Why I’m Requalifying For American Executive Platinum Status

Filed Under: American

It’s no secret that I’m less than thrilled with American Airlines overall, though I’ve made the decision to requalify for Executive Platinum status. That’s true even though I’m currently only a bit over halfway there, and we have only several weeks left in the year.

Is there an element of Stockholm Syndrome here? Yes, probably. But I actually think I’m not totally crazy here, so let me explain.

Where My American Frustration Stems From

It has been a rough year as an American Airlines passenger, in my opinion. There are two different factors at play here.

The biggest problem plaguing American this year has been their labor issues, specifically with their mechanics. This spring and summer American mechanics were intentionally delaying flights, and it got to the point where the airline was completely unreliable. I simply couldn’t fly an airline where a good portion of my flights were delayed by hours.

American planes at O’Hare

So while this was the case I intentionally avoided American flights. For a while I put my money where my mouth was, in that regard.

Then there’s the general direction American is headed, which is just not caring about the customer experience at all. The airline completely lacks a vision, many of their frontline employees don’t really care (which I don’t blame them for — it’s management’s fault for not giving them a vision), and their planes are getting less comfortable.

As A Hub Captive, American Has Become Good Enough

The good news is that American’s on-time performance has improved significantly. I’m not sure if it was the judge’s order against the union, or if it was a mechanic crossing the line and intentionally putting a plane in danger that finally caused this.

Regardless, operationally American has improved significantly. All of my flights have been on-time lately. Would I love if American had more of a customer service culture and wasn’t actively trying to make their planes miserable? Yes, of course.

But:

  • American does a phenomenal job with high-speed wifi, which I care about immensely
  • As a hub captive, there’s huge convenience to being able to fly just about anywhere nonstop

American’s Flagship Lounge Miami

If I lived in another city would I choose to fly American nowadays? No. But to me they’re good enough at the moment, assuming they can maintain the operational reliability that they have.

Where I’m At On Status For The Year

When it comes to earning status, where am I at for the year? I’m only at 52,000 EQMs (I have a pretty high EQD total, and that’s largely because I’m booking a lot of last minute tickets to Tampa to see my mom, and those are very pricey on a per mile basis).

Interestingly I’m only slightly behind when it comes to Delta status (I’m still waiting on 7,000 MQMs from a Virgin Atlantic Upper Class flight).

So I am only just over halfway to earning Executive Platinum with American.

How crazy am I for thinking of earning nearly 50,000 EQMs by the end of the year?!

How I’m Going To Do It

This has been a slow year for me when it comes to travel, and in particular a tough year for airline reviews. With my mom’s health situation I’ve been wanting to spend more time with her, and even when I’m not with her, I’ve wanted to at least be close by.

Anyway, I also have a blog to run, and the feedback I’ve gotten more than any other is that you guys want more reviews. So I’m stepping it up for the rest of the year, and have booked a few really comprehensive review trips over the next several weeks. This is based on the post I wrote recently about 10 products I want to review before the end of 2019.

I don’t want to spoil too much just yet (I’ll reveal full details in a subsequent post), but I managed to book about 42,000 elite qualifying miles of travel for around $3,200, and that will allow me to experience products like British Airways’ A350-1000 Club Suites, American’s 777-300ER first class, and more.

British Airways’ new A350 Club Suites

Add in the other travel I already have booked, and that will allow me to comfortably requalify for Executive Platinum.

I wouldn’t have done a mileage run to maintain Executive Platinum status. Heck, I’m not even flying more segments than I would have otherwise flown for these reviews. But I managed to find some discounted tickets that work in a way where I’m earning lots of elite miles while also reviewing the products I hope to fly.

I’m Sort Of Happy About Maintaining Executive Platinum

I’ve been critical on American, and for good reason, I think. However, ultimately as someone living in Miami, American is the best option for me if they can operate flights on-time, which they’re doing a good job at right now.

