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AAwesome, But Not AAgain – Why I’m Not Chasing This Status in 2023

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American Airlines Elite Status
Photo courtesy of American Airlines.

American Airlines Elite Status

Just over a year ago, American Airlines announced their overhauled elite program.  Loyalty Points took center stage, and changes came from all different directions.  For active points and travel hobbyists like us, the most notable change was how we could earn elite status – spend, among other angles.  Seemingly overnight, many, including this writer, started paying more attention to American Airlines elite status.  My timing was fortuitous.  A number of other factors coalesced, and I reached Executive Platinum status last fall.  Ever since, I’ve enjoyed the status even more than I expected.  And many eyes are now on the new American Airlines elite status qualification year, which just started on 1 March.  But I’m not chasing it this year.  Here’s why.

Things Change

Big spend opportunities are dynamic.  I’m not proclaiming anything huge here – new methods emerge, reliable ones disappear, and others devalue.  While solid options still exist, I’m not in a position to scale as much as I did last year.  Not right now, at least.  The opportunity cost of choosing spend on an AA card versus others is much higher for me this year than last.  (It’s a long story, but there was no opportunity cost for me last year at all.)  Instead, I’m purely focusing on other card spend at this point.  My Aviator Blue is sock-drawered for now.

American Airlines Elite Status

“Less” Status

Previous to the Loyalty Points system, I had never earned any American Airlines elite status.  As I mentioned earlier, I hit 200k Loyalty Points and Executive Platinum status last fall in the 2022 qualification period.  By doing so, I would hold the status for the remainder of 2022, all of 2023, and the first quarter of 2024.  That’s about 18 months of Executive Platinum status I earned in one qualification period.

Now, let’s hypothetically say I decided to chase the same status in the 2023 qualification period.  And, magically, I get there!  I earned the same 200k Loyalty Points, but I only receive 12 additional months of Executive Platinum status through the following March.  The similar effort I put forth in 2023 would earn me 33% less status, in terms of time at that level.

Long story short, earning status in a second consecutive year can be substantially less lucrative.  Instead, I’m planning to earn AA status again in the 2024 qualification period at the earliest, and that’s only if the stars align where it makes sense otherwise.

Rose Smelling

Once I hit Executive Platinum last fall, I stopped to enjoy what I had just accomplished.  I’m still enjoying it, and I plan to do so through the end of March 2024.  I’m primarily flying American on sensible routings, with a dash of other airlines when logic wins out there.  In the process, I’m not cluttering my mind with requalification minutiae.  I’ll go hard on my AA travel while I have the status and love everything that comes my way.  Knock on wood, I’ve been upgraded on the majority of my American flights so far, all of which were award flights.

I’m not a multi-tasker.  If I was overly concerned about requalifying, I probably wouldn’t enjoy the now as much.  Bravo to the many of you out there who can do both.

American Airlines Elite Status

I’ll Need AA Break

After 18 months of rose smelling, I’ll probably be ready for a break from AA starting in April 2024.  While I’m experimenting with the other legacy and newer carriers now (hello, Breeze), I’ll be ripe for more of that in 2024.

After all, the AA lifestyle creep will set in eventually.  It’s safe to say I won’t be as excited about my status in month 18 as I was in month 1.  Knowing that is key, and doing something to correct it is just as important.  That change for me will be not holding AA status on 1 April 2024.

Been There, Done That

A big part of the Loyalty Points fun is the chase.  What’s my Loyalty Points balance now?  How close am I to the next elite level?  How much time is left to qualify?  Have I tried all the different earning angles?  All this is overwhelming to some, but a delight for others.

I enjoyed the journey to the apex of Mount Executive Platinum, including the sometimes bumpy or surprisingly smooth routes.  In my view, the satisfaction decreases with every additional year of qualifying for that same level.  I’d rather look for another awards mountain to summit, achieving that high in a different way.

American Airlines Elite Status


For now, that’s how I feel about reaching American Airlines elite status again.  As with anything in our hobby, changes happen quickly and often.  We must adapt and overcome to do better.  With that in mind, my AA status plan could change in the future, but I don’t expect it.  The unknown future is just one angle that makes our hobby so intriguing.  Did you qualify for American Airlines elite status last year?  Are you doing so again this year?  Why or why not?

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Benjy Harmon
Benjy Harmon
Benjy focuses on the intersection of points, travel, and financial independence (FI). An experienced world traveler, husband, and father, he currently roams throughout the USA close to expense-free. Benjy enjoys helping others achieve their FI and travel goals.

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


  1. You said you have “enjoyed the status even more than [you] expected.” I’m curious what has surprised you about having the status

    • Andrew P,
      Plenty, but here are three which immediately come to mind: much higher success than I expected with upgrades on award tickets, expanded award seating availability, and excellent phone support.

  2. My story is somewhat similar: I had a large number of one-time work-related purchases to make in Q1 of 2022, and by simply taking time to click through the shopping portal first, voila, I blew through AA Gold by first week of March and was AA Platinum by first week of May. My first time earning any status level on any airline. Have very much enjoyed it the last 12 months, what with with surprisingly frequent upgrades on AA domestic flights and the oneworld Sapphire benefits on one British Airways itinerary last summer — and will continue to enjoy the guaranteed benefits of checked bags and Main Cabin Extra through March 2024. I will take the extra few seconds to click through the AA shopping portal going forward but I don’t see another sure-fire way to requalify for Platinum as I did a year ago, though I might still try to get to Gold.

  3. What benefit does tier status provide that a premium cabin ticket does not? Other than points earn rate. If a person is traveling solely on points, earn rate is irrelevant.

    • Lee,
      I fly on miles and points in virtually all cases. I agree earn rate is pretty much irrelevant for me. For what it’s worth, I chased Executive Platinum for one primary reason matching my profile – complimentary upgrades on award tickets.

    • Tier status provides access to the international first and business class lounges on international OneWorld travel. For example, I am Executive Platinum on AA, which is Emerald OneWorld status. On my trip from London Heathrow back to the USA last week I was able to access the Cathay Pacific First Class and the Qantas lounges. The quality of food and beverages plus access to amenities such as showers, sleep pods, etc. is an excellent reason to aspire to tier status. The Qantas first class lounges (LAX, SYD, MEL) have wonderful sit-down dining, champagne bars, etc. The international locations also have complimentary massage and facial services.

  4. I agree wholeheartedly! I reached platinum pro last year but feel no lure to chase it again this year. I was chasing executive platinum but had a February longhaul flight canceled last minute to keep me at platinum pro. The game was fun, but I’m done playing for now.

  5. The reason a vast majority of folks won’t chase AA status this year is mainly because has been pulled from the AA portal. Should it reappear, you’re going to see lots of folks singing a different tune.

    They’ll claim it’s because they’re no longer interested but the truth is, it just isn’t easy to obtain for most of us without the portal.

    • 2808 Heavy,
      Interesting thought. That play contributed to my success, albeit a relatively minor portion. Bigger picture, though, I feel plenty, including the larger, more casual whole who probably never used that angle, will keep pursuing AA status.

    • Really it depends how you travel. I got AA Plat status more or less by accident last year in my chase for redeemable points also got VS Gold the same way. Since most of my flights are international in J and F status doesn’t mean all that much to me. My AA Plat has gotten me two extra leg room seats on one hour flights and two entries to Admiral Clubs. Nice but not exactly something I’d go to great efforts to chase. Will likely not use again before it expires.


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