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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 Jan 16, 2021, 1:57 pm
  #1021  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Programs: UA 1K and PP, AA Plat (3MM, former CK), Marriott Ambassador and LTT, Hilton Gold, Uber One
Posts: 1,370
Originally Posted by EGSExec
Just received my invite. They will not be providing a physical welcome package this year. The website they direct you towards is very well done though.
Congrats. Would you mind posting your rough stats for 2020?
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Old Jan 16, 2021, 2:07 pm
  #1022  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Programs: UA 1K and PP, AA Plat (3MM, former CK), Marriott Ambassador and LTT, Hilton Gold, Uber One
Posts: 1,370
Originally Posted by snydert
I think it's absolutely worth it, but it depends on the type of travel you're doing.
This x 1000.

If you're doing mostly paid J/F international, it probably has little impact IMHO (based on my experience flying international as CK). But if you are doing a ton of domestic flying (as I used to), the assistance with tight connections (the "tarmac rides") make the status very worthwhile. Each year, I would make a couple of dozen "impossible" connections due to their services. When you're bouncing from city to city, usually taking the last flights out, and needing to be in your next city first thing in the morning, this is critical and a huge benefit. The rebooking flexibility was also very nice...when you did miss a connection, or have WX/MX issues, you could be put on any flight of your choosing (even if "sold out").

As an aside, regarding buying First to access FFD (mentioned by another poster) -- sadly, you can't always buy First to gain access...most international flights don't have First, so this isn't even an option. It seems that access to FFD was sometimes offered for sale, but this did not appear to be a consistent offering.
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Old Jan 16, 2021, 3:53 pm
  #1023  
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: DFW
Programs: AA ConciergeKey, Marriott Ambassador Elite
Posts: 406
Originally Posted by ikwia
This x 1000.

If you're doing mostly paid J/F international, it probably has little impact IMHO (based on my experience flying international as CK). But if you are doing a ton of domestic flying (as I used to), the assistance with tight connections (the "tarmac rides") make the status very worthwhile. Each year, I would make a couple of dozen "impossible" connections due to their services. When you're bouncing from city to city, usually taking the last flights out, and needing to be in your next city first thing in the morning, this is critical and a huge benefit. The rebooking flexibility was also very nice...when you did miss a connection, or have WX/MX issues, you could be put on any flight of your choosing (even if "sold out").

As an aside, regarding buying First to access FFD (mentioned by another poster) -- sadly, you can't always buy First to gain access...most international flights don't have First, so this isn't even an option. It seems that access to FFD was sometimes offered for sale, but this did not appear to be a consistent offering.
Couldn't agree more with respect to domestic travel
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Old Jan 16, 2021, 4:45 pm
  #1024  
 
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 ikwia
As an aside, regarding buying First to access FFD (mentioned by another poster) -- sadly, you can't always buy First to gain access...most international flights don't have First, so this isn't even an option. It seems that access to FFD was sometimes offered for sale, but this did not appear to be a consistent offering.
Iím aware of the DFW FFD access for a fee, but actually it was available to anyone with a premium cabin ticket who purchased ďFive Star SelectĒ service, so it was actually consistently available to any non-CK on non-F passenger willing to pay.

IIRC, the price was something like $800 for 2 passengers and included boarding choice (board first or board last, escorted by a rep), either cart or tarmac transfer between gates, a dedicated rep w/cell phone access, and an invite to FFD.

Iíve used the service at DFW when flying J, without being a CK (not something I would do all the time, but for the number of times I did it, I still didnít have to shell out $60k+ annually).

So, again, you donít necessarily have to have the annual spend of a typical CK (who earns it via spend) to get most CK benefits.
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Old Jan 16, 2021, 4:59 pm
  #1025  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Programs: UA 1K and PP, AA Plat (3MM, former CK), Marriott Ambassador and LTT, Hilton Gold, Uber One
Posts: 1,370
Originally Posted by metallo
Iím aware of the DFW FFD access for a fee, but actually it was available to anyone with a premium cabin ticket who purchased ďFive Star SelectĒ service, so it was actually consistently available to any non-CK on non-F passenger willing to pay.