They allow me to get where I need to go nonstop, and they have fast wifi. Would I rather fly Delta, with their superior customer service? Absolutely. But if American isn’t significantly lagging operationally, then I don’t think I can justify it.

I had this discussion with a friend recently, who is in a similar boat — as he described it, what’s even worse than flying American enough to earn Executive Platinum is flying them a lot, but not quite enough to earn Executive Platinum.

Bottom Line

Inherently there’s some amount of hypocrisy in continuing to give American business while being unhappy with them overall. As much as I’d love to be very principled here, American is the best option out of Miami if they’re operationally reliable. That’s especially true right now, as I’m frequently flying between Miami and Tampa, and that’s a route only served by American.

I’ve managed to find a way to requalify that isn’t outrageously priced, and that allows me to review some products that have been on my list.

I guess I can hope that by “buying time” for another year, American might come to their senses and improve next year… but I’m not holding my breath. 😉

Comments
  1. I mean the best thing about Exec Plat is all the perks that don’t involve American sans the first class lounges.

    In before “Just fly out of FLL”…but seriously, I would just use Delta, B6, WN out of FLL if i was you.

  2. Dang. This post hits close to home. I’m almost at the same spot right now. 9k EQD, 50k EQM. Have travel that will get me another 40k EQM and 5k EQD booked and can’t decide if it’s worth pushing for the final leg.

  3. As a Lifetime Platinum I’ve given up on AA. In the past I would go out of my way to make sure I was on an American Airlines flight. However with all of their negative moves in their quest to destroy the company, I book by price and convenience only.

  4. Yay, this is the right move. I was surprised when you posted that you were not even Plat Pro at this point. I agree with you. As an AA EXP I would often rather fly Delta but I think AA’s upgrade policy is best, esp on the route that matters most to me, JFK-LAX

  5. Hope your mother is doing well.

    Due to a job change and relocation, I haven’t flown much (never a big time flyer) and except for one segment in first class ($600 and 4,000 miles) on AA, I’ve flown Delta even though that meant a stop each way.

    I got an email from AA offering me Gold status again for $800. Not sure if I will do that, but it seems generous considering I’m not anywhere close to any status and in the past, the offers were much more expensive.

  6. Congrats on validating AA management’s decisions to deteriorate the value proposition of their program. Despite many negative changes that should deter customers, it proves irrelevant if you are hub captive.

    You know they read your blog and your reviews have been featured in their slides. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are using your posts to acknowledge that they have things to improve but in the end it doesn’t really matter. Customers will still pursue their top level status anyways.

  7. LOL, I knew this was going to happen. After complaining and bashing all year long. Clearly they’re not that bad. Clearly you don’t put your money where your mouth is – which I’m glad you at least recognize in your Bottom Line.

    You keep on saying they don’t have vision… well they have enough vision to keep you on ExecPlat!

  8. Agree with other posts. You spent the last year bashing AA, and telling your readers why you are basically giving up an AA, to then all of a sudden go for top tier status. And then to say you are doing it for your readers to post more reports. Come on. Ateast be honest with us.

  9. @ Tee — What should I be honest about here? I made the decision of which airlines and products I wanted to review, and when I went to plan that travel I found some good fares for some of the oneworld airlines, so I figured I could kill two birds with one stone. I’m not really sure I get what you’re suggesting…

  10. @ jojo — I have lifetime Gold with American, which isn’t worth a whole lot. Americans’ lifetime program is uncompetitive.

  11. Originally from Detroit so I’ve been flying Delta since they took over Northwest. I had never flown another US airline until I moved down to Miami. Tried American twice since I live pretty close to MIA. NEVER AGAIN.

    I now gladly drive up to FLL every time I have to fly. If my schedule allows, I’ll take a stop with Delta. If I don’t have time for a layover, I fly Southwest (which I have grown to really like).

    I don’t think you’re as hub captive as you believe. But then again, I’m shocked at how many people down here act like Fort Lauderdale is on the other side of the world lol.

