The other shoe finally dropped for American frequent flyers. Last week, American Airlines became the final legacy carrier to raise the elite status qualification criteria for earning its top-tier elite status. In 2019, travelers who want to earn Executive Platinum elite status for 2020 will need to fly 100,000 miles and spend $15,000 by the end of the year — up from $12,000.
American’s move comes just a month after a nearly identical move by United. Qualification for (published) top-tier elite status on American, Delta, and United will now all require $15,000 in spend. American and United will require 100,000 miles flown annually while Delta will require 125,000.
It’s no surprise that American followed United in matching elite criteria — after all, AAdvantage and MileagePlus are so similar that differences among qualification tiers could end up being a significant advantage for one carrier. What’s perhaps more telling, however, is that American wasn’t interested in highlighting that competitive advantage and vacuuming up a few defectors from United’s MileagePlus program. Elite travelers, indeed, may simply be too numerous for airlines to care about at this point.
— Grant Martin, Business of Loyalty Editor
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Skift Business of Loyalty Editor Grant Martin [firstname.lastname@example.org] curates the Skift Business of Loyalty newsletter. Skift emails the newsletter every Monday.