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AA Platinum Challenge and mileage earning/burning

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Dave Noble

Senior Member
Oct 10, 2005
American announce a new challenge structure based on EQM's from early 2016.

For more on that see this thread:




Note this thread has been locked for brevity.

For any Question, Answers, Comments and Inputs in relation to the AAdvantage Challenges, please use the following thread:

AA Challenges - Questions and General Discussion

modified July 2014


What are the AA Challenges

AA provides fast track methods to achieve status to Gold ( OW Ruby ) and Platinum ( OW Sapphire ). A challenge can be completed by attaining 5000 qpoints for Gold or 10000 points for Platinum within 3 months. Earning rates are given further down

[-]Note ONLY AA flight numbers count as qualifying towards the challenge[/-]

July 2014, flights marketed and operated by [American Airlines and] certain partners will also be eligible to earn points that count toward the completion of a Challenge: British Airways, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, Qantas and US Airways (and their eligible codeshare flights). (Cathay Pacific is notably missing.) The specific language from the challenge confirmation says "And now you have more opportunities to complete your Challenge because points earned on qualifying flights on American Airlines, American Eagle, the AmericanConnection® carrier, British Airways, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, Qantas and their eligible codeshare flights count toward your Challenge."

Also, up until early 2014, the Challenge Completion/Qualifying flight would earn bonus miles in line with the status just earned. This is no longer the case and only flights taken after the challenge is achieve earn bonus appropriate to the status.

UPDATE: As of August 2013, the booking class earning change. On QF flight numbers N comes in at earning ½ RDM and ¼ EQP per mile flown (was 0 and 0); O drops to ¼ RDM and ⅛ EQP (was ½ and ¼) and Q comes in at ¼ RDM and ⅛ EQP (was 0 / 0).

There is a fee of USD120 for a Gold Challenge and USD240 for a Platinum Challenge

How do I Join the AA AAdvantage scheme

go to Airline Tickets and Airline Reservations from American Airlines | AA.com and you can sign up for free online

How do I sign up for the challenge

Phone AAdvantage Customer Service in the US on +1 817 799 2500 ( from Australia , replace the + with 0011 )

How do I earn qpoints

American Airlines

 Base    EQP per  EQP per
RDM per   Base    flown    Fare Bases
 flown    RDM     mile 

 1.00     1.50    1.50     F A P (First) J D I R (Business) W¹ Y B (Flex. Economy)

 1.00     1.00    1.00     H K L M V W¹ (Economy)

 1.00     0.50    0.50     G Q N O² S (Discount Economy)

¹[SIZE=1] W earns at 1.5 when booked as "Premium Economy", otherwise 1[/SIZE]
²[SIZE=1] Effective for travel May 1, 2012 and beyond, tickets between North  America and
  Latin America booked in O are  eligible for mileage credit.  Travel prior to May 1,
  2012 is not eligible for mileage credit.
QANTAS (From 1st August 2013)

 Base    EQP per  EQP per
RDM per   Base    flown    Fare Bases
 flown    RDM     mile 

 1.00     1.50     1.50    F A (First) J D I C (Business) W T R (Premium Ecomomy) Y B (Full Economy)

 1.00     1.00     1.00    H K (Economy)

 0.50     1.00     0.50    L M V (Discount Economy)

 0.50     0.50     0.25    N G S (Deep Discount Economy)

 0.25     0.50     0.125   O Q   (DeepDeep Discount Economy)

How do I know what class my ticket is booked in on AA

If booking online on AA.com, after selecting flights and the price being quoted, there is a hyperlink to "Detailed Fare Rules" . Clicking on this , the fare basis will be displayed for each sector of the booking. The 1st character of the fare basis will be the booking class

If you have a booking with AA already made, go to aa.com and go to the reservations -> my reservations link. Locate the booking and it will display the booking class for each sector

How do I know what the distance of my trip will be

go to Great Circle Mapper and put in the from and to points in ( e.g. for Sydney to Los Angeles enter either SYD-LAX or, if you do not know the airport codes, Sydney-Los Angeles.

How long will my status last

Challenges can be timed to start at any time and 3 months are allowed to complete the challenge

Start on 1st/16th of Jan/Feb/Mar/Apr/May or 1st June, then status will last until end of february the next year ( e.g. start on 1st June 2006 and status will last until end of february 2007 )

Start on or after 16th June, and if sucessful, status will last till end of February 2 years time ( e.g start on 16th June 2014 and status will last until end of February 2016 )

What are the benefits of status

Please look at Airline Tickets and Airline Reservations from American Airlines | AA.com where the handbooks can be downloaded and check out oneworld - Home

How can I check how I am doing

Log into your account at aa.com and go to view your miles. You will see in the mileage summary column a field where it says

YTD Elite Qualifying Points: n

When this crosses the 5000/10000 threshold, within a day you will see an additional entry in the Personal Information field saying

Status: GOLD

as appropriate

Note: If you embark on a challenge near the end of the year and be continuing into January, you will need to keep track yourself as the field is the Year To Date points and will reset to zero in January

I have completed the challenge - what now

In approximately 2 weeks time you will receive a new membership card and a benefit book from AA. Use the card when necessary to show your entitlement to the associated benefits ( e.g. lounge access )

But I am flying again before the card will arrive and so I want to get my benefits now?

