American Airlines Status Match (Challenge): Gold, Platinum & Executive Platinum

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Most of the US based airlines are offering status match programs to woo business from competitors. I have written about United’s (read here), US Airways’ (read here), Delta’s (read here) and Alaska’s (read here) status match programs previously.

EDIT: This article has been fixed to include the correct number of EQP’s for the Platinum challenge that is 10,000. 

american-airlines-status-match

American Airlines has offered several targeted offers throughout the year and one public one too that was shortly withdrawn. The airline, however, continues to offer AAdvantage Gold & Platinum elite status challenges for cash (no status with other airlines required) and Executive Platinum challenge without fee for Delta Diamond’s and United Premier 1K’s/GS’. The offer maybe available for US Airways Chairman’s members as well.

Elite Qualifying Points (EQP’s) versus Elite Qualifying Miles (EQM’s)

american-airlines-eqp-eqms

AA’s challenges are based on EQP’s and not on EQM’s. You can normally qualify for AAdvantage status based on either EQM’s or EQP’s.

american-airlines-eqp

The most discounted economy fares only earn half EQP’s per mile flown and full fare economy to first class earn 1.5 times the EQP’s per mile flown.

american-airlines-status-match-fra-dfw-gig

Above is an example from Frankfurt to Rio de Janeiro via Dallas.

The number of EQP’s that you would earn on Deep Discount Economy 0.5*(5143+5222+5222+5143) = 10,364

The number of EQP’s that you would earn on Discount Economy (5143+5222+5222+5143) = 20,728

The number of EQP’s that you would earn on Full Fare Economy, Business or First 1.5* (5143+5222+5222+5143) = 31,092

american-airlines-status-match-lax-lhr

Here is another example from Los Angeles to London return.

The number of EQP’s that you would earn on Deep Discount Economy 0.5*(5456+5456) = 5456

The number of EQP’s that you would earn on Discount Economy (5456+5456) = 10911

The number of EQP’s that you would earn on Full Fare Economy, Business or First 1.5* (5456+5456) = 16368

Eligible Airlines

The eligible airlines for completing the challenge are American Airlines, British Airways, Iberia, Japan Airlines (JAL), Qantas and Finnair, which was just added to the list of participating carriers.

Eligible codeshare flights are also valid for the challenge. American Airlines treats all AA marketed flights, regardless of the operating carrier, as their own for elite qualifying purposes. Flights on airlines such as Etihad or Qatar are also qualifying as long as you are ticketed on American Airlines flight number.

“Eligible codeshares” would also imply that British Airways, Iberia, JAL, Qantas and Finnair coded flights that are operated by other airlines would qualify for the challenge as long as they qualify for AA credit.

You have to check the eligible fare classes on partner airlines for EQP accrual. You can access the charts on AA’s website here.

Timing Of The challenge

You can usually request the challenge to start on the 1st or 16th of the month and it is valid for three month period. If you start the challenge after June 16 and successfully complete it, the status will be valid until the end of February + 2 years.

Requesting The Challenge

The fastest way is to call the AAdvantage customer service number (1 800-882-8880) in the States. If you are not located in the US, just use Skype.

Be very specific about the challenge that you would like to sign up for: Gold or Platinum. For Executive Platinum in, they require you to submit documents about the status with other airline.

If you sign up for the Platinum status, AA may grant you the Gold status immediately (remember to ask).

Make sure that you get the status dates that you prefer. The starting of the status can be backdated for up to two weeks.

Gold & Platinum Challenge

Gold challenge requires 5,000 EQP’s during the three month period and a fee of $100 to $120.

Platinum challenge requires 20,000 10,000 EQP’s during the three month period and a fee of $200 to $250. (Edit: I mistakenly had the number of miles that you need to fly on deeply discounted fares that is 20,000, which could be 10,000 EQP’s on lowest fares, to successfully complete the challenge first.)

Note that these are based on EQP’s and not on EQM’s.

