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

Old Dec 18, 2015, 12:53 pm
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Last edit by: Prospero
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 Jul 29, 2023, 9:43 pm
  #2506  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: DFW Area
Programs: AA ConciergeKey; Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 417
I assume itís to connote/imbue some combination of the common meaning of ďconciergeĒ taking care of all guest needs and ďkeyĒ, like itís the key to unlocking all the premium services of AA.

Maybe someone on this board knows the lore/origination of the branding

I also note that the highest level of hotel concierge international society also uses the key as their emblem since the 1950s. I see this occasionally being worn by the lead concierge at luxury hotels.

https://medium.com/@gordyandpaula/ab...r-156217b5e3a4
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Last edited by davecraze; Jul 29, 2023 at 10:02 pm
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Old Jul 29, 2023, 9:48 pm
  #2507  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: DFW Area
Programs: AA ConciergeKey; Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 417
Originally Posted by jhalapin
I always tip the driver on tarmac rides.....
I do too when I transit but I have to remember to bring pounds with me on the outbound from the USA into LHR and keep some for the return transit.

I donít tip the premium service agents but I have written nice kudos emails to their supervisor and the head of premium services when they work miracles for us on tight or seemingly impossible connections at LHR.
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Last edited by davecraze; Jul 29, 2023 at 9:54 pm
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Old Jul 29, 2023, 10:26 pm
  #2508  
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 6,348
Originally Posted by davecraze
I assume itís to connote/imbue some combination of the common meaning of ďconciergeĒ taking care of all guest needs and ďkeyĒ, like itís the key to unlocking all the premium services of AA.

Maybe someone on this board knows the lore/origination of the branding

I also note that the highest level of hotel concierge international society also uses the key as their emblem since the 1950s. I see this occasionally being worn by the lead concierge at luxury hotels.

https://medium.com/@gordyandpaula/ab...r-156217b5e3a4

Thankyou. Makes sense.
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Old Jul 29, 2023, 10:27 pm
  #2509  
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Programs: Bonvoy ambassador - lifetime plat / Hilton diamond / hyatt globalist / AA CK baby!
Posts: 1,137
Originally Posted by astebel
I have never tipped those agents at the gate. If I get to know one of them, as they are often the same, if I have some candy or a starbucks card I will. The only people I actually tip are the agent who takes me through flagship check in and cuts the line. I offer cash and it is always accepted and the agents who give you the SUV or cart rides, I had tried to offer cash but they always refused. Now I carry a bunch of $10 starbucks cards. Those have always been accepted.
The agents in the lounge at my home airport are very nice to me. so much so that before I got CK I was able to call the lounge from my way to the airport, during irops so they have a line of members at the desk, and get not only reaccommodated, but double booked just to be safe. Ive tried to discreetly tip ($100) these gals before (waiting till they were the only one at the desk) and was always refused. do you think a giftcard would work instead? I was thinking of talking to the station chief and saying 'these agents are a big part of the reason why I'm CK now, would you please FORCE them to take a tip?'
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Old Jul 29, 2023, 10:28 pm
  #2510  
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: DFW Area
Programs: AA ConciergeKey; Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 417
Originally Posted by trooper
Thankyou. Makes sense.
Just my speculation. Likely someone here may have actual information.
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Old Jul 30, 2023, 7:07 am
  #2511  
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Programs: AA CK, UA 1K, Hilton Diamond, Marriot Plat, Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 285
Originally Posted by stant
The agents in the lounge at my home airport are very nice to me. so much so that before I got CK I was able to call the lounge from my way to the airport, during irops so they have a line of members at the desk, and get not only reaccommodated, but double booked just to be safe. Ive tried to discreetly tip ($100) these gals before (waiting till they were the only one at the desk) and was always refused. do you think a giftcard would work instead? I was thinking of talking to the station chief and saying 'these agents are a big part of the reason why I'm CK now, would you please FORCE them to take a tip?'
You might try a starbucks gift card. I had noticed that, for instance, when I tried to tip a CK agent or driver for the tarmac rides, or cart rides, they would refuse. After reading some other threads about tipping, I started bringing starbuck cards. That they have all taken and appear to appreciate. The only person I tip with cash is the person who helps me through flagship check in to get to the front of the line. And they have always taken it. The agents in the lounges I have given coupons to or candy which they have appreciated. And have written into management as a compliment. Try the gift cards.
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Old Jul 31, 2023, 6:24 am
  #2512  
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: 1,068
Originally Posted by astebel
You might try a starbucks gift card. I had noticed that, for instance, when I tried to tip a CK agent or driver for the tarmac rides, or cart rides, they would refuse. After reading some other threads about tipping, I started bringing starbuck cards. That they have all taken and appear to appreciate. The only person I tip with cash is the person who helps me through flagship check in to get to the front of the line. And they have always taken it. The agents in the lounges I have given coupons to or candy which they have appreciated. And have written into management as a compliment. Try the gift cards.
I hand out about 50 of these around the holidays at my home base to various AA/UA employees. Always received well.
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Old Aug 6, 2023, 3:24 am
  #2513  
formerly wchinchen
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Honolulu
Programs: AA CK, UA 1K, Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 1,496
Pilot Thank You

