American Airlines Introduces Elite Status Boost & Renew (Soft Landings Gone)

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American Airlines will offer first time in 2014 the ability to boost or renew your Gold, Platinum or Executive status. The elite status soft landings are gone, as predicted on my earlier piece (access here) back in March.

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You can renew (or buy back) your Gold status for $649 and Platinum one for $1,199. The renew options doesn’t apply for Executive Platinum accounts.

Boosting means that you can buy elite qualifying miles/points or segments to reach Gold, Platinum or Executive Platinum status. You can buy up to 5,000 miles or 5 segments to reach Gold or 10,000 miles or 10 segments to reach either Platinum or Executive Platinum status.

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You can use the boost or renew option starting sometime in January. AA promises to update the account within 5 days to reflect the transaction in case of status upgrades or March 1st. You can access AA’s web page for this offer here.

Conclusion

This is a smart move from AA’s part. United has been selling premier qualifying miles year long. US Airways allows one to purchase the status level they prefer up front and Delta usually has a year end promotion allowing one to buy up to 10,000 MQM’s.

By not doing this earlier, AA has simply left money on the table. The downside is that the elite soft landings are most certainly gone.

This certainly helps those that wish to retain their status (Gold or Platinum) or are within 5,000 to 10,000 miles of reaching/renewing Gold/Platinum/Executive Platinum status and are not eager to fly an extra trip or two.

Here are the terms and conditions of this offer:

Thank you for visiting the American Airlines® elite status offer website. American Airlines (“American” or “we”) describes below the Terms and Conditions that apply to the program. Under the program, eligible members of American’s AAdvantage® program will be able to obtain elite status for the 2014 membership year based upon the expiration of their AAdvantage elite status membership level on February 28, 2014, and/or their 2013 elite qualifying activity, in accordance with these Terms and Conditions.

Your submission of information to obtain elite status through this offer constitutes your acceptance of these Terms and Conditions, as such Terms and Conditions may be changed by American from time to time without notice or liability to you.

Program

The ability to obtain elite status through this offer is a one-time option and is non-transferable. American may discontinue this program at any time without notice or liability to you. You must be a member in good standing of American’s AAdvantage program (“Member”) and hold AAdvantage elite status, valid through February 28, 2014, and/or meet the published requirement for elite qualifying activity for 2013 in order to qualify for this offer. Customers receiving temporary elite status as part of a special challenge offer must first meet the qualification requirements to retain that elite status level beyond the temporary period to be eligible to participate in this offer. As a Member, you acknowledge and accept that the obtainment and use of AAdvantage elite status is subject to the rules, regulations, terms and conditions of the AAdvantage Program, available at www.aa.com/aadvantage. AAdvantage Program rules, regulations, terms and conditions are subject to change without notice.

You may choose the offer(s) for which you are qualified based upon the published criteria. You must pay the published amount for your selected offer, which is subject to change from time to time by American without notice to you.

All amounts paid by you under this program are exclusive of sales, use or privilege taxes, or tax-like charges, fees or similar liabilities. GST applies to residents of Canada. American reserves the right to refuse to carry out any elite status offer if you do not fully pay all amounts due and payable by you. All applicable fees are collected in US dollars and are non-refundable. You must complete your payment of the elite status offer fee, in addition to any applicable taxes and credit card processing fees, between January, 2014, and May 31, 2014. Elite status offers obtained through this program will not be authorized retroactively if the payment is not completed before the Member’s current status expires. The elite status effective date for Members purchasing an elite status level higher than their elite status level valid through February 28, 2014, will be within 5 business days of the purchase being completed. The elite status effective date for Members purchasing an elite status level that is the same or lower than the elite status level valid through February 28, 2014, will be March 1, 2014, or if the purchase is completed after that date, within 5 business days of the purchase being completed. New elite status credentials will be mailed to you within 3-5 weeks of the effective date of that status.

All elite status offer requests are processed by eBay. Your submission of an elite status request authorizes American, eBay or one of their agents, to charge the credit card that you provided for the fees associated with the transaction undertaken by you. All charges related to an elite status offer should appear on your monthly credit card statement. In the event of any financial discrepancy, payment calculations under the program shall be based upon data maintained by American or its agent.

You acknowledge and agree that in order to process an elite status offer; certain personal information about you may be disclosed to eBay and the credit card company as necessary to carry out the transaction. American reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to approve or disapprove the participation of any Member in this elite status offer program.

