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No more physical membership cards for Gold and Plat?

No more physical membership cards for Gold and Plat?

Old Jan 17, 20, 9:34 am
  #31  
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Programs: AA : EXP / AR : ORO
Posts: 44
I've been en EXP for at least 6 years now, and I only got the initial set of cards back in 20??.
I use the small luggage tag for my backpack and just point at it when someone asks at Priority Check In about status, but after these many years it's started to show some wear & tear..
pdcarg77 is offline  
Old Jan 17, 20, 10:01 am
  #32  
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Flatland
Programs: AA EP 1MM, BA Gold, UA Peon
Posts: 5,604
Like others, I have also been asked for the physical card - either at contract lounges, or in countries where the culture is that physical tokens and paperwork are preferred over electronic records.

On-your-device-only cards may work fine in the USA, but AA's customers in the more distant (geography and culture) parts of the world will have problems.

Now, making the card on-request might be a good compromise - people who travel only in the US might not need it, but those of us who get about more widely can request one.
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Old Jan 17, 20, 12:56 pm
  #33  
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 477
Originally Posted by sassysan View Post
I'm surprised the check in wanted to confirm you and your companion were married before being happy. Especially the companion part. I've brought friends, coworkers, girlfriends, etc., through priority check in desk without any issue. "They're with me" is enough.
I don't think priority check-in was the issue. Rather, it sounds like QueenOfCoach experienced a rudimentary last-minute AA corporate security check for whether MrQ's award ticket was freely given (as evidenced by some preexisting relationship between them) or whether MrQ was a stranger who may have paid QueenOfCoach for it. And it wasn't that they needed to be married, just that the AAgent was for whatever reason skeptical when they said they were married with different last names. In any case, the shared address ruled out the stranger scenario. The AAgent probably didn't give a flip if they were living together in sin, etc.
FlyingEgghead is offline  
Old Jan 17, 20, 1:59 pm
  #34  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: LAX
Programs: AA Lifetime Gold but Plat for a year (yippie)
Posts: 4,278
Originally Posted by FlyingEgghead View Post
I don't think priority check-in was the issue. Rather, it sounds like QueenOfCoach experienced a rudimentary last-minute AA corporate security check for whether MrQ's award ticket was freely given (as evidenced by some preexisting relationship between them) or whether MrQ was a stranger who may have paid QueenOfCoach for it. And it wasn't that they needed to be married, just that the AAgent was for whatever reason skeptical when they said they were married with different last names. In any case, the shared address ruled out the stranger scenario. The AAgent probably didn't give a flip if they were living together in sin, etc.
We were totally NOT going through any priority check in. I don't think there was such a thing in 1990.

I think it was all about establishing some kind of actual personal relationship where there was no payment for the ticket. The fact we had a shared address was enough evidence. I'll mention the award ticket was 40k for one passenger, add a companion for 60k total. I'd like to bet there was plenty of fraud with that, as they pulled that particular award a few years later.

My impression was the station had recently undergone some kind of Spot Fraud training, and was told that two different last names on a companion award ticket was a red flag, and almost always indicated fraud. So, the ticket agent said "AH HA!" when we checked in. Embarrassing for them when we somehow proved we were living at the same address. My anticipated next step was to pull off my wedding ring and show them the inscription on the inside.

Obviously, since 1990, they have come a long way in detecting fraud. We've flown together many times, often on awards, and have never been questioned.

Still.... my Aadvantage card lives in my travel wallet. Just in case. And I'll mention that I don't consider living together to be any kind of sin. Plenty of other sin out there, but that ain't one of them.
QueenOfCoach is offline  
Old Jan 17, 20, 2:06 pm
  #35  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: LAX
Programs: AA Lifetime Gold but Plat for a year (yippie)
Posts: 4,278
Originally Posted by sassysan View Post
I'm surprised the check in wanted to confirm you and your companion were married before being happy. Especially the companion part. I've brought friends, coworkers, girlfriends, etc., through priority check in desk without any issue. "They're with me" is enough.

I guess 1990 was a very different time. Also, the physical card makes way more sense in 1990 than it does in 2020.
If I heard this same story today, I'd be totally surprised, too.

Back in those days, there was no such thing as priority, elites, etc. I did a heap of flying (20 countries in 1990 plus lots of domestic) then and did not get so much as Gold. As far as I know, Aadvantage Gold was the one and only invitation-only super-secret elite program at that time, similar to CK now. I am open to correction on this, as I obviously have no personal experience with pre-2000 AA elite programs.

I'll go out on another limb and imagine that today a gate agent suspecting fraud (two different last names, etc) would just quietly flag it for Corporate Security to have another look. CS would see that MsQ and MrQ live at the same address, and dump it in the rubbish bin.
QueenOfCoach is offline  
Old Jan 18, 20, 12:31 pm
  #36  
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: NYC
Programs: AA, Marriott
Posts: 36
Itís been a few years and might have been an IT glitch related to irrops, but without the card they wouldnít have let me into the BA lounge at JFK T7 with my AA status flying BA.

I mostly use it these days as a speedy way to pull up my record in the kiosk when I want to print a boarding pass or check bags. I never remember my AAdvantage number and definitely donít remember the record locator.
Wayne Kao is offline  
Old Jan 18, 20, 3:10 pm
  #37  
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 991
Thank you for this thread. I'm currently Gold and didn't miss the card at all since Gold doesn't confer any meaningful OneWorld benefits. I had been wondering if cards were still sent for higher status levels. Good to know I shouldn't be expecting one if I make PLT this year. I'll miss the piece of plastic as a psychological reward but I don't think it will matter in practical terms.
_kurt is offline  

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