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HELP DESK & FAQ: Gold and Platinum Status Challenge

HELP DESK & FAQ: Gold and Platinum Status Challenge

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Old May 3, 19, 4:53 am   -   Wikipost
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The current AAdvantage Gold and Elite status challenges supersede the 2016 Challenge, now obsolete.

Please read before asking questions. Read the Feb 2018 email sent Challengers in Post #1.

Please help update information or fill in the blanks by sharing what you learn.



NOTE: American Airlines generally doesn't offer status matches to elite members of other airlines' frequent flyer schemes; they offer paid Challenges, shortcuts to status. AA have made significant changes to the AAdvantage Gold and Platinum elite status challenge initiated 2016 (originally begun in 1998) available to anyone, regardless of status on AA or another airline (unless these people have attempted or completed a recent challenge, or are trying to use a challenge to regain status - that is not allowed). 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 affinity groups; 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.

See the obsolete thread regarding the Challenge prior to 2016 here.


Frequently Asked Questions and Requirements



Q. What are the requirements for successfully completing a Challenge?

AAdvantage Gold status:
Earn 7,000 Elite Qualifying Miles / EQM
OR fly 8 Elite Qualifying Segments / EQS
AND earn $1,000 Elite Qualifying Dollars / EQD
within a three month period
AND pay a non-refundable fee (see below)
See the "What are AA Gold / GLD benefits? Are they worth it?" thread here.


AAdvantage Platinum status:
Earn 12,500 Elite Qualifying Miles / EQM
OR fly 16 Elite Qualifying Segments in three consecutive months
AND earn $2,000 in Elite Qualifying Dollars
within a three month period
AND pay a non-refundable fee (see below)
See the "What are AA Platinum / PLAT benefits? Are they worth it?" thread here.



Fees we know so far for Jan-Jun 2019[color=Navy] (same as 2018):

Fees we know so far for Jan-Jun 2019):
  • $180 PLATINUM challenge without interim status
  • $380 PLATINUM challenge with interim Gold status
  • $480 PLATINUM challenge with interim Platinum status
Fees we know so far for Jun-Dec 2019):
  • $___ GOLD challenge without interim status during challenge
  • $___ GOLD challenge with Gold interim status
  • $___ PLAT challenge with no interim status
  • $___ PLAT challenge with interim Gold status
  • $___ PLAT challenge with interim Platinum status

Challenge begun on or before 15 June 2019: after successful challenge your earned status will be valid through Jan 31 2020

Challenge begun on or after 16 Jun: after successful challenge earned status will be valid through Jan 31 2021

NOTE: See FAQ: Earning EQD / Elite Qualifying Dollars on AA and partner airlines (2017 on) for further information about earning EQD credit on AA and partner airlines.


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 as far five days (If you aren’t requesting and paying for interim status).

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

Challenges started prior to 16 June 2018 earn status good through 31 Jan 2019; challenges started 16 June or after earn status good through 31 Jan 2020. (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
  • and QF Qantas usually (has been on and off)

    * "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 generally 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) and AY, BA, IB and JL marketed flights 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
  • 1.5 EQM per base mile flown in Premium Economy
  • 1 EQM minimum per base mile in all other qualifying fares, 0.5 on Basic Economy
  • Earning should always be checked on the marketing carrier’s page on aa.com

On qualifying partner Qantas' marketed flights you MAY 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; see Qantas earning chart on aa.com

For tables on aa.com showing EQM earning on partner airlines' specific fares, see here.


Q. Is there a passenger age requirement for the challenge?

No.


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 toward your challenge fee.


Q. Will my credit card spend EQD apply for the Challenge?

No. You must earn your Challenge-qualifying EQD on spend for travel under the same requirements as earning EQM for the Challenge.


Q. Will my baggage, upgrade and other incidental spend be calculated as EQD apply for the Challenge?

No. You must earn your Challenge-qualifying EQD on spend for travel under the same requirements as earning EQM for the Challenge.


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 2017 (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. Must I fly four segments at least marketed by AA?

No; there is no longer a requirement for earning AAdvantage status in 2017. You may earn Gold or Platinum status flying qualifying AY, BA, IB, JL or QF marketed flights for Challenge-earned AAdvantage status.


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

This now depends on a fee paid at the beginning of your Challenge. See Challenge criteria above.