Great service touch, and hope more of it happens for all of us. Arrived at my seat for HNL to DFW flight, and saw a thank you note from the captain. He then came out shortly after boarding to shake my hand and thanked me for my business.

Great gesture and customer appreciation that typically we hear from UA GS. Hopefully this becomes the norm.


Note
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Old Aug 6, 2023, 8:37 am
  #2514  
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Programs: AA CK, UA 1K, Hilton Diamond, Marriot Plat, Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 285
Originally Posted by HaleiwaFlyer
Great service touch, and hope more of it happens for all of us. Arrived at my seat for HNL to DFW flight, and saw a thank you note from the captain. He then came out shortly after boarding to shake my hand and thanked me for my business.

Great gesture and customer appreciation that typically we hear from UA GS. Hopefully this becomes the norm.


Note
That is really nice. I have been CK for 5 years and have never had that happen. I think maybe only twice from an FA.
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Old Aug 6, 2023, 10:05 am
  #2515  
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: NC
Programs: AAConciergeKey/2MM, DL DM/2 MM, UA Gold,Hilton Diamond, IHG Plat, Hyatt Globalist, Marriott Titanium
Posts: 12,071
Originally Posted by astebel
That is really nice. I have been CK for 5 years and have never had that happen. I think maybe only twice from an FA.
Had it happen once from the captain on a DFW-BOG flight where I was in the exit row on an A319. He came back, shook my hand, showed me the flight plan, apologized for me not being in business (ha! I was embarrassed I hadn't paid for it, but wasn't worth it for a narrowbody) and said he told the FAs to take extra good care of me. I was floored and so appreciative of the effort.
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Old Aug 7, 2023, 11:29 am
  #2516  
 
Join Date: Jan 2023
Posts: 13
New CK Review

Sharing some thoughts as a new CK. Was EP for 5+ years and got CK in April. Flew over 100 flights on AA last qualifying year with over 1 mil in Loyalty Points from flying. Directed my spend to AA to try out CK. While it has its nice moments, will say it hasnít fully lived up to my expectations.

This year flown 51 flights since becoming CK. Most on trips with connections, many to Europe. Iíve tested out LAX, DFW, CLT, MIA, PHL, NYC, and ORD. Will say that I only get meet and greet on about 50% of my connections, which is pretty low as I was expecting more towards 90%. MIA, CLT, and ORD multiple times I have received zero CK support. Apparently they say we are prioritized based on connection time, so if another CK has tighter connection, they get the meet and greet, which I can understand, but also donít agree. They should be staffed well enough to support all of us, Iím paying just as much as the guy with the tighter connectionÖitís one of our few perks and we should be getting it most of time I would like to think.
Funny side story, the other month I had a 5 min connection in DFW due to a delay. CK rep met me at gate and said sorry I donít have a golf cart, but youíre in terminal D, just run to skytrain. And then she walked away. Like thanks, that was so helpfulÖlol.

