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First Experience as EXP - AA is flooded with Elites

First Experience as EXP - AA is flooded with Elites

Old Nov 8, 2022, 3:52 pm
Original Member
Join Date: May 1998
Location: Orange County, CA, USA
Programs: AA (Life Plat), Marriott (Life Titanium) and every other US program
Posts: 6,411
To be a "frequent flyer," in my book, you need to do at least 300k BIS per year. Under that metric, the last time I qualified was in the late 1980's. So the highest level I have ever obtained is Platinum (because that was the highest level at that time). If they restricted EXP to 300k BIS it would probably thin out the ranks.
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Old Nov 8, 2022, 4:05 pm
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Los Angeles
Programs: American Airlines ExecPlat, Asiana Diamond
Posts: 127
Accidental post.

Last edited by Rukes; Nov 8, 2022 at 4:06 pm Reason: Delete
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Old Nov 8, 2022, 4:23 pm
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: LAX
Programs: AA EXP.
Posts: 1,330
Originally Posted by 355F1
Umm....are you sure your status updated?

I have never once seen #17 on ANY upgrade list as an EXP...
be careful what u say. I said something similar and I was #20somehting on a few lists since then.
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Old Nov 8, 2022, 5:04 pm
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 58,380
Originally Posted by Acidity
Airline leaders are starting to figure this out though, which is why they're focusing more on areas where they have monopolies and therefore more pricing power (and thus the ability to actually generate profits), such as AA expanding in DFW, and DL focusing on their core hubs. It's also why loyalty programs are critical to the full service airlines; in many cases the loyalty programs are the only "moat" allowing the legacy carriers some pricing power above and beyond their competitors, especially outside of fortress hubs.
A decade ago, I worked to ensure that I maintained status at two of the US3, and I received what I considered a fair return for these efforts. Since then, the legacy programs of the US3 have become so bloated that the benefits conferred were clearly no longer as valuable as they once were. As the saying goes, when everyone is a VIP, no one is. When you combine the inflated number of "elite" customers with FCM, many travelers have found that being a free agent is better than always chasing status. I'm one of them, and I don't regret getting off the merry go round.
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Old Nov 8, 2022, 5:38 pm
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Los Angeles
Programs: AA LT Gold
Posts: 3,679
I don't understand.
If it is too easy to get EXP, why didn't you get EXP in January 2022?
You are getting EXP pretty late in the year.

Agree with what the other poster said.
Regardless of the threshold, what is sending you down the list is your LPs. There are other EXP with much higher LPs than you that are taking the top spots.
If you want to take the top spots, go book more hotels and spend on CC (it is very easy, right?).

