American Airlines
Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

American Airlines Extends Status and Benefits For Everyone: 2019 Novel Coronavirus Pandemic — But…

“As with recent announcements from such frequent travel loyalty programs as Hilton Honors, World of Hyatt, Delta Air Lines SkyMiles, and United Airlines MileagePlus, the team members of Alaska Airlines seem to be doing whatever they can to provide maximum flexibility to you and other customers — as well as members of the Mileage Plan frequent flier loyalty program…”

American Airlines Extends Status and Benefits For Everyone: 2019 Novel Coronavirus Pandemic — But…

American Airlines
Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

The paragraph you just read was from this article at The Gate pertaining to Alaska Airlines extending elite level status and benefits for everyone due to the impact on travel by the 2019 Novel Coronavirus pandemic; and although American Airlines seems like the last holdout of the legacy airlines which are based in the United States, the airline announced similar policies, according to this announcement at its official Internet web site — but some news which may not be considered friendly to customers is included.

The latest information from American Airlines pertains to updates with regards to the extensions of elite level status and benefits for everyone.

Status of Benefits of Premier Elite Level Status

American Airlines Santiago to Miami
Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

Your benefits are automatically being extended with no effort or input required on your part as a member of the American Airlines AAdvantage frequent flier loyalty program — including:

  • If your current elite status expires on Sunday, January 31, 2021, the expiration date will automatically be extended until Monday, January 31, 2022. You will continue to enjoy all the benefits that come with your elite level status; and you can earn a higher level of elite status through reduced elite qualification requirements this year. Membership accounts will be updated by Friday, May 15, 2020.
  • Thresholds for elite level status qualification are being reduced for each status level for the 2021 status year to ensure that earning an even higher elite status tier is easier. You will be able to qualify for a higher elite status level in 2020 with lower requirements for earning Elite Qualifying Dollars, Elite Qualifying Miles, and Elite Qualifying Segments. Elite level status qualification for 2020 is as follows:
Qualifying Metric Gold —
oneworld Ruby
Platinum — oneworld Sapphire Platinum Pro —
oneworld Sapphire
Executive Platinum —
oneworld Emerald
Elite Qualifying Dollars $1,500.00 — reduced from $3,000.00 $4,000.00 — reduced from $6,000.00 $6,000.00 — reduced from $9,000.00 $9,000.00 — reduced from $15,000.00
Elite Qualifying Miles 15,000 — reduced from 25,000 30,000 — reduced from 50,000 45,000 — reduced from 75,000 60,000 — reduced from 100,000
Elite Qualifying Segments 15 — reduced from 30 30 — reduced from 60 45 — reduced from 90 60 — reduced from 120

Lowering Elite Qualifying Mile Thresholds for Executive Platinum Rewards

American Airlines domestic first class
Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

If you qualify for Executive Platinum elite level status this year, the thresholds required to earn a choice of one reward per level of earning Elite Qualifying Miles will be reduced for the year 2020 effective as of Friday, May 15, 2020, for if you reach:

  • 90,000 Elite Qualifying Miles — reduced from 150,000 Elite Qualifying Miles — you may choose from:
    • Two systemwide upgrades
    • 40,000 bonus AAdvantage miles
    • Gift of AAdvantage Gold elite level status
  • 120,000 Elite Qualifying Miles — reduced from 200,000 Elite Qualifying Miles — you may choose from:
    • Two systemwide upgrades
    • 40,000 bonus AAdvantage miles
    • Gift of AAdvantage Platinum elite level status
  • 150,000 Elite Qualifying Miles — reduced from 250,000 Elite Qualifying Miles — you may choose from:
    • Two systemwide upgrades
    • 40,000 bonus AAdvantage miles
    • Gift of AAdvantage Platinum elite level status

Extending Expiration of Systemwide Upgrades

American Airlines International Business Class between Bogota and Miami
Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

Any unused systemwide upgrades with an expiration date of Sunday, January 31, 2021 will be automatically extended through Saturday, July 31, 2021.

While we’re not awarding new systemwide upgrades with the extension of Executive Platinum elite level status, members who qualify or re-qualify for Executive Platinum elite level status in 2020 will receive four systemwide upgrades valid through Monday, January 31, 2022.

Accounts will be updated by Friday, May 15, 2020.

Reach Million Miler Lifetime Elite Level Status

Admirals Club Lounge Atlanta
Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

Via a promotion for a limited time from Friday, May 1, 2020 through Thursday, December 31, 2020, every dollar spent on net purchases will count as one mile toward Million Miler lifetime elite level status for all eligible Citi / AAdvantage and AAdvantage Aviator products — as well as select AAdvantage credit cards outside the United States.

This emulates the days when all earnings of AAdvantage miles used to count towards Million Miler status — but this benefit is for the aforementioned cardholders only.

Extension of Memberships to Admirals Club

Admirals Club Lounge Atlanta
Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

All Admirals Club lounge memberships which are valid as of Sunday, March 1, 2020 — as well as new Admirals Club memberships which are purchased between Sunday, March 1, 2020 and Sunday, May 31, 2020 —  will be automatically extended by six months.

American Airlines Vacations Credit

Hilton La Romana
Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

Effective as of Wednesday, July 1, 2020, AAdvantage members who have earned elite level status will receive a special one-time credit of up to $400.00 — which will be based on the level of elite status as of Tuesday, June 30, 2020 — and once the credit is received, it can be immediately used towards the purchase of an American Airlines Vacations package.

Elite Level Status Credit Amount
Gold $300.00
Platinum and Platinum Pro $350.00
Executive Platinum $400.00

Award Reinstatement and Change Fee Waivers for Award Travel Tickets

Award reinstatement and change fees for award tickets which are booked by Sunday, May 31, 2020 for travel through Wednesday, September 30, 2020 will be waived.

For award travel ticketed on or after Monday, June 1, 2020, award reinstatement and change fees will be waived when the change is implemented at least 60 days before travel. A new fee structure will apply to changes implemented with fewer than 60 days prior to travel as follows:

Elite Level Status Change at a Minimum of 60 Days Prior to Travel Change at a Minimum of 7 Days — But Fewer Than 60 Days — Prior to Travel Fewer Than 7 Days Prior to Travel
Executive Platinum $0 $0 $0
Platinum Pro $0 $50.00 $75.00
Platinum $0 $75.00 $100.00
Gold $0 $100.00 $125.00
Regular Member $0 $125.00 $150.00

Fees apply to each award ticket which is either changed or reinstated.

Fees vary by elite level status of the member using AAdvantage miles from his or her membership account and the number of days prior to departure of the first changed or canceled flight in the original trip.

The flight award change fee or reinstatement fee will be waived for:

  • Members using more AAdvantage miles to purchase a higher cabin on the same flight or flights.
  • Executive Platinum members using AAdvantage miles from their membership accounts — including for Web Special awards.

Summary

American Airlines International Business Class between Bogota and Miami
Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

Of the legacy airlines which are based in the United States, only American Airlines is charging award reinstatement and change fees for award travel which is ticketed on or after Monday, June 1, 2020 if the changes or award reinstatement is implemented within 60 days for many members of the AAdvantage frequent flier loyalty program, which may be seen as unfriendly to those affected customers. Should those fees be waived for all members — regardless of when they are implemented?

This article is the latest in a series pertaining to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus — which is also known as COVID-19 or 2019-nCoV or SARS-CoV-2 — pandemic in an effort to get the facts out with information derived from reliable sources…

…as well as attempt to maintain a reasoned and sensible ongoing discussion towards how to resolve this pandemic.

Other articles at The Gate which pertain to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus include:

All photographs ©2018 and ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

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