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ARCHIVE: HELP DESK & FAQ: 2016 AA Elite Status Challenge

ARCHIVE: HELP DESK & FAQ: 2016 AA Elite Status Challenge

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Old Jan 23, 17, 3:22 am   -   Wikipost
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HELP DESK & FAQ: AAdvantage Elite Status Challenge (Gold and Platinum)

The 2016 AAdvantage Gold and Elite status challenges are now obsolete.

See HELP DESK & FAQ: 2017 Gold and Platinum status Challenge for the current Challenge thread


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American Airlines initiated a new AAdvantage Gold and Platinum elite status challenge for 2016, available to anyone, (unless they have attempted or completed a recent challenge, or are trying to use a challenge to regain status). There is no publicly available documentation currently. Please update here as the information becomes available, e.g. signup fees.

Call +1.888.697-5636 for details and to sign up.


NOTE: There are also Corporate and Targeted status challenges offered to some levels of certain companies or targeted subgroups (LinkedIn had one, Founders Card may still offer one); some may offer up to Executive Platinum status. These differ significantly from this challenge offered the general flying public for a fee, and are discussed here.


Frequently Asked Questions and Requirements

Q. What are the requirements for successfully completing a Challenge?
  • Gold status: earn 7,000 Elite Qualifying Miles (EQM) in 3 months (not 90 days). Signup fee (non-refundable): $120.00 for start date in Jan 2016, $100 in April 2016, $140 on June 16 2016

  • Platinum status: earn 12,500 EQM in 3 months; signup fee (non-refundable) $200.00 for start date in Jan 2016, $180 in April 2016, $240 on June 16 2016. As of October 15 2016 it was $200.

Q. When can I sign up for a Challenge? Can I backdate to include flown flights? How far out can I enroll?

Start dates are now anytime, not a particular date, and may be backdated two weeks (although at least one member was denied in a request to backdate). You probably won't be allowed to engage farther than six weeks out.


Q. How long will Challenge-earned elite status last?

Challenges started prior to 16 June 2016 earn status good through 28 Feb 2017; challenges started 16 June or after earn status good through 31 Jan 2018. (It is the start date, not the date of the phone call or the date the challenge is completed, that matters.)


Q. Are there restrictions on earning EQM for the Challenge?

Yes. To qualify, EQM must be earned on flights marketed* by AA's Joint Business Venture partners:
  • AA American Airlines

  • AY Finnair

  • BA British Airways

  • IB Iberia

  • JL Japan Airlines

  • QF Qantas

    * "AA marketed" = AA flight is displayed on your boarding pass

    AA marketed fights earn as if flying AA, regardless of operating carrier. AY, BA and IB marketed flights must be operated by a oneworld airline; normally, JL and QF are the exceptions to this requirement.

Q. How many EQM do I earn per flown mile?

On AA marketed flights (AA flight on your boarding pass - regardless of operating carrier) you may earn, on qualifying paid fares:
  • 3 EQM per base mile flown on full F, J fares
  • 2 EQM per base mile flown in discounted Business and First fares
  • 1 EQM minimum per base mile in all other qualifying fares
On qualifying partners' marketed flights (you're on a AY, BA, IB, JL or QF flight number only, for Challenge purposes) you earn, on qualifying paid flights:
  • 1.5 EQM maximum on all eligible First, Business and Premium Economy fares
  • 1.0 EQM on the most expensive economy fares (full Y and maybe one or two other fares, depending on marketing airline)
  • 0.5 or 0.25 EQM on most paid discount economy fares
  • 0 EQM on some paid economy fares, dependent on marketing airline and fare class
For tables on aa.com showing EQM earning on partner airlines' specific fares, see here.


Q. Will my credit card that pays to $200 incidental fees cover paying for the challenge?

Reports from members indicate your credit card might indeed credit you up to $200 for your challenge fee.


Q. Where can I learn more about earning EQM on AA and partner airlines?

Read Earning AA Elite Qualifying Miles / EQM on AA, oneworld, partner airlines 2016 (particularly the wikipost at the top of the page) for further information about earning EQM on AA and its partners.


Q. Do status or class of service bonus miles in Business and First count toward my Challenge or "normal" status?

No. Class of service, status (and all "bonus") miles are Award (Redeemable) miles, not Elite Qualifying.


Q. I know for "normal" status one must fly four segments at least marketed by AA, or AAdvantage elite status will not be granted. Is this true for completing a Challenge?

No. You may earn Gold or Platinum status flying qualifying AY, BA, IB, JL or QF marketed flights for Challenge-earned AAdvantage status. (The four AA marketed flights requirement for normal status earning will no longer be in place in 2017.)


