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AA Concierge Key / ConciergeKey / CK members lounge (master thread)

Old Dec 18, 2015, 12:53 pm
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American Airlines ConciergeKeySM / "CK" Program (by invitation only)
(Includes Executive Platinum status and Admirals Club membership)


NOTE: For questions such as "How can I get Concierge Key?" or "This is my spend: will I get CK?" Please refer to the How do I make / making AA Concierge Key / ConciergeKey / CK?thread

Also see AA Concierge Key invitations / renewal for 2019 status (out early 12/2018).


13 Apr 2020: AAdvantage extends CK status is extended automatically until Jan 31, 2022.

"The ConciergeKey Program is an exclusive program that American Airlines has for our very top customers. This is by invitation only and a very exclusive club." (Billy Sanez for AA)

ConciergeKey Services are provided to a select group of VIPs to facilitate travel on AA. The program is offered on an invitation basis only and is targeted at customers who control travel policy for large organizations. Customers who generate a high amount of revenue for AA may also be invited into this program (possibly those who spend upwards of US$60k a year on travel with AA).

Services provided include airport escorts and pre-boarding (seems variable, more likely during OSO?); assistance with flight changes, seat changes, and upgrade requests via their own dedicated telephone line. In addition, there is the ability to communicate directly with ConciergeKey associates via a dedicated email address. ConciergeKeySM representatives will also monitor day of travel of ConciergeKey members and will proactively reroute or rebook travel when necessary. ConciergeKey status allows check-in at First Class counters, as well as access to elite lines through security at certain airports. Miles and copay upgrades with copay waived.

ConciergeKey is now a distinct elite tier, above Executive Platinum. ConciergeKey benefits include membership to the Admirals Club, international miles upgrades with copayment waived, as well as two additional System-Wide Upgrades (SWU's) as part of CK membership.

CK members have access to Flagship Check-in on any flight, and CK will have Flagship Lounge access when flying a OneWorld airline.

As of 1 Jan 2017, Concierge Key members have upgrade requests prioritized over all other tiers: CK members have an upgrade window of (up to) 120 hours (Executive Platinum member's will retain the 100 hour upgrade window). CK members will board ahead of other passengers.

Regarding Concierge Key tier benefits coming in 2017, please see: New Concierge Key Benefits for 2017: New CK Elite Status Tier

Please: do respect members' privacy by refraining from asking for overly personal information and details relating to ConciergeKey membership or nomination. If your question receives no response, consider the member chooses not to reply, as is his/her right.

Boarding Area's AAdvantageGeek's blog shows the card and documents here.

Previous threads:
ConciergeKey AA Premium Service (ARCHIVED)
ARCHIVED: AA Concierge Key / ConciergeKey / CK (2014 consolidated)

Updated 18 Aug 2019 by ikwia to reflect CK being a distinct elite tier and to clarify the FL access requirement
Updated 25 Jul 2017 by JDiver
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AA Concierge Key / ConciergeKey / CK members lounge (master thread)

Old May 29, 2023, 4:27 am
  #2326  
 
Join Date: Nov 2022
Programs: Frequent AA Flyer
Posts: 176
Originally Posted by astebel;[url=tel:35286179
35286179[/url]]After I just lost CK, too, I decided to take the status match with UA. So I am 1K. Interesting boarding process. There are boarding lines for group 1 and 2. Group 3 and 4 sit and wait. All others stand to the side. First, people with disabilities, then service, then GS (global status - their CK), then families with kids under 2, then 1K. They say how many are in each group of GS and 1K. Few GS, I have seen up to 30 1K. Then group 1. It's been a learning curve.