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

The new policy is said to allow Gold upon fulfillment of Gold Challenge criteria. It is unspecified at this time if this is automatic, and won't apply if you paid for interim Platinum status.


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, EQD and EQS 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.

See the first post for the known history of the AA Status Challenge.

LINK to archive of older posts from this thread.

Note: there is a "reingagement challenge" to get back miles lost for inactivity within 18 months after your miles were lost from account inactivity 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, 10:41 pm
  #1  
Moderator: American AAdvantage, Mexico, Technical Support and Feedback, and The Suggestion Box
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: NorCal - SMF area
Programs: AA LT Plat; HH LT Diamond, Maître-plongeur des Muccis
Posts: 60,679
Arrow HELP DESK & FAQ: Gold and Platinum 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.

A new Challenge operated in 2016, but has now been superseded by a yet newer 2017 Challenge, which includes 1) earning EQM OR EQS minima, 2) an EQD component, and 3) a pay for interim status option. It appears this newer iteration allows challenging for Gold or Platinum, but presumably still not Platinum Pro or Executive Platinum.

We know there is a new AAdvantage elite status challenge for 2017; we do not know all the details yet, but we know the basics (thanks to danbrew and raghavchadha). As the information is clarified in this thread by members' contributions and updates, you will be able to read about and discuss further details here - and the Wikipost will be updated.

NOTE the Wikipost is "community property" - it is not the "job" of Moderators or anyone else to update Wikis. A Wikipost may be updated / edited by any FT member with 90 days on FT and 90 posts on FT.

NOTE: 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 an abbreviated history below, and the archived thread about the challenge here:

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

The original 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. You can read more about it here:

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

Thank you for your contributions to our knowledge base.

/Your American Airlines | AAdvantage forum Moderator team

2018 (February) version of Challenge email sent Challengers (thanks to louienet):


Dear louienet,

Here’s all the information you need to know about the AAdvantage Platinum challenge.

Meet the following requirements in a 3 month time frame after paying the applicable fee:
  • 12,500 Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) + $2,000 Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQDs)

    OR
  • 16 Elite Qualifying Segments (EQSs) + $2,000 EQDs

Eligible Airlines

American Airlines | British Airways | Finnair | Iberia | Japan Airlines | Qantas Airways

Earning EQMs and EQDs

When booking on aa.com, you’ll see the EQMs, EQSs and EQDs on the ‘Review and Pay’ screen.

EQMs are based on a combination of miles flown and the fare purchased. For example, on American Airlines marketed flights*:

  • Full First and Business Fare tickets earn 3 EQMs per mile flown

  • Discounted First and Business Fare tickets earn 2 EQMs per mile flown

  • Full Economy Fare tickets earn 1.5 EQMs per mile flown (Premium Economy fares do.)

  • Discounted Economy Fare tickets earn 1 EQM per mile flown

  • Basic Economy tickets earn 0.5 EQM per mile flown (and 0.5 EQS)

  • Travel on the other eligible airlines may earn a different (sometimes lower) amount for the same type of fare. Please see their airline pages on aa.com to view their EQM accrual rates.

EQDs are earned as follows:

  • AA marketed flights - ticket price (base fare plus carrier-imposed fees, excluding any government-imposed taxes and fees)

  • Flights on the other eligible airlines - based on a percentage of the miles flown and the fare purchased. Please see their airline pages on aa.com to view their EQD accrual rates.


Regards,

A. K

AAdvantage Customer Service

American 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 own web pages with other status-earning information.

The 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 ... on webflyer.com, later moved to shaw.ca. As these existed before web archiving was common, no record exists with Wayback Machine, etc.

It appears this 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.

In 2016, a revised Challenge was offered, as covered in this thread

Thanks to danbrew, louienet and raghavchadha for your contributions

Last edited by JDiver; Apr 24, 18 at 12:30 pm Reason: Update / Add 2018 Challenge letter v. Feb 2018; add Challenge history
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Old Jan 2, 18, 7:25 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Programs: Delta DM
Posts: 63
Apologies, but I just want to be doubly sure of my options re: Status Exceptions.

