American Million Miler: It’s Time For Major Improvements

American Million Miler: It’s Time For Major Improvements

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I know I’m stating the exceptionally obvious here, but can American please improve its lifetime elite status program already?

American’s lifetime status program is uncompetitive

Many major airlines have lifetime elite status programs, whereby you can earn elite status with the airline for life after completing a certain amount of activity.

The current American AAdvantage lifetime elite status program is lackluster, and so much worse than the programs you’ll find at Alaska Mileage Plan, Delta SkyMiles, and United MileagePlus. For context, American’s current million miler program only lets you earn up to AAdvantage Platinum status for life, which is the second lowest of American’s five elite tiers.

As a point of comparison:

  • With its million miler program, Alaska lets you earn up to MVP Gold 75K status for life, plus allows you to nominate a companion to get the same status, plus gives you upgrade priority over others in the same tier
  • With its million miler program, Delta lets you earn up to Delta 360 status for life, which is the carrier’s invitation-only elite tier
  • With its million miler program, United MileagePlus lets you earn up to Global Services status for life, which is the carrier’s invitation-only elite tier; on top of that, you can nominate a companion to receive your status as well

Now, in fairness, there’s a reason that American’s lifetime status has historically been capped pretty low. Up until 2011, American counted all AAdvantage miles earned toward million miler status. In other words, if you earned two million miles with credit cards, you’d get AAdvantage Platinum status for life. At the time that was extremely lucrative, especially since Platinum status was more valuable than it is now. An American loyalist could easily earn two million miler status with just a few years of loyalty.

Then the rules changed in 2011, and only “butt-in-seat” miles started counting toward lifetime status, so it got much more difficult to earn. The problem is, the rewards didn’t improve for those earning lifetime status “the hard way.”

American’s lifetime status program isn’t good

How & why American should overhaul its lifetime status

With American’s Loyalty Points system, the airline allows customers to earn elite status in a variety of ways, including through credit card spending. While I think the system makes a lot of sense, a lifetime status program is valuable in terms of giving people a long-term incentive to fly with an airline. After all, filling seats is at least one of the reasons that an airline loyalty program exists.

What do I think American should do to improve its million miler program? Of course all existing lifetime elite status should be honored. Then using the current metric of lifetime status being based on “butt-in-seat” miles, enhanced status should be offered, as follows:

Now, if American were feeling generous, the airline could also throw in status for a companion, as Alaska and United do. But even the above would be a massive improvement, and would at least make American’s lifetime status program (almost) average.

I think American is underestimating the extent to which this long-term incentive would keep people on the hamster wheel, who might otherwise consider splitting travel between airlines. The current program just seems really short-sighted.

American could easily make lifetime status rewarding

Bottom line

American’s current lifetime elite status program is beyond lackluster. You can earn at most AAdvantage Platinum status, and you can’t nominate a companion for status. Alaska and United both recently improved their million miler programs, and United has long had the most lucrative million miler program.

Hopefully American follows the lead of other airlines here, and makes some positive changes soon. I mean, the airline isn’t exactly doing a great job making money, so anything that incentivizes long term loyalty and business from big spenders seems like a smart strategy.

What do you make of American’s million miler program? What changes would you like to see, and do you think we’ll see them?

Conversations (72)
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  1. Don Guest

    Overall, I wish I started flying United when I began my flying career. Instead, after 23 years and 4,332,288 miles with American, I feel like a nobody. Am I supposed to feel honored and appreciated by American when they give me a whopping lifetime Platinum status? My brother (who selected United) way back when, has flown just a few miles over 4 million, and he and his wife are Lifetime Global Services with all the...

    Overall, I wish I started flying United when I began my flying career. Instead, after 23 years and 4,332,288 miles with American, I feel like a nobody. Am I supposed to feel honored and appreciated by American when they give me a whopping lifetime Platinum status? My brother (who selected United) way back when, has flown just a few miles over 4 million, and he and his wife are Lifetime Global Services with all the benefits. My advice….. think twice before flying with American. You are just a revenue stream!

  2. Just another hamster Guest

    I feel particularly impacted, because I was an original US Air/Airways elite traveler and they only counted butt in seat miles from the beginning, otherwise I would be at least a two, more likely a three, million miler.

