A Very Generous ‘Soft Landing’ to American AAdvantage Platinum

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:

a close-up of a document

'Soft Landing' Note from American

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:

close-up of a sign

Premier Emeritus Card Circa 1994

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.

Related posts:

Why an American-US Airways Merger Worries Me

What the New American AAdvantage Program Might Look Like

American Offering Fast Track to Executive Platinum Renewal (Targeted)


  1. I similarly had a United (silver) -> AA Platinum status match a few years ago (still not sure how silver matched to plat?), and this year was soft-landed from AA Plat to AA Gold, even though I barely flew AA last year (maybe twice?).

    Definitely appreciated it!

  2. I didn’t fly a mile last year on AA and still got soft landing from status matched Platinum to Gold. And I doubt I will be flying a mile on them this year either.

  3. I got a soft landing from EXEC to PLAT. I used to fly a ton for work and only qualified for gold this year. I took a new job and have been pregnant for most of the year so travel has gone down significantly. Not sure how much flying I will do with a new born this next year, but I was pretty happy about being upgraded to PLAT.

  4. I didn’t fly AA at all this past year since I was traveling between Philly and NYC and taking Amtrak. I received my soft-landing to Platinum card in mail this past week. The expression on my face was priceless and got excited to have Platinum status for another year.

  5. I also received a soft landing from status matched platinum to gold, kinda bummed that I didn’t take advantage of an EXP status match. I had no idea that was an option. What’s even nicer, is that I flew after the demotion date and I benefited from platinum status on this itinerary as it was booked when I was platinum.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.