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2012-13 AA "Soft Landing" / Status Downgrade: discussion & experiences (consolidated)

2012-13 AA "Soft Landing" / Status Downgrade: discussion & experiences (consolidated)

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Old Oct 22, 13, 1:06 pm   -   Wikipost
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NOTE: AA has announced there will be NO SOFT LANDING in 2014. Those lacking sufficient EQM/EQP/EQS to make status 1 mar 2014 will not "fall" one status level; they will "fall" to whatever level they actually earned flying in C/Y 2013. Link.

AAdvantage status "soft landing" is the experience of dropping only one status level when one has not flown sufficiently to maintain current level, or even retain a lower level, of status. Through status year ending 28 Feb 2013, EXP only "fell" to Platinum, Platinum to Gold (and Gold to white card / no status) regardless of how the status was originally earned, the next status year.

~American AAdvantage Moderation Team
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Old Nov 9, 11, 6:04 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Nov 2011
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2012-13 AA "Soft Landing" / Status Downgrade: discussion & experiences (consolidated)

Hi, My EXP status is expiring in Feb 2012. I am currently nearing Platinum for 2011. Does AA still have the soft landing of reducing your status one level each year? I may make Platinum this year yet, however if I can't I was hoping the soft landing would prevent me from making a mileage run during the holidays. All the posts I see are old...
Regards, GG
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Old Nov 9, 11, 6:11 pm
  #2  
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No guarantees, of course. But traditionally, AA has offered a soft landing each year. Could change this year. But could not.
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Old Nov 10, 11, 11:00 am
  #3  
 
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I was counting on this but will probably cross the 2m lifetime by Feb 13 so it doesn't matter so much for me.
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Old Nov 10, 11, 11:16 am
  #4  
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i think aa would make a big mistake to stop the soft landing, even plt to gld could influence people to stay on aa....
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Old Nov 10, 11, 11:27 am
  #5  
brp
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Seems a different direction was taken

Last edited by brp; Nov 10, 11 at 12:38 pm
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Old Nov 10, 11, 11:33 am
  #6  
 
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I 'soft landed' from EXP to PLT in 2011. I'll make PLT on segments this year (about to board flight 55!) so will keep PLT through 2013.
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Old Nov 10, 11, 12:16 pm
  #7  
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Soft landings and exceptions for elites that are very close to the next elite level are never guaranteed and if so allowed are only done after the December 31. In otherwords, there is no really way of knowing for sure until its really too late.

Add to that airlines seeking every means possible for new revenue streams. While this is speculation on my part, if AA started to require a charge/fee for soft landings or allowing people close to the threshold to be "bumped up" I'd be anything but surprised.

Long story short, the only guarantee is to do the flying and get to the next level.
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Old Nov 10, 11, 12:17 pm
  #8  
 
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I hadn't realised that it wasn't an integral part of the programme. That said, I can't see AA discontinuing it at least not without appropriate notice.
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Old Nov 10, 11, 12:23 pm
  #9  
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We had a 2011 consolidated thread for downgrades / soft landings, etc. so this will be retitled and left as the 2012 version. Thank you. /Moderator

AA has allowed those who have not requalified for status they held to hold the next lower status tier the following year - e.g. Executive Platinum only fell to Platinum, even if they did not fly a mile; Platinum to Gold, etc. I don't recall anything written, so this is an undocumented benefit if so. AA could change it any time they wished to, much as they have made changes to the Million Miler program, Status Challenge, following year status buy-up, etc. but we don't have any signals they are considering doing so at this time.
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Old Nov 10, 11, 1:52 pm
  #10  
 
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I had a VERY soft-landing this year (flew only 15,000 miles last year as a Plat). I did receive my Gold Card early this year (after many years of being Platinum, the card didn't look good..).

Regardless, AA had a special early this year to purchase into Platinum. I forgot how much it was, IIRC $750. I purchased it back in March and I am glad I have as I am re-qualifying for Platinum flying >50,000. The huge differences of Gold vs. Plat have been the OneWorld Lounges and more important, the 100% bonus miles with Plat. over the 25% bonus miles with Gold. This has helped me a lot as I'm trying to get to the One-Million Mile Lifetime League.
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Old Nov 10, 11, 7:12 pm
  #11  
 
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Originally Posted by Jacobin777 View Post
I had a VERY soft-landing this year (flew only 15,000 miles last year as a Plat). I did receive my Gold Card early this year (after many years of being Platinum, the card didn't look good..).