    Also, I agree that becoming a million miler really doesn't provide many meaningful benefits. What I would like to see, since they only award you Gold status for life, is for them to start your journey...

    I feel particularly impacted, because I was an original US Air/Airways elite traveler and they only counted butt in seat miles from the beginning, otherwise I would be at least a two, more likely a three, million miler.

    Also, I agree that becoming a million miler really doesn't provide many meaningful benefits. What I would like to see, since they only award you Gold status for life, is for them to start your journey to the next level each year start from Gold (40,000), instead of from zero.

    This would be meaningful.

    1. Roderick Renfrew Guest

      I'd like to see TPG also advocate for this rationale system. But he's too political and also revenue-driven to an excess. AA is a disaster. The best airline decision I made was moving to UA for most international travel-they treats me so much better at 300,000 lifetime miles than AA does at 4.4MM lifetime miles (not sure how many BIS but UA doesn't even bother at 1MM to give 25K status for life, they START...

      I'd like to see TPG also advocate for this rationale system. But he's too political and also revenue-driven to an excess. AA is a disaster. The best airline decision I made was moving to UA for most international travel-they treats me so much better at 300,000 lifetime miles than AA does at 4.4MM lifetime miles (not sure how many BIS but UA doesn't even bother at 1MM to give 25K status for life, they START with 50K-i.e. Gold 50K Premier, which includes economy plus seating at time of reservation, etc.). I have written AA 3 times over several years to both top. executives and to customer relations and get NO response. Just sent them another posting and included the URL for this thoughtful article. Wonder if I will hear back from them. Not even a BS - e.g. "we are constantly evaluating and ensuring our AAdvantage program is competitive" kind of response. I guess they know their program sucks and really do not care!

  3. Berg Guest

    I agree with everything in this article, I have 1.93 million lifetime miles with AA, but is now splitting my miles with delta (947k miles as lifetime medallion member there).

    It is all because after 2 million miles the AA program is worthless.

    Just to be clear, that is 947k miles, or about 450 round-trip tickets that AA is missing because of a lack of steps in their million miler program..

  4. rodsren New Member

    it's past time. They are so far behind in the competition, and who suffers the consequences, loyal flyers.

  5. David Hartman Guest

    Good article and I agree with the recommendations. American does not care as much about their long time loyal flyers as they do about chasing credit cards. Offering status for credit card purchases has greatly diminished the value of lifetime gold for a million miles flown. Half the plane has status and my recent upgrade position was 47. I commend Delta for improving their program.

  6. J Bacco Guest

    As a PFL I think additional status should be able to be obtained by starting each year at 75,000 points. Then only 50,000 more would be needed to obtain Pro. I have over 80,000 points this year and it has gotten me nothing! It hasn't even gotten me a free upgrade. Still usually way down on the list.

  7. CosmicRay Guest

    ExecPlt for 18 years, I hit 3 million AA miles last year just to get the 4 systemwide upgrades, then used them to upgrade me and my wife to Japan r/t. I also have > one million miles on United, and I have now switched totally to them. I am 1K (now and for the foreseeable future), and my wife gets that too. When I retire and stop flying like a maniac I'll be at...

    ExecPlt for 18 years, I hit 3 million AA miles last year just to get the 4 systemwide upgrades, then used them to upgrade me and my wife to Japan r/t. I also have > one million miles on United, and I have now switched totally to them. I am 1K (now and for the foreseeable future), and my wife gets that too. When I retire and stop flying like a maniac I'll be at United Gold = AA Platinum (which is all I get for 3 million miles!), and my wife will get Gold as well. Moreover, I might even hit the 2 million mile mark on United before retiring, which would give me (and my wife!) United Platinum for life. No question about who we would fly. If AA had United's program, I'd switch back to them in a flash to be ExecPlt for life.

  8. Anthony Guest

    I'm at 5.5 million miles, all I get is Platinum for life, i have spent more money than a lot of people with American, so you can see the loyalty I have to AA, but they don't treat me as valuable customer.

  9. Dennis Keglovits Guest

    Recently had an AA gate agent in Dallas say that my Executive Platinum status did not elevate me on the stand by list - saying just because my "company" pays for tickets should not move me ahead of others. She believes all customers should be treated equally.

