For road warriors, switching airlines can be tough. Once you earn status with a particular airline, switching usually means starting out with a lower level of status and earning your way back up the totem pole on a different airline. That can mean pain points like missed upgrades and extra fees on award tickets until you earn your new wings. American Airlines and Hyatt are currently teamed up to provide extra earning and status match opportunities to their respective elite members. If you haven’t linked your accounts yet, you should do it now. Airlines will also sometimes test out gifting status to previous elite members along with a status match to move up the ladder more quickly.
American Airlines seems to be targeting members right now with a short-term gift of status and an accompanying status match. My friend Charlie (who really gets me, he got up early to buy me donuts the last time I saw him in Seattle) from American this week granting him Gold status for roughly 4 months. Charlie doesn’t currently have status with American and flies them very infrequently.
Unsurprisingly, American also offered him a challenge to retain the Gold status through the end of January, 2021.
He received an e-mail and the offer also appears as a promotion when he’s logged into his AAdvantage account.
The Final Two Pennies
Gold status on American Airlines has some value but won’t change your life. It entitles you to a free checked bag and complimentary upgrades on flights of less than 500 miles (though you’ll rank fairly low on the wait list for these upgrades). You also get priority boarding. That can be helpful for if/when you purchase a Basic Economy fare and still want to make sure you find room for your carry-on bag in the overhead bin.
For folks in the same boat as Charlie, it could be worth hitting the relatively low requirements to earn Gold status on a challenge like this. I’d be in favor of this as long as it didn’t jeopardize you earning a higher level of status with another airline. For example, if you normally fly United and taking advantage of the American challenge would cause you to miss out on Platinum status, I’d say consolidate your travel with United. Having lower level status with two different airlines is generally less rewarding than a higher level with one.
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