American Airlines has announced it is extending the elite status of its AAdvantage members during the Corvid-19 pandemic.

The airline is the last of the large US carriers, with Delta and United having already announced their moves in recent weeks:

Delta extends tier status for members of Sky Miles frequent flyer programme

United extends Mileage Plus member status until 2022

For AAdvantage members the changes include:

  • Extending elite status until Jan. 31, 2022.
  • Reducing elite status qualifications for 2020.
  • Extending Admirals Club® memberships purchased from American for 6 months.*
  • Introducing up to $400 special credits for future travel on American Airlines Vacations packages for elite members.
  • Every dollar spent on an eligible AAdvantage co-branded credit card through the end of 2020 will count for one mile toward Million Miler℠ status.
  • Award reinstatement fees waived for travel through September 2020.

“We are grateful to our AAdvantage members and want to show them that loyalty is a two-way street,” said Bridget Blaise-Shamai, Vice President of Customer Loyalty & Insights and President of the AAdvantage program. “When people are ready to fly again, we will be there to help them reconnect with loved ones, friends and colleagues.”

In addition, the airline has lowered AAdvantage elite qualification requirements for the rest of 2020. The airline says that it means AAdvantage members will achieve status more easily during the current elite qualifying year through lower Elite Qualifying Dollar (EQD), Elite Qualifying Mile (EQM) and Elite Qualifying Segment (EQS) requirements.

Previous and new elite qualifications

Gold Platinum Platinum Pro Executive Platinum
EQD $3,000 $1,500 $6,000 $4,000 $9,000 $6,000 $15,000 $9,000
EQM 25,000 15,000 50,000 30,000 75,000 45,000 100,000 60,000
EQS 30 15 60 30 90 45 120 60

To qualify, members must meet the required level of Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQDs), plus either the required level of Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) or Elite Qualifying Segments (EQSs). These qualifications apply to accrual in 2020 only.

Members who qualify for Executive Platinum status previously received a choice of one reward upon reaching 150,000, 200,000 and 250,000 EQMs. Lowered EQM requirements in 2020 will now make these rewards more attainable.

90,000 EQMs

150,000 EQMs

120,000 & 150,000 EQMs

200,000 & 250,000 EQMs

2 systemwide upgrades 2 systemwide upgrades
40,000 bonus miles 40,000 bonus miles
Gift of AAdvantage Gold status Gift of AAdvantage Platinum status

The above changes will take effect by May 15, 2020.

The airline is also giving members more flexibility with waived reinstatement and change charges for awards booked by May 31, 2020 for travel through September 30, 2020.

Award travel ticketed on or after June 1, 2020 will include free changes if made at least 60 days in advance. A new variable fee structure based on elite status and days before departure will apply to any changes made fewer than 60 days in advance:

60 days or more At least 7 days, but fewer than 60 Fewer than 7 days
Executive Platinum $0 $0 $0
Platinum Pro $0 $50 $75
Platinum $0 $75 $100
Gold $0 $100 $125
Regular $0 $125 $150