From first class upgrades and priority boarding to free checked bags, airline elite status can offer a number of attractive perks. If you’re ready to switch allegiance to another airline, meeting the Elite Status match can save you from having to start anew. Thankfully, many airlines often offer status matches to entice passengers to switch to them.
However, American Airlines operates a little differently from most other US airlines. Here are seven things to know if you want a status match with American Airlines — which also has the option stashed.
What to know about AA status matches
1. American generally only offers a position challenge, not a position match
Unlike other US-based airlines, American Airlines does not typically offer a specific status match to passengers. Instead, American Airlines typically gives AAdvantage members the opportunity to complete a status challenge.
A positioning challenge involves enrolling with A Advantage and then achieving defined earnings targets within a time period set by the airline. However, the availability and terms of this status challenge are not publicly available on the US website. Instead, you have to call to sign-up.
But unfortunately, even this limited route for the position of American Airlines is not currently available. Based on recent reports, American Airlines has ended its status challenge with the switch to its new Loyalty Points Elite Status program in early 2022.
2. The airline usually limits the challenges to a mid-tier position
Even when American Airlines offered the challenge of an elite status, it was limited. That’s because American Airlines will only allow AAAdvantage members to challenge up to AAdvantage Platinum Elite status. If you consider the unreleased American Airlines concierge’s tier it’s the second level of American’s four-tier elite status ladder—the five-dimensional.
Advantage Platinum status offers a lot of unique perks. However, travelers who are accustomed to top-tier deals with other airlines may be disappointed to be so far down on American Airlines’ upgrade list.
Passengers must meet the full requirements of elite status in order to earn higher levels of elite status such as Platinum Pro and Executive Platinum. The only benefit to completing the challenge is having some level of elite perks along the way.
3. The Challenges of American Airlines’ Status Aren’t Free
Another aspect of American Airlines’ elite challenges is that members typically have to pay to enroll. Reportedly, the amount you get paid depends on what specific status level you are looking for and whether or not you want to enjoy Advantage Elite status while working on the challenge.
This feature sets American Airlines apart from virtually any other status match or challenge. And even when those airlines charge a fee — like more recently Frontier Airlines — the fee is modest. Meanwhile, American charged up to several hundred dollars to enroll in the Status Challenge.
4. You Can Get Hyatt-American Airlines Status Match Offers
Although you cannot currently meet an American Airlines status match from other airlines, you may be able to use Hyatt Elite status to obtain Advantage Elite status.
Upon linking your Hyatt and American Airlines accounts, you may be targeted with an offer for AA Advantage Elite status. If you’ve linked your American and Hyatt loyalty accounts before, check your AAdvantage promotions page to see if you’re targeted for the American Airlines Status Matching challenge.
To receive notifications of new American Airlines status match opportunities from Hyatt, make sure you have a valid email address in both the World of Hyatt and AAdvantage member profiles.
5. You may be able to get American Airlines status match through StatusMatch.com
Another way to potentially get an American Airlines status match is through StatusMatch.com. This website verifies the specific status for each applicant and then works with airlines to offer position matching and challenges. Unfortunately, at the time of writing, StatusMatch is the only waiting list request for American Airlines status matching.
6. You Might Consider Matching Your Elite Status to an American Partner Instead
Since you can’t do an American Airlines status match, consider completing a status match with an American Airlines partner. American Airlines is one of the 13 members of the Oneworld alliance. And anyone with elite status on any other Oneworld airline can enjoy benefits while flying American Airlines.
Alaska Airlines is arguably the best option for a oneworld status match. Alaska – which joined the Oneworld alliance in March 2021 – offers a status match challenge that grants applicants temporary status for 90 days. Passengers can extend that elite status on Alaska Airlines by meeting certain travel requirements.
7. You Can Get American Airlines Status By Doing Nothing
The easiest — but least reliable — way to get American Airlines A Advantage elite status is simply by doing nothing. American Airlines has been known to offer free elite status to AAdvantage members from time to time.
This AAdvantage Elite status is generally valid for three months. During that time period, target members have the opportunity to meet low profit-making requirements to maintain that elite status for a longer period.
American Airlines does not share the criteria for people targeted for these free elite status offers. However, some passengers who have been targeted in the past reported that they had reduced US flight volume just before the offer was received.
The challenges of the positioning of American Airlines, recounted
American Airlines typically offers elite status challenges to members rather than status matches. However, it looks like American has stopped all position challenges in early 2022 as it transitions to the new Loyalty Points program.
Still, you have a few ways to potentially earn AAdvantage Elite status—whether through World of Hyatt, StatusMatch.com, or in the form of a targeted offer from American Airlines. Or, you can match your elite status to an American Airlines partner airline to earn elite status while flying American Airlines.
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