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Exit strategy when you won't requalify for elite status

Exit strategy when you won't requalify for elite status

Old Jul 20, 19, 10:05 pm
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Exit strategy when you won't requalify for elite status

Due to changes in travel plans, I do not think I will qualify for elite airline frequent flyer status in 2021. I will be elite in 2020 based on 2019 travel but will have insufficient 2020 travel to re-qualify. What do you suggest?

a. continue some loyalty in 2020 because you earn more as an elite.
b. try to get status match for another airline in late 2020 so that you will be elite for another airline in 2021.
c. give up
Toshbaf is offline  
Old Jul 20, 19, 10:40 pm
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Moving this thread to the FT Information Desk Forum. Please follow there...
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Old Jul 20, 19, 10:42 pm
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By how much will you fall short of 2021 elite qualification? If you can squeeze in a few trips for leisure to see friends or family for a weekend, that may be worth it.
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Old Jul 21, 19, 1:21 am
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For starter, which program(s)?
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Old Jul 21, 19, 8:40 pm
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I see you mention DL in your profile -- are you aware of this:


Launched earlier this year for this type of scenario if there is a documented life event to point to
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Old Jul 21, 19, 9:50 pm
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One possible strategy is to have complete loyalty to either Alaska or Delta, which may barely be enough to make silver. On the other hand, I like to have some flexibility.

With Alaska MVP, the benefits are slight but is there. It's mainly early boarding (which allows carry on stowage), getting better seats, and once or twice a year checking in a bag. Delta is similar. So not the end of the world if I don't make MVP or Silver.

I think in the year that one won't re-qualify, it is still better to have some loyalty because then you are enjoying the benefits of that final year.

Currently, I have minimal loyalty, flying AS, DL, UA, and foreign carriers. Open to other carriers, including WN but just not flying AA if possible.
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Old Jul 22, 19, 7:19 am
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Exactly. Having status isn't about requalifying, nor about bragging. You earn status to enjoy the benefits of that status. That can be the extra miles earned, the better day-of-travel experience, or getting some fees waived. If you have status in 2020, you may as well enjoy it. So when all things are equal, next year, opt for the airline you have status with.

But that's just one factor in choosing a flight. And if another airline offers better times, fewer connections, or a lower price, then use them. You may even find getting off the status-chasing hamster wheel to be freeing - to be able to pick the better flight, or to be able to use miles instead of a paid EQM-earning fare.

As your 2021 travel plans come into better focus, consider getting credit card(s) from the airline(s) you'll fly most. It's not as good as status, but you'll at least still get preferred boarding and a free checked bag when needed.
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