Also, I was expecting going from EP to CK flight attendant service would be much better. Sadly wrong, I counted and only 2/51 fights so far has a flight attendant cared or even blinked an eye as a CK. Frustrating as I would have thought they would care a little more about the CKs but they donít, so if Iím in end of first/business I still get slim pickings on food choice etc.

my opinion, while CK service in terminals is nice, (when I do actually get it the 50% of the time), thatís not where I spend my time. I spend my 500 hrs a year on the planes. And thatís where I would like the service going the extra mile, but thatís where I get the least ďextraĒ service as a CK.

I mentioned all this to the CK folks when they called me to ask about how the CK program was going and they were a bit shocked and said they would relay this to their managers. I also made comments about it to AA customer relations, and they said if I have trips with poor CK service to write in each time with flight details. They said they have direct communication with CK managers and want to hear our comments more. They said they can work on improving specific hubs and flight crew if more of us leave feedback when there is poor performance.

Not at all saying itís a bad program, and yes I am leaving out some of the good experiences I have had, but I think overall thereís room for improvement. And they canít get better if they donít know these things.

Last edited by ReidTravels; Aug 7, 2023 at 11:39 am
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Old Aug 7, 2023, 11:37 am
  #2517  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: The FT AA forum, until it no longer wants me.
Programs: CK or bust
Posts: 1,913
ORD is just short staffed but given their overall reduced footprint, that's not going to change soon while MIA doesn't really have a history of doing the whole meet and greet thing. While "shock" might be expressed by the liaison folks, I would put file "meaningful CK staffing changes" under the dubious drawer.

Inflight doesn't really differentiate much when it comes to pax status. They seem to be pretty unhappy as a workgroup since the pilots get all the attention and $$ so I wouldn't think that there will be a change there either.

A 50% rate isn't bad!
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Old Aug 7, 2023, 11:44 am
  #2518  
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: DFW
Programs: AA ConciergeKey, Marriott Ambassador Elite
Posts: 406
Originally Posted by ReidTravels
Sharing some thoughts as a new CK. Was EP for 5+ years and got CK in April. Flew over 100 flights on AA last qualifying year with over 1 mil in Loyalty Points from flying. Directed my spend to AA to try out CK. While it has its nice moments, will say it hasnít fully lived up to my expectations.

This year flown 51 flights since becoming CK. Most on trips with connections, many to Europe. Iíve tested out LAX, DFW, CLT, MIA, PHL, NYC, and ORD. Will say that I only get meet and greet on about 50% of my connections, which is pretty low as I was expecting more towards 90%. MIA, CLT, and ORD multiple times I have received zero CK support. Apparently they say we are prioritized based on connection time, so if another CK has tighter connection, they get the meet and greet, which I can understand, but also donít agree. They should be staffed well enough to support all of us, Iím paying just as much as the guy with the tighter connectionÖitís one of our few perks and we should be getting it most of time I would like to think.
Funny side story, the other month I had a 5 min connection in DFW due to a delay. CK rep met me at gate and said sorry I donít have a golf cart, but youíre in terminal D, just run to skytrain. And then she walked away. Like thanks, that was so helpfulÖlol.

Also, I was expecting going from EP to CK flight attendant service would be much better. Sadly wrong, I counted and only 2/51 fights so far has a flight attendant cared or even blinked an eye as a CK. Frustrating as I would have thought they would care a little more about the CKs but they donít, so if Iím in end of first/business I still get slim pickings on food choice etc.

my opinion, while CK service in terminals is nice, (when I do actually get it the 50% of the time), thatís not where I spend my time. I spend my 500 hrs a year on the planes. And thatís where I would like the service going the extra mile, but thatís where I get the least ďextraĒ service as a CK.