I have, though gotten CK back with a challenge status with AA so now I am in a quandry where to put my attention. I recently had a 5 hr delay from SNA to DEN due to an airport close for weather. Although, I got texts with updates in departure time, I never got a call from UA. I would have from AA as CK, but not EP.
Whilst AAs boarding process, at least for non CKs, is not great, the few times Ive flown UA, theirs was even worse, as you describe.
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Old May 29, 2023, 7:57 am
  #2327  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: NC
Programs: AAConciergeKey/2MM, DL DM/2 MM, UA Gold,Hilton Diamond, IHG Plat, Hyatt Globalist, Marriott Titanium
Posts: 12,033
I guess there won’t be an annual get together this year. No mention of it at all.
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Old May 29, 2023, 6:36 pm
  #2328  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Programs: AA CK; Marriott Plt Prm
Posts: 10
Originally Posted by astebel
After I just lost CK, too, I decided to take the status match with UA. So I am 1K. Interesting boarding process. There are boarding lines for group 1 and 2. Group 3 and 4 sit and wait. All others stand to the side. First, people with disabilities, then service, then GS (global status - their CK), then families with kids under 2, then 1K. They say how many are in each group of GS and 1K. Few GS, I have seen up to 30 1K. Then group 1. It's been a learning curve.

I have, though gotten CK back with a challenge status with AA so now I am in a quandry where to put my attention. I recently had a 5 hr delay from SNA to DEN due to an airport close for weather. Although, I got texts with updates in departure time, I never got a call from UA. I would have from AA as CK, but not EP.
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Old May 29, 2023, 6:51 pm
  #2329  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Programs: AA CK; Marriott Plt Prm
Posts: 10
Originally Posted by astebel
After I just lost CK, too, I decided to take the status match with UA. So I am 1K. Interesting boarding process. There are boarding lines for group 1 and 2. Group 3 and 4 sit and wait. All others stand to the side. First, people with disabilities, then service, then GS (global status - their CK), then families with kids under 2, then 1K. They say how many are in each group of GS and 1K. Few GS, I have seen up to 30 1K. Then group 1. It's been a learning curve.

I have, though gotten CK back with a challenge status with AA so now I am in a quandry where to put my attention. I recently had a 5 hr delay from SNA to DEN due to an airport close for weather. Although, I got texts with updates in departure time, I never got a call from UA. I would have from AA as CK, but not EP.
Im in the same boatoriginal AAdvantage member; 9.4 million miles, 75% in seat; but really enjoying United as a 1K. Im close to reaching my challenge match, and will easily requalify with a number of Asia trips planned. THE major difference, strictly for 1K vs EXP, is the boarding process. As a 1K, Uniteds boarding process is FAR better than Americans boarding process for EXPs. Simply stated, 1Ks are part of UAs pre board process, ahead of first class and group 1; EXPs on AA are buried with the masses in a chaotic boarding process. I switched for practical purposesI will easily qualify for lifetime 1K in a couple of years (including past UA miles). Qualifying for lifetime EXP is literally impossiblenot allowed by AA. Easy decision. Ive found both airlines have their pluses and minuses, but UA CLEARLY wins the boarding process battle at the EXP/1K level (below that, sorry to say, life isnt so good).
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Old May 29, 2023, 7:14 pm
  #2330  
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: SEA, ATL (wish it was still ORD)
Programs: AA EXP; DL Platinum, Marriott Titanium, Hilton Diamond, Hyatt Globalist (marriage perk)
Posts: 527
People here are really focused on the boarding process. Actually post Covid I care more about this and like to board last on domestic flights b/c then the whole sniffling and sneezing plane does not pass by me. What I care about is that there is space for my bags and AA was usually good with this even if I'm in Y as they start checking bags by group rather than boarding order (although I did have some nice arguments with GAs about this from time to time). Plus if I want to get hammered there is usually plenty of time in first so I don't care about PDBs. This does not matter that much on international J flights where I always try to be as front as possible and they usually board through the middle door. Having said that, in QR, the boarding is true zoo so even if you are in J you are screwed. I find AA boarding process fairly civilized. B/c of my SEA-ATL thing I fly AS a lot these days and I have to say that their boarding process is very organized and I almost never had an issue with either boarding or bags; especially at SEA (outstations are a bit more crazy from time to time).
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Old May 29, 2023, 7:18 pm
  #2331  
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: DFW
Programs: AA ConciergeKey, Marriott Ambassador Elite
Posts: 398
Originally Posted by SkyTeam777
I guess there wont be an annual get together this year. No mention of it at all.
That is a bummer for sure
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Old May 29, 2023, 9:22 pm
  #2332  
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: SEA, ATL (wish it was still ORD)
Programs: AA EXP; DL Platinum, Marriott Titanium, Hilton Diamond, Hyatt Globalist (marriage perk)
Posts: 527
Originally Posted by HaleiwaFlyer
Maybe something like 1-2 million USD of total spend on AA metal only, to reach lifetime CK. I believe there were issues of manufacture spend in the past counting towards lifetime mileage, so life time mileage won’t work as a criteria.

