American Airlines Sending Out Free Elite Status Trials

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I am very familiar with airline elite status matches and challenges and the really fun game of dominos you can play in that regard. Heck, in 2016 I matched my expiring United Platinum status to Alaska MVP 75K status and then used that to get the free JetSmarter flights last summer. It was a glorious chain of events, that sadly has come to an end for now as the only airline status I have at the moment is low-level United Silver status.

Or more accurately, I should say that the only airlines status I had was low-level United status. This afternoon an email landed in my inbox bestowing me with five months of American Airlines Platinum Pro status, which normally requires 75,000 elite qualifying miles and $9,000 elite qualifying dollars spent in a calendar year.

This isn’t a match or a challenge, but rather this is an outright gift good through May 25, 2018. If I earn 20,000 elite qualifying miles and spend $3,000 elite qualifying dollars on American and eligible partners between now and May 25, 2018, I can extend the status through January 31, 2019.

This isn’t just me though as I am seeing lots of reports from others (such as here) who have received similar status gifts from American today, though not all at the Platinum Pro level. They seem to have given out status at the Gold through Platinum Pro level, so absolutely pay attention to your inbox.

My subject line was an eye-catching “Free Platinum Pro status for you”. For those curious, Platinum Pro status includes the following perks:

  • Complimentary upgrades on flights within North America (confirmed as early as 72 hours before departure)
  • Priority check-in, security and boarding
  • 9 award miles/U.S. dollar (80% bonus)
  • Complimentary access to Main Cabin Extra and Preferred seats
  • 2 free checked bags
  • oneworld® SapphireSM status on partner airlines

In terms of data points, I have flown American some in the last year with more flights booked in 2018, but most of the flights are on miles as opposed to spending real dollars. I do have one American Airlines credit card at the moment and have never before had American Airlines elite status. Perhaps more importantly, until January 1st, I had Alaska MVP 75K status that I would use to secure free Main Cabin Extra seats on American operated flights On 1/1 my Alaska status ended and that component of the Alaska and American partnership went away, too. There may very well be a tie-in to those who had Alaska Airlines status they used with American with this offer, especially given that there benefits side of the partnership just ended. That would also explain why I got a better version of this offer given that I had top tier Alaska status.

Enjoying Main Cabin Extra seats on American Airlines

The promotion code for this offer is HV18T and here is the landing page, just in case you want to try your account’s luck. I don’t anticipate this is the sort of thing that will work if you weren’t specifically targeted, but it is free to try.

Did you receive free American Airlines elite status today, too? If so, have you had history with Alaska Airlines via your American account?

Head here to learn more about available rewards credit cards and their bonuses.

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  1. My wife got Platinum Pro and nada for me. We’ve both flown on the same itineraries (4 flights total) and both have an Aviator Red card with Barclays. Most of our travel is booked for the beginning of the year so it’s not much help to us but I was looking to see if there was anywhere we could travel to take advantage of her status. Considering how much flying you need to get Platinum Pro, it seemed strange to give it to such a low value customer.

  2. my wife received platinum offer, i am wondering if complimentary upgrade to main cabin extra can extend to whole family on award travel? i am actually thinking about going to hawaii, and this could be very good use for us.

    • It should if you are all on the same reservation. Not sure if it matters which traveler is associated with the PNR… If anything your wife SHOULD be able to call and get it moved into MCE if you are all on the same reservation. If you are looking to get upgraded you should also REMOVE the FF# for any travelers with lower status to get the same position on the upgrade list as your wife and then manually request credit after travel.

  3. I got platinum. Haven’t flown AA in years but did book an award flight for family last year. Signing up and now trying to figure out if this will help any of my travels in the coming months.

  4. It’s important to read the terms. In my case it was for Gold, but it says it is for three months from the date of registration. I almost registered but after reading the fine print realized I should wait until shortly before my next AA flight so that the three months will extend further into the spring. I have no status with anyone, but have redeemed AA miles for flights on Alaska and have two AA-affiliated cards (which unless they make Saver award space reliably available again I will cancel when annual fee comes due).

    I’m wondering how people with existing status levels feel about learning that millions of people are being offered status for free, albeit temporarily.

  5. I’m happy for you but not happy that a person that had no status now competes with me for upgrades 🙁 I guess it softens the blow knowing Mommy Points might take my upgrade 🙂

    • Ha ha. Totally understand. Take solace in knowing that unlikely that someone with no status starts overnight flying enough to make much difference!

  6. I was also gifted Platimum Pro status. I’ve never had any type of status on any of the legacy airlines. I’ve got a couple flights booked during this gifted status period though and had some questions:

    * Wondering how to match to United status equivalent.

    * How does Complimentary Main Cabin Extra and Preferred Seats (extends to up to 8 traveling companions) work? Do I just call to choose what seats I want? Will this apply to both my sons even if only one was originally booked on the same itinerary (the other was booked later and has a different confirmation number but later “linked”)?

    * Wondering if anyone can point me to detailed discussion (blog post?) on how the following work:

    72-hour upgrade window
    Flights 500 miles or less: Unlimited, auto-requested complimentary upgrades*
    Flights over 500 miles: Complimentary “domestic” (North & Central America, Caribbean) upgrades
    Upgrade one companion traveling with you on the same flight with 500-mile upgrades*
    Upgrades confirmed before departure (as early as) 72 hours

    • If your account online is showing as Plat Pro, it should be as easy as going to that reservation online and changing seats. If you are Plat Pro, it should show you the MCE seats in red and then $0 when you click on them. Not sure about a reservation that’s “linked”. If it has its own PNR then you might be out of luck… but use that fancy dedicated Plat Pro customer service number you received and they might be able to help.

      – 72-hr upgrade window means that they can confirm your upgrade up to 72hrs in advance (but probably won’t unless the flight is ridiculously empty).
      – 500-mile upgrades; as Plat Pro you will automatically be put on the upgrade list for flights less than 500-miles. You have to manually request upgrades (at the bottom of the page when you look at your reservation) for flights >500-miles, but they are unlimited. Unlike lower elites who have to use 500-mile certificates.

  7. Posting this fairly belatedly, so I hope someone sees it. 🙂 I know Alaska’s status match terms exclude status that has been gifted, not earned. I was wondering if anyone has successfully matched to United after receiving the free trial status from AA. I would think that is possible, since UA doesn’t ask for you to show how may miles you’ve flown/dollars you’ve spent, as does Alaska. Thank you!

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