What is American Airlines Concierge Key?

What is American Airlines Concierge Key?

Concierge Key from American Airlines is the invitation only status offered from the American Airlines AAdvantage program. Concierge Key does not have any published requirements, but the benefits are among the best of any airline elite status.

How To Be Invited To The Concierge Key Program?

If you do some research on the topic the general consensus is travelers who spend more than $50,000 $75,000, on mostly First/Business class airfare, with American Airlines for consecutive years are invited to the Concierge Key program. Also, people responsible for negotiating corporate travel rates may receive an invitation to the program. For example, when my employer recently introduced a new travel policy (favoring AA as the company’s preferred airline) the company received one invitation to the Concierge Key program.

What Are The Benefits of Concierge Key?

Now we know how to get invited to the program, it’s time to look at the benefits. Concierge Key benefits include:

  1. Travelers invited to Concierge Key are instantly granted AA’s Executive Platinum status. This is a tremendous benefit for a traveler that otherwise would not have status. Since, Concierge Key members are usually American’s most loyal and profitable customers I’d imagine majority of members would earn this status through traveling.
  2. Another key benefit is access to American Airlines’ Flagship Check-In. At certain AA hubs, there are special check-in counters. Concierge Key members, Five Star Service Customers, People traveling in First Class on a 3-class flight, and people traveling in First Class on international OneWorld flights have access to use the Flagship Check-In counters. In most cases, travelers are escorted directly from the check-in desk to the front of the security line.
  3. Access to First Class Lounges (Same benefit as Executive Platinum members)
  4. Admirals Club Membership.
  5. A personal escort through the airport. Many Concierge Key members report moving through the airports with an American Airlines representative. This benefit can prove especially beneficial when connecting internationally.
  6. Ever since American made significant changes to the AAdvantage program in early 2017, Concierge Key members now have increased domestic upgrade priority. Also, with American’s new boarding order, Concierge Key members board with Group 1.
  7. Multiple Re-booking Options when dealing with flight delays and cancellations. Members have access to a special team of AAgents who can assist with re-bookings. Often this will involve an agent placing the passenger on multiple options to guarantee minimal delays.

Are Concierge Key Benefits Worth It?

When I review the above list, I really don’t see a ton of value in being a Concierge Key member over earning traditional Executive Platinum status. In fact, many Concierge Key members complain about the added attention at the airport. Sure, Flagship Check-In gets you through security extremely quickly, but so does TSA PreCheck. It would be nice however to have a team of agents there to re-book you at a moments notice. Flight cancellations are never fun and when you travel as much as a Concierge Key member must, I bet its nice having that piece of mind.

However, when I really review the list there are few benefits that would convince me to spend so much money with a single airline. If I were purchasing international first class tickets frequently, I would much rather try out parter airlines and simply credit the miles to the AAdvantage Program. Also, majority of the benefits above are included when purchasing first class directly.

Final Thoughts

Maybe I’m being hard on Concierge Key, but I really do not see why being part of this program is so coveted, except for the bragging rights! At the end of the day, I think earning Executive Platinum status is a large enough incentive to credit flights to American Airlines’ loyalty program. American Airlines is not the only airline to offer an invitation only program to its top customers, but majority of the programs offer only a few benefits that would make top-tier travelers jealous.

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