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AAdvantage - From Platinum Status to Gold status?????

AAdvantage - From Platinum Status to Gold status?????

Oct 6th, 2007, 07:32 PM
  #1  
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 57
AAdvantage - From Platinum Status to Gold status?????

I have flown enough miles in 2007 to qualify for Gold Status in 2008. I have been a Platinum member for five years, and I had Gold staus for a few months the first year I started flying AA, I qualified for Platinum later the same year.

Now heres the tricky part, I have to go across the Pacific to attend to family matters between now and March/April, 2008. If I make this trip in November, 2007 I will requalify for Platinum status, this gives me the incentive to make this trip next month. But, there are no seat sales and my ticket will cost about $1800 with taxes. (With a seat sale I pay about $1200 with taxes).

If I choose to make the trip early next I will not be able to maintain my Platinum status for another year. But, my work and personal schedules will be better if I put the trip off by a few months, until early 2008.

My family and my travel agent have all benefited from my Platinum status with free upgrades, lounge access, free tickets, etc. And they are all telling me not to give up the status, and drop one tier down to Gold.

Also, I have more than 50 electronic upgrades in my AA account.

I do not know how much travelling I will be doing in 2008....my guess is one or two trips across the Pacific and one trip across the Atlantic to visit relatives.

So, I would like some advise from fodorites who have either Gold or Platinum status as to what they would do.

Any thoughts/advise/ideas would be appreciated.

If I do travel in November 2007 I need to make flight arrangements ASAP.

Thanks in advance.
goingtomiami is offline  
Oct 6th, 2007, 07:56 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 23,074
$1,800? From where to where?

Also, check JAL. Many of the discount fares earn 70% AAdvantage miles and also 70% EQP. That may be enough for you to requalify for gold.

[Won't bother with Cathay, as only the most expensives fares earn anything.]
rkkwan is offline  
Oct 6th, 2007, 09:28 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,438
Several thoughts/questions -

Where are you?

How far are you (miles or points) from Plat renewal? If one transpac RT will do it, then I'm guessing something like 10-12K miles? If so, you could look at a couple of mileage runs before the end of the year - lurk around Flyertalk or FareCompare.com for sales that would generate something like 3000 - 4000 EQM or EQP for $200 or so. For example, right now AA will sell LAX-MIA-GUA-MIA-LAX, with the overnight in Guatemala City, for $212 all in - 6500+ EQM, and as Plat 13K+ redeemable miles. Two of those and you've saved $1400, kept Plat, and have a ton of miles in the bank.

I'd check fares again - from LAX to NRT for arbitrary dates in November I'm seeing $713 all in, not $1800. LAX-DFW-NRT for $727, for something like 15,500 EQM (31K redeemable.)

If all else fails, you could fall to Gold, then challenge up to Plat after February, assuming you didn't use the challenge to get to Plat in the first place. For information on the challenges, see the AA board on Flyertalk.

As a last last resort, for the last several years AA has offered a "buy back" offer - keep Plat for $400 or so (depending on how close you are.) No guarantees that it will be offered again, but no reason to think it won't.
Gardyloo is offline  
Oct 7th, 2007, 09:41 AM
  #4  
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rkkwan and Gardyloo, thank you for the feedback, both of you have given me good advise.

I'm in Toronto, Canada and I will need to travel to Hong Kong over the next few months.

I am going to London in December 2007, after my flight from Toronto to London I will have between 32,000 and 32,500 AAdvantage qualiflying miles. Since most my travel earlier this year was in Q class, I get 50% elite qualifying points, I can't qualify for Platinum status with points.

Therefore, I need to fly 18,000 miles in 2007, to qualify for Platinum status in 2008. My travel agent is suggesting I fly YYZ-LAX-HKG-LAX-LAS-LAX-YYZ to maintain my staus for another year. I will be flying AA and CX, and I will have to pay for one of the higher booking classes on CX to earn miles. A ticket YYZ- LAX-HKG will cost me a little more than $1800 including taxes and fuel surcharges. A LAX-LAS ticket adds another $150 to the airfare cost. An AA YYZ-LAX/ORD/DFW/JFK-NRT-HKG is $1575 because there are no seat sales. (Also, I cannnot get a ticket for YYZ-HKG on AA for the dates I will travel in November, 2007 should I deceide to make this trip). I usually pay $1200 for these AA tickets when there are seat sales, but there hasn't been a seat sale since April, 2007 and my travel agent and I are begining to wonder if seat sales are a thing of the past. I guess AA will have many passengers flying LAX/DFW/ORD/JFK to NRT to connect to JAL destinations in Asia now that JAL has joined One World.

My travel agent and I have looked at JAL, JALs discount fares give only 50%of the actual mileage and I would not be able to qualify unless I get 100% of the miles flown. (You used to get 70%, but this was changed to 50% a few months ago).

For the five years I have had Platinum status I have flown 50,000 miles each year to qualify for the status. I don't anything about how to challenge from Gold to Platinum, I will look into this. Regarding the buy back offer, I think you need to fly 40,000 miles to qualify. Without the trip to HKG I will have flown just over 32,000 miles so I won't qualify.

I'm still debating what to do....
goingtomiami is offline  
Oct 7th, 2007, 09:54 AM
  #5  
 
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In my opinion, you should save your money and settle for Gold this year. You're too far out from Plat, and as you've already found, only the highest fares on CX earn AA EQP.
rkkwan is offline  
Oct 7th, 2007, 10:23 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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On the buyback, there are two prices - one for "almost" people with ca. 40K miles, a higher one (I think $100 more) for folks who'd be like you.

