And the company issues us a corporate card we are supposed to use for all business travel. So even having the AA branded cards doesn't help as much.

    I'm now lifetime Platinum which, ironically, my very last fling leg Feb 7, 2020 got me over the 2mil miles mark. Then the lockdown happened and I have not been on a plane since which is unheard of. So I'm lucky I still have some status even though I probably won't make EXP for a long time if things don't start improving soon.

    But, having lifetime now on AA I'm wondering if I should start to get status on Delta? I flew them 2019 r/t IND-CDG and was pretty impressed with both the plane and the service. Their points never expire. But I'm not sure that even when covid is over that it will be back to BAU. I'm certainly not inclined to be indoors with people I do not know and I'm sure they won't want an American in their building either. And with some people permanently working from home there would be little point in me going to them. So it would probably take me a lot longer to get status at Delta than it did on AA. And I've been with AAdvantage since 1990. I don't have that kind of time left to make lifetime on Delta.

  23. Mark

    I am with you. AA has made it easy enough to requalify if you are flying somewhat, which I have been and plan to do. In fact, I am flying more than required, so have done a little on delta, though not sure I will even get Silver. I work in PIT and live in FLL so AA is the best as I do that route a lot (though out of MIA) and my second...

    I am with you. AA has made it easy enough to requalify if you are flying somewhat, which I have been and plan to do. In fact, I am flying more than required, so have done a little on delta, though not sure I will even get Silver. I work in PIT and live in FLL so AA is the best as I do that route a lot (though out of MIA) and my second busiest route is PIT to NYC and AA is by far and the best on this route, since PIT is a maintenance facility and they rarely will cancel the flights into PIT.

  24. MR

    I requalified for Platinum Pro (with the reduced thresholds) by March. Then did no flying. AA extended and I got no benefit from that.

    Living in the UK means I am banned from travelling to the US and am unlikely to requalify. Living in the UK means I get no benefit from the credit card offers.

    There may not be many of us, but AA is about to lose all its European elites that have travelled them for years.

  25. Jerry

    I'm amazed you only have 19 segments on AA since Oct '20. As for requalifying, I'd say go for it. AA miles are more valuable than ever these days. Mexico, Central America, and Caribbean price almost consistently at 10K each way. Surely you can find a good J fare to Europe on BA to help you over the hump.

  26. Alex_77W

    I am at 8.5K EQD and 68K EQD and should be OK to requalify naturally by flying. I do not have AA credits cards as I do not see value to accumulate even more AA miles.
    Instead of a mileage run, I would simply take a nice trip and use AA or OneWorld to credit

  27. Kim

    You need to utilize AA credit cards wisely all year. Put everything you can on the card(s) (that you can pay off, of course). Barclays Aviator Silver gives you 10,000 EQM for spending $40,000 (5,000 for each $20,000). Plus, go to $50,000 and get 3,000 EQD. Plus, pay for ALL of your AA tickets and get 3x in Advantage Miles. Great deals. Also, Citibank’s AA EWE card gives you 10,000 EQM for spending $50,000 and...

    You need to utilize AA credit cards wisely all year. Put everything you can on the card(s) (that you can pay off, of course). Barclays Aviator Silver gives you 10,000 EQM for spending $40,000 (5,000 for each $20,000). Plus, go to $50,000 and get 3,000 EQD. Plus, pay for ALL of your AA tickets and get 3x in Advantage Miles. Great deals. Also, Citibank’s AA EWE card gives you 10,000 EQM for spending $50,000 and free access to the Admirals Club for you and any card holder on you account. You do not have to be with them. Yes, it’s a $450 yearly fee (not cheap), but if you buy your Admirals membership it’s $650 (or last I checked). I have everything billed to my cards: property tax, federal tax, ALL bills that will allow it. Funneling money out of your checking/current account to pay bills does not normally give you any benefits. Be reasonable.

    1. OCTinPHL

      He doesn’t like the Barclay’s card… never shows it any love. Probably because he doesn’t get any $ for hawking it…. ;)

  28. cpdc1030

    I'm going to make a sizable tax payment in October on my Citi Aadvantage to get up to the $15k spend. Seems like a pretty reasonable and low-cost way to retain status when my only flight on AA this year was using miles for LAX-LHR back in June...

  29. Terence

    Also keep in mind that after 30yr of EP (and loads of praises), you may get invited to SKYVIEW ;)

  30. GB

    I’m stuck in Hong Kong which has crazy quarantines so I’m unable to travel… urgh… hoping American will renew my executive plat status

    1. TranceXplant

      Ha! My girlfriend just got out of quarantine on Sunday after spending much of the pandemic here in the States. In turn, I'm more or less in the inverse position: the vast majority of my usual travel is to Hong Kong, so I won't requalify for EXP unless I make a bunch of ridiculous mile runs. Hopefully, there's some movement in the direction of matching Delta.