  10. CRASHLEY_BTV_SAN New Member

    I've have PLT for life since 2009 based on total program miles at that time, which included bonus miles and everything else. (I'm not sure if AA could even calculate how many actual miles I've flown, but I think it's about 1.25M.) I agree it's a shame that PLT for life is the highest permanent award, aside from the system wide upgrades which I've found are harder and harder to use anyway.

    For the past...

    I've have PLT for life since 2009 based on total program miles at that time, which included bonus miles and everything else. (I'm not sure if AA could even calculate how many actual miles I've flown, but I think it's about 1.25M.) I agree it's a shame that PLT for life is the highest permanent award, aside from the system wide upgrades which I've found are harder and harder to use anyway.

    For the past several years we've been just purchasing first class tickets rather than trying to get upgraded or use miles. I hear all the criticism of American here but I don't think they are any worse than the competition, actually. We've flow domestic first class on United, Delta, and Alaska recently and don't notice any real difference. In fact, the food on American has been better than the others. International travel on American was always been pretty good, especially from LAX, but we haven't done that since pre-Covid. Anyway, maybe someday I'll be able to use my 1.2M award miles.

  11. Chad.S Guest

    When AA devalued my Lifetime Platinum status (I'm a 3MM) I just started flying other airlines and have been impressed how much better the overall experience has been. I fly all four classes (F,B, PE and E) and find Economy on other airlines sometimes better than B or PE on AA. Since AA doesn't care about my 3MM status, I just happily took my business elsewhere. If they ever enhance the Million Miler program, I...

    When AA devalued my Lifetime Platinum status (I'm a 3MM) I just started flying other airlines and have been impressed how much better the overall experience has been. I fly all four classes (F,B, PE and E) and find Economy on other airlines sometimes better than B or PE on AA. Since AA doesn't care about my 3MM status, I just happily took my business elsewhere. If they ever enhance the Million Miler program, I may come back, but for now I am happy flying Emirates, Qatar and Alaska to the places I frequently go.

    1. CRASHLEY_BTV_SAN New Member

      It's interesting that you're not flying American but are flying on their Oneworld partners :)

  12. debbie ac Guest

    they continue to remove value from their program and devalue the customee

  13. Sara Smith Guest

    Hard disagree. Lifetime status is a horrible way to provide incentive, while creating *massive* liabilities down the road.

    Worst of all is invitation-only status for life: Let's say Sam is CK for life, but not currently a high value customer, while Brenda is EXP on high-yield tickets.

    Why on earth would you prioritize Sam, some random former middle manager, with tarmac transfers and priority phone lines, over Brenda who's actively paying your salary?

    hE eArNeD...

    Hard disagree. Lifetime status is a horrible way to provide incentive, while creating *massive* liabilities down the road.

    Worst of all is invitation-only status for life: Let's say Sam is CK for life, but not currently a high value customer, while Brenda is EXP on high-yield tickets.

    Why on earth would you prioritize Sam, some random former middle manager, with tarmac transfers and priority phone lines, over Brenda who's actively paying your salary?

    hE eArNeD iT, you might say. Sure, but that's my argument. Make sure he has to re-earn it every year.

    Just look at the CK/GS/360 threads of FT if you doubt these people will do it. These sad sacks go to extremes to keep their status.

    Lifetime status of any kind is dumb, but top-top tier lifetime status is **actively** harming your business.

    ... which is why AA will probably do what our party school BA here says. :D

    1. Troy Guest

      Because Sam gave all his money and loyalty to AA and deserves it, However, Brenda might not even get close to a million miles as an EXP. Brenda needs to catch up so that she can enjoy the perks. It’s not rocket science.

  14. AF Kay Guest

    I second #NotTodayAA's sentiment. I want to add that the biggest problem isn't lifetime elite status, it is the constant trashing of the value of miles by the airlines.

    I am a lifetime Gold. I have spent my million+ AA miles mostly during the good old days, flying business class to Asia at 110,000/130,000 miles fixed. I don't care to earn AA, UA, or whoever else, miles any more.

  15. Mike Guest

    That’s an excellent idea! I am a lifetime platinum with 2 million miles and almost at the 3 million mark. Platinum Pro for life would be much better than a few system wide upgrades for recognition. I rarely get upgraded anymore and a higher status would hopefully help.

