American Top Elite Status Changes: Higher Spend Requirement, New Choice Benefit

When United announced at the end of September that earning 100,000 mile flyer ‘1K’ status would also require $15,000 in spending starting next year it was almost a foregone conclusion that American AAdvantage would do the same thing. I highly doubt there’s a single reader at this point who didn’t expect today’s announcement that Executive Platinum status will require $15,000 spend starting next year.

Meanwhile they’re introducing a new choice benefit for Executive Platinums who fly beyond 100,000 miles as well as adjusting mileage and status-earning when flying on their closest partner airlines or on ‘bulk’ or special fares.

American’s New Higher Spending Requirement for Executive Platinum Status

In addition to either 100,000 qualifying miles or 120 segments American’s ‘Executive Platinum’ status will require $15,000 spend starting in 2019, up from the current $12,000 spend requirement.

There are no changes to qualifying rules for lower elite tiers at this time. Although of course they’re gutting earning of qualifying dollars via credit card spend too.

None of this should come as a surprise, and simply continues a trajectory that’s been set. Two and a half years ago I wrote that American would logically make their elite program four tiers, make Concierge Key a new (5th) top tier, and make status harder to earn. That’s exactly what’s happened.

Tougher Status Rules are Reasonable But Disappointing

Airlines need to balance the number of elites in each tier with their ability to deliver benefits. Too many Executive Platinums means not enough upgrades to go around, for instance. Increasing the requirements for top tier status redistributes benefits to customers spending more.

In addition raising the bar will encourage some customers to give American more money. A customer earning top tier status with $12,000 spend, who gives business to some other airlines, may shift additional business at the margin to ensure they keep earning status. On the other hand some customers barely qualifying before may become less loyal. American’s bet here is that they will earn additional revenue that outweighs losses.

Delta, which also requires 125,000 miles for top tier status but allows members to ‘roll over’ any excess to the next year, started requiring $15,000 minimum spend for Diamond four years ago.

Interestingly $15,000 spend and 125,000 miles is a 12 cent per mile average fare, which really isn’t that high. United and American are requiring an average of 15 cents per qualifying mile. American hasn’t been earning the revenue premium that Delta has.

Ultimately American needs to decide what it considers a valuable customer and then treat that customer well. $15,000 seems high to me but I’m not surprised and I can’t fault an airline for ‘firing’ customers it doesn’t want.

However there’s little creativity coming out of AAdvantage at this point. If they want to improve margins, they could probably focus on the cost side. Perhaps they really only need 5 people on salary? Here’s what their new org chart could look like:

New Choice Benefits for Executive Platinums Flying Beyond 100,000 Miles

‘Overperforming’ Executive Platinums will get a new choice benefit. Instead of just earning additional systemwide upgrades for hitting higher qualifying mile milestones up to 200,000 miles, members will choose a benefit at each of 150,000, 200,000 and 250,000 qualifying miles:

  • 2 systemwide upgrades. This is currently the default current benefit, and there’s a chance to earn 2 more than today with the new 250,000 mile level.

  • 40,000 AAdvantage miles. Unlike systemwides, miles do not expire as long as there’s activity in an account. ConciergeKey members don’t pay cash co-pays on upgrade redemptions, so I’d probably recommend they choose the miles unless they are certain to be able to confirm upgrades at booking. Of course confirmed upgrades on most routes are tough.

  • Gift elite status. Members can gift a Gold status at 150,000 qualifying miles or Platinum status at each of 200,000 and 250,000.

Having a benefit choice is better than what’s offered today, but this isn’t a part of Executive Platinum status – even at the new higher spending requirement – only for those exceeding the mileage requirements of Executive Platinum. For those customers this is an unequivocal positive.

Changing Mileage-Earning on Joint Venture Partners and to Special Fares

American is changing how many qualifying miles are earned when flying airlines within one of their anti-trust immunized joint ventures — so far that’s British Airways, Iberia, Finnair and Japan Airlines. (They have joint ventures pending approval with LATAM and Qantas.)

Paid first and business class earns status faster, while mid-fare coach does too. However full fare coach will join coach and only earn 1 qualifying mile per dollar, down from 1.5 miles per dollar. This does not concern me.

