While not an officially advertised benefit, American Airlines has for years provided “soft landings” to elite members who fail to qualify for status the following year. And even though it’s a known program, I was a bit surprised that American was generous enough to grant me Platinum status through February 2014 given I barely flew them last year and only had Executive Platinum status in 2012 due to their status match offer.
My new card arrived (perfectly timed) on March 1 with the following note:
Once I hit million-mile status on United in a couple of months, it would make switching loyalty and gunning for full-year 2014 American status a bit less painful. And it’s just smart business, in my opinion, showing that loyalty is actually important to American even after falling from grace.
United used to offer soft landings, even for Premier (Silver) fliers who didn’t re-qualify:
But as far as I know, United hasn’t done so for years. Delta and US Airways also don’t seem to be keen on soft landings from what I’ve heard. I wonder which stance the soon-to-be Doug Parker-run American will take?
In any case, thank you, American, for the generous drop to Platinum for the remainder of the program year. I hope to be flying with you shortly after locking in million-miler at United.