  31. fatty380

    Airlines love people like you… coming up with silly justifications to keep yourself on hamster wheel.

    It’s far liberating to be free agent and fly premium fare that WORK for you. I used to be addicted to airline status, etc then I realize I could live without it.

    1. Ivan X

      I've thought about that, but my question is: if you need to speak to someone at the airline about your ticket, how do you actually do that if you don't have status? Calling the standard phone numbers at any of the major airlines was a multi-hour disaster even before the pandemic, and it's far worse now. And, at least speaking for UA, my experience has been that Premier Desk agents will generally (not universally, of...

      I've thought about that, but my question is: if you need to speak to someone at the airline about your ticket, how do you actually do that if you don't have status? Calling the standard phone numbers at any of the major airlines was a multi-hour disaster even before the pandemic, and it's far worse now. And, at least speaking for UA, my experience has been that Premier Desk agents will generally (not universally, of course, but generally) be willing to go the extra mile on my behalf in a situation I need help with. I think having even entry-level status is worth it just for the elite phone number.

    2. Miamiorbust

      Agree but not really. Being a free agent works in NYC, BOS, LA, ORD, Bay area (sort of), SEA (sort of) and probably one or two other cities I’m missing where there are multiple airlines flying most routes. For most people choosing the best schedule is going to heavily overlap with one airline so status is a reasonable consideration. Having said that, I still largely agree that even then status is not everything. These programs...

      Agree but not really. Being a free agent works in NYC, BOS, LA, ORD, Bay area (sort of), SEA (sort of) and probably one or two other cities I’m missing where there are multiple airlines flying most routes. For most people choosing the best schedule is going to heavily overlap with one airline so status is a reasonable consideration. Having said that, I still largely agree that even then status is not everything. These programs are really geared for business travelers and there are still plenty out there. Anything under 4 hours and many companies put restrictions on booking first. Getting upgraded makes the trip much easier. When the ticket is expensed either way, status makes a ton of sense.

    3. fatty380

      Yeah. If people travel tons for work, etc then probably okay to get status but people who fly leisure and come up with silly logic thinking to justify those mileage runs to keep their status. It stick with me when my friend called me out, “you are basically throwing your money at airline for stupid reasons”. After hearing that and Covid pandemic allowed me to have deep thoughts about airlines. Now I just pay little...

      Yeah. If people travel tons for work, etc then probably okay to get status but people who fly leisure and come up with silly logic thinking to justify those mileage runs to keep their status. It stick with me when my friend called me out, “you are basically throwing your money at airline for stupid reasons”. After hearing that and Covid pandemic allowed me to have deep thoughts about airlines. Now I just pay little more to be in front and going places where I want to go. If IRROPS strike, then tough lucks and try to make best out of it.

    4. Donna

      I agree to a point that free agency makes sense for premium cabin travelers. I maintain high status with AA for the reasons that Ivan X cites, in a crunch, access and solutions are easier with high status. I also fly DL internationally when it makes sense. In normal, non-COVID times, I can have flexibility. Under the current conditions, I’m pretty much booking everything with AA because my travel is only about 60% over what...

      I agree to a point that free agency makes sense for premium cabin travelers. I maintain high status with AA for the reasons that Ivan X cites, in a crunch, access and solutions are easier with high status. I also fly DL internationally when it makes sense. In normal, non-COVID times, I can have flexibility. Under the current conditions, I’m pretty much booking everything with AA because my travel is only about 60% over what it was in 2019 and there have been many delays, disruptions and cancellations requiring rebooking and rerouting. Hopefully in 2022 air travel will return to the normal craziness of 2019 that we all miss.

  32. D3kingg

    Get your mileage runs out of the way this fall. Don’t wait until the holidays when fares are already increasing. There should be cheap fares out of MIA or FLL.

    I clinched Platinum Pro this year for the first time and am fine with that . One year at a time.

  33. Mark

    I'm in a similar boat with Alaska albeit their program is so much less confusing. I'll be at about 36K miles needing 40K for gold. I'm not a fan of mileage runs (as someone points out below, spending $1000 to get status just doesn't make sense to me). I am surprised Alaska hasn't answered Delta regarding status given the strong Seattle rivalry.

  34. Adi

    I have the exact same issue. I think I will end up being about 10k EQMs short of requalifying the organic way, but will definitely be earning 2k EQDs in the next few weeks. I'll just take advantage of the promotion and if I am able to fly a bit extra here or there to get to 80k EQMs I will, but won't stress about it. I am not even sure that travel will be...

    I have the exact same issue. I think I will end up being about 10k EQMs short of requalifying the organic way, but will definitely be earning 2k EQDs in the next few weeks. I'll just take advantage of the promotion and if I am able to fly a bit extra here or there to get to 80k EQMs I will, but won't stress about it. I am not even sure that travel will be all that much more open or accessible in 2022 compared to 2021, so I may end up struggling to use systemwide upgrades that I may earn anyway.