Meanwhile ‘special fares’ — tickets where American Airlines doesn’t see the price due to a glitch, as well as bulk or consolidator tickets (for instance you can often buy cheaper business class tickets bundled with a hotel at AAVacations or other online travel sites), are going to see mileage-earning changes as well.

Historically I’ve found that special fares, like cheap business class fares on partner airlines, are much better for earning miles and elite status than tickets purchased directly through American.

They’re increasing class of service bonuses for first and full-fare business class booking codes to 100% (up from 50%) and elite qualifying dollars-earning to 40% (up from 30%).

Meanwhile Q, O and B fares will only earn 25% of miles flown (down from 50%) and qualifying dodllars-earning falls to 5% (from 10%).

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. As upgrades are already based on rolling dollars spent I don’t see how culling the EXP’s will help upgrade chances. Someone who spent $15k in the past year would already be prioritized over someone who spent less than that.

    The higher spend requirement is not a surprise. But, they don’t seem to be offering any additional value in return (unless you can fly 250k miles). Would have liked to have seen the rollover on EQM’s that Delta offers.

    Based on AA’s mileage program and new crappy planes, Delta is looking better and better One more year until hitting 2M miles and it appears more and more likely will be switching to Delta. Would have never contemplated that in the past. What a waste of a once leading airline!

  2. I have bailed from UA as a 1k to being a free agent. Non of the airlines are offering value for the price increase for loyalty. Better to select routes based on schedule, comfort and price rather than airline. Feel rather freeing.

  3. Combined with the Barclays change, they certainly won’t gave to be annoyed by us low EQD ExPlats much longer.

  4. I’m surprised that AA hasn’t replaced traditional SWUs with some form of exchangeable currency – let’s call them Wings – instead. This could offer an advantage to both them and us by allowing finer granularity, more spending options and better scope for special promotions.

    For example, an EXP could get 20 Wings as standard, with an international upgrade from economy to business costing 5 Wings, economy to PE 2 wings and PE to business 3 or 4 wings. But you could also expand beyond upgrades. For example, waiving a change fee for 5 wings, or buying a companion gold/platinum status for 5/10 wings. They could award bonus Wings at levels beyond 100k, but also have occasional offers to give lower tiers a few Wings as a teaser (like they did with a single SWU to over-achieving platinums a while back).

  5. * more cost
    * less miles
    * the same benefits (or less when you factor in that AA is aggressively selling Biz class seats vs available for SWUs).

    I’m just finishing up a mileage run. This may just be the end of my AA loyalty.

  6. @David NO, NO, NO. You’re thinking like some kind of clever, inventive loyalty marketer — not someone who works at American. They would never be smart enough to have an idea like “Wings” — and Parker would squash it like a bug if someone ever suggested it. Too forward-thinking, and prioritizes making customers happy over generating $67 more revenue per week.

  7. Yeah these changes are the final straw for getting me to become a free agent. Previously, I ran a lot through my Aviator Silver and Citi Exec cards but no more. I’m doing the Citi Exec cards now only for my retention bonus but once that’s done, I’ll sock drawer it.

  8. Just another comment from me…

    As Gary pointed out earlier (in a different article) Barclaycard Silver will only earn 3000 EQDs.

    So for me, this is not an increase of 12,000 -15,000, but an increase of 9,000 to 15,000. That’s massive!!!

    I live in Denver. Choosing American for me is the choice of a double-hop for nearly every flight that I take. Plus a very small admiral’s club (that now will limit my access).

    Congratulations Doug: you have killed loyalty.

    Enjoy your high end international travelers now, as I will remember this when the economy turns, and you will be desperate for us domestic travelers.

    I guess this is his way of ensuring AAs success, by making sure the seats are empty next year.

  9. Great changes! You shouldnt be able to earn 50% of EQD thru credit card spending. If you want EP status, then fly and spend.

  10. Why does any of this matter? According to a recent post, American makes its money selling miles, not flying passengers. The loyalty program folks are just stirring the pot a bit to trick management above them into thinking they are productive workers. Normal behavior for rank and file corporate types focused on perpetuating the bureaucracy and status quo, AKA job security.

  11. Is there no end to the destruction of the once great American Airlines? Less product, less comfort, more requirements to hit elite status with less benefit. Is this marketing genius on how to make customers leave?