IIRC, the price was something like $800 for 2 passengers and included boarding choice (board first or board last, escorted by a rep), either cart or tarmac transfer between gates, a dedicated rep w/cell phone access, and an invite to FFD.

Iíve used the service at DFW when flying J, without being a CK (not something I would do all the time, but for the number of times I did it, I still didnít have to shell out $60k+ annually).

So, again, you donít necessarily have to have the annual spend of a typical CK (who earns it via spend) to get most CK benefits.
Excellent point, I had forgotten about access through FSS. Thanks for pointing that out.

I'm curious what motivated you to try FFS and whether or not you were happy with your decision.
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Old Jan 16, 2021, 5:08 pm
  #1026  
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: DFW
Programs: AA ConciergeKey, Marriott Ambassador Elite
Posts: 406
Originally Posted by metallo
Iím aware of the DFW FFD access for a fee, but actually it was available to anyone with a premium cabin ticket who purchased ďFive Star SelectĒ service, so it was actually consistently available to any non-CK on non-F passenger willing to pay.

IIRC, the price was something like $800 for 2 passengers and included boarding choice (board first or board last, escorted by a rep), either cart or tarmac transfer between gates, a dedicated rep w/cell phone access, and an invite to FFD.

Iíve used the service at DFW when flying J, without being a CK (not something I would do all the time, but for the number of times I did it, I still didnít have to shell out $60k+ annually).

So, again, you donít necessarily have to have the annual spend of a typical CK (who earns it via spend) to get most CK benefits.
Five Star is great! The service is exceptional at LAX, and I've used it there a few times when traveling with my family during crowded airport times (a rarity these days).

Honestly, CK is really geared towards the road warriors with potential frequent volatility in their travel schedules. For the less aggressive travelers, I would certainly not advocate the spend since, as many have pointed out, you can access similar benefits for the times you want them.
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Old Jan 16, 2021, 5:28 pm
  #1027  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Programs: UA 1K and PP, AA Plat (3MM, former CK), Marriott Ambassador and LTT, Hilton Gold, Uber One
Posts: 1,370
Originally Posted by snydert
Honestly, CK is really geared towards the road warriors with potential frequent volatility in their travel schedules. For the less aggressive travelers, I would certainly not advocate the spend since, as many have pointed out, you can access similar benefits for the times you want them.
I agree with your assessment. Plus, since there aren't published criteria for CK, you could put in the spend (based on your expectations of what it would take), and then not be selected. Which would really suck
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Old Jan 16, 2021, 8:29 pm
  #1028  
 
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 ikwia
Excellent point, I had forgotten about access through FSS. Thanks for pointing that out.

I'm curious what motivated you to try FFS and whether or not you were happy with your decision.
I've done it to share a more special premium experience when traveling with others, when I wouldn't otherwise be eligible for FFD (the last time I did it was to treat my young brother, who is in his 20s, on our way to watch spring training baseball, which has been an annual tradition of ours for several years now) This trip was actually right before all the COVID-19 restrictions, and the FLs and FFD closed. You must be confirmed in a premium cabin to book it, and we booked domestic discount J ('I' class tickets) in advance to ensure there was space available for FFS, as there isn't always availability.

On that occasion, I think his favorite part was getting to board last from the tarmac transfer and being able to walk up the steps to the plane for the connecting flight. Our first flight also anded at a different terminal than the connecting flight (and neither were in terminal D with FFD), so we were able to walk off the first flight, meet an agent who was holding a tablet with our last name, and we were escorted down the steps to the SUV waiting below. We were given a private cell phone number to call with any issues, including to schedule our pickup from FFD for the next flight.

FFD was good also (although there were some service issues while we were there, and we didn't walk away with the best experience at DFW on that trip).

Anyway, bottom line, Five Star Select is definitely not something I'd do for every itinerary (and many of my layovers wouldn't be long enough to enjoy it anyway). However, I'd definitely do it a handful of times a year, particularly if I'm traveling with someone I think will get a kick out of it.