UA has similar BIS United metal criteria for US GS at 4 million miles that keeps people spending on UA, and AA can be the first airline to publish actual spend as a criteria, since that is direction we are headed towards.
I thought about it and I think it could be problematic for some (like me) unless they allowed codeshares. I mostly fly international and AA has quite a limited network (and more expensive fares) for my needs (especially post Covid). Plus connections from ATL and SEA are s**t b/c of limited flights to PHL/JFK/CLT. No way you can get to Eastern Europe or Southwest Asia and Australia is pretty bad too (only SYD daily). Thus, I often end up on QR, JAL, BA, AY, QF in J. Domestically my East coast is mostly AA but West coast all went to AS after they joined OW since they have direct ATL-SEA multiple times a day. I would want to fly AA more and I have almost 1 MM "butt-in-seat" on OW over the past few years but it's really hard w/o partners. So ideally there would be some third way for loyalty to OW though AA.

Folks here will know more about it but it does feel to me (when I search for tix) that AA has more limited international network compared to UA. As ATL based I refuse to fly DL given their FFP
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Last edited by outgoing; May 29, 2023 at 9:28 pm
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Old May 30, 2023, 3:34 pm
  #2333  
S.R
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: New York
Programs: EK Platinum, AA EXP, BA Gold, Marriott Platinum, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 1,181
Originally Posted by AventuraAAFlyer
Im in the same boatoriginal AAdvantage member; 9.4 million miles, 75% in seat; but really enjoying United as a 1K. Im close to reaching my challenge match, and will easily requalify with a number of Asia trips planned. THE major difference, strictly for 1K vs EXP, is the boarding process. As a 1K, Uniteds boarding process is FAR better than Americans boarding process for EXPs. Simply stated, 1Ks are part of UAs pre board process, ahead of first class and group 1; EXPs on AA are buried with the masses in a chaotic boarding process. I switched for practical purposesI will easily qualify for lifetime 1K in a couple of years (including past UA miles). Qualifying for lifetime EXP is literally impossiblenot allowed by AA. Easy decision. Ive found both airlines have their pluses and minuses, but UA CLEARLY wins the boarding process battle at the EXP/1K level (below that, sorry to say, life isnt so good).
No idea how you enjoy UA's boarding process.
Even as a non CK, AA boarding is FAR superior to UA's. It's so easy that they just call CK, then group 1.
Compared to UA where there's so many groups before group 1 or even 1K. The gates are always crowded. And worst of all, waiting for families, disabled, etc delays the process even further. When I was a 1K it was so difficult to get to the front when they called 1K, especially at hubs, because of how many there were. It's even worse if you're no status in F. Having so many people board in front of you is a slap in the face.
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Old May 31, 2023, 12:08 pm
  #2334  
LIH
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: ORD | LGA | 2E
Programs: UA GS 1.7MM UC | AA CK 0.7MM AC | Bonvoy Ambassador | Hyatt Globalist | Hertz PC
Posts: 1,059
misquote. mod please delete.
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Old May 31, 2023, 1:43 pm
  #2335  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Programs: AA CK; Marriott Plt Prm
Posts: 10
Originally Posted by S.R
No idea how you enjoy UA's boarding process.
Even as a non CK, AA boarding is FAR superior to UA's. It's so easy that they just call CK, then group 1.
Compared to UA where there's so many groups before group 1 or even 1K. The gates are always crowded. And worst of all, waiting for families, disabled, etc delays the process even further. When I was a 1K it was so difficult to get to the front when they called 1K, especially at hubs, because of how many there were. It's even worse if you're no status in F. Having so many people board in front of you is a slap in the face.