  12. @ wadacash — You’re no doubt right, and in an ideal world I’d love to be more principled. There are all kinds of businesses I wish I wouldn’t patronize due to my overall feelings towards them, but often convenience and practicality ends up beating out trying to be principled. I’m afraid at this particular point that’s where I’m at.

    Like I said, I’m not actively unhappy if American can maintain decent operational performance. As far as them not improving goes, I think ultimately their financial results speak for themselves, no matter how Doug Parker tries to spin it.

  13. I had the temporary platinum status they gave out this year. Five domestic flights with 8 legs and I never made it above 30th in the upgrade list. At 6’3″ and 3 of those flights being in their new seats and with the sardine can bathrooms, all I can say is no thank you.

  14. What is your proportion of spend on AA v. OW partners?

    I disagree with most comments in that this isn’t really hypocritical. The vast majority of your MQM earning (and thus spend) has been from partners, right?

    I get that AA benefits from their partnerships, but when you buy QR J and BA F, they are the primary beneficiaries, not AA, who you just credit the earning to, right? In that case, you’re not at all validating AA management decisions because they’re not getting all that incremental revenue you previously gave them.

  15. I think myself and other readers were hoping you wouldn’t requalify but also not surprised at your decision. For me, I was hoping to see a different perspective on your oneworld trip reports.

    For example, I remember there was a post a while back justly criticizing BA intra Europe business class, but why for some paying the premium makes sense. But for OW emeralds, many of these benefits come included and some like First class lounge access are added perks, yet very rarely would we see you book economy. In the end, at the least you’d be OW Sapphire so it’s not like you were totally missing out on status.

    I agree with the other comments with you flying out of FLL. After all, FLL is closer to MIA than HND is to NRT. SunRail while no Brightline is still pretty reasonable, even more convenient than a train between NRT and HND IME.

  16. Im working on Exp Status and have my EQMs but. I earned 3K EQD from Barclay Silver, but my 3K from Barclay Business Advantage hasn’t posted since July. So I’m not sure if they don’t allow earning EQDs from both? I’ve opened a case.

  17. as the saying goes “…all politics is local….” It’s the same with airline status, loyalty, and travel strategy.

  18. I qualified for EP several months ago, as I typically fly 200K-225k miles a year. I was even able to complete 35k miles on United (in 3 months), for a rate challenge. But I have to be honest, the amount of complaining bloggers and other “sky jockeys” are pushing towards American and for that matter, all US carriers, is just beyond reason. I regularly get upgraded, with +90% success rate. I always can find a lounge seat, get my favorite snack/drink, etc…I have nothing but love and respect for the airline crew and support staff. When AA made a mistake on a award travel on a Qatar segment earlier this year, they made it right by splitting the fare difference with me, giving me miles and vouchers. I think bloggers and “sky jockeys” believe they have the pulse on what it’s like to travel and what to expect, but you don’t. If you loath AA that much, then go to another airline.

  19. How did you book 42k EQM for $3.2k?

    As a Delta flyer, the best I’ve ever done for that kind of money is more like 20k MQM. I never have a problem hitting revenue requirements. Long-haul J flights alone get me there quickly. I always fall just short on MQM to hitting diamond status. The non-flying qualification activity is probably not worth the benefits. Upgrades are hard to come by and the upgrade certs are hard to use.

  20. I have CK now and am Lifetime Plat so I’m going to see how the next year goes. I don’t mind flying another airline, likely Delta. We shall see in 2021.

  21. My guess is that Ben is doing a one way from YYZ to Asia (HKG?) on AY (with YYZ-LHR in BA CW). And then a one-way from Asia back to North America with AA.

  22. I normally fly the cheapest international business class, or for domestic, the carrier that has the best times. I might make a decision or two based on the loyalty program if its not much, I.e. just around the fringes. I won’t pay a lot more or inconvenience myself just for status. That has made me UA 1K in the past (though likely just plat next year) and I’ve been AA plat pro and FB Gold in the past, too. I mean, they are nice, but if you are already in business or first, they don’t add that much. I did like that AA plat pro allowed you to book seats for free on BA. To me, that probably saveD 500 USD a year. The only reason I won’t regularly fly WN, Frontier or other LCCs has more to do with their poor handling of IRROPs.