Phone the local AA office ( check the aa site to find the local phone number ) and they can fax you a letter confirming your status which will hopefully deal with the short term issues

How do I ensure that I keep status

You will need to meet the normal re-qualifying requirements as detailed on aa.com. If starting challenge between Jan 1 and Jun 15 inclusive, you will need to meet the requirements by the end of current year, otherwise after completing the challenge, you can rest till the new year starts in January

Currently, only miles and points earned on One World carriers and Alaskan Airlines count towards status. The qualifying requirements annually are

Executive Platinum : 100 sectors or 100k flown base miles earned or 100k qpoints

Platinum : 60 sectors or 50k flown base miles or 50k qpoints

Gold : 30 sectors or 25k flown base miles or 25k qpoints

If I fail to meet platinum status requalification requirements, will my status be entirely dropped to nothing at renewal time

[-]No. You will be dropped back down to gold[/-]

From 1st January 2014, there will no longer be any 'soft' landing. If, as an AA Plat you fail to meet Plat or Gold requalification, you will be drop back to no status.


Miles can be earned on Qualifying fares on One World Carriers and partner airlines. Do note that miles flown on non OW airlines (other than AS) do not count towards annual qualifying mileage for attaining or renewing status

To see how many miles will be earned per flight, please see "American Airlines AAdvantage Airline Partners | aa.com" and check the earning levels for the carrier being flown

e.g. flying a 800 mile flight on Qantas in S class

S class earns 0.5 miles per miles flown , so would earn 400. Since 400 is less than the min earning of 500, the min of 500 will be earned

If the member has Gold status , then a 25% bonus will be earned on the 500 giving 625 miles

If the member has Platinum or Executive Platinum status , then a 100% bonus will be earned on the 500 giving 1000 miles


If wanting to redeem a r/t trip within Australia, within New Zealand or between Australia and New Zealand, the cost will be

20,000 miles in Economy Class
35,000 miles in Business Class
60,000 miles in 1st Class

For the redemption costs for AA awards: AMERICAN AIRLINES AWARD CHART (one way)

For the redemption costs of other partner awards: oneworld and other Airline Award Chart

[-]For the redemption costs for One World awards: oneworld Airlines Award Chart[/-] Explorer (oneworld) awards were discontinued in the first ½ 2014!

[-]Note : One World awards are mileage based. When working out the distance, AA counts the distance between stopover points and does not include transit points.

e.g. If you wish to fly MEL-SYD-HKG-LHR-TIP, with no stopovers in SYD/HKG/LHR, the distance travelled will be classed as approx 9716 miles rather than the total distance flown of 12,483 miles


BA Flights between UK and USA are ineligable for earning miles [/-] This is no longer the case.


All LAN flights earn miles other than some cheap domestic fares


When travelling domestically on Qantas

Some cheap red-e-deals book in the ineligable class E - this need to be avoided when wanting to earn AA miles.

Super Savers earn 50% miles

Flexi Savers and Fully Flexible earn 100% miles

Business earn 125% miles

When travelling internationally on Qantas

Economy fares booked in N,O,Q earn 25% miles (12.5% EQP)
Economy fares booked in G,N,S earn 50% miles (25% EQP)
Economy fares booked in M,V,L earn 50% miles (50% EQP)
Economy fares booked in H,K earn 100% miles (100% EQP)
Economy fares booked in B,Y earn 100% miles (150% EQP)
Premium Economy fares booked in W,T,R earn 110% miles (150% EQP)
Business fares booked in C,D,I,J earn 125% miles (150% EQP)
First fares booked in A,F earn 150% miles(150% EQP)

If booked in a class other than those listed , NO miles or points will be accrued

How can I make sure that I get my points without unnecessary difficulty

For AA flights

Locate the reservation on AA.com and add the FF number there

For BA Flights
Go to British Airways , locate the booking in Manage My Booking and add the number.

Note: Only do this if BA is the only carrier in the itinerary since it will only associate the number with BA flights in the booking

If reservation includes QF flights
Qantas Manage My booking should now allow you to add the number. If that does not work then phone Qantas on 131211 and ask them to add the number
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Veteran Member
Nov 16, 2004
My Map
Updated for the removal of any 'soft' landing. If, as an AA Plat you fail to meet Plat or Gold requalification n a qualification year, you will drop back to no status.


Veteran Member
Nov 16, 2004
My Map
Updates for 2014.

Changes include - Can challenge on eligible Finnair and US Airways marketed flights, No bonus on threshold flight, can begin challenge on any date.
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