AA Discontinuing Elite Membership Cards

Old Sep 25, 20, 2:31 am
  #1  
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Unhappy AA Discontinuing Elite Membership Cards

Gary Leff reported yesterday that American Airlines no longer sends membership kits to frequent flyers (including EXP, but not sure about CK) when they earn AAdvantage elite status.

No More American Airlines Elite Membership Cards, But You Can Still Call For Employee Recognition Certs

I am disappointed. I use my EXP card frequently for 2 reasons:

(1) Print boarding pass at self-service terminals,
(2) Access One World Business/First Lounges, Immigration, Check-in, Customer Service, etc. when flying Economy.

I wonder if it might be possible to request a card. Any thought?
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Old Sep 25, 20, 3:02 am
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Originally Posted by Tintin View Post
Gary Leff reported yesterday that American Airlines no longer sends membership kits to frequent flyers (including EXP, but not sure about CK) when they earn AAdvantage elite status.

No More American Airlines Elite Membership Cards, But You Can Still Call For Employee Recognition Certs

I am disappointed. I use my EXP card frequently for 2 reasons:

(1) Print boarding pass at self-service terminals,
(2) Access One World Business/First Lounges, Immigration, Check-in, Customer Service, etc. when flying Economy.

I wonder if it might be possible to request a card. Any thought?
This eliminates the possibility of lounge access when you are not using AA FFP on other OneWorld/partner airlines' boarding passes. There may be some snarky partner lounges still asking for physical cards then you are toasted.

Last edited by PaulInTheSky; Sep 25, 20 at 3:07 am
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Old Sep 25, 20, 6:19 am
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Originally Posted by PaulInTheSky View Post
This eliminates the possibility of lounge access when you are not using AA FFP on other OneWorld/partner airlines' boarding passes. There may be some snarky partner lounges still asking for physical cards then you are toasted.
My gut says post-COVID where the idea is to minimize touching as many things as possible, this will likely be less of an issue. However, time will tell of course.
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Old Sep 25, 20, 7:16 am
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Originally Posted by USFlyerUS View Post
My gut says post-COVID where the idea is to minimize touching as many things as possible, this will likely be less of an issue. However, time will tell of course.
Nah, UA did this a few years back. I think it's just a money-saving measure. I think this is good. The cards are a waste of plastic. If they do it like UA, you can order a plastic card (I think) if you call and say you're having problems in partner lounges.
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Old Sep 25, 20, 7:53 am
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for me... I have never had to show my physical card... I have one in my phone just in case...
my ticket info usually has all the info needed... but that is me..
yes it was nice to get the packet... but over the years... the offerings in the welcome pack.. well... nothing special

but on the bight side for me.. I have enough cards and luggage tags to last me for the rest of my travels..
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Old Sep 25, 20, 8:14 am
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Originally Posted by PaulInTheSky View Post
This eliminates the possibility of lounge access when you are not using AA FFP on other OneWorld/partner airlines' boarding passes. There may be some snarky partner lounges still asking for physical cards then you are toasted.
The last time I've been asked to show a frequent flyer card was in 2006, when I entered the LH lounge in MUC before a US flight to PHL.
I've used AA and partner lounges around the world....and not once was I asked for a card.
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Old Sep 25, 20, 8:18 am
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Originally Posted by PaulInTheSky View Post
This eliminates the possibility of lounge access when you are not using AA FFP on other OneWorld/partner airlines' boarding passes. There may be some snarky partner lounges still asking for physical cards then you are toasted.
Add to your mobile wallet
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Old Sep 25, 20, 8:22 am
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It's been a while since I've had to show a physical card at a partner lounge, but it has happened. Or I've had to flash it to get into a J/F check in line.

I have also run into issues where a status change takes weeks or more to show up on a reservation with FF number attached, or that the status attached depends on status at time of booking. A few years ago I requalified for PLT mid-trip and tried to use the AA card in the app for a JL lounge invitation. The check in agent didn't know what it was and didn't accept it. However, she was willing to make a few phone calls, not sure to whom, but I did eventually get that invitation.

I'm a little frustrated because I had to change my FF # of 20+ years because of some data breach so it would be nice to get a card with the new number on it. As long as the phone app card is accepted exactly the same as the physical card by all partners then I'm fine with it, I just don't think it's going to go that way.
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Old Sep 25, 20, 9:01 am
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Originally Posted by fotographer View Post
for me... I have never had to show my physical card.....
Same here. No need for them or the accompanying bag tags either .Total waste. Some people on here will be very upset they won't be able to hang them all over their bags anymore!
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Old Sep 25, 20, 9:30 am
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Originally Posted by enviroian View Post
Same here. No need for them or the accompanying bag tags either .Total waste. Some people on here will be very upset they won't be able to hang them all over their bags anymore!
Not quite a total waste. Some international partner lounges want to see the physical card. It is a waste if those lounges are not important to you.
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Old Sep 25, 20, 9:33 am
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Another cost-cutting measure.

Physical cards are useful for dragons at partner lounges that sometimes refuse to accept a digital card. Luggage tags are also useful for "finding space" when in Y and the overheads are full. I've often been able to sneak my bag in the closet with an EXP tag on it and I expect that would be unlikely had that not been there. Of course, I'm not even sure how many AA aircraft have closets anymore.
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Old Sep 25, 20, 9:55 am
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Originally Posted by robertablake View Post
Not quite a total waste. Some international partner lounges want to see the physical card. It is a waste if those lounges are not important to you.
I've been to every affiliate lounge. Not once was I ever asked for card, only my BP showing either class or one world tier (whatever was applicable).

YMMV I guess.
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Old Sep 25, 20, 9:59 am
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Originally Posted by enviroian View Post
I've been to every affiliate lounge. Not once was I ever asked for card, only my BP showing either class or one world tier (whatever was applicable).
This is correct.
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Old Sep 25, 20, 10:00 am
  #14  
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UA also has stopped sending UC cards. Has AA stopped sending AC cards too? I was told by UA that I could request a UC card for use in partner clubs if needed.
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Old Sep 25, 20, 10:02 am
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I’m with the ‘fair enough’ crowd on this. It is very rare to have to show a card, and they have minimal utility. It would be ideal, of course, to have an alliance-wide notification that the card in your digital wallet (with QR code or similar) is sufficient.
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