I looked at fares to HKG via PVG (AA service from ORD) and using AA to PVG and CX to HKG, it comes in at $1123 all in; the add-on fare from YYZ makes it closer to $1500 (all US); you might look at an award to ORD then use AA/CX from there (books into W on both carriers, thus good for AA, not for CX.)

If your trip is in the new year, be sure to make it before you lose Plat on 2/29/08, so at least you get the 100% mileage bonus.

The seat sales this year all seem to be to NRT; you might also look at an intra-Asia award for NRT-HKG, which are plentiful on CX or JL.
Gardyloo is offline  
Oct 7th, 2007, 09:30 PM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
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If you want to Challenge into Platinum, you'll have to wait until your Platinum status expires at the end of February. Then you'll need 10,000 points in 90 days.
hills27 is offline  
Oct 8th, 2007, 10:33 AM
  #8  
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rkkwan, Gardyloo and hills27, thank you for your help.

I have looked into a NRT-HKG ticket, but that costs just as much as my transpacific YYZ-JFK/DFW/LAX/ORD-NRT ticket, in a booking class that doesn't earn AA qualifing miles, so this isn't an option.

I have looked at the AA website but I haven't found information about the Platinum challenge. I also looked at Flyertalk. I have a few questions about the Platinum challenge. If I take the challenge and fly 10,000 points 90 days from when my AA Platinum status expires do I have to fly 50,000 miles or points in 2009? I'm unclear as to what the catch is. Sorry to sound so dumb.

This is a difficult decision because most of my flying is from YYZ- LHR on BA, and YYZ-HKG on AA, via NRT or on CX. As of March 1, 2008 Miles flown on BA will no longer count for AA qualifing miles. Also, most of my relatives have left HK, and gone back to the UK. Therefore, in the future I will be travelling to HKG much less. (Maybe, once a year or once every two years).

Obviously, I do not want to commit to the Platinum challenge if I am obligated to fly 50,000 miles/points in 2009.

goingtomiami is offline  
Oct 8th, 2007, 10:43 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
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Get Aeroplan to match your status and move over to Air Canada! That makes all the planning a lot easier.
rkkwan is offline  
Oct 8th, 2007, 11:32 AM
  #10  
 
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Platinum challenge:

If you complete the challenge between March and June then your Plat status is good only until 2/08, but

If you complete your challenge after June 07 then your Plat status is good until 2/09.

Challenges are an unpublished perks. You need to call AAdvantage and ask for it. You can start a challenge on the 1st or 15th of the month.

Remember, it's 10K POINTS not miles. Discounted fares only earn 50% of points for every mile flown. Plat challenge can be done with as little as 6,666 miles on full economy/business/first fares or as much as 20K miles on discounted fares.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Oct 8th, 2007, 11:38 AM
  #11  
 
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I'm not sure but I remember reading on flyertalk.com that AA has adopted a new rule. It has to be AA metal/codeshare flights to count for challenges. BA from CAN to LON won't count. You will get miles, but no points for challenge regardless of the fare.

(somebody may correct me if I'm wrong)
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Oct 8th, 2007, 11:52 AM
  #12  
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rkkwan, I did have elite status with Air Canada in the early 1990s, I found that the perks from AA are better than AC.

AAFF, thank you for your input...I am confused if I complete the challenge between March and June 2008 shouldn't my Platinum status be good until Feb 2009? Do I get Platinum status until Feb 2010 If I take the challenge after June 2008? If I fly 10,000 points in 90 days can I start on the 1 or 15 of any month, and what else am I obligated to do?
goingtomiami is offline  
Oct 8th, 2007, 11:58 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
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As already posted, you can't sign up to a Plat challenge until you drop to Gold which is MAR1.

If you sign up and complete the challenge before 6/15 or 6/30 (I'm not sure) your Plat status will only be good through 2007 and first 2 months of 2008, unless you get status the "old fashioned" ay, 50K miles, 50K points or 60 segments in 2007.

but if you complete the challenge after June 2007 then your status will be good until the end of FEB of 2009. If you want to keep Plat status beyond 2008 then you need to fly 50K miles, 5K points or 60 segments in 2008.

Hope this explanation helps.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Oct 8th, 2007, 12:04 PM
  #14  
 
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Corrections:

Once you complete the challenge in the second half of 2007 you are good until 2/2009. If you want to keep Plat status beyond 2/2009, you need to fly 50K miles or 50K points or 60 segments in 2008.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Oct 8th, 2007, 12:37 PM
  #15  
 
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The OP wouldn't be qualified to do the Challenge until falling to Gold on March 1 2008. Therefore his/her Plat status would be good through 2/09. If he/she waits until after June 16, it will be good until 2/10.
Gardyloo is offline  
Oct 8th, 2007, 12:46 PM
  #16  
 
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I thought he dropped to Gold for 2008?
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Oct 8th, 2007, 12:49 PM
  #17  
 
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I should have said "will drop to Gold" unless he does that one trip in NOV.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Oct 10th, 2007, 06:48 PM
  #18  
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I checked flyer talk, now I understand how the challenge works, I wish I'd know about this when I first joined AA, that would be an extra 40,000 miles in my account.

I have enjoyed the perks I have received as a Platinum member over the past five years.

I'd like to thank you all for your help.
goingtomiami is offline  
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