Q. How can I calculate miles flown for EQM calculations on partner airlines?

Distance calculations may be made reasonably with Great Circle Mapper (link).


Q. Can I qualify by any other measure, such as EQD spend or Elite Qualifying Segments?

No. Only by EQM as defined previously.


Q. I've noticed some have been granted Gold upon enrollment. Can I?

Those with status on competing airlines may be granted interim AAdvantage Gold status while flying a Platinum challenge. A few others may get lucky, but don't expect being granted interim status easily.


Q. Do I automatically gain Gold status when I earn 7,000 EQM on my Platinum Challenge?

No, you will not. There may be reports of one or two members requesting Gold once they've earned 7,000 EQM and being granted Gold status, but this does not seem to be a norm.


Q. If I earn Platinum through a Challenge, can I earn Platinum Pro with 25,000 EQM or Executive Platinum (EP) with 50,000 more EQM?

No. You must earn the full number of required EQM, EQS (and EQD in or after 2017) to earn higher status, regardless of Challenge status.


Q. Do I earn bonus miles, etc. on the flight I cross my Challenge threshold?

No. Status is awarded after the flight upon which the required threshold was crossed (some years ago, it was during and miles earning benefits applied to the earning flight - that has changed).


Q. Will my new status update automatically on my account and previously booked flights? Will my new status benefits be available automatically? How long does it take?

Once your miles post in your account, your status will normally update. But you might have to call AAdvantage Customer Service to have Your existing PNRs updated. The AA agent will remove, re-enter your AAdvantage number, which will cause the record to update.


Q. How often can I sign up for a Challenge?

First, one can not extend or retain status made through a Challenge with a subsequent Challenge. As well, knowledgeable members have posted AA generally allows two "status exceptions" in a five year period, and the Challenge is considered as a status exception. Buying status back would be considered a status exception as well.


NOTE: AA has announced changes to Award (redeemable) Mile earning effective 1 Aug 2016. This has no effect on elite qualifying miles and therefore no effect on completing the challenge. See Earning AA Award ("Redeemable") Miles / RDM earning in later 2016 on American Airlines and its partner airlines]

Elite Status Challenge and Flyertalk History

The now defunct original AAdvantage elite Gold and Platinum status challenge is archived; thread can be read here.

The original EQ Points based challenge lasted a number of years. It was AFAIK first documented systematically by FT member FewMiles, who had it on his web pages with other status-earning information.

First FT thread about the challenge was started 17 Dec 1998: The Elite Challenge

On a fateful day, 26 Jun 2000, FewMiles asked about taking the challenge in this post; fish on!

On 27 Oct 2000, FewMiles starts a new thread announcing a web page for his Unofficial guide to AAdvantage - elite status, Gold/Plat challenge ....

It appears this 18 year old program has been selected by the new management to continue going forward so AA can offer a shortcut to status that they possibly feel is more rewarding (to AA) and effective than merely handing out status matches to anyone with status in another airline / alliance.

Updated 31 July by JDiver


Note: there is a "reingagement challenge" to get back miles lost for inactivity within the last five years, which can be read about here: How to Reactivate / Restore Expired Miles – Reengagement Challenge (consolidated)
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Old Jan 2, 16, 11:41 pm
  #1  
Moderator: American AAdvantage, Mexico, Technical Support and Feedback, The Suggestion Box and Talkboard Topics
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2000
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Post ARCHIVE: HELP DESK & FAQ: 2016 AA Elite Status Challenge

Note: if you have the wikipost option turned off, you may activate wikiposts by clicking on the [+] in the far right of the wikipost blue bar menu just at the top of this thread.

Until late 2015, American Airlines offered a status challenge, a shortcut, to AAdvantage Gold and Platinum status available to all AAdvantage members. (AA did not generally offer "matches" to status.) You can read the archived thread about the challenge here:

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/ameri...ec-2015-a.html (link)

The Gold and Platinum challenges ended in September of 2015. AA employees stated then that a new AAdvantage status challenge was in the works for 2016.

At this time, we know there is a new AAdvantage elite status challenge for 2016; we do not know all the details yet. When we do, you will be able to read about and discuss it here.

Thank you for your patience.

/Your American Airlines | AAdvantage forum Moderator team

Last edited by JDiver; Jan 4, 16 at 12:37 pm Reason: Update 4 Jan 2015 for new challenge
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Old Jan 4, 16, 10:38 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 11
Platinum Challenge Questions

Hi Everyone,

AA has announced the 2016 Platinum Challenge Requirements (you can get the info by phone 888-697-5636) as 12500 EQM in 90 days.

