American Airlines will change system for achieving status

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AA is extending all current AAdvantage members' loyalty status for three months, until March 31, 2022.
AA is extending all current AAdvantage members' loyalty status for three months, until March 31, 2022. Photo Credit: American Airlines

American Airlines will implement a simplified process for achieving AAdvantage loyalty status next year. The carrier will also extend all current AAdvantage members' loyalty status for three months, until March 31, 2022.

Under the new accrual process, which takes effect Jan. 1, American customers will get one loyalty point for each AAdvantage frequent flyer point they earn. Loyalty points can be earned by flying, spending with an AAdvantage credit card or by shopping online or dining with AAdvantage partners. 

AAdvantage members achieve Gold status with 30,000 loyalty points, Platinum status with 75,000 points, Platinum Pro status with 125,000 points and Executive Platinum Status with 200,000 points.

The process replaces the more complicated pathway required to achieve AAdvantage status, for which individuals must spend a designated amount of money over the course of a year and also meet a threshold number of miles flown or a threshold number of flight segments flown. 

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"Loyalty should be simple, and we have reimagined our AAdvantage program to a single point system that provides a clear path to earning status for our members," chief customer officer Alison Taylor said in a prepared remark. "For our loyal members, the message is simple: Earn AAdvantage miles, earn status -- whether that's by flying on American or by spending on everyday activities."

American's decision to extend the sunset date for existing status levels comes as travel has picked up, but business travel remains well below 2019 levels. The dearth of business travel over the course of this year has made it more difficult for many flyers to retain their status. 

American said it will allow AAdvantage members to double-dip in January and February, accruing loyalty points for both 2022 and 2023. 

The carrier is also revising the formula it uses for qualification to its Loyalty Choice Rewards program. Next year, AAdvantage members will become eligible for Loyalty Choice Rewards if they achieve Platinum Pro status and fly at least 30 flights on American or a qualifying partner airline. 

The program, which was formerly called Elite Choice Rewards, offers qualifying AAdvantage members a choice of rewards, such as Admirals Club day pass, systemwide upgrades or bonus AAdvantage miles.

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