Why You Should Carry Your Airline Status Card

I posted a picture of my Executive Platinum cards from American Airlines a few days ago as a Picture of the Week, fully realizing how nerdy I am for doing an actual photoshoot of airline status cards.  A reader commented and asked what the point of the cards was nowadays since so much of our status information is contained on mobile boarding passes and in airline mobile apps?

Executive Platinum cards!

Executive Platinum cards!

I always keep my EXP card in my wallet for one simple reason: I don’t need my phone to pull it up.

Why is that important?  Let’s say I’m transiting in Heathrow Airport and for whatever reason can’t get the airport wifi to work.  If the boarding pass from my previous flight doesn’t pull up properly I don’t have a way of showing the Fast Track connecting flight people that I have status and qualify to use the lane.  If I have my card I can easily point to the Oneworld Emerald logo in the bottom left and go through pretty easily.

A similar scenario would be when you need to get to an airline transfer desk in order to obtain your boarding pass.  If there’s a special lane for those with status, you may not be able to join it without your card in hand (since your boarding pass has yet to be printed).

I travel internationally on Oneworld airlines besides American fairly often.  Those airline agents probably could not care less what Executive Platinum means but they do know what Oneworld Emerald means.  Having the card in your hand just makes life so much easier, whether you’re Gold, Platinum, or Executive Platinum.

What do you think?  Do you carry your status card with you or rely on your mobile app and/or boarding pass?

3 Comments

  1. I just took my AA card out of my wallet last night. It’s also added to my iPhone’s wallet. Am I missing something as to how that wouldn’t have the same effect? There’s no need for WiFi, simply a charged phone.

    Reply
    • In my experience airline employees know status cards and may be more skeptical of something on a phone. (That may be me being paranoid, admittedly). Also, look at how small the OW Emerald emblem is on your phone compared to the status card.

      Reply
      • Maybe not so paranoid. I had a similar issue at the BA F lounge in LHR. I’d hit EP on the inbound, but my boarding pass showed P. The BA rep wouldn’t take my digital card as legit.

        Reply

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