I mentioned all this to the CK folks when they called me to ask about how the CK program was going and they were a bit shocked and said they would relay this to their managers. I also made comments about it to AA customer relations, and they said if I have trips with poor CK service to write in each time with flight details. They said they have direct communication with CK managers and want to hear our comments more. They said they can work on improving specific hubs and flight crew if more of us leave feedback when there is poor performance.

Not at all saying itís a bad program, and yes I am leaving out some of the good experiences I have had, but I think overall thereís room for improvement. And they canít get better if they donít know these things.
First of all, congratulations on the new CK status! Welcome to the club. Second, you are expressing similar frustrations as I have in the past. I have given countless rounds of feedback on the air service/treatment as a CK. Preferential food orders should be table stakes in my opinion...
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Old Aug 7, 2023, 12:23 pm
  #2519  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: STL/ORD/MCI/SAN
Programs: AA CK MM, AC SE100K, BA Gold, UA 1K, DL Plat, Hyatt Globalist, Hilton Diamond, Marriott Platinum
Posts: 1,990
Originally Posted by ReidTravels
Sharing some thoughts as a new CK. Was EP for 5+ years and got CK in April. Flew over 100 flights on AA last qualifying year with over 1 mil in Loyalty Points from flying. Directed my spend to AA to try out CK. While it has its nice moments, will say it hasn’t fully lived up to my expectations.

This year flown 51 flights since becoming CK. Most on trips with connections, many to Europe. I’ve tested out LAX, DFW, CLT, MIA, PHL, NYC, and ORD. Will say that I only get meet and greet on about 50% of my connections, which is pretty low as I was expecting more towards 90%. MIA, CLT, and ORD multiple times I have received zero CK support. Apparently they say we are prioritized based on connection time, so if another CK has tighter connection, they get the meet and greet, which I can understand, but also don’t agree. They should be staffed well enough to support all of us, I’m paying just as much as the guy with the tighter connection…it’s one of our few perks and we should be getting it most of time I would like to think.
Funny side story, the other month I had a 5 min connection in DFW due to a delay. CK rep met me at gate and said sorry I don’t have a golf cart, but you’re in terminal D, just run to skytrain. And then she walked away. Like thanks, that was so helpful…lol.

Also, I was expecting going from EP to CK flight attendant service would be much better. Sadly wrong, I counted and only 2/51 fights so far has a flight attendant cared or even blinked an eye as a CK. Frustrating as I would have thought they would care a little more about the CKs but they don’t, so if I’m in end of first/business I still get slim pickings on food choice etc.

my opinion, while CK service in terminals is nice, (when I do actually get it the 50% of the time), that’s not where I spend my time. I spend my 500 hrs a year on the planes. And that’s where I would like the service going the extra mile, but that’s where I get the least “extra” service as a CK.

I mentioned all this to the CK folks when they called me to ask about how the CK program was going and they were a bit shocked and said they would relay this to their managers. I also made comments about it to AA customer relations, and they said if I have trips with poor CK service to write in each time with flight details. They said they have direct communication with CK managers and want to hear our comments more. They said they can work on improving specific hubs and flight crew if more of us leave feedback when there is poor performance.

Not at all saying it’s a bad program, and yes I am leaving out some of the good experiences I have had, but I think overall there’s room for improvement. And they can’t get better if they don’t know these things.
DFW tends to be the best staffed with premium services agents, but I agree sometimes the meet and greet service can leave you scratching your head. I have had some wonderful experiences with short connections and car service (typically with the same driver but different agents -- I wonder if they actually just have one driver, as I've always had the same young guy driving). However, on two occasions I recall, I had agents meet me at the gate and escort me to the skylink, where they actually just walked alongside me, made small talk, and rode the skytrain with me to the other concourse gate. I know the DFW airport like the back of my hand -- if you have a cart or a car, great, but I really don't need an escort to ride the train lol. I'm used to making small talk for a living, but it was honestly more awkward than helpful in these instances.

Then you have those times when you think your connection is short enough that you'll definitely have someone waiting, and there's literally no one. That's happened to me at one time or another at every AA hub the past couple of years. CLT is the worst for this, in the experiences I've had, but it can really happen anywhere when they aren't properly staffed.