AA changing the threshold won't help YOU much.
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Old Nov 8, 2022, 6:22 pm
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Columbus, NE
Programs: AA EXP 1MM, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 32
I have been EXP for the past 2 years and my experience has been different as most of my status was through flights mostly. I have added the Aviator as my primary card now but have been 1 or 2 on all upgrade lists when I haven't (very rarely) been upgraded 100 hours before my departure times. So I think AA is factoring in the method of obtaining status. I was not upgraded recently, but that was out of DFW where I was number 2 on the upgrade list. This leads me to believe there is some ranking beyond just pure loyalty points. My 2 cents.
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Old Nov 8, 2022, 7:56 pm
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Washington, DC
Programs: AA Executive Platinum/Million Miler, Marriott Titanium Elite-Lifetime, Hilton Gold
Posts: 3,344
Originally Posted by TRAVEL4SCUBA
17th on a waitlist when 6 were likely already upgraded is diluted. That is way to many elites. They should raise this to 300k LP
One variable is that many people are now paying for F, taking advantage of the in-app purchased upgrades, or accepting the buy-up offered when purchasing a ticket on aa.com. I'm an EP with a close to 300K LP balance, yet I still book F on almost everything except regional flights < 1 hour. This is likely reducing the available upgrades more than a higher number of EPs.
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Old Nov 8, 2022, 8:25 pm
Join Date: Jan 2009
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Programs: AA EXP - 3.7MM, Bonv LIFETIME Titan, HH Dmd, Hyatt Glob., Priority Clb Dmd, Ntnl Exec El., Sixt PLT
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- I have a colleague who flew TLH->CLT->RDU past Sunday evening. Both flights were full and he just made to AA GLD mainly due to CC spending. To his surprise, he was upgraded on both flights. He told me that there were 7 people on the upgrade list for TLH-CLT before the boarding. Also, I think the short CLT-RDU flight is generally difficult for upgrades because of plenty of elites flying. I am wondering whether the fact that he cancelled a segment of the same trip just before CLT-RDU due AA flight delay played any role in his high priority? Does this mean that AA has too few Elites?
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Old Nov 8, 2022, 8:36 pm
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: DCA/IAD
Programs: AA EXP; 1W Emerald; HHonors Diamond; Marriott Gold; UA dirt
Posts: 7,920
Its so route and time dependent. It just did DCA-PVD night before last and got upgraded at about T-24. There were -14- people on the upgrade list. I don't think I've ever seen 14 people on the upgrade list on DCA-PVD....
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Old Nov 9, 2022, 1:27 am
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Isle of Man/East Palo Alto
Programs: AA - CK/Airpass
Posts: 1,046
I almost get complimentary flights since I rarely fly stateside. So I would personally take any I did get as just an unexpected gift; I value my status for help with IRROPS and other time saving features.
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Old Nov 9, 2022, 3:10 am
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 692
The upgrade list based on 12 month rolling LP takes care of this, right? Then the diluted EXP benefit becomes the things that dont affect anyone else no matter how many EXPs there are. I think the system works.
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Old Nov 9, 2022, 3:17 am
Join Date: Sep 2019
Posts: 2,094
Originally Posted by TRAVEL4SCUBA
For the people that actually earn their status the hard way. The status is diluted when its so easy to obtain. The consumer also sees less value.
I largely earned my EXP status through credit card spending.

Id view earning status through employer-paid business trips as far easier, but my view about whats easy or hard is purely subjective.

Regardless, I do not care how other people earned status or what benefits they get, even if they fare better than I do.

AA views its elite-qualification methods as the best approach for its business. How they affect customers generally or AA, is not something that I have time to worry about. And if they drove away people who otherwise would be EXP, wouldnt that solve the problem of too many EXPs on upgrade lists?

Last edited by WeekendTraveler; Nov 9, 2022 at 3:28 am
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Old Nov 9, 2022, 5:51 am
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Miami, FL, USA
Posts: 4,053
Originally Posted by Acidity

[1] This isn't fully true, since lame duck status holders can still get upgraded above someone with more rolling LP than them (e.g. a 0 LP ExPlat will get upgraded before a 199k LP PlatPro). Outside of lifetime status (which only goes up to Platinum anyways), I suspect this will be rare enough not to worry about.
Elite levels also matter for non-battlefield upgrades (allegedly), but with the buy-up programs, not as much.
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Old Nov 9, 2022, 6:27 am
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: OKC
Programs: IHG Spire, National Exec, AA Plat
Posts: 2,288
Originally Posted by TRAVEL4SCUBA
Well, I hit EXP on 10/29, a few days over 8 weeks since I started to get "status". I did this mostly with CC spend and AA hotels, only took one flight. As suspected, there are WAY to many EXP already, AA is going to have to raise the bar.
So, you made EXP status by not flying, did it very easily, and you're surprised that they have so many elites? Um, ok....
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Old Nov 9, 2022, 7:00 am
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Join Date: Jul 2022
Location: Las Vegas, NV
Programs: AA EXP , Alaska MVP100K, Marriott Titanium
Posts: 58
Originally Posted by steveholt
If you could easily get 300K LP next year just by booking your business hotel trips, why do you think it'll be harder for anyone else if it's 300K?
Simple if they stopped handing out points like candy, there would be less elites. Being an EXP should be a rather rare thing, really any top tier should be. I am Alaska 100K Gold, which I will lose this year and reason I chased status with AA, but the 100K gold is rather rare, its hard to hit. I have a 100 percent upgrade as a 100K and this includes routes SAN - JFK and SAN to LIH
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