  16. Mark I Stein Guest

    I have 1.6mm miles, 3/4 or so butt in seat on AA, which makes me a "useless" gold. Since Lifetime Platinum is almost as useless, I'll never try to finish it up. Instead, I'm happy with my 100% butt in seat lifetime UA 1K along with my wife. It's fair and conveys appropriate value. No need to split my flying even as a Dallas resident..

  17. Tim Guest

    I love that recommendation. I’m approaching 1m and has taken me years to get to that spot.
    By the way, “butts in seats” miles don’t include award tickets. Although, those are actual miles flown, I believe Million Miller only includes “butts in seats” revenue earning flights. AA website doesn’t clarify that and it has been confusing for many,

  18. Bill Guest

    The value of the million miler program is that it provides an incentive to keep loyal over a long period of time, not just year to year. Enhancing the value of a million miler program also protects high value customers from being captured by competitors via annual status matches.

    I don't think it's a coincidence that the only real benefit increase Delta made to Skymiles in this round of "enhancements" was to its Million...

    The value of the million miler program is that it provides an incentive to keep loyal over a long period of time, not just year to year. Enhancing the value of a million miler program also protects high value customers from being captured by competitors via annual status matches.

    I don't think it's a coincidence that the only real benefit increase Delta made to Skymiles in this round of "enhancements" was to its Million Miler program. They must have done the data analytics and realized that million miler status was driving irrational (ie less price sensitive and more "loyal") behavior. They must also have determined that the cost of million miler benefits is not prohibitively high because either A) these customers buy premium airfare anyway B) the opportunity cost of free upgrades is much lower now due to their success in selling a much higher percentage of premium seats and C) a lot of multi-million miler fliers are old and don't travel much anyway.

    I actually think American will do some kind of change to their program as they probably see the same things. There were already rumors that they were looking at it pre-pandemic and now that United and Delta clearly have much more attractive programs I think they will feel compelled to do something.

  19. MLehmanEsq Guest

    The Million Miler program has effectively been worthless since I earned it years ago. I pay it zero attention because I gain nothing by it. Being awarded Gold status is of little value in the context of today's Aadvantage program, there are no other benefits worth mentioning and unfortunately AA fails to even mention, yet alone reward, my Million Mile status. I agree that if AA wants to truly reward long-term loyalty, much better benefits...

    The Million Miler program has effectively been worthless since I earned it years ago. I pay it zero attention because I gain nothing by it. Being awarded Gold status is of little value in the context of today's Aadvantage program, there are no other benefits worth mentioning and unfortunately AA fails to even mention, yet alone reward, my Million Mile status. I agree that if AA wants to truly reward long-term loyalty, much better benefits should be granted to Million Milers, As it is, even my Exec. Platinum status is becoming less valuable over time given that even systemwide upgrades, which were my favorite perk, are becoming increasingly hard to find and use. That taken together with the very poor quality of most of AA's domestic First Class hard product (except on premium transcon routes) are increasingly move me to consider booking JetBlue and other carriers given their vastly better lie flat and otherwise much more comfortable first class product.

  20. Dk Guest

    I have lifetime status with AA. I have turned to being a free agent because your article is spot on. AA looses a lot of my business because the benefits they offer with the lifetime program are just not competitive. As a
    retired road warrior I travel on my dime and it matters.

  21. John Finn Guest

    I totally agree! I am closing in on 3M (now about 2.7M) the last 200/300K is going to be tough. I hit 2M, 7 or 8 years ago, it’s not an easy task.
    AA needs to do more for there elite travelers.

  22. Helen ewing Guest

    Here's what AA. Needs to do. Sys wide upgrades need to be guaranteed immediately as long as there's availability in the upper cabins. Mileage upgrades are processed like complimentary upgrades, starting 3 day before the flight. And complimentary upgrades are processed at the airport. That way earned upgrades and status mean something. AA also can have max time to sell those seats, maybe they can even turn a profit one day. And with everyone that...

    Here's what AA. Needs to do. Sys wide upgrades need to be guaranteed immediately as long as there's availability in the upper cabins. Mileage upgrades are processed like complimentary upgrades, starting 3 day before the flight. And complimentary upgrades are processed at the airport. That way earned upgrades and status mean something. AA also can have max time to sell those seats, maybe they can even turn a profit one day. And with everyone that has a credit card with AA is basically gifted platinum status, and if that your primary Card you can be pro in 6 months and ep by years end. Making status over saturated, and essentially worthless. So let the cc holders gain loyalty points, and status up to Plat Pro. Beyond that status should be based off miles flown.