I think there was also likely a large "brain drain" with AA reservations agents when pandemic-related retirements happened. Even CK agents don't always seem to be that proficient with getting things done quickly and efficiently in IROPS. It's amazing the number of times I've had to politely push back when they tried to refuse booking on another airline in a premium cabin when I was traveling on a paid AA premium cabin ticket. The response might be something like, "But we have to pay the other airline full price for that!" It's just not always the seamless service you'd expect. I even had one agent tell me that they aren't allowed to "double book" (protect) CKs on AA flights.

Overall, I'd say CK is a very inconsistent experience, and I definitely agree that the on board recognition is very lacking. Overall, though, it may still be better than equivalent programs at UA and DL. I'm not entirely sure, as I've never been GS or 360, but you'll certainly find plenty of GS complaints over on the UA forum. Still, I'm at a point where I'm certainly evaluating whether it's worth fighting to have CK in the future vs. just being a free agent. I've had some excellent experiences this summer on European airlines like Swiss and Lufthansa (it helps that they have true three class F service).

In the end, it leaves FL access on domestic itineraries as one of the biggest perks of CK, but anyone with non-AA/AS OW Sapphire or Emerald status gets that anyway, so an argument can certainly be made that, if you're not hitting the mark for CK organically (without going out of your way to direct business to AA when other airlines are more convenient, etc.), it's probably worth sitting down and evaluating exactly why you want to keep trying to qualify for it.

My sense is that U.S. airlines are all trying to decide where their focus should be right now, and premium services for passengers really don't seem to be the priority. They're struggling to keep their FAs and pilots happy, they're having a hard time keeping operations running and on time, and they're learning how to deal with an influx of non-business travelers who are actually willing to pay a premium for what is really sometimes just a bigger seat to a leisure destination. As much as I'd love for the focus to be on premium passenger programs like CK, I just don't think that's the point where the industry is right now.
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Old Aug 7, 2023, 12:27 pm
  #2520  
formerly wchinchen
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Honolulu
Programs: AA CK, UA 1K, Hyatt Globalist
Posts: 1,496
Try to go through LAX abit more, as they have a pretty good CK team (I get the most tarmac rides there, especially to/from Eagle's Nest). LAX has PS (private suites), and perhaps something can be coordinated between AA and PS for your LAX flights (I haven't done PS yet or asked AA CK team if they can coordinate, but will for my upcoming international flight from LAX. I'll report back).

In flight experience is the area that needs the most improvement as CKs are no different than any other passengers based on my experience. I think a no cost method is to hand out thank you cards from FA/Pilots. Delta started this a long time ago, and was well received. We just need to make sure we keep them, versus not taking them after a flight. There was another thread made by an FA (forget which airline) that asked if thank you card was worth doing anymore, since they find them on the floor after a flight. Chocolates (like AS) to EXP/CKs on a flight would be a nice gesture and is a low cost touch too. Anything that promotes increasing the positive interaction between FAs and CK passengers would be helpful. Since we do have last moment flight changes and the preordered option is no longer valid, having the first in flight meal choice would be nice (as mentioned by Snydert).

For the boarding process, improvements can be made. Perhaps a discreet pre board before disabilities would be great, since I don't think we slow down the boarding process. The first to board can also reinforce the CK loyalty group as a whole, to the flight attendants that these are CK passengers whom come on board first. The current boarding process is not working, since group 1 is already filled with passengers immediately after they announce pre-boarding, and pretty much every flight near impossible to navigate to the front without being a gate lice. Other option is to board last, but with guaranteed overhead space for CKs (doubtful as this will require more work for the FA to track who is a CK; or put a dummy placeholder luggage for the CK's seat overhead bin; but requires more work).

I constantly feel the CK agents want to do more for CKs, but are constrained due to staffing issues. Personally, I feel AA doesn't have a good grasp of what they want the airline to be.

Last edited by HaleiwaFlyer; Aug 7, 2023 at 12:34 pm
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