Has anyone had any luck getting around the drastic and infuriating changes to American Airlines qualification rules for Aussie members wanting to earning elite Advantage status? They are so punitive for Aussie flyers that I’m seriously thinking about switching my allegiance to a new frequent flyer programme.
The first infuriating change is that “You must fly at least four segments on American Airlines (AA) or American Eagle (AE) to qualify for Executive Platinum, Platinum or Gold status within the qualifying year”? I only discovered this after putting my AA FF number on return business class Finnair flights to England in October. My account now shows 39,829 AA points earned, which should have earned me Gold status at 25,000 points, yet my status level is a big fat blank. Why? Because I haven’t flown 4 segments on AA or AE metal, which is very easy to do if you live in the States. Much harder and MUCH more expensive to achieve if you live Down Under.
The second infuriating change is that they’ve scrapped the Platinum Challenge. I’d very carefully researched and paid for return business class flights to both the UK (Finnair) and South America (Qantas) this year which cumulatively would have earned me AA Platinum status. I actually paid $400 more to fly Qantas, rather than LAN for SYD-SCL-SYD as the AA customer service office in Sydney had assured me, prior to booking and paying for my flights that they would definitely qualify me for Platinum status whereas the LAN flights wouldn’t. But when I rang 6 days later to enrol in the Platinum Challenge, I was advised that it had been been “cancelled indefinitely”. To say I am furious would be an understatement!
To add salt to the wound, AA recently sent my husband an email offering to extend his Gold Status for a further year if we paid USD699. How can it be possible to buy gold status for USD 699 without flying on AA or AE metal, but not possible to earn Gold (or Platinum) status after spending $20,000 on fares?
If you’ve had any luck in getting AA to grant you Gold or Platinum status without flying 4 segments on AA or AE metal, and without paying USD699 per person, please let me know how you did it!
If it’s not possible, I will definitely be switching my allegiance to another FF program as I feel as though I’ve been thoroughly shafted. Any recommendations on good FF alternatives to AA for Aussies who fly business internationally, but who don’t visit the US much?