Well, 28 segments on UA over the past 7 weeks, and my experience has been the completely opposite of yours. In fact, its UAs positive boarding experience that is keeping me away from an offered CK status match. Quite frankly, I like UAs boarding process for 1Ks better than AAs for even CKs, for one simple reasonUAs boarding process has been consistently enforced and organized on every single segment Ive taken. AA, on the other hand, does not have the word consistency in their corporate vocabulary, except to note they are consistently inconsistent. Flew AA from Mia-DFW this morningtypical boarding processan agent announcing something unintelligible about boarding while 200 folks bunched up to board at the same time. I was in first class, and would estimate I was around the 30th person who battled their way on board. No thanksIve had my fill of that!
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Old May 31, 2023, 3:18 pm
  #2336  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Isle of Man/East Palo Alto
Programs: AA - CK/Airpass
Posts: 1,046
Originally Posted by AventuraAAFlyer
Well, 28 segments on UA over the past 7 weeks, and my experience has been the completely opposite of yours. In fact, its UAs positive boarding experience that is keeping me away from an offered CK status match. Quite frankly, I like UAs boarding process for 1Ks better than AAs for even CKs, for one simple reasonUAs boarding process has been consistently enforced and organized on every single segment Ive taken. AA, on the other hand, does not have the word consistency in their corporate vocabulary, except to note they are consistently inconsistent. Flew AA from Mia-DFW this morningtypical boarding processan agent announcing something unintelligible about boarding while 200 folks bunched up to board at the same time. I was in first class, and would estimate I was around the 30th person who battled their way on board. No thanksIve had my fill of that!
Can I have your CK status pass instead?
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Old May 31, 2023, 4:32 pm
  #2337  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: San Jose, CA USA
Posts: 1,808
Originally Posted by S.R
No idea how you enjoy UA's boarding process.
Even as a non CK, AA boarding is fars uperior to UA's. It's so easy that they just call CK, then group 1.
Compared to UA, where there's so many groups before group 1 or even 1K. The gates are always crowded. And worst of all, waiting for families, disabled, etc delays the process even further. When I was a 1K it was so difficult to get to the front when they called 1K, especially at hubs, because of how many there were. It's even worse if you have marginal to no status, and plunked down Full price for an F ticket. Having so many people board in front of you is a slap in the face.
I agree with this statement. In past years, I have always made EXP, and usually 1K. Was always denied CK, although I thought I had forked up many thousands to the old AMR for literally decades.
The boarding for CK's, is, IMHO, the way an elite group should be boarded-----simply get on first. I love families with little kids (had them myself many years ago), but the CK folks do not hold up the line. I recently gave up on AA for CK and, as a grown man refused to grovel to an oracle somewhere at DFW who played Snoopy/Charlie Brown and moved the goal posts consistently as a testament to capriciousness. So I took UA's offer to simply pony $50K and made GS instantly, in combination with their PassPlus product. I know many others did, too.

(But then, in testament to reality, AS (which keeps UA honest a little on many routes out of SFO), beats the pants of UA on many routes where they compete head to head). Wife and I consistently fly from SFO (and even SJC) for half of what UA charges in F. And AS beats AA on most of the routes I compare then to as well. To Hawaii, AS's 737's compare favorably, IMHO, to UA's full-reclining Polaris for the 4.5 - 5 hr flight that one takes. Close to half the price, if not more. Always liked the 777, but not at those prices.