  23. I’ve managed to hit EXP this year. It’s actually remarkably easy to do if you don’t fly AA ticketed stock or AA at all for that matter.

    Took about 15 flights this year and a grand total of 4 where AA ticket stock. I actively went out of my way to book with/on AA in favor of OW partners in PE.

    American is pretty rubbish but I do find AAdvantage easy to navigate.

  24. I am delayed again, as per usual with my trips every 2 weeks. Unless of course its cancelled. What good is my executive membership when I miss a connection and get re booked for a flight 2 hours later in coach. American airlines used to be a great airline, but now they are only dependable on delays, cancellations, and complete apathy when it comes to customer service.

  25. I feel for you. I’m currently 45,000 miles from reaching the 2 million mile mark with Aadvantage/OneWorld. Yet, I live in the UK and struggle with the homogenization of BA to be more like an American carrier. (What’s the phrase? I forget…oh yes, I remember “We don’t care, why should we? We’re British Airways!” Sadly, this virus originated in the states and it continues to proliferate. Where will it end? … taking the bus, I suppose. I’d love to have my lifetime Exec Platinum status before I die. Just not sure I’m going to make it! Fr Bill+

  26. I have enjoyed this blog for several years but your AA bashing is getting old. Understand you live in an AA hub, but if you hate AA so much stop giving them your business and stop talking about them. There are tons of people who live in hub cities that give their loyalty to a non-hub airline. I’ve been AA EXP for the past 5 years and have never had any of the issues you face with them. If I did, I would swap to another airline.

  27. I actually followed your posts to wait for this to happen. AA has its flaws for sure but I’d argue they are at par with their competitors when you weigh in partners, business/first lounges and still a decent award chart. So personally I thought even though you posted nearly weekly criticism you’d end up renewing.

  28. 77000EQM, have a trip on QR to India in J that should put me close to EXP for another year.
    For me, the SWU and miles & copay and preferrred treatment in IRROPS are worth the effort to maintain EXP.

  29. You, just like many other bloggers, are addicted to status so despite all your gripes year to date, this post doesn’t surprise many of us

  30. Ben I think there’s more to this and if there was a convo of why you’re re-qualifying with Ford I’m sure it would be different.

    Honestly just call a spade a spade.

  31. The only reason is that you can’t not have the highest status with them. You have been brainwashed and even tough they treat you bad you can’t let it go.

  32. What a hypocrite!!! You snitch about AA all the time and now bragging about EP benefits . Most of your accusations about AA is just exaggeration. Have some dignity and leave AA altogether. Delta is waiting there for your non stop negative reviews !!!

  33. Have people looked at the difference in non-stops between FLL and MIA? Depending on one’s needs destination-wise, there is going to be no comparison when it comes to flying MIA versus FLL. People making this argument is akin to someone saying that if you dislike JFK, you should just fly out of LGA. Well certainly that would be great if the flight options were exactly the same, but thats not the case. If you need international destinations, especially ultra long haul, MIA is your only option.

  34. You should have sent a message to D0ugie about not requalifying. Too many negative things going on with AA currently.

  35. AA’s international biz class seat is more comfortable than either DL or UA – even considering DL’s newest ‘suite.’ That keeps me at EXP on AA.

  36. Lucky – please… tell us the details of your AA qualifying flights as some of us are a few dollars short of requalifying for AA Exp Plat. I’d rather pay & fly than pay to be bumped up. Please… details… city pairs… etc. Thanks. See you in the Flagship lounge.

  37. I was concierge key for 6 year in a row. I was informed that I did not “quite” do enough to qualify for the 7 th year. I only did 180,000 miles and spent $48,000. Over the 30 years plus I have earned more than 6.5 million miles. Extremely loyal to fault. Each year I earn much more than the 100,000 miles ( nothing carries over to the next year) plus spend the threshold since mostly buying first class tickets. So what do I get for this stupid loyalty. Absolutely nothing more than a person who earns it the first time. New strategy. Reach the threshold to qualify then fly other airlines Delta and international carriers.