What is the cheapest way to reach this goal based out of Newark or Philadelphia?
prs5117 is offline  
Old Jan 4, 16, 11:50 am
  #3  
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Thumbs up confirmed!

Originally Posted by prs5117 View Post
Hi Everyone,

AA has announced the 2016 Platinum Challenge Requirements (you can get the info by phone 888-697-5636) as 12500 EQM in 90 days.
That's news right there, was just about to post it. 12500 EQM in 90 days, AA, AY, BA, QF, JL, IB

Gold Challenge is 7000 EQM
JonNYC is offline  
Old Jan 4, 16, 12:08 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
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Any idea if they'll be offering an EXP challenge as well? I missed out on the linkedin one last year (foolishly believed the bit about "new members only") and have been kicking myself ever since.
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Old Jan 4, 16, 12:17 pm
  #5  
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Originally Posted by whimsey21 View Post
Any idea if they'll be offering an EXP challenge as well?
Let's hope not.
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Old Jan 4, 16, 12:44 pm
  #6  
Moderator: American AAdvantage, Mexico, Technical Support and Feedback, The Suggestion Box and Talkboard Topics
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I began adding information in the wikipost at the top of this thread.

If people call, please share the details you receive. E.g.

Is the challenge period 90 days, or three months?

What are the signup fees?

What length is the challenge status validity? (Previously, sign up through 15 June, status good through the current status year, the last day of February of the following calendar year; sign up 16 June or later, status validity carried through the current and next status year - 31 Jan 2018, in this instance.)

Etc. The previous challenge was never publicly documented. Member FewMiles documented the details here and on his (defunct) website. With your participation, we can unofficially document the new challenge for our members.
JDiver is offline  
Old Jan 4, 16, 1:17 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: No longer in MSP; now in Portland, OR USA :)
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fee is 200 for platinum. I asked why there was a fee and was told that its because its not an a true "match"..they give you the status immediately upon completion of the challenge (not sure how that justifies a fee but whatever). I went ahead and paid. I have a biz class round trip ticket to CPH coming up on friday (from PDX). Total mileage is 13875 *1.5 class of service bonus so I'll def. make it.
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Old Jan 4, 16, 1:34 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 11
Time period is 3 months. My challenge is going from 1/8-4/8. Also if you pay 200 for the platinum challenge (gold challenge is less expensive) and do not reach 12.5k miles, but do reach 7k miles, just call and they will give you gold status.

[Edit: 4/8. Not 3/8]

Last edited by prs5117; Jan 4, 16 at 1:43 pm
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Old Jan 4, 16, 1:47 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
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Posts: 25
This may not be the right thread to ask this question, but it is the most prevalent to me.

I have been waiting for this announcement, but have never done an AA status challenge before. Once you complete a challenge, is there a limit to when you can register for another? (ex. you can only complete x challenges within x years?) My issue is that all my business travel in the past has been short haul and my long haul personal vacations have been award based.
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Old Jan 4, 16, 2:00 pm
  #10  
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Originally Posted by Sheep View Post
...Once you complete a challenge, is there a limit to when you can register for another? (ex. you can only complete x challenges within x years?)...
There most definitely are such limits in place.

Last edited by JonNYC; Jan 4, 16 at 2:06 pm
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Old Jan 4, 16, 2:05 pm
  #11  
 
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Originally Posted by Sheep View Post
Once you complete a challenge, is there a limit to when you can register for another?
The old program was once per lifetime, as is the rule with all other airlines, so I'd imagine you will never be able to do it again.
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Old Jan 4, 16, 2:07 pm
  #12  
Moderator: American AAdvantage, Mexico, Technical Support and Feedback, The Suggestion Box and Talkboard Topics
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Originally Posted by WheelsFirst View Post
The old program was once per lifetime, as is the rule with all other airlines, so I'd imagine you will never be able to do it again.
No, it wasn't.

For years it wasn't limited. Iirc, most recently it was five years; JonNYC would know.

Last edited by JDiver; Jan 4, 16 at 2:18 pm
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Old Jan 4, 16, 2:10 pm
  #13  
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Originally Posted by WheelsFirst View Post
The old program was once per lifetime...
Absolutely not the case.
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Old Jan 4, 16, 2:29 pm
  #14  
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I told them I just finished the year with Delta with 303,000 MQMs. They offered Gold immediately while I complete my PLT challenge.

I have three MRs planned to JNB on BA next month.

EDIT: My status is now showing as GOLD on aa.com.

Last edited by 355F1; Jan 4, 16 at 2:51 pm
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Old Jan 4, 16, 2:47 pm
  #15  
 
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*****

Last edited by Geauxtigers; Aug 14, 16 at 11:30 pm
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