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Old Dec 19, 14, 11:12 am   -   Wikipost
FlyerTalk Forums Thread Wiki: Help Desk: AAdvantage Elite Status Challenge (Gold and Platinum)
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NOTE: Some changes have been made to the Challenge in recent months; please do not assume what we knew a year ago applies. Double check or ask here again if you are not sure.

Gold and Platinum Challenges (there is usually no EXP Challenge) can be flown to gain a "short cut" to status. To earn status you must register (and pay a fee $100-$140 for Gold, $200-240 for Platinum*) and fly to earn 5,000 or 10,000 elite-qualifying Points (not miles) in a three month period, using American Airlines, American Eagle, AmericanConnection®, British Airways, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, Qantas, US Airways and their eligible codeshare flights (miles must be credited to AAdvantage). The four AA segment minimum required for regular status qualification does not apply to completing the challenge.

*Jan-Jun $200, Jul - Dec $240 - presumably for the max nine months of status vs. the max of 20 months $240 of status.

Challenges begun before June 16 of a given year earn status for the remainder of that year and the first two months of the following year (8-14 months total); challenges begun on or after June 16 grant status for the remainder of that year, the following year, and the first two months of the year after (14-20 months total). Challenges can begin anytime (not previously the case) and can even be backdated up to two weeks (as of Nov 2013) and the threshold flight no longer earns miles and points for the status one seeks to achieve.

To sign up for a challenge, call AAdvantage Customer Service at +1-800-882-8880.

You can not use a Challenge to requalify for status. Contrary to some earlier posts, there is no further "soft landing" to the next lower level of status; the 100% bonus miles is no longer earned on the flight one qualifies on.

See the AA Points per Mile charts for the various fare buckets on qualifying airlines here.

You will not earn miles as per new status on the qualifying flight any longer. Though some have been granted Gold status whilst flying a Platinum challenge, this is not a given.

Older posts have been archived (in many cases they contain obsolete information): Archive: Help Desk: AAdvantage Gold, Platinum Elite Status Challenge

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Old Jun 22, 09, 11:05 am   #1
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Arrow Help Desk: AAdvantage Elite Status Challenge (Gold and Platinum)

Help Desk: AAdvantage Elite Status Challenges (Gold and Platinum)

Elite Status Challenges are unpublished offers from American Airlines AAdvantage designed for those who want a shortcut to AAdvantage Gold or Platinum status because they will be flying American Airlines frequently and wish to enjoy elite benefits more quickly. These three month Challenges are subject to enrollment fees, have defined start and end dates that can affect how long your status lasts, and are based on elite-qualifying points, not miles. Status is conferred upon successful completion of a Challenge. Officially, there is no corresponding EXP Challenge, although a very small number of targeted frequent fliers with the highest status on another airline and/or influential travel-related work position may be invited to participate in an analogous offer. Direct elite status matches are offered only by invitation for a very small number of top fliers.

Please see the following resources for full details on Elite Status Challenges:
This page's wikipost.

AA.com: Page leading to AA and partner airlines miles and points earning charts

FT: AA GLD & PLT Elite Status Challenges (trailing thread) - Older posts from this thread

FT: Upfaring an AA Reservation (consolidated) (and additional info on pricing specific fare classes)

FT: Status Matches on American Airlines (consolidated)

Great Circle Mapper (to calculate mileage / base miles flown / earned)

Additional Information on AAdvantage Elite Status:

There are three elite levels, Gold (GLD), Platinum (PLT), and Executive Platinum (EXP or EP), with increasing benefits at each level, including preferred seating, check-in, security lines, and boarding; bonus miles; and various free upgrade instruments, discounts, and fee waivers.
AA.com: Elite Status | Benefits Chart
June 11 2013 e-mail to new Challenger beginning 16 June 2013:

Quote:
Dear MRS. FREQUENT FLYER,

This is to confirm your registration for the American Airlines AAdvantage PLATINUM® Quick Qualification Challenge. We have charged your credit card a non-refundable fee of $240.00. Remember that Challenges are based on points, not miles. If you earn 10,000 points in the three months ending 09/15/2013, you will enjoy AAdvantage PLATINUM status through February 2015.