I took a status match challenge last year and hit platinum, which will be expiring this month. Living in NY I did all my flying on Delta and hit DM for 2018. Now it looks like we will be moving to Miami in April this year -- would I be able to do any sort of matching/challenging to AA as it would be a much more useful program to have status on over there? Many thanks
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Old Jan 9, 18, 9:53 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 9
Originally Posted by Tiberius123 View Post
Apologies, but I just want to be doubly sure of my options re: Status Exceptions.

I took a status match challenge last year and hit platinum, which will be expiring this month. Living in NY I did all my flying on Delta and hit DM for 2018. Now it looks like we will be moving to Miami in April this year -- would I be able to do any sort of matching/challenging to AA as it would be a much more useful program to have status on over there? Many thanks
I'm in a broadly similar situation and my understanding is that we can't use a challenge to retain status. I did a bit of AA flying this year but fell short of gold. Take a look at whether they e-mailed you an offer to buy back your status. I was offered gold buy-back for $699 and Plat for $1299.

There's a whole thread on the range of offers people in different circumstances got for that bought-back retention or soft landing. YMMV.
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Old Jan 9, 18, 9:56 am
  #4  
Moderator: American AAdvantage, Mexico, Technical Support and Feedback, and The Suggestion Box
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Join Date: May 2000
Location: NorCal - SMF area
Programs: AA LT Plat; HH LT Diamond, Maître-plongeur des Muccis
Posts: 60,679
Originally Posted by Tiberius123 View Post
Apologies, but I just want to be doubly sure of my options re: Status Exceptions.

I took a status match challenge last year and hit platinum, which will be expiring this month. Living in NY I did all my flying on Delta and hit DM for 2018. Now it looks like we will be moving to Miami in April this year -- would I be able to do any sort of matching/challenging to AA as it would be a much more useful program to have status on over there? Many thanks
IMO, it’s highly unlikely you will be allowed to challenge again this year. But do as pigeonbutler says, if you got close to earning Platinum last year.

Last edited by JDiver; Jan 9, 18 at 10:37 am
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Old Jan 9, 18, 3:46 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Programs: Delta DM
Posts: 63
Originally Posted by pigeonbutler View Post
I'm in a broadly similar situation and my understanding is that we can't use a challenge to retain status. I did a bit of AA flying this year but fell short of gold. Take a look at whether they e-mailed you an offer to buy back your status. I was offered gold buy-back for $699 and Plat for $1299.

There's a whole thread on the range of offers people in different circumstances got for that bought-back retention or soft landing. YMMV.
I have the same offer. I am tempted especially as I have a $200 rebate for incidental airline fees on my business amex -- (i wonder whether this counts?)
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Old Jan 15, 18, 6:34 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: DFW
Programs: AA 1MM
Posts: 131
How can you calculate EQM's & EQD's for a flight? Im in my account on AA.com "Your Trip" for DFW-KOA, J ticket, $2,256

Im sure its easy and remember seeing the EQM information when booking but I didn't write it down and don't know about EQD, is there a way to looking at my future reservations to calculate my total?

It's staring me right in the face but I don't know where to look.
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Old Jan 15, 18, 6:44 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: San Francisco
Programs: AA EXP
Posts: 242
Originally Posted by tikchik View Post
How can you calculate EQM's & EQD's for a flight? Im in my account on AA.com "Your Trip" for DFW-KOA, J ticket, $2,256

Im sure its easy and remember seeing the EQM information when booking but I didn't write it down and don't know about EQD, is there a way to looking at my future reservations to calculate my total?

It's staring me right in the face but I don't know where to look.
EQMs are simply the distance between the origin and destination and EQDs are the fare of the ticket. If you pay $100 for a ticket where the fare is $65 and taxes are $35, you'll earn 65 EQDs. The fare information is usually listed on the booking management page.
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Old Jan 15, 18, 6:48 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: MSN
Programs: AA, BAEC Gold
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Originally Posted by potus18 View Post
EQMs are simply the distance between the origin and destination and EQDs are the fare of the ticket. If you pay $100 for a ticket where the fare is $65 and taxes are $35, you'll earn 65 EQDs. The fare information is usually listed on the booking management page.
There is also the J multiplier on the EQMs. AA doesn't list the mileage anymore but there are several web sites that are pretty close. You can get BA's version by feeding the flight to their Avios calculator.
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Old Jan 15, 18, 8:26 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: DFW
Programs: AA 1MM
Posts: 131
This is one way DFW-KOA. I don't understand the EQM. Appears that it's 2X the milage, but is that a rule for all F travel? Seems weird they don't list out the info like on United's website.