  12. @Shza. Ok, so I don’t fly AA any more (EP 2017 last year, leftover Gold 2018, nothing 2019 and beyond)) , due to the changes in the Loyalty Program. However, if I flew NYC-SFO, round-trip on economy 20 times for an average fare of $500, before taxes in fees (so actual price a bit higher), it would be 20 x $500=$10,000 which is way less than $15,000. BTW, a typical NYC-SFO fare is between $300 to $400 in economy.

    Think about it as AA compared to a beggar on the streets of New York. Every day you see him, and you give him $1 dollar to feel good. Next thing you know, he is asking you for $5 dollars. Now he is up to $50 dollars, because it New York, don’t you know and the other beggars are asking for the same amount. AA is exactly like that beggar.

    Jr is exactly right: “If you want EP status [but think it isn’t worth it], then [do not ] fly and [do not]
    spend.” I did fly AA one time this year. I used miles to fly business to Mexico. No choice, the other options were not good. Otherwise, spend is $0.

  13. Member when AA Explat was earned with just 100k miles, decent partner earning, no spend requirement, got you 8 SWUs, and your upgrade priority was determined based on how far in advance you bought your ticket? I do.

    I don’t blame them for focusing on high-spending customers, but at the same time I now have no incentive to focus my business with American. Reaching higher tiers now means spending thousands of dollars extra for diminishing benefits- what’s a lowered shot at an upgrade to AA’s worsening first class really worth?

  14. One thing that AA hasn’t copied from DL & UA is the no EQD requirement for non-US residents. Though I’ve spent well over $15k in spend on OW flights, I’ve only gotten about $15k in EQD this year as QF & non-AA coded BA flights earn way less.

    They are making it tougher to be loyal & care.

  15. Thumbs up from this EXP.

    EQD threshold changes makes sense. 15K is not hard.

    Less EXPs overall is a good thing for the reasons Gary points out.

    All the other changes are positives.

    For once I actually agree almost completely with something Gary posted…

  16. Blood-sucking airlines.

    This won’t be a big deal for some who fly on the employer’s dime. Just like revenue-based programs, it is in the best interest of employees and consultants to spend more of other people’s money.

    At least delta gives some value of DM status like free CLEAR membership and gift certificates.

    AA is well on the way to achieving what appears to be its mission to become a second-rate airline with a second- or third-rate loyalty program.

    Alaska needs another merger fast to get access to east coast markets. Its frequent flyer program could be a huge competitive advantage.

  17. John said: “Alaska needs another merger fast to get access to east coast markets.” I agree. It would also be nice if Alaska could add a few international destinations like Hong Kong and Tokyo.

  18. @Chucks: Right. I’ve had Plat or EXP status for 21 years, but this 3-million AA flyer has lost incentive to re-up for EXP or even childishly named Plat Pro.

    Three years ago I achieved EXP status without spend requirement, got 8 SWUs I could use, cleared domestic upgrade list more than 80% of the time. I focused 95% of my flying on AA or partners. But tradeoff was that First within N America has been mediocre and inconsistent, as is AA’s soft product on longhauls, and redeeming miles has been a joke, especially with their main Europe partner BA charging ridiculous copays on a shoddy product.

    I have stuck with AA through the last several program devaluations. No more. I will be taking a very close look at Delta vs. free-agent options. AA may or may not notice. I no longer care.

  19. I think this is sort of the final nail in the coffin for AA credit card spend. Who the heck wants to put $50k in spend on a card to get $3k in EQD knowing they have to spend $12k to get to EXP? I guess there’s probably a few people who will do it but I have to imagine most of those people will probably be looking to spend elsewhere.

    I’m waiting for the announcement next year when AA says their credit card partnership yielded way less money than expected. It’s just going to be a bunch of people who keep an AA credit card open for the free bags, which is then sock drawered for almost the entire year.