  38. F L Y O U T O F F O R T L A U D E R D A L E W I T H J E T B L U E O R D E L T A

    hard to believe it when u say ur “hub captive” lol . puh-lease.

  39. There is no such thing as a hub captive for one who isn’t forced to fly for business purposes and even then there are options as comment above mentions one. It is unclear why Ben wants EXP.
    Benefits? Brag tag?

  40. People are being ridiculous. How exactly is one supposed to trade the number of nonstop international destinations MIA offers for FLL? Again, suggesting one airport is interchangeable for another, or that connecting flights are equivalent to nonstop flights is absurd.

  41. Please change your mind and DON’T requalify. Have no interest in reading ore posts about an airline in a downward spiral I have no interest in flying.

  42. I think the bashing above is a little over the top, but it would be honest if Lucky spelled it out – he can’t qualify for any status whatsoever on UA, and DL probably isn’t a great option given SkyPesos and SkyTeam being a weak-ish alliance. Granted, living in MIA makes it easy to stick with AA, but still – it was either AA or DL. Not much of a real choice in this situation (although doing a short hop to ATL and being able to fly basically anywhere in DL’s route network isn’t terrible).

  43. I agree that some of this criticism is too harsh. None of the alliances are worth a pinch of shit, IMO…but most of us are ‘locked in’ to at least one, commonly two. I renew through gritted teeth but come ever closer to preferring a free agent approach. Is OW Sapphire ( which I have as “LT”) so much inferior to Emerald? ( NOT IMO, other than for entry to some F lounges of dubious quality)

  44. I know someone who gets many “freebies” when he goes to casinos. But reality is that its not free and it’s a way the casinos get him to come back and lose more money.

    Is this similar with airline statuses?

    Isn’t it cheaper to find airlines that have better pricing than staying loyal to one? The money you spend in one airline for status, you can pay for the lounge visits and than some. Am I wrong???

  45. @Sean S. Trading one stop (most call them non stop) flights for connections on a better airline is not absurd at all. That especially applies to Ben and those like him who have much greater flexibility in the carriers they fly and times and dates of travel compared to most business travelers. Delta also flies a lot from MIA and maybe adding more flights with the LATAM JV. Most of the flights Ben reports on require connections to other airlines and don’t originate at MIA. Skypesos and SkyTeam are the big issue with Delta not the originating airport. Not being a hub captive and flying other airlines/airports offers great advantages for many travelers in a variety of circumstances.

    I get why a certain amount of AA flying might make sense for Ben to get to the flights he really wants to review. I’m not sure why EXP is so important to scramble for almost 50,000 EQMs in less than 50 days when there are other opportunities.

  46. I just requalified for ExPlat this week. Although I have no great fondness for AA, it actually doesn’t much matter because most of my flight time is spent on partners. Sure, the majority of my 34 segments are on AA, since I have to bounce off hubs (I’m in Minneapolis) and do a bit of domestic travel. But the vast majority of my 122k qualifying miles come from CX, QF, and BA (esp. CX, as I go to Hong Kong regularly). So I basically get all of the OneWorld benefits without having to endure much in the way of AA hassles.

  47. For the expensive trips to TPA, I would at least check the non-stop fares on Silver and WN out of FLL. Both have several frequencies a day.

  48. @Jeff – It’s because AA is far more generous with EQMs than DL. They give 1x miles flown in coach, 2x in business or domestic first, 3x in international first (certain fares). This year I have just over 75K MQMs and Plat. If I were flying the same routes on AA, I’d have well over 100K qualifying miles and be EP. I’d get upgraded pretty much every time. But I gave up on them because of Irrops and attitude and because it was stupid to take a connection to go to ATL. So, flying DL I know I have to pay for F if I want F. That’s OK. But I do feel pangs when I look at my status and realize I’m going from EP to nada on American because there are routes where they are my best option. Thankfully, I’m close to SFO, SJC and OAK so I’ll manage.

