AA's Plat Challenge: Can't Do It!

Sep 3rd, 2008, 01:10 PM
  #1  
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AA's Plat Challenge: Can't Do It!

I dropped to Gold this year, and I called to see if I can try for the Plat challenge this year, and they said no. Is that people's experience?

Not only this, they are telling me I can't try for Plat challenge again until 2010.

Right now I have about 15000 qualifying miles. I'm flying to Europe in a few weeks (about 7000 miles) and to Buenos Aires in October (about 10000 miles). It's probably a bit of a stretch for me to qualify for Plat on my own. I'll still be a good 18000 miles short, so I need more than two trips to Europe, which is where I usually go.

Thanks!
111op is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2008, 02:49 PM
  #2  
 
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I suspect they can answer your questions better at FT than here, IMO
Paulchili is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2008, 03:46 PM
  #3  
 
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It's an undocumented benefit, so changes in the rules are... well, undocumented.

Did you challenge to Plat in the first place last year or the year before? If so, no sequential challenges allowed, so you'd have to wait until 3/1/09, not 3/1/10.

I'd phone back - cardinal rule when you get an unexpected (negative) answer from the airlines.
Gardyloo is online now  
Sep 3rd, 2008, 04:34 PM
  #4  
 
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Gardyloo to rescue...
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Sep 3rd, 2008, 04:43 PM
  #5  
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I can't remember when I completed the challenge. I think that it was January 2007? I flew on Cathay Pacific to Australia, which did the trick.

I guess I can again, but it sounds like it's a lost cause. Thanks!
111op is offline  
Sep 3rd, 2008, 09:02 PM
  #6  
 
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Since you got Plat in 2007 through a challenge, you can't do it again in 2008, but I believe the agent was wrong or you misunderstood. You will probably be able to do the challenge again next year, right after 1/1/09.
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Nov 9th, 2008, 06:17 AM
  #7  
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I should probably call AA again about this, but when does the clock restart for the Plat challenge? Is it Jan 1, 2009 (per AAFF), or is it March 1, 2009 (per Gardyloo)?

I know that the status is usually good through Feb. of each year.

This makes a difference, as I'm trying to decide whether I want to pay extra to fly Cathay Pacific between NYC and Asia. I can pay a little extra for class H, which I think allows me to accrue miles on AA. But the flight will probably take place in mid January of next year.

Thanks again!
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Nov 9th, 2008, 06:54 AM
  #8  
yk
 
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< I want to pay extra to fly Cathay Pacific between NYC and Asia. I can pay a little extra for class H, which I think allows me to accrue miles on AA. >

Do you mean you want to fly CX to get the POINTS needed for the PLT challenge?

You need to be sure the CX flight is actually an AA codeshare.

From:
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/showp...06&postcount=2

If you are flying on AA airline partners, be aware those miles may no longer count for a Challenge, though unless they are flown as American Airlines codeshares.
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Nov 9th, 2008, 07:30 AM
  #9  
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Thanks for pointing this out. How do I know whether the flight is a codeshare? I'm thinking of booking directly on CX's website, and I can book class H directly on it.

But it looks like those flights are probably not codeshare with AA?

111op is offline  
Nov 9th, 2008, 07:37 AM
  #10  
yk
 
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I'm quite confident that you'll have to book via AA for the CX flight, IF it's offered as an AA codeshare.
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Nov 9th, 2008, 07:40 AM
  #11  
yk
 
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To elaborate, the flight has to be booked as an AA flight with an AA flight number, even though it is operated by CX. If you book directly with CX, even if that flight operates as an AA codeshare, it still won't count for the challenge points because you have to be booked under an AA flight #.
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Nov 9th, 2008, 07:42 AM
  #12  
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Ok, I called AA and they are the saying the same as you are saying. Try booking it through AA's website or through a travel agent. My guess would be if I try booking it on AA's website, the fare will be enormous. I'll take a look and check.

This guy said that I can try for Plat challenge again starting Jan. 1, 2009. But I won't be surprised if someone else tells me something different.

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Nov 9th, 2008, 07:49 AM
  #13  
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The problem with using AA's website is that I can't all the flights to show up. For example, the outbound to Taipei only has Cathay listed, but for the return, I'm able to book a codeshare.

The fare is not as outrageous as I thought. The outbound is a connection in LAX with Eva. This prices to $1600. However, the outbound is about 5 hours longer than it would be otherwise.

The cheapest fare on CX is a little over $1200. Code H is around $1400.

However there's an another issue I'm concerned about. With tickets to Asia, normally the return is changeable without a fee. Is this true for codeshare on AA? It's quite possible that I'll want to change my return date.

It seems like I should abandon the idea of trying for the challenge.
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Nov 9th, 2008, 07:57 AM
  #14  
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I've a much simpler and basic question.

Right now I have about 21,000 elite qualifying miles for this year. With the one trip to Europe I'm taking, I should be over 25,000.

Currently I've Gold status. After I requalify, is the Gold status extended through Feb. 2010? Is that how that works?

I'm a little confused by this for this reason. Suppose I actually flew 25,000 qualifying miles in the first four months of this year. Would they still extend my status through Feb. 2010?

Is there something about flying in the first half vs. second half of the year I remember reading?

Thanks!
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Nov 9th, 2008, 12:20 PM
  #15  
 
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If you make 25,000 this year, you're Gold through February 2010. If you make 25,000 next year, you're Gold through February 2011. You can always shoot for higher than that next year too. That's achieving status the regular way.
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Nov 9th, 2008, 04:38 PM
  #16  
 
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Is there something about flying in the first half vs. second half of the year I remember reading?

The challenges are set so that if you challenge Gold or Plat in the second half of the year your status will remain until the end of February in the second year following, i.e. challenge in October 2008 your status is good until February 2010. If you challenge in the first half of the year then it's only good until the following February.

If your status is due to expire at the end of February 2009 and you requalify during calendar 2008, then your status will remain until 2/2010. If you requalify during calendar 2009 (say in mid-February) your status will remain until 2/2011. However that would mean a lot of flying between 1/1 and mid-February in that scenario, since all elite qualifying miles and points reset to zero on New Years Day.
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Nov 9th, 2008, 04:57 PM
  #17  
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Thanks for the clarification. So if you qualify the normal way in year T, then the qualification is always good through Feb of T+2?

For example, qualify sometime in year 2009, then it's good through Feb. 2011?

There's no distinction between first and second halves of the year in this case?

By the way, Gardyloo, I think you have some experience with Israel. Would you mind taking a look at my questions in the Middle East forum? It's really late to be doing the research. Thanks for any help you can provide!
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Nov 9th, 2008, 05:02 PM
  #18  
 
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For example, qualify sometime in year 2009, then it's good through Feb. 2011?

There's no distinction between first and second halves of the year in this case?


Both right.
Gardyloo is online now  
Nov 11th, 2008, 01:38 PM
  #19  
yk
 
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When you called AA the other day regarding the challenge, did they mention about a fee to join?

http://www.flyertalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=887542
For challenges from Nov 1st, $150 for Plat and $80 for Gold
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Nov 11th, 2008, 01:41 PM
  #20  
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Wow. No. Another reason for not trying the challenge!
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