  23. Helen ewing Guest

    I'm loyal to my gas station, but I don't expect to see them giving me and my family free slurpees for life and I promise I have more 711 points than most of you do miles. Bottom Line,
    Some of you people are spoiled entitled brats. You buy cheap tickets and beg for free upgrades. Then complain when you don't get them because everyone is EP these days, And when you don't qualify for...

    I'm loyal to my gas station, but I don't expect to see them giving me and my family free slurpees for life and I promise I have more 711 points than most of you do miles. Bottom Line,
    Some of you people are spoiled entitled brats. You buy cheap tickets and beg for free upgrades. Then complain when you don't get them because everyone is EP these days, And when you don't qualify for status you complain about that. Why don't you just demand that you fly for free because it's your world and everyone else just lives in it.

    1. Sara Smith Guest

      Finally, reason.

      Getting LPs for being toilet paper at Costco shouldn't entitle you to tarmac transfers for life. This thread is a sad tale of people who really need to turn it down a notch.

  24. Adambrau New Member

    You should have stuck with UA Ben. I still remember when you did 13 TransPac B2B's. Understand living in Miami/Florida/AA.

  25. Brian Guest

    I respectfully disagree. Current spending should be rewarded since the airline bennifits. Past spending does not contribute to the airline's current wellbeing. It is cold, but reality.

  26. Robert Fahr Guest

    Everything I worked diligently for to become a million miler twenty-five years ago yields me nothing more than flying SWA with no status. My loyalty to AA is zero.

    1. BenjaminGuttery Diamond

      Sorry, but it's not even the same company You flew with anymore. They have merged, been bought out, and filed bankruptcy, and all of those changes have happened like 4 times since you earned that. I would just be happy they are letting me keep anything at this point. I fly weekly and spendots with them TODAY. You shouldn't be able to jump me in upgrade lists, lounge lines,or anything else.

  27. beachfan Guest

    Do you really think they would ever do anything like this until management changes? I don't.

    I'm a lifetime platinum. But they gutted the schedule from LAX, so I don't take them to SF or Las Vegas or even Phoenix anymore.

    I still take them on transcons if I can swing J. And then the status is useless.

    The only reason you care about AA is because the have the routes out of Miami. What advice would you give your NYC or LA readers?

  28. Travelingmann Guest

    As a 9 million miler, I have platinum for life status. Are you kidding? I always sit in economy, no upgrades, no recognition, etc.
    No wonder I now fly Delta to their logical destinations, and United to theirs' even though I live in DFW. American is my last choice. I fly Alaska going to the Pacific Northwest and SFO. SO, I now have have gold status with DL and Silver with UA without even trying. I only fly first class these days so I'm high revenue. I'm not alone.

  29. michel Wilson Guest

    Great Post Ben,

    I have been an Advantage 2MM for a long time. And yes there have been the very very occasional comp upgrades... but I would not go out of my way to achieve higher status. Your simple suggestions would go a long way to benefit the true long term loyalty any airline is seeing with its program... 2mm is a lot no matter how you count them.... just put back into play the...

    Great Post Ben,

    I have been an Advantage 2MM for a long time. And yes there have been the very very occasional comp upgrades... but I would not go out of my way to achieve higher status. Your simple suggestions would go a long way to benefit the true long term loyalty any airline is seeing with its program... 2mm is a lot no matter how you count them.... just put back into play the Pt worldwide upgrades and I would be a happy camper! BTW, you provide us with very valuable information to compliment our hobby.... keep posting. my friend. Michael

  30. Jacob Guest

    Completely agree. I hope improvements happen.

  31. NateNate Member

    Does "butt in seat" mean AA ticketed and on AA metal? So BA ticketed on AA metal doesn't count, and AA ticketed on BA metal doesn't count.

    1. BenjaminGuttery Diamond

      Look it up. This has literally been the same since 2011. Not a new thing.

    2. Hodor Gold

      Man, you're damn crabby today @benjaminguttery

    3. TravelinWilly Diamond

      “Does "butt in seat" mean AA ticketed and on AA metal?”