I hope things like this return once AA's business picks up again.
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Old Jan 16, 2021, 9:52 pm
  #1029  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Programs: UA 1K and PP, AA Plat (3MM, former CK), Marriott Ambassador and LTT, Hilton Gold, Uber One
Posts: 1,370
Originally Posted by metallo
I've done it to share a more special premium experience when traveling with others, when I wouldn't otherwise be eligible for FFD (the last time I did it was to treat my young brother, who is in his 20s, on our way to watch spring training baseball, which has been an annual tradition of ours for several years now) This trip was actually right before all the COVID-19 restrictions, and the FLs and FFD closed. You must be confirmed in a premium cabin to book it, and we booked domestic discount J ('I' class tickets) in advance to ensure there was space available for FFS, as there isn't always availability.

On that occasion, I think his favorite part was getting to board last from the tarmac transfer and being able to walk up the steps to the plane for the connecting flight. Our first flight also anded at a different terminal than the connecting flight (and neither were in terminal D with FFD), so we were able to walk off the first flight, meet an agent who was holding a tablet with our last name, and we were escorted down the steps to the SUV waiting below. We were given a private cell phone number to call with any issues, including to schedule our pickup from FFD for the next flight.

FFD was good also (although there were some service issues while we were there, and we didn't walk away with the best experience at DFW on that trip).

Anyway, bottom line, Five Star Select is definitely not something I'd do for every itinerary (and many of my layovers wouldn't be long enough to enjoy it anyway). However, I'd definitely do it a handful of times a year, particularly if I'm traveling with someone I think will get a kick out of it.

I hope things like this return once AA's business picks up again.
Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts. The first time you walk down the steps to the tarmac (or vice versa) is indeed magical and something I would love to treat some family members and friends to. And FFD, when executed properly by the staff (which in my experience, it usually is...I think I had 1 bad experience out of 8ish times using it) is also something that is pretty neat. For people who appreciate it, the mere thought of "unlimited Krug" is pretty cool
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Old Jan 17, 2021, 6:07 am
  #1030  
Suspended
 
Join Date: Sep 2019
Programs: AA: CK
Posts: 2,230
As a data point, I transited DFW thrice over the holidays. I was three for three of having a personal escort (name on tablet, golf cart ready) for my connections. Some of them were not even tight connections. For one of them, he took me to the AC, and then came back an hour later to drive me to my connection. No tarmac rides, but I imagine they're stopped for COVID? It was certainly unexpected and very nice.

That said, when my OGG-DFW was delayed two hours, and I was going to miss my DFW-QRO, I was on my own. Calls to CK got me protected on the later DFW-QRO, but as our delay was creeping, I was thinking about hopping on the OGG-PHX (to connect to MEX), and OGG had no CK agent to help. It was a process of running back and forth between OGG gates to figure out what I needed to do. I would have appreciated some attention then. But there seems to be no OGG CK team.

Forgot to add, this was a paid D class ticket, and when the CK agent protected me, she protected me in R (upgrade, not revenue), and so my traveling companion (also paid D), who was also rebooked in R-upgrade, didn't "get the upgrade", and I had to have the CK agent force rebook her in the proper D class, booting someone from their upgrade. How does this happen??

Last edited by BlooJoo; Jan 17, 2021 at 8:16 am
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Old Jan 17, 2021, 8:26 pm
  #1031  
 
Join Date: May 2015
Location: TYS
Programs: American Exec Plat Hilton Dia, IHG Plat, Hertz 5*, National Exec E, Delta Gold,
Posts: 35
Originally Posted by ikwia
Congrats. Would you mind posting your rough stats for 2020?
Iíd rather not provide specifics, but I can say that my spend was aligned with the Sticky and my segments were more than 160 during 2020
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Old Jan 17, 2021, 9:27 pm
  #1032  
 
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 BlooJoo
Forgot to add, this was a paid D class ticket, and when the CK agent protected me, she protected me in R (upgrade, not revenue), and so my traveling companion (also paid D), who was also rebooked in R-upgrade, didn't "get the upgrade", and I had to have the CK agent force rebook her in the proper D class, booting someone from their upgrade. How does this happen??
I started a separate thread about 'R' class issues in 2019 and posted another issue I had with upgraded vs. revenue J tickets there just recently.