Lif as a GS has had it's eye openings. They answer the telephone superbly. No question. But they do board after disabled and military at times even after families, but I have seen inconsistencies on that.----all even before the "prestigious" GS's. They should board their GS's like AA boards its CK's. Maybe they could indulge the "mystery" effect that sometimes happens from 'AA's CK process and call folks up by name leaving the great unwashed to guess as to what the heck it's all about.

After 55 yrs of flying, the food on AA is better than UA's, generally all across the board. So is the inflight service, mainly due to attentiveness of the FA's.

What used to gall me more than anything before I was 1K on UA was simply having a paid F ticket and waiting a ridiculous amount of time to board after the hordes of 1K's at SFO and ORD. They have signs for groups 1 and 2 with long lines, but no place to put, or designate, for the over-produced 1K'S, especially at some of the cramped lounges of D,E,F gates at SFO, I wrote them multiple times and advocated that they fix that, but no. At least AA's F pax (non EXP) get mingled into group 1 and AA seems to execute their boarding in a more equitable manner.,

I do agree that UA poorly enforces its boarding priority/process, but that's not a surprise to me, given the incongruity of its design

My big gripe over the years as an EXP/NonCK was trying to getting through on the phone to the airline when I was in trouble and desperate. Can't wait hours for a return call when my trip has gone to hell, The recent pandemic amplified that, but I don't know how the CK flyers did during that time. I have noticed, as some posters have pointed out, when my EXP-line call was handled by a CK agent. Agents have told me when they were CK agents. Good move by AA if that was their design.

I resolved long ago, after watching the misery of flyers "chasing" CK status and getting their self-esteem knocked down after flinging tens of thousands on discretionary flying, that I would never "chase" any status that I could not figure out what the rules the game were. But I would "chase " GS again, as long as UA stayed consistent in what it has started doing now, and sticks with it. And they could tweak their boarding process to make GS the same as CK. For all I know, UA could ruin a good thing and raise prices, but hopefully it won't be a guessing game like CK.

Maybe if one made CK for a long haul, like 20 years consecutively, they could let somebody in CK----for just a measly year---kind of like a variant on the Clooney movie. Would that ruin it? They would have had more of my business, and still could, although my life expectancy will probably be the limiting factor.
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Old May 31, 2023, 4:48 pm
  #2338  
 
Join Date: Nov 2017
Programs: AA CK; Marriott Plt Prm
Posts: 10
Originally Posted by FullFare
I agree with this statement. In past years, I have always made EXP, and usually 1K. Was always denied CK, although I thought I had forked up many thousands to the old AMR for literally decades.
The boarding for CK's, is, IMHO, the way an elite group should be boarded-----simply get on first. I love families with little kids (had them myself many years ago), but the CK folks do not hold up the line. I recently gave up on AA for CK and, as a grown man refused to grovel to an oracle somewhere at DFW who played Snoopy/Charlie Brown and moved the goal posts consistently as a testament to capriciousness. So I took UA's offer to simply pony $50K and made GS instantly, in combination with their PassPlus product. I know many others did, too.

(But then, in testament to reality, AS (which keeps UA honest a little on many routes out of SFO), beats the pants of UA on many routes where they compete head to head). Wife and I consistently fly from SFO (and even SJC) for half of what UA charges in F. And AS beats AA on most of the routes I compare then to as well. To Hawaii, AS's 737's compare favorably, IMHO, to UA's full-reclining Polaris for the 4.5 - 5 hr flight that one takes. Close to half the price, if not more. Always liked the 777, but not at those prices.

Lif as a GS has had it's eye openings. They answer the telephone superbly. No question. But they do board after disabled and military at times even after families, but I have seen inconsistencies on that.----all even before the "prestigious" GS's. They should board their GS's like AA boards its CK's. Maybe they could indulge the "mystery" effect that sometimes happens from 'AA's CK process and call folks up by name leaving the great unwashed to guess as to what the heck it's all about.

