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Checking In – An Airline Status Tourist’s AA Executive Platinum Experience

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American Airlines Executive Platinum

American Airlines Executive Platinum

I reached American Airlines Executive Platinum status about ten months ago.  Until last year, I’d been out of the airline status game for over a decade.  At this point in my life, I’m far from an airline status expert – by choice.  But American’s Loyalty Points program and a few spending options intersected, and I jumped on the opportunity.  And climbing that hill to Executive Platinum was part of the fun.  I’m leveraging the status as much as practical this year, as I’ve decided not to pursue 2024 status during the current qualification year.  Here’s what I’ve experienced as an Executive Platinum elite.


At the time I started the climb, my most wanted benefit as an Executive Platinum was upgrade eligibility on award tickets.  I’ve only booked award tickets for the past 16 years or so, with one exception.  Naturally, I was intrigued to see how often I’d receive complimentary upgrades as an EP.

So far, I’ve been upgraded on 78.5% of my American flights.  I’m confident others have higher success rates.  But I’m satisfied with how often I’ve been upgraded, considering the healthy amount of AA travel I’ve done this year.  Frankly, I didn’t come into this with any huge expectations, so that rate has outperformed what I initially considered feasible.

American has since announced that complimentary upgrades on award tickets are now available at all status levels, not just Executive Platinum.  This degrades the benefit a bit, but EP’s are still higher in the queue for upgrades.

American Airlines Executive Platinum

Phone Support

Certainly not something I’ve leveraged as often as upgrades, the phone support I’ve received from American reps has been solid.  On multiple occasions, I’ve been able to book itineraries not available online at competitive rates.  When faced with flight delays, reps have come through with support, getting the wheels back on wobbly itineraries.

Granted, this perk alone isn’t a reason to go after Executive Platinum status.  And I’m confident others at lower status levels have received adequate phone support.  But I’ve noticed a higher level of call center customer service as an EP than I did as a general member.

In Person Experience

Whether dealing with American reps at the airport or inflight, I haven’t noticed any significant change in how I’ve been treated.  A few times, employees have addressed me by name, which I admittedly like.  But overall, I didn’t have high expectations here, as this obviously isn’t officially listed as a guaranteed benefit.  Nonetheless, higher status implies a bit more personal treatment.  I haven’t experienced that in any significant manner.

Main Cabin Extra

I love booking right into Main Cabin Extra on each reservation.  But there are two caveats here.  One, Platinum Pro and Platinum members also have this option.  Two, given my success with upgrades, booking into Main Cabin Extra ends up with minimal actual benefit.

American Airlines Executive Platinum


Many other perks exist for hitting Executive Platinum, but I haven’t significantly used them.  I had no opportunity cost for reaching EP status (long story for another time), so I’m happy for anything I get out of it in the 18 months or so I’m there.  Before pursuing any level of status with American, consider the costs of going after it and the level of benefits you’ll receive once reaching it.  Also know that the crowd pursuing AA status will inevitably grow with each passing year, bringing even more competition and devaluing benefits.

How has your American Airlines Executive Platinum experience been recently?

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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. I would tend to agree with most of this. I feel like im running a little lower on my upgrade percent but in fairness I often travel with 3 or 4 (family) and I dont always book separate PNRs (sometimes just too lazy) and im based in hub city where EXP is like having a library card.. I have not noticed any better treatment but I rarely use the phone (AA twitter team is actually pretty amazing and available to anyone). So unlike any other status I have, EXP is an odd status where I think if the stars are lining up and my opportunity cost is not too punitive (prob would cap it at 1k), then yea, I would get it continually.

  2. I was Platinum Pro the last few years. This year I’m Executive platinum. And haven’t seen a bit of difference.

    Granted, I’m flying Dallas-Miami a lot. Tough to get upgrades on that route. But it’s frustrating that the “free food item in coach” benefit doesn’t kick in because the flight isn’t long enough.

    Same day flight change? Have never been able to use it. I foolishly picked up systemwide upgrades, which are almost impossible to use, at least flying to Latin America, as I usually do.

    Only benefit I’ve really noticed. Group 1 boarding. Other than that, I can’t see much difference from Platinum Pro.


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