In 2016 American Airlines announced several major changes to the AAdvantage program. The major changes included going revenue based for 2017 and beyond and introducing a new elite status. The new elite status, Platinum Pro, helped fill the gap between AAdvantage Gold and Executive Platinum status. In years prior many AAdvantage members would simply stop flying American after 50,000 miles. If you knew you weren’t going to reach 100,000 miles, there was no incentive to keep going. Platinum Pro solved that issue however by rewarding those frequent flyers who flew 75,000 or more each year.
AAdvantage members must earn $9,000 EQD and earn either 75,000 EQM or 90 EQS to earn Platinum Pro status. In return for earning Platinum Pro status, AAdvantage members gain a few new elite benefits. Platinum Pro, as the name implies, is simply an enhancement of the AAdvantage Platinum status. To me, the greatest benefit of earning AAdvantage Platinum Pro status are the unlimited auto-requested complimentary domestic upgrades.
Earning AAdvantage Platinum Pro Status
As I mentioned above, AAdvantage members must earn at least $9,000 EQD and earn either 75,000 EQM or 90 EQS to qualify for AAdvantage Platinum Pro elite status. Obviously there are a wide variety of ways to earn AAdvantage status, but I wanted to briefly mention how I did it this year for context.
2017 got of to a great start when I found and booked two crazy inexpensive transatlantic flights on American. The first was from Los Angeles to London on British Airway’s Airbus A380. For that trip I first flew from Chicago to Los Angeles to London and then did the trip in reserve. When it was all said and done I earned $1,200 EQD and about 12,500 EQM. About a month later I flew from Chicago to Paris in American’s new Premium Economy cabin.
After that I took a lot of fairly expensive short-haul trips for weddings and a few weekend trips. By the end of July I had earned AAdvantage Gold status and had just over $3,000 EQD and about 35,000 EQM.
Finally, at the very end of July I found an insane Qatar Airways fare sale. At that point I had just $3,637 EQM and 39,612 EQM. After buying a single round trip in Qatar business class I’d reach Platinum and fall just shy of Platinum Pro. By booking a second I’d reach Platinum Pro and eventually Executive Platinum.
In the end I booked two of the Qatar Airways business class golden tickets and eventually earned AAdvantage Platinum Pro status. Specifically, I earned Platinum Pro when I touched back down in Chicago after flying 45,000 miles in a single week.
AAdvantage Platinum Pro Welcome Kit
About two weeks after earning AAdvantage Platinum Pro elite status a welcome kit arrived in my mailbox at home. The welcome kit’s envelope left no doubt in my mind as to what contents were inside.
Inside the envelope I found a small pamphlet with a frosted paper cover. The new American Airlines logo is on the frosted paper and the all to familiar American imagery is on the cover page. Inside of the pamphlet you’ll find your employee recognition certificates and a terms and conditions page.
And finally, after flipping through a few pages of the pamphlet you’ll find your new AAdvantage Platinum Pro membership card.
On the page next to the Platinum Pro membership card you’ll find a nice note from the head of AAdvantage which thanks you for your loyalty. I found this note particularly fun considering I flew well over half of my miles with OneWorld partners rather than with American.
I’m excited to have finally received my Platinum Pro membership card. Since I passed through Platinum to Platinum Pro so quickly I doubt that I’ll receive a Platinum membership card this year. However, I’m still waiting on my Executive Platinum membership card to arrive soon.
I’m a bit surprised that the Platinum Pro welcome packet didn’t come with “brag tags” or luggage tags as most people would call them. I believe with Executive Platinum you receive two EP luggage tags with your name and AAdvantage number. It seemed odd that Platinum Pro wouldn’t come with any extra stuff than the standard Gold or Platinum welcome packets.
Either way, it’s always exciting to receive these little welcome kits. It’s a bit like receiving a certificate of completion. It doesn’t mean much, but it’s a welcomed reminder of what you’ve accomplished.