Regardless, AA had a special early this year to purchase into Platinum. I forgot how much it was, IIRC $750. I purchased it back in March and I am glad I have as I am re-qualifying for Platinum flying >50,000. The huge differences of Gold vs. Plat have been the OneWorld Lounges and more important, the 100% bonus miles with Plat. over the 25% bonus miles with Gold. This has helped me a lot as I'm trying to get to the One-Million Mile Lifetime League.
Good idea. I think there are big differences between PLT and GLD (just my 2 cents).
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Old Nov 10, 11, 7:36 pm
  #12  
 
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Originally Posted by Jacobin777 View Post
I had a VERY soft-landing this year (flew only 15,000 miles last year as a Plat). I did receive my Gold Card early this year (after many years of being Platinum, the card didn't look good..).

Regardless, AA had a special early this year to purchase into Platinum. I forgot how much it was, IIRC $750. I purchased it back in March and I am glad I have as I am re-qualifying for Platinum flying >50,000. The huge differences of Gold vs. Plat have been the OneWorld Lounges and more important, the 100% bonus miles with Plat. over the 25% bonus miles with Gold. This has helped me a lot as I'm trying to get to the One-Million Mile Lifetime League.
Just remember, 1MM will only net you that not-so-good-looking Gold card....
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Old Nov 10, 11, 9:21 pm
  #13  
 
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Originally Posted by Jacobin777 View Post
I had a VERY soft-landing this year (flew only 15,000 miles last year as a Plat). I did receive my Gold Card early this year (after many years of being Platinum, the card didn't look good..).

Regardless, AA had a special early this year to purchase into Platinum. I forgot how much it was, IIRC $750. I purchased it back in March and I am glad I have as I am re-qualifying for Platinum flying >50,000. The huge differences of Gold vs. Plat have been the OneWorld Lounges and more important, the 100% bonus miles with Plat. over the 25% bonus miles with Gold. This has helped me a lot as I'm trying to get to the One-Million Mile Lifetime League.
I guess that means I had a VERY VERY soft landing last year... 2009 EXP --> 2010 *one* (RT) flight. Actually resulted in my getting a "why aren't you flying anymore?" call from their customer service executive office (I assume standard procedure) where I was assured EXPs would get a soft landing. This assurance was given in October 2010; well before qualifying-year end.

(b/c I'm sure it will be asked; there were reasons beyond my control why I didn't fly at all in 2010; that was in fact the only flight I took.)


FWIW, I haven't seen convincing evidence on whether or not GLD vs. PLT matters (other than lounges). But then, I've never *been* GLD (for more than a month) so we'll see... I didn't re-qual PLT this year, so I'll be down to my lifetime GLD starting Mar. 2012.


Anyway, main point - I think if you're EXP, even in this environment it's safe to assume a soft landing. (Unless AMR files for Ch. 11 lol...)
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Old Nov 10, 11, 10:44 pm
  #14  
 
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Originally Posted by phil_flyer View Post
I was counting on this but will probably cross the 2m lifetime by Feb 13 so it doesn't matter so much for me.
Congrats on the upcoming LT Plat staus. Vey nice milestone to have reached.
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Old Nov 10, 11, 10:46 pm
  #15  
 
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Originally Posted by newyorkgeorge View Post
Soft landings and exceptions for elites that are very close to the next elite level are never guaranteed and if so allowed are only done after the December 31. In otherwords, there is no really way of knowing for sure until its really too late.

Add to that airlines seeking every means possible for new revenue streams. While this is speculation on my part, if AA started to require a charge/fee for soft landings or allowing people close to the threshold to be "bumped up" I'd be anything but surprised.

Long story short, the only guarantee is to do the flying and get to the next level.
Agree with your comment of "the only guarantee is to do the flying ", but I suspect AA won't do away witht the soft landing just yet. I'd be surprised if they just dropped it outright this year without any notice or communication. I think that they've done it long enough that most people can reasonably expect it to stay in place.

But, there is always a chance for a change. They could just decide to stop it this next calendar year. I'd be surprised, but it could happen.
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