      From AA: Miles earned toward Million Miler™ status are based on the distance of your flight for travel on American marketed flights or the base miles earned for travel on eligible partner marketed flights.

  32. Danny Guest

    I concur with your recommendation. I have flown over 4 million miles but receive no benefit as a lifetime Platinum except two stingy systemwide upgrades after achieving one million miles (a total of 8 systemwide upgrades for flying butt in seat 4 million miles). There is no benefit to being loyal to AA.

    1. FMB Guest

      The simple fact of the matter is that Airlines don't care about loyalty anymore and therefore million miler status is a meaningless term to them. Increasingly airlines are becoming the flying division of credit card companies and what they value is how much you charge on your credit card. They've made that exceptionally clear so I wonder why we keep wondering why they don't value loyalty and miles flown.

  33. Daniel Custer Guest

    I could not agree more. I have way over 3 million miles on American, most of which are flown miles, and very little of which was credit card related. I am also a 1 million mile flyer on United, but with only about 1.4 million actual flown miles. Gold for life on United is certainly better. And with fewer actual miles flown. But American is now USAir, so don't expect any changes.

  34. Chuck Guest

    My AA # starts with a 1 with no letters and my current lifetime balance is 9.11mm miles as of yesterday

    When I hit 10mm in mid 2024 I will receive 4 SWAs and probably a letter from AA- YIPPEE

    I am also lifetime platinum which is now totally meaningless

    This is why now I fly mostly partner airlines and Delta

    Need I say any more

    1. BenjaminGuttery Diamond

      LOL, so You barely fly AA anymore, BUT your somehow going to get 900,000 "butt in seat" miles in like 8 months???

    2. chuck Guest

      A lot of QR, BA, IB and CX all of these count towards Million mile status

  35. Stephen Guest

    I have MM on American yet always fly United. 700K so far towards MM on United. Agree with article. Much better benefits.

    1. FMB Guest

      The simple fact of the matter is that Airlines don't care about loyalty anymore and therefore million miler status is a meaningless term to them. Increasingly airlines are becoming the flying division of credit card companies and what they value is how much you charge on your credit card. They've made that exceptionally clear so I wonder why we keep wondering why they don't value loyalty and miles flown.

  36. Lv Guest

    I agree. I have 8 million miles flown on American and I got a lousy email reminding me I am Platinum for live

  37. Lee Guest

    Delta's new lifetime status is attractive but its lounge credit card (Reserve) stinks. AA's lifetime status stinks but its revamped lounge credit card (Executive) is attractive. The two ought to compare notes.

  38. Johhny Guest

    I'm a perfect example. I'm a 2 million miler, don't fly enough to get to platinum pro, and as a result make no effort to fly AA. In fact I actively avoid them, despite living in DFW. If 3 million were another level, it would be a whole different ballgame.

  39. dg Guest

    I think it would be good for the system to automatically set the earned amount of loyalty points each year that corresponds to the 1MM or 2MM lifetime levels so that you can earn from that level each year towards at least 1 year of the next level above the 2MM PLT. Then you soft land back at the 2MM mark if you fail to meet the spend in the following year. Right now the...

    I think it would be good for the system to automatically set the earned amount of loyalty points each year that corresponds to the 1MM or 2MM lifetime levels so that you can earn from that level each year towards at least 1 year of the next level above the 2MM PLT. Then you soft land back at the 2MM mark if you fail to meet the spend in the following year. Right now the loyalty point system says you need xxxxx miles to be GOLD and has no idea you are already 2MM PLT. That means you have no incentive to earn more loyalty points by flying on aa metal as those earned loyalty points are not as valuable. This would also help with the upgrade situation as well as it would appear to the system that you had some loyalty activity.

  40. Bruce Epstein Guest

    The plt for life with 2M miles got down graded for no reason, when
    Plt pro was brought on
    Simple solution, is to upgrade the plt for life to plt pro (which would bring us back to our original place
    Or eliminate plt pro.

  41. JD Guest

    Fully agree. I was booted from CK this year. For purely practical reasons I did a UA challenge to 1K. Practical for the very reason of UA’s lifetime program. I have 9.7MM on AA, mostly butt in seat, and the highest status I can earn for life was Platinum at 2MM, as you pointed out. I have almost 2MM with UA, so it just makes practical sense to chase lifetime 1K, if not Global Services. I find 1K to be significantly better than EXP on AA.