After 55 yrs of flying, the food on AA is better than UA's, generally all across the board. So is the inflight service, mainly due to attentiveness of the FA's.

What used to gall me more than anything before I was 1K on UA was simply having a paid F ticket and waiting a ridiculous amount of time to board after the hordes of 1K's at SFO and ORD. They have signs for groups 1 and 2 with long lines, but no place to put, or designate, for the over-produced 1K'S, especially at some of the cramped lounges of D,E,F gates at SFO, I wrote them multiple times and advocated that they fix that, but no. At least AA's F pax (non EXP) get mingled into group 1 and AA seems to execute their boarding in a more equitable manner.,

I do agree that UA poorly enforces its boarding priority/process, but that's not a surprise to me, given the incongruity of its design

My big gripe over the years as an EXP/NonCK was trying to getting through on the phone to the airline when I was in trouble and desperate. Can't wait hours for a return call when my trip has gone to hell, The recent pandemic amplified that, but I don't know how the CK flyers did during that time. I have noticed, as some posters have pointed out, when my EXP-line call was handled by a CK agent. Agents have told me when they were CK agents. Good move by AA if that was their design.

I resolved long ago, after watching the misery of flyers "chasing" CK status and getting their self-esteem knocked down after flinging tens of thousands on discretionary flying, that I would never "chase" any status that I could not figure out what the rules the game were. But I would "chase " GS again, as long as UA stayed consistent in what it has started doing now, and sticks with it. And they could tweak their boarding process to make GS the same as CK. For all I know, UA could ruin a good thing and raise prices, but hopefully it won't be a guessing game like CK.

Maybe if one made CK for a long haul, like 20 years consecutively, they could let somebody in CK----for just a measly year---kind of like a variant on the Clooney movie. Would that ruin it? They would have had more of my business, and still could, although my life expectancy will probably be the limiting factor.
AS FC seats compare favorably to Polaris? That is seriously funny. They dont compare favorably to another FC product out there.
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Old May 31, 2023, 5:59 pm
  #2339  
 
Join Date: Nov 2022
Programs: Frequent AA Flyer
Posts: 176
Originally Posted by FullFare
I agree with this statement. In past years, I have always made EXP, and usually 1K. Was always denied CK, although I thought I had forked up many thousands to the old AMR for literally decades.
I recently gave up on AA for CK and, as a grown man refused to grovel to an oracle somewhere at DFW who played Snoopy/Charlie Brown and moved the goal posts consistently as a testament to capriciousness. So I took UA's offer to simply pony $50K and made GS instantly, in combination with their PassPlus product. I know many others did, too.

I resolved long ago, after watching the misery of flyers "chasing" CK status and getting their self-esteem knocked down after flinging tens of thousands on discretionary flying, that I would never "chase" any status that I could not figure out what the rules the game were. But I would "chase " GS again, as long as UA stayed consistent in what it has started doing now, and sticks with it.
I know from your previous posts that you are a legacy limited lifetime Airpass member, but if you wanted a guaranteed way to make CK year after year, couldn't you have done what you've just done with UA and GS, and simply written a 50k (and then 60k) check to the non legacy AA Airpass program, and gotten CK that way? Would they have allowed you to do that even though you had the legacy Airpass membership?

Obviously no longer available as the current Airpass program is being sunsetted, but that seems to have offered the certainty, without chasing or guessing, that you, and many others, disliked so much about the CK selection process.
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Old Jun 1, 2023, 10:12 am
  #2340  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Programs: UA 1K and PP, AA Plat (3MM, former CK), Marriott Ambassador and LTT, Hilton Gold, Uber One
Posts: 1,362
Originally Posted by AventuraAAFlyer
I was in first class, and would estimate I was around the 30th person who battled their way on board. No thanksIve had my fill of that!
This is my issue with the UA boarding process -- even when in J, usually ~30 people board before me, although I will admit it's orderly, so no "battle". And even being 30th is only because I try to arrive at the gate early so I'm near the front of the group 1 line.
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