You would not fulfill the Platinum challenge requirement by flying Los Angeles to London return in deep discount economy, although you fly more than 10,000 miles, due to 0.5 EQP multiplier (only 5456 EQP’s).

You would, however, fulfill the challenge requirement even on the lowest fares from Frankfurt to Rio de Janeiro if you route it via Dallas (10,364 EQP’s)

Executive Platinum (EXP) Challenge

American also offers instant Executive Platinum status for three month period and requires you to earn 25,000 EQP’s during that period for successfully complete it. This is only offered for top tier members of United and Delta, and requires documentation of current status with them. There is no fee for this.

Upon successfully completing the challenge, you will receive the 8 eVips that you can systemwide to upgrade flights (only long-haul makes sense).

Thank you for your interest in making American Airlines your first
choice for all your travel needs.

We are pleased to grant you a special AAdvantage Executive Platinum®**
(oneworld® Emerald) membership, valid from August 1, 2013 through
October 31, 2013. Your status will be updated within 3 to 5 business
days. Your membership card will be mailed within 3 to 5 weeks to the
address on your account, once your status has been updated. This
one-time trial offer will afford you all of the privileges and most of
the benefits of this level, including:

— Complimentary 500-Mile Upgrades (see www.aa.com/500mileupgrades)
— 100% mileage bonus on base miles for eligible flights
— Waived AA charges for two checked bags within current size and weight
limits
— PriorityAAccessSM privileges at airport check-in, security and
boarding gates

In addition, if you earn 25,000 elite-qualifying points by flying on
select airlines* while enjoying this special AAdvantage Executive
Platinum status, we will extend your membership through February 28,
2015 and deposit eight (8) one-way Systemwide Upgrades** into your
account. For more information about earning elite-qualifying points,
visit aa.com/elitestatus at your convenience. We are pleased to update
your account with 2,643 elite qualifying points for your travel August
1, 2013 from DFW to Buenos Aires.

We’re here to help, should you have any questions related to this
limited offer. We value your business and look forward to welcoming you
aboard soon.

Kindest Regards,

Jessica Jxxx
AAdvantage Customer Service
American Airlines

* Travel on eligible airlines includes American Airlines, American
Eagle, the AmericanConnection® carrier, British Airways, Iberia, Japan
Airlines, Qantas, and effective July 15, 2013, Finnair, as well as
eligible codeshare flights. Bonus elite-qualifying points do not count
toward your qualification for this offer. You must re-qualify for
AAdvantage elite status membership annually.

**AAdvantage Executive Platinum® status received through this offer does
not automatically include the eight (8) one-way Systemwide Upgrades that
are granted upon meeting the standard qualification requirements for
this membership level. To receive this benefit, you must earn 25,000
points as noted above. Upon qualification, these upgrades will be
deposited into your account within two weeks following your qualifying
flight and will be valid for travel through February 28, 2015.

Above is the copy of the email received from American regarding EXP challenge.

Conclusion

American Airlines is quite generous at offering fast track offers for Gold and Platinum status for a fee without requiring you to have any status with other airlines.

The Executive Platinum challenge is a good and includes all the goodies (the eight eVips) for successfully completing it. You also receive the Executive Platinum status for the duration of the challenge.

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  • Evan

    Hi John, would AS operated flight count toward the public elite challenge? The flight is booked on aa.com

    • http://loyaltylobby.com/ John O.

      Alaska operated do count but only if you have booked them as AA codeshares like AA1234 operated by AS421.

      • Evan

        John, thanks for the reply. I just booked the flight. It shows:

        Flight 3
        AMERICAN AIRLINES #6859
        OPERATED BY ALASKA AIRLINES Flight Los Angeles(LAX) at September 9, 2013
        11:30 AM
        Arrive : Anchorage(ANC) at September 9, 2013 04:15 PM
        Class : Economy Seat(s): unassigned Meal(s): Food For Purchase Food For
        Purchase

        Flight 4
        AMERICAN AIRLINES #6783
        OPERATED BY ALASKA AIRLINES Flight Anchorage(ANC) at September 10, 2013
        02:30 AM
        Arrive : Seattle(SEA) at September 10, 2013 06:46 AM
        Class : Economy Seat(s): 20A Meal(s): Food For Purchase

        This should work as its marketed as AA flight right?