    1. George P Guest

      I left the AA program after 25+ years, 8 million miles, 7 years as CK, all as EP due do the lousy million miler program. I commuted from Sao Paulo to Miami to 12+ years .... The AA million miler program is pathetic. With just one million. (going towards 2) UA miles I get the same perks (probably more) than AA (I was Global Services for 3 years) 1K for about 8. My million miler...

      I left the AA program after 25+ years, 8 million miles, 7 years as CK, all as EP due do the lousy million miler program. I commuted from Sao Paulo to Miami to 12+ years .... The AA million miler program is pathetic. With just one million. (going towards 2) UA miles I get the same perks (probably more) than AA (I was Global Services for 3 years) 1K for about 8. My million miler miles all go to UA now. I am currently based in Madrid and the FF dynamics are very different here but I avoid AA like the plague because of this. All my miles were butt in seat as I don't play the credit card game (now being Madrid based it's not an option).

  42. BenjaminGuttery Diamond

    AA definitely needs to improve this program. Especially since now they are competing with another Domestic carrier like Alaska. It's ridiculous that their MM program is joke from over 10 Years ago.

  43. Jb Guest

    Where is that Delta salesman guy that will tell everyone how great Delta is and no one can compete?

    1. BenjaminGuttery Diamond

      At a Cult meeting sacrificing a SkyMiles member to the Delta Gods.

  44. Samra Guest

    I am a five million miler and currently has a platinum status for life. I stopped flying AA ten years ago since I could not get any higher status than a one million miler. I simply moved to another airline. AA lost a good paying customer. I am not unhappy since there are plenty of other options .

  45. Al Percolo Guest

    Totally agree with your analysis and suggested new structure . The current MM program is drastically inferior to the competition. Not competitive at all . This should be a no brainer. Absolutely no incentive to go higher than 2MM .

    It would be very interesting if you can reach out to AA for their comments regarding their MM program .

  46. Sel, D. Guest

    *paid* butt-in-seat miles.

  47. derek Guest

    Just like income, taking flights vary. Politicians and voters like to punish the rich with taxes but there is often varying income during one's life. Not that many people are rich every year for their entire lives. The same goes with airline passengers. Million mile butt in the seat miles is an indication of long term loyalty over years. It should be valued.

    I was not too far from that point for one airline...

    Just like income, taking flights vary. Politicians and voters like to punish the rich with taxes but there is often varying income during one's life. Not that many people are rich every year for their entire lives. The same goes with airline passengers. Million mile butt in the seat miles is an indication of long term loyalty over years. It should be valued.

    I was not too far from that point for one airline but I abandoned it due to their anti-customer frequent flyer program.

    1. Santos Guest

      >>Not that many people are rich every year for their entire lives.

      Precisely why a progressive tax structure makes sense? LOL

    2. Sara Smith Guest

      >Million mile butt in the seat miles is an indication of long term loyalty over years. It should be valued.

      Why? Because reasons?

  48. Nun Guest

    I understand why you want a lifetime PPro tier but not why you think it should be at only 2mm. Doesn’t that mean current LT Plat instantly become LT PPro?

    Also, I feel like you’re dismissing the fact that AA has moved away from BIS for LP. Why would they now tell customers to focus on both? They’ll say that’s confusing to customers

    1. BenjaminGuttery Diamond

      They (AA) CURRENTLY already has a difference between LP's and MM. The counter is shown is all areas of one's AADVANTAGE Account and is actually a THIRD metrics counted as only Base Miles count towards LP's. So ALL AAdvantage Members see THREE numbers when they log in: CURRENT LP count, CURRENT Award Miles count, and CURRENT Million Miler count. They would have to "change" or "confuse" anyone with a human brain.

  49. Matt Guest

    I’m an AA EP/Million Miler.

    About a year ago, as I sat on the tarmac in coach for about two hours during the mechanical delay, I mentioned to the flight attendant that on that leg, I’d hit my million mile (butt in seat) mark.

    She replied, “yeah, I’ve been flying quite a bit lately too…” And that was that.

    I agree with your suggestions, and add to your list…”say congrats or something...