  35. Greg

    You always buy premium cabin anyways for any longer flight so why does this even matter

  36. Clem

    Sorry if I'm missing something, as I'm not super super familiar with AA (I avoid them as much as I can). You already have 800 EQDs lined up for sure so really what matters is the remaining 1200. You're valuing the 85k points at $1275. So you're planning to spend $1200 to get $1275 in return :) ?
    With the current situation I really wouldn't be surprised to see status extended again, so personally...

    Sorry if I'm missing something, as I'm not super super familiar with AA (I avoid them as much as I can). You already have 800 EQDs lined up for sure so really what matters is the remaining 1200. You're valuing the 85k points at $1275. So you're planning to spend $1200 to get $1275 in return :) ?
    With the current situation I really wouldn't be surprised to see status extended again, so personally I'd gamble on that instead of having to suffer through an AA mileage run. Worst case scenario, you'll be a few months or at most a year without top status with them - which could be nice for your readers so we know what to expect with a lowly AA status :) .

    1. OCTinPHL

      Actually, if I understand Ben correctly, he needs $4k in EQDs to get EXP the “hard way”, and to get the 85k miles. He needs only an additional $2k EQDs (of which he already has booked $800) to get the one year extension of EXP which is without the elite benefits - I.e. the 85k, or ~$1275. So in reality it is even “worse” than what you point out - depending on your definition of worse. :)

  37. Mike Saint

    I'm in the same spot as you Lucky. I already have about $8,000 spent. (Normally I don't spend ANYTHING on the Barclay's AA card but I have been to get to $15,000 but I hate to put more on this card if they will end up extending anyway. I think to be safe I'll just spend the extra $7,000 before November to lock in AA Executive Platinum until 2023.

  38. doublejade

    They should just extend everyone's status for one more year like what Delta did. There is still a pandemic going on and we probably won't be able to see the trend down to the safe level till Oct. And then again we are heading into winter season who knows what's gonna happen. I already cancelled a trip in labor day and am going to drive instead. No way I can reach any of those levels. I would just have to spend 15K on my Barclay card.

  39. Russ

    I ended up using the summer promo to earn 10k EQMs to help bring me to 65k EQM/9.5k EQD. I will also keep the $2k EQD as a backup but I'll probably have to work a bit more to hit the 2.5k EQD spend I need than the 14-15k EQM.

    I do think it is a tricky move though for all the business-only travelers or those unwilling to travel during these times.

  40. Jack

    I'm in a pretty similar spot... sitting at 7.5k EQDs and 50k EQMs. I'll definitely spend 2k more by the end of the year to requalify, but when I think about needing to spend another 4.5k for SWUs I don't know if its worth it. But then if I spend the 2k anyways it becomes only 2.5k of extra spend, and that seems a bit more reasonable...

  41. Joe1293

    Why…
    There’s a pandemic going on

    1. Never In Doubt

      Memo to Joe1293,

      COVID is never going away. It will become endemic like the flu and colds.

      If you’re waiting “for COVID to end” to change your behavior, you’ll never change.

    2. Chris

      Sadly, I think you are right. Chuck Todd tried to raise this with Fauci on Meet the Press on Sunday and Fauci dodged the question. This will be endemic. Something like 60,000 people in this country die of influenza every year but we don't have mask mandates and travel restrictions every winter. I think the best we are going to be able to do is maximize vaccinations, get the shot approved for children, have boosters...

      Sadly, I think you are right. Chuck Todd tried to raise this with Fauci on Meet the Press on Sunday and Fauci dodged the question. This will be endemic. Something like 60,000 people in this country die of influenza every year but we don't have mask mandates and travel restrictions every winter. I think the best we are going to be able to do is maximize vaccinations, get the shot approved for children, have boosters available, and let those who wish to be foolish risk their lives in some sick sense of "freedom." Vaccination mandates, too.

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OCTinPHL

Actually, if I understand Ben correctly, he needs $4k in EQDs to get EXP the “hard way”, and to get the 85k miles. He needs only an additional $2k EQDs (of which he already has booked $800) to get the one year extension of EXP which is without the elite benefits - I.e. the 85k, or ~$1275. So in reality it is even “worse” than what you point out - depending on your definition of worse. :)

Never In Doubt

Memo to Joe1293, COVID is never going away. It will become endemic like the flu and colds. If you’re waiting “for COVID to end” to change your behavior, you’ll never change.

Clem

Sorry if I'm missing something, as I'm not super super familiar with AA (I avoid them as much as I can). You already have 800 EQDs lined up for sure so really what matters is the remaining 1200. You're valuing the 85k points at $1275. So you're planning to spend $1200 to get $1275 in return :) ? With the current situation I really wouldn't be surprised to see status extended again, so personally I'd gamble on that instead of having to suffer through an AA mileage run. Worst case scenario, you'll be a few months or at most a year without top status with them - which could be nice for your readers so we know what to expect with a lowly AA status :) .

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