  49. If you booked JAL Premium Economy routes to SE Asia in early October you netted a huge number of EQDs and EQMs at $850 a pop. With IAP access those trips started around $725. And JAL has a really nice PE product.

  50. @rayflyer I don’t know where you’re located, but the easiest way to rack up EQD while flying is to book a long itinerary on a partner airline in a “premium” cabin. (eg. A $1500 ORD to HKG roundtrip on CX in premium economy nets roughly $3100 in spend – 20% of 15588 miles)

  51. There was never a question that Ben would actually not go for requalification. You will never quit American Ben so just own it. Unfortunately your POV and crediblity is diminished to the point where OMAAT is something I can quit.

  52. Ben- thank you! I totally understand and am captive to the Philadelphia hub myself. I’ve had a load of delays this year and I do hope your report that AA is improving it’s flight timing! I’m close but not quite EP yet but hoping to get it this year and discover it is worth it.

    I’ve only recently starting reading your blog and really enjoy it. Please keep honest reporting. I think your honesty is valuable and if you change your mind, I assume that means the airline is shifting its customer service. The Points Guy is a huge sell out (although I still read their articles) but I trust you above all other travel blogs right now so keep up the honest reporting!

  53. Ben
    I re-qualified for Ex Platinum Status in July, I am now into year 4 at that level.
    I only fly American long haul now (London to JFK to London) as I connect up to London from Dubai or Riyadh on BA. I have noticed some good things on AA on the Long Haul flights (It took me 2 years to get back on an AA long haul after flight after the horrible incident with the young chubby flight attendant back in March of 2017 on a LHR to JFK flight).

    The customer service Platinum Line staff are very helpful as is the ground staff at JFK and LHR, the food on the flights is very good and the seats are more comfortable than BA (Ying Yang). The older flight attendants on the Long Haul flight are real pros.

    Regarding domestic I avoid flying AA as I prefer Delta ( I have platinum status on Air France).

    Bottom line, despite the terminal switch at Heathrow, I like the AA flight to JFK better than BA (who are very kind people by the way).

    My traveling is now averaging 30,000 miles per month split between One World and Sky Team as I intend to keep platinum status with Air France and Exec Platinum with American.

    I am rather pleased that Air France invited me to a customer appreciation event with a 3-star Michelin chief in New York this coming week. I am going to attend and look forward to it.
    Bon Apetit
    Wright

  54. Ben this is spot on.

    I live in PHL, fly a lot, but took a year out last year to be with family and was downgraded from CK to Platinum.

    Platinum SUCKS. There are zero benefits, zero chances of an upgrade, zero customer service, you may as well not have status and book whatever airline suits best.

    I started flying again in July and will make EXP before thanksgiving despite flying Lufthansa a lot, plus my EQDs are high so I will go to the top of the list.

    Already as Platinum Pro, the service improved a little and they at least called me this week when I was downgraded due to an equipment change.

    I know life flying AA will be much more bearable once I get back to EXP. My last 4000 EQMs will be hard fought on some 10 short flights in the next 2 weeks.

  55. AA has Super fast WiFi? On my international flights I can’t even connect to their inflight network. The inflight network is inconsistent even on domestic flights. I make sure my iPad is loaded with entertainment, can’t count on connecting to AA inflight anymore.

  56. Lucky,
    I get your reasoning about being a hub captive and not having much choice besides AA. But my question is, is EXP actually worth it? Genuine question, what benefits does it give you, that your current status does not, especially since a lot of your flying is on business / first already?

    FWIW I’ve been UA silver for years as my family is in Chicago and I visit frequently. I do appreciate the upgrades to E+ but I’ve never gotten more than that. And talking to people who are gold and platinum many say they never get upgraded especially on popular business routes like ORD-EWR/SFO. So I’m happy to qualify for silver and not push for more (even though each year i probably average about 60-70k miles).

