Thursday, December 22, 2005

The Official AA rules for the Platinum Challenge

The following are the rules related to my last post on Gold and Platinum challenges. On a little side note, I think AA should be commended on the friendly language in the email. It's great:

**** CALL 800-421-0600 OR SEND US EMAIL VIA AA.COM ****

Thanks for speaking with me about your AAdvantage account. We have put you on a Challenge for AAdvantage Platinum membership. Congratulations - and Good Luck!

Here are some helpful tips:

* Remember that Challenges are based on points, not miles, and your goal is 10,000 points in the three-month period we discussed. If you're not sure how you earn points, read on. (That's why you wanted this email, right?)
* Use American Airlines (of course!) and other elite-qualifying carriers to maximize your earnings. These elite carriers are Aer Lingus, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, LAN, Qantas and Alaska Airlines (and their eligible affiliates). When you earn miles on AA or on these carriers, you also earn points. Only points count toward your Challenge. (But remember that there are some fares on these carriers that are not eligible to earn miles or points. You can easily check out these rules on

# when you select 'Partners and Mileage Programs' and then navigate to the particular airline.)Select fares with high point values. If, for example, you use Deep Discount Fares, get ready to fly 20,000 miles because those fares earn points at half the rate of miles. But if you buy Discount Fares, the rate is one point per mile and you can meet your Challenge by flying 10,000 elite-qualifying miles. And if you select premium fares, you earn 1.5 points per mile and can meet the Challenge by flying just - OK, you do the math!
# Know the point values you'll earn for the booking codes you select. Yes it may look like alphabet soup, but there's a point to these codes. In fact, there's anywhere from .5 - 1.5 points!
# Earn 1.5 points per mile when the purchased fare on your American Airlines ticket begins with one of these booking codes: A F P D I J B Y
# Earn 1.0 point per mile for these AA booking codes: H K L M V W
# Earn .5 points per mile for these AA booking codes: G N O* Q** S (sorry, you knew there had to be an asterisk somewhere)
# Equivalent booking codes for the other elite-qualifying carriers are included on the various airline pages on
# How can you determine what booking code is used for the fare you're purchasing? Simply ask the booking agent, whether that's your travel agent, corporate travel planner or AA Reservations representative. Or, even better, when you book your flights on, the Flight Summary screen displays the booking code in the same column as the cabin booked
# Here's an easy way to keep track of your progress: Before you take your first flight in the Challenge period, look at your YTD Elite Qualifying Points. You can access this information when you login to with your AAdvantage number and password. (If I've just lost you, call us at 800-421-0600 and request the email on ' Login and Passwords.') Click on 'View My Miles' and your Mileage Summary (displayed on the left) includes your YTD Elite Qualifying Points. Add 10,000 to this number and that's what you're shooting for. At the end of your Challenge, if your YTD Elite Qualifying Points are 10,000 more than when you started, victory is yours and you'll see 'Status: Platinum' on your Home Page right below your name when you login to

A Challenge is intended for members who are in a hurry to get to the elite level they desire. Think of it as a shortcut to the status you would probably earn on your own during the normal 12-month qualification period.
If you meet your Challenge goal, then you will be expected to requalify the following year by meeting the normal criteria. We know you can do it.

Now here are those pesky but important footnotes:

*O -- only eligible domestic fares booked in O will count

**Q -- excludes American Airlines transatlantic fares booked in Q and equivalent booking codes on participant airlines

AAdvantage Customer Service


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did this program last year and now back to Gold you know if you can challenge again?

7:46 AM  
Blogger Pelle said...

As far as I understand you need to wait a year before you can do it again.

12:44 PM  
Blogger Nate said...

How soon did you get that email after signing up? I haven't gotten mine yet and am worried she didn't really sign me up. Argh!

12:18 PM  
Blogger Pelle said...

I think you are fine. When I registered she asked me if I wanted the mail, so it must be a manual process.

You can probably call them back and have them send it to you or at least confirm that youre on the challenge.

Please report back and let us know how it went.

3:13 AM  
Blogger Nate said...

I called a while later, and they said they usually don't send any correspondence about the challenge. I asked for the email, and got the same one you did. She told me I'm starting the date I expected. Here goes nothing!

1:49 PM  
Blogger Pelle said...

Good luck Nate

2:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was Gold already and did the Platinum challenge earlier this year. Start dates are the 1st or 16th of each month but I was able to back date the start to take advantage (sorry) of some flights I'd already taken. Thought this might be of interest if anyone is thinking of trying the challenge and regreted missing the opportunity before some recent flights.

9:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

where can i find the booking code on my itinerary? is is the first letter of the 6 letter reference code?


9:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I’m a little confused on this also…I did the challenge last year got Platinum within a month (Chicago to Seattle every week). I then logged 86,352 Program Miles last year and I’m back down at Gold. Why was I dropped? Can I take the challenge again? Going through Chicago security without Platinum adds at least 30 mins to my travels each week.

6:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I phoned AA in early September and signed up for the Platinum challenge. I have now completed the trip that takes me over the 10000 points. However, when I check on, my status hasn't changed. How long do I need to wait before becoming Platinum or should I be chasing them up to check I was actually registered?

11:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am flying Japan Airlines this may from Chicago to Bangkok. I should be able to obtain platinum status from this one trip alone. Though I was told that since it is not an AA flight this trip would not qualify. I know JAL is part of one world so thought I should qualify. If anyone has any thoughts please let me know.


2:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It works!!! travel, call them everytime you complete your travel just to make sure they are posting the points earned. (keep track of points earned manually...they dont give you access I wonder why!)

If you want to gain the status faster its fine, it took me 2 months to complete and once you won you gain PLATINUM STATUS even if you dont have the card yet... they will have it in the system, just need to give your Advantage number.

Be aware that your card will be mailed after the challenge is complete and this usually takes 4-6 weeks in the regular mail.



12:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you know if you can set your start date in the past? I'd like to include 2 trips from last month, but not sure if they'll let me do that. Would rather know before i call.

9:34 AM  
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9:05 PM  

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