And now you have more opportunities to complete your Challenge because points earned on qualifying flights on American Airlines, American Eagle, the AmericanConnection® carrier, British Airways, Iberia, Japan Airlines, Qantas and their eligible codeshare flights count toward your Challenge.*

Learn more about point accrual and qualifying fares for each airline: (links to each Challenge airline page on aa.com follow)

We hope that you successfully complete your Challenge so you can begin enjoying all the benefits of AAdvantage PLATINUM status.

Sincerely,

Judy S. Brown
Manager, Member Services
AAdvantage® Customer Service

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Quote:
The AA Challenge Help Desk

To assist members with questions about Elite Status Challenges that they have not been able to answer on their own using the above resources, the AA Moderator team has established a new type of thread in the forum, designated as "Help Desk". The previous thread on this topic has effectively worked this way for several years, and based on how things go with this first thread, we will consider similar threads on other commonly broached topics in the future.

New threads on this topic will be merged into this one and bumped by the moderators as necessary. As such, we do not expect that this thread will develop into a searchable database, but that it will nonetheless provide a valuable resource to members. Accordingly, we may shed / pare down posts from time to time to a trailing thread or similar device.

Our goal is to provide a place where members can feel welcome to post such questions and expect helpful, accurate responses. In this way, we hope to accommodate the needs and desires of both new and veteran members - those who aren't sure they are interpreting the available resources correctly can ask for help without fear of snarky responses; those who do not wish to participate in such threads are invited and, indeed, encouraged, to ignore this thread.

Please be forewarned: This thread will be subject to heavy moderation. Posts that are incorrect will be subject to deletion without notice - DO NOT POST answers unless you are 100% sure your answer is complete and correct. Posts that are unhelpful or off-topic will also be subject to deletion without notice - DO NOT POST unless you can be friendly, helpful, concise, and salient.

Finally, a few guidelines for members posting queries to this thread:
  • Please DO make an effort to review the above resources before posting here.
  • Please DO try to give as much information as possible related to your Challenge plans, flights, etc.
  • Please DO understand it could take some time for answers (especially on holidays and weekends.)
  • Please DO thank helpful members volunteering to reply to your questions.
Sincerely,
The AA Moderator Team

P.S. Our thanks to Moderator dstan, who did much of the conceptual and design work on this idea.
Please use PM or RBP for comments, suggestions, recommendations, etc.
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Last edited by JDiver; May 31, 14 at 10:00 pm. Reason: update
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Old Nov 15, 13, 8:49 pm   #2
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Can anyone confirm what qualifies as Qantas's "eligible codeshare flights" for the purpose of the challenge. If i fly on a QF flight number between Australia and SCL on LAN metal would that qualify towards the required 10k miles?
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Old Nov 21, 13, 12:54 pm   #3
 
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If anyone had read about my dilemma earlier, I was running short a few miles on my outbound trip to accomplish the Platinum challenge. As it turns out I have 9990 EQM's and EQP's on the outbound flight. Just 10 short of getting platinum. (Also, AA Rep was nice enough to upgrade me to Gold so I got additional 3k miles or so but no additional EQP's) so I am still showing as status GOLD

I know I will get the Platinum on my return flight but wanted to avail its benefits on my return flight itself which doesn't seem like I will be able to now :\ Anyone else run into such a close call?
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Old Nov 22, 13, 6:24 am   #4
 
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Long time QF flyer looking for Aanother option.

Have a family trip to the USA coming up with QF.....BNE-SYD-LAX-JFK....DFW-BNE in J along with 4 AA sectors in whY.

Is there a minimum age for taking the Plat challenge? Kids are aged 12 and 10.

As a newbie with AA we will earn 1.25p/m (QF J) until we achieve the 10,000 point target and then we start earning 2.25p/m - Is this correct?
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Old Nov 22, 13, 8:50 am   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dawizard View Post
If anyone had read about my dilemma earlier, I was running short a few miles on my outbound trip to accomplish the Platinum challenge. As it turns out I have 9990 EQM's and EQP's on the outbound flight. Just 10 short of getting platinum. (Also, AA Rep was nice enough to upgrade me to Gold so I got additional 3k miles or so but no additional EQP's) so I am still showing as status GOLD

I know I will get the Platinum on my return flight but wanted to avail its benefits on my return flight itself which doesn't seem like I will be able to now :\ Anyone else run into such a close call?
Nope, nobody ever. You are likely the first one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amaroo View Post
Long time QF flyer looking for Aanother option.