  20. HA! Was looking to buy tickets for 2019 in the 2-person Qantas business sale which finishes tomorrow, that would have been enough AA EQD but not any more – now flying Etihad

  21. So AA EP “Partner flights” loophole is staying or going (bonus EQM/EQD for One World flights other than AA)?

  22. Great question Ally321 !!!

    I just tweeted Gary with this question as well: ” With the changes coming for AA and EXP reqs in 2019, do you know if Barclay will limit total acct earning to 3000 EQD, or will one still be able to earn 3000 with Barclay Aviator Silver AND 3000 with Barclay Aviator Business cards for 6000 total? “

  23. What the hell is 1k status level? What does this “1k” refer to? It seems silly to me. If you must, perhaps make it 100k status (miles flown) or 15k status (EQD)? Anyone else here struggling to see the “beauty” in this? Delta’s levels, at least, do not require numbers or multiple words (like different flavors of Platinums)… just a clean and simple: Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond….

  24. I’m platinum, and hard to keep it. I retire end of this year and my business travels will end and vacation travels will start, meaning I would look for best value to book my trips, I earned one more year of Platinum and it really does not offer me anything, upgrades are a few and mostly us flights, Also first class seats are now called executive class and no business class in many popular routes, the seats are uncomfortable, at the feet end is so narrow your feet hurts when you sleep, rolling over is impossible now. those comfortable seats to me are not worth $15,000 a year + 120K miles combined is not worth the comfort, food is bad as well. I flew Quatar to Europe on business,, it was cheaper that AA and amazing seats, service and food is the best in airlines I ever had.
    International business people that corporate pays their tickets don’t care of cost, when a recession comes, USA airlines start begging for customers again and loyalty has no place anymore and all due to top airlines executives are selfish to get bigger bonus, that has to end, because all employees don’t get any bonus or the free tickets they used to get are also gone.
    Good luck your lucky corporate flyers with free upgrades and us little guys have no value anymore.
    Once I use up my 850,000 miles I will be free to choose any airlines to fly, Quatar, Singapore are the better ones I have ever flown, being retired I wont care on status. There are lots of deals out there.

  25. If AA would offer quality seats in first or as they now call executive class and no business and added economy plus, are all very uncomfortable if you are a 6′ guy. seats suck, staff are old and nagging, food is terrible, and as long as corporate pays high price for those fliers, Platinum is now a by gone name with no power, no more first boarding, no more upgrades, I’m so close to million mile flyer and they changed it now to 2 million to get platinum for life,
    I retire end of this year and will use what I can for vacation and once i’m done, any airline on sale I will fly, a lot of good business class are very cheap out there, some half of what AA wants and better seats, Qatar is one of them, Singapore as well, Malaysia air was very nice last time I flew in code share. There are choices, AA executives want profit for bigger bonuses, thats wrong. A recession hits, no big shots will fly and AA, United will beg for customers, loyalty wont be there.

  26. Time to bail. I’ve been EP for the last 10 years and watched as it has been devalued beyond its worth. Dougy, if you wanted to lose customers, you finally found a way to lose them in large numbers. Delta/Alaskan is looking better and better. I live in a city only served by an AA commuter. I’ll suck it up and either drive the three hours or connect. As it is, they’ve made it almost impossible to use those SWU’s they so begrudgingly give. AA is significantly overpriced in most markets. I’ll go for a company that values their customers and their employees and treats them well.

  27. Seems so many people are obsessed with the perks and awards given by the airline. What a shame. They should be happy they can still travel freely and for the most part safely. What difference does less perks make in the scheme of things. America is fighting for important things that will have a lasting effect on the next few generations. Let’s cut the nonsense over travel and concentrate on real issues. If you can afford to go to these exotic destinations you should be willing to pay the price

  28. Interesting comments. I’m on the Delta side of that equation. Retired almost three years ago and had two years of Diamond roll over and 2.7M actual miles. Delta gives you gold at 2M. The first 2M were earned in 12 years with a good bit of around the world and International business class travel. The last 700k took 9 years after company eliminated business class tickets. On average 150-200k a year for 20 years.

    I’m finishing up a mileage run to qualify for Diamond in 2019. Primarily for the four Global upgrades (Which are getting almost impossible to use. 50% or less actual seat release on my flights) and the diamond boarding which boards with FC.

    My flying over the last two years both domestic and international has been a combination of paid and points tickets in both business and coach on Delta and Emirates. Flying monthly for a week or two. This will continue.

    Delta has made some changes that will hurt them down the road. SW Upgrades are very iffy and many times you don’t know if you will get a seat until you get to the gate. As long as that keeps up, best fare wins, loyalty doesn’t. With the new 350-900 on the long haul routes, Diamonds no longer get automatically upgraded to Economy Comfort or whatever the marketing guys name of the week is. This plane is in effect the old First, Business, Coach configuration.