    This year I got Alaska MVP thanks to a Cathay flight I credited to them, and, flying out of SJC I get upgraded about 2/3rds of the time. So I’m going to qualify for MVP Gold for next year because it seems you actually get a good chance of upgrades.

    It seems that this whole elite thing has become elite in name only. Aside from Alaska which was a surprise for me, it seems anything beyond the initial level of status at an airline, which generally gives you E+, free bags, and early boarding, has diminishing returns and is certainly not worth killing yourself for. Am I wrong?

  57. @Lucky – I totally agree with your statement that AA’s lifetime status is not competitive. I can see not wanting to give out lifetime top tier status but I have never understood why AA did not extend the lifetime program to include Plat Pro at 3 million miles. It’s not EXP or CK and i get not wanting to give EXP or CK away for life but indeed it makes their lifetime program totally non-competitive.

    The legacy argument has always been that folks were allowed to earn million miler status years ago by including card spend . Those days are long gone. I get that If they give away Plat Pro at 3 million miles then those folks no longer need to buy upgrade stickers . But perhaps that would actually provide an incentive for folks to strive for 3 million miles and fly AA more. There is no real advantage to flying AA beyond 2 million miles . Of course some will argue that it’s worth flying to the 3rd million or higher to get the the threshold upgrades but I can’t see traveling 1 million miles past 2 million to get a couple systemwide upgrades but no new benefits .

    If AA moves to Plat Pro at 3 million and people don’t use the status , then the only real cost is the printing of the card . If they award Plat Pro at 3 million miles and people actually use the status then AA may see an actual benefit . As for swelling the ranks at any elite level , well , again that only happens if folks actually use the status . I understand there would be greater competition for upgrades but as AA has stated , they are all in on trying to monetize the front cabin aka DL. Complimentary upgrades are getting harder to obtain and I can only see that getting worse . Plat Pro is already 3rd in line behind CK and EXP. I just don’t see the downside to awarding Plat Pro at 3 million miles . Folks , like myself , hit 2 million and then go for 1 million miles on UA which gets lifetime Gold and companion status . I am well over 900,000 lifetime with UA and will soon hit the million mark but will still fly UA because the next million means something .

    @Lucky – sorry for being long winded but would love for you to do a deep dive on AA’s million miler program and it’s lack of competitiveness and see if you can get an explanation from AA why they refuse to go to Plat Pro at 3 million .

  58. Ben, man you are spot on. AA is really my only option due to the HUB, or United. I’m in a similar situation currently at about 54k EQM and 90EQS, so I already have Platinum Pro secured. Would love some idea on how to get 46k miles so I don’t have to go get 30 more segments. Where do you research deals to maximize miles?

  59. Ben, all due respect, you’re all talk but no action. I’ve been EXP for 20+ years, Lifetime Platinum, and requalified for EXP back in August. But I did the Delta Status Match Challenge and got Platinum Medallion for 2020. With my flying schedule (160K+ miles/year), I will easily make it to Diamond Medallion next year. I gave up on AA after everything that happened this year. That is the only way management will notice. If you keep on bashing them, yet you continue giving them your business, then nothing will change. Does that mean I will never fly AA ever again? No. I will still fly them when/if the circumstances grant it. But they will not have my loyal business anymore. I’m done, and I ain’t looking back.

  60. As a Fort Lauderdale resident I can say with full confidence that FLL sucks! Anyone advocating for him to fly out of there isn’t taking some aspects into consideration.

    Delta doesn’t have one quarter the flights AA has out of MIA. FLL has 3 long haul international destinations flights (Azul, Emirates, BA and Norwegian) and there are no lounges besides the Delta Club. I love JetBlue but they only have Mint to LAX out of FLL and I don’t want to fly coach if I can avoid it.

    Lucky is absolutely correct in trying to go for status again. The best part of being Exec Platinum at MIA is using the flagship check in and skipping security. That’s the biggest hassle of MIA.