Have a family trip to the USA coming up with QF.....BNE-SYD-LAX-JFK....DFW-BNE in J along with 4 AA sectors in whY.

Is there a minimum age for taking the Plat challenge? Kids are aged 12 and 10.

As a newbie with AA we will earn 1.25p/m (QF J) until we achieve the 10,000 point target and then we start earning 2.25p/m - Is this correct?
No minimum age. My goddaughter has been PLT/GLD since she was 6 months old. And you are correct on the earnings if you are referring to redeemable miles rather than elite qualifying points. In fact, you will get the PLT bonus for the flight on which you cross the 10K-point threshold.
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Last edited by vasantn; Nov 22, 13 at 10:18 am. Reason: Clarification; I may have misunderstood the meaning of the question.
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Old Nov 22, 13, 10:11 am   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amaroo View Post
As a newbie with AA we will earn 1.25p/m (QF J) until we achieve the 10,000 point target and then we start earning 2.25p/m - Is this correct?
Quote:
Originally Posted by vasantn View Post
And you are correct on the earnings. In fact, you will get the PLT bonus for the flight on which you cross the 10K-point threshold.
Not quite correct
The earning for flying in J is:
if no status then 1.25 RDM per flown mile (25% class of service bonus)
if gold status then a 25% status bonus on that
if PLT or EXP then 100% status bonus

Points however are 1.5 points per mile in J, no matter the status
amaroo your SYD-LAX flight in J is sufficient on its own for you to earn more than 10K points and thus complete the challenge (flown miles = 7488; points earned = 1.5x7488 = 11,232; AND you will get the 100% RDM for that flight, so 2.25x7488 RDM earned = 16,848)
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Old Nov 22, 13, 10:16 am   #7
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Originally Posted by pandaperth View Post
Not quite correct
The earning for flying in J is:
if no status then 1.25 RDM per flown mile (25% class of service bonus)
if gold status then a 25% status bonus on that
if PLT or EXP then 100% status bonus

Points however are 1.5 points per mile in J, no matter the status
amaroo your SYD-LAX flight in J is sufficient on its own for you to earn more than 10K points and thus complete the challenge (flown miles = 7488; points earned = 1.5x7488 = 11,232; AND you will get the 100% RDM for that flight, so 2.25x7488 RDM earned = 16,848)
I misread the question; I thought it related to RDM. You are, of course, correct.
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Old Nov 22, 13, 5:08 pm   #8
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
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Does anyone know the exact rules about how using Buy-Back Program impacts your eligibility for the Challenge? There are a couple of mentions about it in the Wiki/FAQ, but they're not specific.

I "purchased" the Gold Boost in 2010, 2011, and 2012, as I stopped traveling for work, however I am back to routine work travel now and earned Gold for 2013. I'll end 2013 with about 43,000 EQM, but I don't think it's worth the $899 to Boost to Platinum. I called AA on Monday hoping to enroll in the Platinum Challenge, as I will definitely be able to achieve it, but was told that they could not offer it to me since I used the Buy-Back Program in the past. She was not able to tell me when I would be eligible for it again.

I will most certainly earn Platinum in 2014 with my regular schedule, but I'm wondering if I should bother calling again 2014 to see if I can do the Challenge?

Thanks for any tips!
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Old Nov 22, 13, 6:20 pm   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vasantn View Post
And you are correct on the earnings if you are referring to redeemable miles rather than elite qualifying points. In fact, you will get the PLT bonus for the flight on which you cross the 10K-point threshold.
Quote:
Originally Posted by pandaperth View Post
Not quite correct
The earning for flying in J is:
if no status then 1.25 RDM per flown mile (25% class of service bonus)
if gold status then a 25% status bonus on that
if PLT or EXP then 100% status bonus

Points however are 1.5 points per mile in J, no matter the status
amaroo your SYD-LAX flight in J is sufficient on its own for you to earn more than 10K points and thus complete the challenge (flown miles = 7488; points earned = 1.5x7488 = 11,232; AND you will get the 100% RDM for that flight, so 2.25x7488 RDM earned = 16,848)
Quote:
Originally Posted by vasantn View Post
I misread the question; I thought it related to RDM. You are, of course, correct.
Thanks for answers

As proof of my QF tunnel vision - I was referring to points that I could use to redeem flights. QFF scheme is based two things - points (redeeming) and status credits (status building)

My goal is to build a stash of AA points to supplement the QFF pool - not easy securing 4 premium seats on the same flight or flights around the same time.....getting two on QF is hard enough. There is also the lure of the better AA burn factor.

Status is not the objective as I have already achieved QFF LTG (life time OWS) and will maintain OWE via QFF....although I can see value in doing the challenge to enhance the RDM earning ability.

If the four of us do the the challenge the RDM will be 168,588 over the 4 accounts. Thats two F tickets or three J SYD-LHR.......just need to work out if the cost of the challenge 4 x $240 and the cost to transfer between AA accounts makes the challenge worthwhile!

FWIW QFF do not charge for point transfers between accounts.....looking at AA it seems the cost to transfer is quite expensive.
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Old Nov 27, 13, 7:24 am   #10
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
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The AA program difficulties are disastrous!
My fiancée
Qualified for Plat status by challenge, and also received 'targeted' plat offer.....
Qualified for PAID challenge !
Now listed as "non status" as of Nov 1st......that's 27 days !!!!!!
Despite email contact with AA CS only option since we are out of country
and was responded as received.......

What kind of morons are in charge ???
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Old Dec 1, 13, 1:55 am   #11
 
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Flying MXP-DXB-ADL and back in a couple of weeks.

They are QF flights but operated by EK. In another thread, people have answered that they flew QF codeshare flights on EK and got credited to AA.

So I'm guessing I could use those for the challenge? I get about 5000 points on the way there and 10000 on the way back.

Also... I see that some people have been upgraded to Gold during the challenge. How to get that? Just politely ask someone at AA Support?
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Old Dec 1, 13, 3:47 am   #12
 
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My personal experience on the gold upgrade was that I had already booked around 5000 EQP of flights when I called to take the challenge (and I had flown AA a bit in previous years) and the Aagent offered me the gold status during the call, but this was two years ago.
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Old Dec 1, 13, 8:46 am   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zagy View Post
Flying MXP-DXB-ADL and back in a couple of weeks.

They are QF flights but operated by EK. In another thread, people have answered that they flew QF codeshare flights on EK and got credited to AA.

So I'm guessing I could use those for the challenge? I get about 5000 points on the way there and 10000 on the way back.
This is tricky, QF would definitely count (per the wiki):

Quote:
As of July 2012, flights marketed and operated by certain partners will also be eligible to earn points that count toward the completion of a Challenge: British Airways, Iberia, Japan Airlines and Qantas. (Cathay Pacific is notably missing.) The specific language from the challenge confirmation says "And now you have more opportunities to complete your Challenge because points earned on qualifying flights on American Airlines, American Eagle, the AmericanConnection® carrier, British Airways, Iberia, Japan Airlines, Qantas and their eligible codeshare flights count toward your Challenge."
However, you would need to confirm that the EK flight is an "eligible codeshare" Since EK is not part of OW, it may not count.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zagy View Post
Also... I see that some people have been upgraded to Gold during the challenge. How to get that? Just politely ask someone at AA Support?
AA has been very proactive in courting pax from other airlines, esp UA/CO and thus many people have rec'd targeted "invitations" to challenge to AA. These come w/the instant status you mention and the pax don't have to pay the challenge fee.

If you call in, you will be asked to sign up, pay the fee, and achieve status upon completion. I do believe an exception might be offered *if* you can show that you have higher tier status w/another carrier.
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Old Dec 2, 13, 5:57 pm   #14
 
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 1
AA Will not allow Challenge Sign Up

Hi,

Have others run into AA not allowing you to sign up for a challenge ? My last sign up PLT Challenge in Dec 2010. Called two CSR's today and was denied both times. First call said I needed to wait until 2015 to sign up.

Thanks for advice.

Mary
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Old Dec 4, 13, 6:15 pm   #15
 
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I'm going to lose AA Gold this year as I only hit about 10k EQMs. I currently have 15k in travel booked for Jan-Feb of 2014. Does anybody know if I can do a gold challenge starting 1/1/14 since my gold status won't run out until 2/28/14? I don't think I will be able to hit 20k EQM's (or 10k EQP's) so going for a PLAT challenge isn't an option.

I've tried 2 CSR's but they keep confusing a challenge w/ the boosting option so I can't get an answer. As an aside, I don't think $650 to buy back gold is worth it when I can spend $710 and get 12k EQM's on a single trip to cover a gold challenge.
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