Attention: this information is now out of date. The AAdvantage program described below has changed effective January 1, 2016. Hopefully my previous post helped you understand the basics of the AAdvantage program. I want to get into some more advanced topics, and the easiest way to organize it, I figured, would be to pose a series of questions that I’m often asked, with my responses. Is status with American really that important? Only if you want to skip security lines, board planes first to ensure there’s room for your carry-on up top, check 2-3 bags for free, get free upgrades on domestic and international itineraries, reserve exit row and other premium seats, standby on earlier flights for free, have many different fees waived for you, have rebooking priority when your flight is cancelled, or access to Business and First Class lounges on international itineraries. If none of that interests you, then it’s probably not worth it to qualify. How long does my status last? To make things confusing, there are two “years” in terms of status: membership year and qualifying year. There’s really no easy way of describing this generally, but I’ll try my best: Qualifying years run from January 1 – December 31 of Year 20xx. Membership years run from March 1 of Year 20xx+1 – February 28/29 of Year 20xx+2 I know, I’m sorry. Here’s the specific example. It is January 1, 2012. I currently have no status. If Gold status is my target, I have until December 31,… read more
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