Who’s Eligible

All current AAdvantage members are eligible to participate in this offer based upon their AAdvantage elite status level valid through February 28, 2014, and/or 2013 elite qualifying activity.

Customer Service

All inquiries with respect to the site, the elite status offer program, or the AAdvantage Program shall be directed to AAdvantage Customer Service at 1-800-882-8880.

Here are the frequently asked questions by AA about this program:

When will the elite status boost / elite status renewal offer be available?

This option will be available starting in January. If you are eligible to participate, you will be notified via email or you can visit the information page and bookmark it to check back for updates.

What is the eligibility criteria for participation in the elite status boost offer?

You will be eligible for an elite status boost if you end 2013 within:

  • 5,000 elite-qualifying miles or points; or 5 segments of reaching Gold; or
  • 10,000 elite-qualifying miles or points; or 10 segments of reaching Platinum or Executive Platinum

What is the qualification period for meeting the required thresholds to boost my elite status level?

The qualification period is January 1, 2013, through December 31, 2013.

How do I check my 2013 elite qualifying miles, points and segment balance?

Log in to aa.com and select My Account. The AAdvantage Account tab will show your YTD elite qualifying miles, points and segments for 2013. If you are checking your account balance in January 2014, you will need to select your December 2013 summary in order to view last year’s totals.

What is the eligibility criteria for participation in the elite status renewal offer?

To be eligible for elite status renewal, you need to hold Executive Platinum, Platinum, or Gold status valid through February 28, 2014. No additional flight activity requirements apply.

Note: Customers receiving temporary elite status as part of a special challenge offer must first meet the qualification requirements to retain that elite status level beyond the trial period to be eligible to participate in this offer.

Can I be eligible for both an elite status boost and elite status renewal offer at the same time?

Yes, depending on your elite status level ending February 28, 2014, and your 2013 elite qualifying miles, points or segment balance, you may be eligible for two different offers.

If I hold Executive Platinum status through February 28, 2014, but will not end 2013 within 10,000 elite qualifying miles or points; or 10 segments of re-qualifying, can I still renew my Executive Platinum status through this offer for 2014?

No, you will need to meet the required thresholds in order to be eligible to use this offer to retain your Executive Platinum status. However, if you have not qualified for any elite status level for 2014, you will have the option to boost your elite status to Gold or Platinum for 2014 or, if you have qualified for Gold status for 2014, you will have the option to lift your elite status level to Platinum.

If I do not hold elite status for 2013, can I boost myself to Platinum status?

No, as a non-elite status member, you may only boost yourself to Gold status, provided you meet the required 2013 elite qualifying balance threshold. You will not be eligible to use this offer to obtain Platinum or Executive Platinum status.

Do I need to be subscribed to American’s email products in order to participate in this offer?

No, although you will need to provide an email address to receive your receipt should you decide to participate in this offer.

If my 2013 elite qualifying miles, points or segment balance changes post December 31, 2013, due to a delayed or missing flight posting, will that be taken into account when determining the offers for which I am eligible?

Yes, your offer eligibility will be determined based on your 2013 elite qualifying miles, points or segment balance as of when you make your offer selection. Any changes to your 2013 elite qualifying balance after your transaction is complete will not result in a refund. Please be sure all flight activity is posted to your account prior to making your purchase.

Once I’ve completed my purchase transaction, can I change my mind and request a refund?

No. Once your purchase is complete, the offer is non-refundable.

If I purchase the Gold status boost and later decide I would like to switch to the Platinum status boost, is that possible?

If you are eligible to purchase either a Gold or Platinum status boost, you may switch to the higher elite status level. Please contact AAdvantage Customer Service to make this change. Note: Once the purchase transaction is complete, you will not be able to switch from a higher to a lower elite status offer, i.e. from a Platinum status boost to the lower Gold status boost.

When will I receive my new AAdvantage elite status card

You will receive your new credentials within 3-5 weeks of the effective date of your new elite status level.

I completed my elite status boost or elite status renewal transaction, but have since received a letter providing details of the elite status level I actually qualified for. Does that mean my transaction did not go through?

No. This is merely an issue of timing. If your account is updated with your new elite status level on aa.com and/or you have already received your new elite status card, please disregard the mailing regarding the status you qualified for. Note that your account on aa.com will be updated within 5 business days.

Who can I call if I have questions about this offer or my completed transaction?

Please contact AAdvantage Customer Service

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