EQM-7,450
Segment- 1
EQD's- $1,177
Award Miles-9,416
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Old Jan 15, 18, 8:43 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: San Francisco
Programs: AA EXP
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Originally Posted by tikchik View Post
This is one way DFW-KOA. I don't understand the EQM. Appears that it's 2X the milage, but is that a rule for all F travel? Seems weird they don't list out the info like on United's website.

EQM-7,450
Segment- 1
EQD's- $1,177
Award Miles-9,416
AA does list the information out when you're booking, but they do - strangely - not show it afterwards. All domestic J tickets award 2 EQM per mile flown (3 EQM/mile flown for full-fare J and F), netting you 7,448 EQMs (3,724 miles flown) per gcmap.com for DFW-KOA.
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Old Jan 15, 18, 9:09 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
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Originally Posted by tikchik View Post
This is one way DFW-KOA. I don't understand the EQM. Appears that it's 2X the milage, but is that a rule for all F travel?
The EQM information is here: https://www.aa.com/i18n/travel-info/...n-airlines.jsp
As potus18 points out, they do list the details when you are buying the ticket (if you buy it on AA.com) but, like the fare rules, it disappears after that.
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Old Jan 16, 18, 4:01 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: PHX
Programs: AA EXP
Posts: 1,457
So, after a 10 year hiatus from travel I've landed a new consulting gig which is going to significantly increase my time on the road. Since I'm based out of PHX and most of my travel is going to be domestic with some runs on BA to LHR it made the most sense to go with AA instead of UA this time around.

I enrolled in the challenge today and booked my first trip. Before the 3 months is up I anticipate approximately 20K EQM and $3000 - $4000 EQD. Based on the thresholds for the Gold and Plat levels I figured this should put me in range of Plat Pro easily. I asked the agent I spoke to about the availability of a Plat Pro challenge and she said, "well there's an option in the system for it, but it doesn't do anything. I'm not sure if/when this will be offered. Might be a few months out."

She was very well-versed in the programs, but admitted that her primary job was email rather than phone support and she was just filling in today.

Has anyone else heard about an upcoming Plat Pro challenge? My first flight isn't for 10 days and if this is something that's going to be available I'd love to see if I'd be able to do that option instead. Based on my planned travel for the year I should hit Plat Pro with no issues in the last quarter. Might even hit Ex Plat.

As of today the fees are:

Plat Challenge: $200
Plat Challenge w/ Interim Gold: $400
Plat Challenge w/ Interim Plat: $500
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Old Jan 20, 18, 9:10 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Programs: DL PM, AA GLD.
Posts: 487
Is a gold challenge still $140 w/o status? I'm debating whether to bother. Have a trip planned in a week or so in PE, so whilst that will get me gold back for this year, the question is whether there is any great benefit over just flying w/o status in PE? If I stump up for the plat challenge w/o status, do I get gold after I pass that challenge threshold?
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Old Jan 20, 18, 10:18 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 99
Short term reader, first time poster.

Enrolled in a gold challenge a week ago, which should be realised by next Wednesday.

Cost $120 with no status in the interim.

7,000 EQM + 1,000 EQD

Or

8 EQS + 1,000 EQD

Currently sitting at 1,036 EQD, 4,930 EQM and 6 EQS with another 937 EQM, circa 150 EQD and 1 EQS to add. And another 1,000 EQM, 500 EQD and 2 EQS next week.

Unfortunately, my travel is all fits and starts depending on projects, and always flying economy / PE if international. So unlikely to get above Gold / Plat.

Annoyingly didn't realise about challenges until the start of this year, as I would have taken one sooner, had I realised.
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Old Jan 20, 18, 12:59 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: MSN
Programs: AA, BAEC Gold
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Originally Posted by thedeeg View Post
Annoyingly didn't realise about challenges until the start of this year, as I would have taken one sooner, had I realised.
Welcome to FT! The thing about the challenge, as you probably know, is that you can't do it very often. It's a good way to get status early if your flying pattern changes so that you will be able to maintain it or to regain it if you have an off year.
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