  61. Sean S. I agree. Here in the UK, TUI, the tour operator has just announced that beginning next year their packages with flights will be landing at (as they describe it): Orlando-Melbourne. How ludicrous! I suppose it’s no different than Sanford having been promoted as ‘Orlando’ as well, but for the poor souls who haven’t a clue they’ll be jolly surprised when they land at MLB that they have an 80 mile drive to get to their blessed Disney, Paramount, etc. parks. I lived in FLL years ago and I absolutely dreaded having to drive to MIA to catch a flight to GIG, GRU, or wherever. All of this is part of the tragedy america is stuck with after the consolidation of so many airlines over the years. We have similar challenges here in the UK, when some poor soul who has never been to old Blighty lands at Stansted. I suppose it won’t be long before travel will be promoted from the US to places such as ‘London-Birmingham (BHX) and London-Manchester. Crikey, the Aussies could have the same with flights to Sydney-Melbourne, or Sydney Coolangatta/Gold Coast/Brisbane. Perhaps, in the future, there will be the Amtrak of the skies…. sorry…been a long flight from KIV (Chişinău) today and I’m feeling cranky!

  62. I too rolled my eyes a little bit. There was never a chance you were going to let top-tier status go living in a hub. Maybe if you never had it, you wouldn’t chase it, but you’re not going to let it go. I don’t really blame you either. Just thought the “drama” inasmuch as a travel blog can have drama was a little over the top. Hope all of your travels go smoothly.

  63. Sounds like you are still stuck in the way you look at AA.
    You can always credit the miles in upcoming trips to another OneWorld FFP like BA. Why u want to bank them into AA?
    Why are you not exploring othet options? The critics here might be right on something.

    Suggest you look at what you wrote again, but from another angle.

  64. @ Father Bill Haymaker
    “We have similar challenges here in the UK, when some poor soul who has never been to old Blighty lands at Stansted”

    I’ve never understood the hate for Stansted. A direct train service to central London in 45 minutes (that’s much less than train services from, say, either of Tokyo’s airports to the city centre; and less than pre-HEX Piccadilly line service from LHR). And direct trains the other way from STN, to Cambridge and Norwich. And unlike, say, Luton, the STN railway station is in the terminal.

    What’s not to like?

  65. OK, I am curious, especially as you mentioned it:

    How exactly did you book 42000 EQM for only $3200? Are flying economy or PE the whole way?

    I feel like this in and of itself would be worthy of a post.

  66. I’ll admit I’m squarely in the minority. But I preferred AA over DL. Before moving all my flying to AA I had a number of horrible DL flying experiences. Been AA EP for those 5 years and will make it again for 2020. I have quite enjoyed it. I especially like the OW privileges. Since I am a small business owner, all my elite earning is onmy own dime, so I could easily be a free agent. I simply like AA. I hate where the industry is headed, DL included. But AA and OW have been good for myself and the Mrs. (she’ll Re-qual as PLT) This is just one flyers opinion, as every post on here is really a personal preference, YMMV story. To all; thanks tho for your thoughts, I enjoy reading the different takes on AA. Cheers.

  67. Lucky, I want to start by saying that you are one of the best bloggers and provide a wealth of tips to maximize miles and points and are thorough and accurate in reviewing airline and hotel products. When I want to know what to expect from a hotel or flight I value your honest and thorough reviews.

    I believe the reason so many of your readers are disappointed with your quest for AA Executive Platinum status is that it is a poor product for a $15,000 spend. I like how you get good value from your points and excellent value purchasing discounted business class tickets. But to need to spend $15000 EQD for Executive Platinum perhaps is not the direction as a reader I like to read about. There are other luxury travel writers that are fine, but I turn to this wonderful blog to get accurate and well written articles about great value using miles and points, or great values in purchased discounted business class trips.

    Thanks for the excellent blog and I hope that you are making a wise decision chasing AA Executive Platinum.

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