Losing your airline elite status? Many carriers make offers to buy it back

Today I received an email from American Airlines offering the opportunity to continue my AAdvantage Platinum status through the end of next February for a modest fee.

Last year I took the Platinum elite challenge with American in part to re-experience a carrier I hadn’t flown since 1998, and also to rack up some miles that I ended up redeeming for a fantastic Cathay Pacific First Class experience. I thoroughly enjoyed my travels with AA, but decided at the end of last year that I need to focus 100% of my 2012 travel with United Airlines since I’m so close to million-miler status. As such, I’ll be dropping down to Gold come March 1.

That said, the offer of $769 is reasonable, in my opinion, if I truly had intentions of continuing flying with American and/or oneworld alliance members this year. It’s definitely more reasonable than the price one of Matthew’s readers who is shy 10,000 elite qualifying miles was being asked to pay to retain Premier Executive status (soon to be named Premier Gold) with United – $1,691!

Would $769 be beyond your tolerance to buy status back?

Comments

    • @AAdvantage Geek: Fortunately, I flew enough to hold Gold outright. We’ll probably have to look at the FT & MilePoint threads to see if others received a soft landing.

  1. If I had to choose between $769 and Gold, I’d probably just save the money and use it to pay for 2X EQM MRs between LAX and ORD (gets you GLD and 1/2 way to PLT till Feb 2014).

    If my choice was $769 and no status, I’d spend it without hesitation. 🙂

  2. I think that’s very reasonable if you plan to utilize it. I myself in 2008 paid $1000 for 5000 elite miles to qualify for premier exec. This year my friend got email asking $1600 for 1k on united.

  3. I miscalcualted and was approx 5000 EQMs short on UA.

    To buy up, they want $945 – I don’t think it’s worth it. I could have flown the extra 5000 miles for under $400. To me, all I’m getting for the $945 is a 25% mileage bonus. With the new MP program changes, the gold status isn’t going to make much difference for the complimentary upgrades. If I’m missing something, please let me know.

  4. @AAdvantage Geek: Yes, absolutely… $769 for status vs. none would be a no-brainer if I intended to fly a lot.
    @Aditya: Do you know how far away your friend was from 1K this year? $1,600 for 1K might actually be very well worth the expense depend on how many miles away (s)he was.
    @JA: In your case and with the recent devaluation of the MileagePlus program, I agree $945 wouldn’t be worth the expense, UNLESS you have a lot of international travel this year for which Star Gold status would pay off.

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