American Airlines finally announces status extensions, among other changes

American Airlines announces elite status extensions, reduced elite qualifications, and more.

The Flight Brothers: American Airlines

Following announcements from Delta, United, and Alaska Airlines over the last few weeks, American Airlines finally broke its silence this morning with some news for its AAdvantage elite members.

We’ve summarized the most major changes below, but recommend reading the full press release here.

Elite Status

  • Elite Status Extensions: AAdvantage members would receive elite status extensions through Jan. 31, 2022
  • Easier re-qualification: Elite status qualifications are being reduced for 2020. New qualification requirements are noted in the table below:

Admirals Club Memberships and Passes

  • Admirals Club membership extensions: Admirals Club memberships purchased from American will be extended for 6 months. This applies to all active memberships as of March 1,2020. New annual Admirals Club memberships purchased between March 1 and May 31, 2020 will receive a 6 month extension.
  • Admirals Club One-Day Pass extensions: Unused Admirals Club One-Day Passes expiring between March 1, 2020 and May 31, 2021 will receive a 6 month extension.

Additional accommodations

  • Special credits: AAdvantage elite members will receive up to $400 special credits for future travel on American Airlines Vacations packages.
  • Faster earnings for Million Miler status: Every dollar spent on an eligible AAdvantage co-branded credit card through the end of 2020 will count for one mile toward Million Miler status.
  • Award travel flexibility: Award reinstatement fees are waived or reduced for travel through September 2020. Details and fees are noted in the table below:

Final thoughts

While most of these changes won’t come as a surprise, it’s great to see that American followed the standard set by the rest of the major airlines. In addition, American took things one step further by allowing credit card spend to once again qualify towards Million Miler status. Until December 1, 2011, it was the case that all AA miles earned counted towards lifetime elite status and it’s nice to see them bring this back temporarily in limited form. Based on these changes, they are clearly trying to incentivize spending on their airline co-brand cards (which they receive a cut on) to drum up whatever cash they can now. They may also be exploring similar arrangements as Delta and United to sell miles early at a further discount to their banking partners.

It was only a matter of time until American made an announcement, but it’s good to see they didn’t shy away from what had become the norm, based on other airline announcements over the last few weeks. Major props to Delta for putting pressure on the rest of the industry to make similar accommodations for its elite members.

What do you make of American’s announcement? Did you expect anything different?

Related articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *