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American Airlines

How Losing American Airlines Elite Status Brought One Man Happiness

How Losing American Airlines Elite Status Brought One Man Happiness
Jackie Reddy

Being a member of a carrier’s elite status program is taken as a sign of success and prestige, but as CEOWORLD Magazine relates, for one man, it was the loss of this membership that heralded the way to real happiness. This is the story of one man’s journey from harried CEO to balanced businessman.

For some business travelers, being a member of an airline’s elite status program is a sure sign of success and prestige. The frequent flights and air miles collect and add up, indicative of an increase in status both in the cabin and the boardroom. But as CEOWORLD Magazine relates, for one high-flyer, it was the loss of his elite status that brought success – and balance – to his business and his personal life.

The outlet’s David Finkel reports that the CEO in question – named only as Daniel – approached him for business coaching three years ago. At first glance, Finkel writes that Daniel could be considered a success.

“He had a consulting firm in North Carolina and had recently acquired two firms in California,” Finkel explains, but adds that, “He was working long hours, traveling to and from California every other week and barely seeing his wife and five children.”

Offering his insight, Finkel hashed out three separate areas for improvement within Daniel’s business. These points included the culture within Daniel’s operations, staff procurement and the actual inner workings of his company.

It is this latter point, explains Finkel, that seems to have truly uplifted the CEO’s work-life balance.

“By looking at the day-to-day operations at the various branches and creating step by step instructions on how to do each function, it allowed Daniel to not only onboard new employees quicker but gave him the freedom to stay home more and stop micromanaging the California offices,” he says.

Finkel writes that, years on from his first coaching session with Daniel, things have improved immeasurably both at work and at home. Those bi-weekly trips to California have stopped, meaning that Daniel can at last spend more time with his family.

And as the true proof of success, Finkel writes that Daniel has now “…officially lost his elite platinum status with American Airlines.”

View Comments (4)


  1. chitownjeff

    February 7, 2019 at 11:29 am

    As someone who went from platinum with AA to platinum at home, I can tell you the latter is more enjoyable.

  2. GetSetJetSet

    February 7, 2019 at 1:29 pm

    I mean that’s only like 5 JFK-LAX-JFK in J to make Plat haha

  3. jungly

    February 10, 2019 at 4:20 pm

    Lame article. To me being in the air and lounges is my relaxation. I catchup on audio books, and lounges are fun.

  4. ILuvParis


    February 12, 2019 at 10:22 am

    Misleading title. Seems like the work/life balance brought “Daniel” happiness, not the loss of elite status. When Daniel does fly, does he enjoy coach more than FC? Somehow I doubt it.

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