    I’m an AA EP/Million Miler.

    About a year ago, as I sat on the tarmac in coach for about two hours during the mechanical delay, I mentioned to the flight attendant that on that leg, I’d hit my million mile (butt in seat) mark.

    She replied, “yeah, I’ve been flying quite a bit lately too…” And that was that.

    I agree with your suggestions, and add to your list…”say congrats or something to people if they tell you they’re flying their millionth mile” with your airline.

    I did get a call a few months later so that was nice I suppose.

    1. Harry Guest

      I'm a million miler butt-in-seat Delta and I have had Delta gate agents, ticket agents and FL say Thank You all the time. Maybe Delta does have a little more going for it. That said, there's world of difference in Delta employees vs American. Job transfer from ATL area, I saw that starting back in 1983 flying AA for the first time located out of no less DFW. There is a big difference in no...

      I'm a million miler butt-in-seat Delta and I have had Delta gate agents, ticket agents and FL say Thank You all the time. Maybe Delta does have a little more going for it. That said, there's world of difference in Delta employees vs American. Job transfer from ATL area, I saw that starting back in 1983 flying AA for the first time located out of no less DFW. There is a big difference in no less attitude. DL positive and well you know AA. Is what it is. And no I do not know Tim.

  50. George Romey Guest

    Other than including credit card spend (seems likely) and maybe a PP level at 3 million miles I don't see AA changing. And why would they? Clearly airline loyalty plans are not as "elite centric" as they used to be and it's not about your loyalty in the past.

  51. NotTodayAA Guest

    AA does not care about passenger loyalty, period! Their management and staff are very indifferent to their “loyal” customers and view them as a liability. Also, AA is basically an airline driven by co-branded credit card revenue. The best decision I’ve made was leaving them (even though I’m based in MIA) and spending my money flying other airlines; especially internationally. Vote with your wallet!

  52. deeinla Guest

    I'm a MillionMiler and halfway to 2 million. I wonder if I will ever get to 2 million with only flown miles counted. Even if I did, I would stop being loyal to AA immediately - right now, I go out of my way to fly AA. Also, one other point you did not make - as part of AA requalification process, AA gives some "rewards" along the way. Most of those rewards are useless...

    I'm a MillionMiler and halfway to 2 million. I wonder if I will ever get to 2 million with only flown miles counted. Even if I did, I would stop being loyal to AA immediately - right now, I go out of my way to fly AA. Also, one other point you did not make - as part of AA requalification process, AA gives some "rewards" along the way. Most of those rewards are useless to lifetime Gold (let alone Lifetime Platinum). One of those rewards is picking any seat in a cabin for one trip - with Lifetime gold, can do that anyway. If AA is going to give "rewards" for actual flying, those rewards should be useful for each customer in their circumstance. Giving me a reward I already receive actually annoys me. It demonstrates how little thought AA puts into about their customers.

  53. John Guest

    Mindful that Platinum Pro is now One World Emerald.

    The insertion of the Platinum Pro tier into the programme effectively devalued Platinum, including Lifetime Platinum (ex lower priority, etc).

    NB - I still think Platinum Pro sounds like the name of a toothpaste, dog food, nutrition supplement, denture adhesive.....

  54. Jonathan Lord Guest

    I have one of the original Aadvantage numbers from May 1 1981; I have been an Airpass and Concierge Key member since 2009. Recent changes especially the end of Airpass means that my CK status will go away too. I think AA needs to think about loyalty.

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NotTodayAA Guest

AA does not care about passenger loyalty, period! Their management and staff are very indifferent to their “loyal” customers and view them as a liability. Also, AA is basically an airline driven by co-branded credit card revenue. The best decision I’ve made was leaving them (even though I’m based in MIA) and spending my money flying other airlines; especially internationally. Vote with your wallet!

3
John Guest

Mindful that Platinum Pro is now One World Emerald. The insertion of the Platinum Pro tier into the programme effectively devalued Platinum, including Lifetime Platinum (ex lower priority, etc). NB - I still think Platinum Pro sounds like the name of a toothpaste, dog food, nutrition supplement, denture adhesive.....

2
Brian Guest

I respectfully disagree. Current spending should be rewarded since the airline bennifits. Past spending does not contribute to the airline's current wellbeing. It is cold, but reality.

1
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