Just curious, though, how did you know the protected reservation was in upgraded R, rather than revenue R?

Could you also clarify what you mean by "didn't get the upgrade" in this scenario (since R and D are both Biz class)? No one holding a reservation ticketed in 'R' class, whether it's upgraded or paid, should have a Y seat assignment, so I guess it's not clear to me how your companion was in R but had to be re-booked in D to have someone booted from their J seat.

Edited to add -- Also (more curiosity)... did AA downgrade someone who had been upgraded at the gate, or were there simply not enough J seats left when you originally requested re-accommodation, so they literally booted someone who'd been upgraded in advance? If the latter is true, that's a pretty wild CK benefit.

Last edited by metallo; Jan 17, 2021 at 9:35 pm
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Old Jan 17, 2021, 9:54 pm
  #1033  
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: DFW
Programs: AA ConciergeKey, Marriott Ambassador Elite
Posts: 406
Originally Posted by metallo
I started a separate thread about 'R' class issues in 2019 and posted another issue I had with upgraded vs. revenue J tickets there just recently.

Just curious, though, how did you know the protected reservation was in upgraded R, rather than revenue R?

Could you also clarify what you mean by "didn't get the upgrade" in this scenario (since R and D are both Biz class)? No one holding a reservation ticketed in 'R' class, whether it's upgraded or paid, should have a Y seat assignment, so I guess it's not clear to me how your companion was in R but had to be re-booked in D to have someone booted from their J seat.

Edited to add -- Also (more curiosity)... did AA downgrade someone who had been upgraded at the gate, or were there simply not enough J seats left when you originally requested re-accommodation, so they literally booted someone who'd been upgraded in advance? If the latter is true, that's a pretty wild CK benefit.
For what it's worth on this topic, I did have a situation flying back from PHI-DFW when they still ran the 757, and my row 1 seat was broken. They booted the person behind me in 2 and gave me their seat. I assume it ended up simply being a rescinded upgrade for that individual, but I certainly appreciated that benefit.
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Old Jan 17, 2021, 10:52 pm
  #1034  
 
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 snydert
For what it's worth on this topic, I did have a situation flying back from PHI-DFW when they still ran the 757, and my row 1 seat was broken. They booted the person behind me in 2 and gave me their seat. I assume it ended up simply being a rescinded upgrade for that individual, but I certainly appreciated that benefit.
Love hearing stories like this, purely for the entertainment value (and just to get additional data points with how AA handles its premium passengers in oddball situations like this), but I'll say now and can be held to it later here, if necessary... if I were ever sitting in an upgraded J seat and got booted out of J because a CK's seat wasn't working, I wouldn't head back to coach, I'd grab my bags and walk off the plane lol. I suspect the typical unfortunates are non-elite or low level elite upgraded members, though, but still, what a slap in the face to those people (having to do the walk of shame when you've done nothing wrong).
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Old Jan 18, 2021, 8:00 am
  #1035  
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Location: DFW
Programs: AA ConciergeKey, Marriott Ambassador Elite
Posts: 406
Originally Posted by metallo
Love hearing stories like this, purely for the entertainment value (and just to get additional data points with how AA handles its premium passengers in oddball situations like this), but I'll say now and can be held to it later here, if necessary... if I were ever sitting in an upgraded J seat and got booted out of J because a CK's seat wasn't working, I wouldn't head back to coach, I'd grab my bags and walk off the plane lol. I suspect the typical unfortunates are non-elite or low level elite upgraded members, though, but still, what a slap in the face to those people (having to do the walk of shame when you've done nothing wrong).
Agreed. I'd be pretty heated if I was on the other side of that situation. Upgrades for non CKs and EPs are hard to come by on most mainstream routes (pre-Covid).
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