        • http://loyaltylobby.com/ John O.

          Correct. As long as flights are coded on AA flight numbers as yours are, AA treats the flights as their own.

  • Peter Gilchrist

    John – thanks for putting these together; wonderful insight. I noticed you mention you get Exec. Plat. status right away if doing that challenge. Should I assume that if doing Gold or Plat. only status you don’t get them during the challenge period (i.e. you only get the privileges once the challenge is successfully completed)?

    • http://loyaltylobby.com/ John O.

      Correct. That is the reason you should ask to get them to give you Gold status immediately when doing the Platinum challenge

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  • David

    John, I confess to being a little confused by all of this, so can I bring it down to a simple question. I have had Plat AA status for several years, but this year, will only achieve enough miles to get Gold. Is there someway I can pay a fee in order to retain Plat beyond current expiry in Feb 2014 ?

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  • Flightfox

    Great article! Check out what shortcuts to elite status we discovered: https://flightfox.com/tradecraft/shortcuts-to-elite-status

  • bumpmad

    “Platinum challenge requires 20,000 EQP’s during the three month period and a fee of $200 to $250.”

    No its 10,000, not 20,000….

    • http://loyaltylobby.com/ John O.

      Let me check if I have made a mistake here and fix this if needed.

      • joe1234x

        Since no edits in 24 days, can I assume that your original statement of 20,000 EQP’s was correct for the Platinum Challenge?

        • http://loyaltylobby.com/ John O.

          I have added a RED EDIT that I will have an update by Monday.

          • joe1234x

            Any news there John O? Have an upcoming trip and need to pull the trigger and would like to call AA loaded with good info. Thanks!

          • http://loyaltylobby.com/ John O.

            I have fixed the article now. I mistakenly had the number of miles that you need to fly on deeply discounted economy fares (20,000) to meet the EQP requirement that is 10,000.

          • joe1234x

            Thanks John! Really helps with my planning. So, my math says I’ll get 9,961 pts during a one month period. :-( Any options you can recommend? Other than hoping another trip comes up in the following months?

          • http://loyaltylobby.com/ John O.

            That is SO close! Just take quick trip to somewhere to get the missing EQP’s.

          • joe1234x

            Ouch. $200-$250 fee for Plat Challenge, then $148 is the cheapest ticket I can find to anywhere (SAT-DFW) so $350-$400 (+ 1/2 day fo my life) total to get platinum status. Not sure if worth it. I’m thinking on it. Thanks for all the info!

  • shay peleg

    Do they still offer the exec plat challenge for DM’s?

    • http://loyaltylobby.com/ John O.

      They have had it available for United 1K’s and Delta DM’s, but not sure if they do right now. Can you call and ask? Let us know what their reply is.

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  • Claire B

    Do you have to book during the 3 month period? If you’re flying in August to meet the challenge requirements, do you have to book after June to meet the requirements? Or can you book flights in March and still meet the conditions?

    • http://loyaltylobby.com/ John O.

      The ticketing date doesn’t matter for the challenge.

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  • ct

    If you start the challenge on June 16, do you till get status until 2014?

    • http://loyaltylobby.com/ John O.

      As long as AA hadn’t changed anything (they could have), your new status would be valid until the end of February 2016 if you successfully complete the challenge.

  • footballwater

    John, I just found this old post. Have you heard of any way I can do a challenge to get Executive Platinum? I am a Delta Diamond and I wanted to see if there was a “special” way I can try to get this challenge since I heard they aren’t doing it as freely this year.