    Like some of the commenters, where you live has a big impact on who you fly, but all the airlines are doing their best to dilute the loyalty programs to the no value point.

    There is almost no value given to long term loyalty, only value is to the short term “take”. Quarterly profit and bonuses have replaced corporate long term growth and viability along with customer value. The airlines were just a little slower to get there than some of the rest of corporate America.

  29. “In addition to either 100,000 qualifying miles or 120 segments American’s ‘Executive Platinum’ status will require $15,000 spend starting in 2019, up from the current $12,000 spend requirement.”

    Your use of the word “spend” is incorrect. You should use the present participle of the word, which would be “spending”.

  30. Steven, you said:
    “Your use of the word “spend” is incorrect. You should use the present participle of the word, which would be “spending”.”

    I would day that neither is correct, as Amwrican doesn’t count what I spend with them today. They do not count taxes and fees, nor do they count money that I spend directly with them on items like upgrades (my last purchased upgrade was 100,000 miles and $1400 dollars), memberships, etc.

    So neither is really correct… the 15,000 is whatever they f’in choose to allow us to accumulate. Their game, their rules.

    However, we do control the ball, spend and spending.

  31. I use to be an EXP but reverted to my lifetime Gold level for a few years due to downturn and less flying in my job. Only no returning to a lot of flying thinking I would reach Platinum soon was awarded and realized Platinum is not want it use to be and have to step through Platinum Pro before making it back to EXP. Looks like I can make it to Platinum Pro this year but not EXP. AA does not let us carry program miles or dollars over past December 31st so I will have to start all over again. Very disappointed, I am sure AA is disappointed me me too.

  32. Screw them. Last time I did a mile run was 5 years ago; switched jobs and don’t get to travel for work anymore :(.
    In that time, even with free bags, AA has been my best option only once. Other airlines were cheaper, more direct routing, flights when I needed them. The only other time I used them, was my daughters trip to CA two years ago (because of free bags with card). Then I got to the airport and was told it only counted if I was flying (as the card holder), so I still got stiffed for the bags round trip.
    Free bags on one RT pays for the anal fee…if I’m not getting credit for it and other airlines are doing more for me (without credit cards), I’m paying card off, cancelling the account, and burning my last miles.

  33. I am sick & tired of American always changing their exex plat product by constantly increasing requirements for ecxec plat

    Before we just had to do 100 k miles & you got 8 VIP certificate , then American changed to 100K plus $12000, but lowered to 4 vip I have been an advantage member since 1991, I am now hating American ( they are are starting to be a horrible airline, I just came back from China & even though service was good you still have to pay up until Three years ago after achieving EXP status without spend requirement, got 8 SWUs

    I dot cleared on cleared domestic upgrade list more than 85% of the time so I focused 95% of my flying on AA or partners. however at the end of the call they ask you to rate the representative you speak to

    why are we not asked to rate management policys ( because they are horrible) they suck!!

    I have stuck with AA through the last several program devaluations to us their clients. No more. I will be taking a very close look at Delta / other airlines that fly similar routes . AA may or may not notice. that I have left but I promise to share this message with every ex plat I know, & more exec plats will leave, so American will lose

    American has stopped going for great & now its all about the money
    Well American please say BYE BYE to mine, enough of americans craziness
    Keep your airline AMERICAN ( pity you have such an HONORABLE NAME) AS YOU SHOULD BE CALLED AMERICAN GREED AIRLINES WITH A SLOGAN “WE ARE GOING FOR YOUR MONEY” DEFFINATELY NOT GOING FOR GREAT
    spend some time reading the book from good to great you will see what I am talking about

  34. AA execs don’t care, they want high profits to increase their millions $$$$ on bonuses, not the company or their loyal customers. I joined AA in 1988 and it was great then, a smile got you a upgrade, i retired, just finished my last 30hr run, Singapore-tokyo-la-chicago. Missed the upgrade by one, ii booked 11 months ago, they got my money early and i find that any other exec pl can jump my position because he has 10 more miles than me. Not right either.

  35. One thing that MANY Executive Platinums are very very unhappy about is the Systemwide Upgrades. Let me illustrate with a question: “When is a gift not a gift???” And the answer is “When it is given by American Airlines”. By this I mean that the Systemwide Upgrades are nearly useless. I request to use mine (I get 8 per year because I fly more than 200,000 miles per year), but often they expire !! I get “wait listed”, and mostly the upgrades don’t clear. I really cannot think of very many businesses who choose to reward their most loyal customers with a recognition gift, but then make it basically impossible to use that gift. Boy, talk about a disincentive !! Whatever genius in their Marketing Department thought up the idea of making Systemwide Upgrades basically no different than standing by for regular upgrades was not very smart !! This year, I will end the year with about $50,000 spent on American, and probably about 275,000 miles (which means that I will continue to be a “Lowly Executive Platinum”, and my Systemwide Upgrades will mostly expire. So what do I plan to do next year??? Fly just enough on American to earn Executive Platinum, and then for those nice international business class trips that I fly (this year I will be at 9 or 10 of these trips), I will fly the foreign carriers who are much nicer anyway. Douggie Parker thinks that he can shaft his Executive Platinums and we will all sit peacefully by. Well, he was wrong.

  36. Way to go
    Clear all the riff raff out get rid of the little people and mere customers
    Get rid of those bottom feeders at 10k a year
    So glad I got to experience top tier status when it was respected as was your loyalty
    Being free of United American & Delta 99% of the year is life changing
    and all in a positive way
    Not only do I save a fortune and invest it in real estate and stocks but
    I never pay change fees at Southwest free baggage for friends and family
    Mostly fly Alaska which has the same benefits an an elite mid tier on American Exec Plat
    I love Alaska!!!
    Its like the 90s all over again where your loyalty is rewarded and respected.
    I have lifetime status on American and United and rarely use the benefits instead voting with my wallet where there is respectable business behavior and good hospitality
    The legacy carrier management teams( the vast majority) are hungry back stabbing animals that are criminal and ruining our transportation system @ these once proud carriers and programs
    Hello Mr Parker cough cough

  37. There’s near unanimous agreement that the airlines are shafting their best fliers. I can’t prove collusion but I think each of the airlines are working hard to eliminate loyalty programs entirely because they realize that today’s millennials will not move so companies are forced to fly more often.

    The only real answer is more competition. The loss of USAir, AirTran, Northwest and others combined with technology that ensures each airline moves price to match the others needs to be offset by the introduction of NorweiganAir and other international carriers, giving them point-to-point pickup as an encouragement to fly through mid-to-large US cities. This will force the legacy carriers to become more competitive. (This assumes that all of you (us) who are venting on this site actually will move to another carrier, something the legacy airlines are not totally convinced we’ll do…. just sayin’. If each of us tore up their credit cards and used another option, that would also impact the airlines since that’s one of the most profitable parts of their operation.

  38. Made “Life Time” Platinum on AA several years ago. Then they introduced a new tier, knocking me down a level. Loyalty? Bleh.

  39. A while back there was a investigation on companies colluding in price fix, it seems the airlines are doing it, i just wish the temporary 25 bag fee should end, we got screwed on that one, passanger rights are a joke, i booked and paid in full for several connections to asia and back. AA changed my flights and seats to the back of the plane, called and the lady on the phone said AA has the right to change flights and seats. Flight was full and sat 2 rows from back, an exec plat meant nothing, did not make the upgrade list, felt who ever got upgraded had a good seat that i could have. So my opinion is as long as your company is willing to pay your seats, fly like a king, out of a job and no longer flying, trust me, u won’t be spending those dollars, i see some writing in selfish mode to rid of gold members, they forget they also started at bottom to get to top level. I retired and using up my miles to vacation w the wife, when done, getting rid of airline cards, and booking nicer airlines with better prices and service

  40. Joined AAdvantage program in 1985. Been a nice run, but I guess it is over now. No longer is a ‘loyalty’ program based on any kind of loyalty…It’s just how much you spend. In reality, the EQMs are irrelevant. I can buy up to EXP without ANY miles flown! Over 15 years straight of AA or US top tier, but if I am not a cash-cow, then I am of no AAdvantage to AA. Retire in a year and free agent after that. Admirals Club also serious downgrade if not flying on AA, “no club for you”! This will catch up with you, Doug….

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