AA Platinum Challenge - Tips

Discussion in 'American Airlines AAdvantage' started by Dave Noble, Nov 10, 2005.

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  1. Dave Noble

    Dave Noble Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2005
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    Since there seem to be a number of questions about the AA Lack-of-challenges and lots of people seem to want to become AA CT status ( AA Candy Thief aka AKA AA Platinum ) I thought that this might be of use to some people


    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


    How do I Join the AA AAdvantage scheme

    go to www.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

    qpoints can only be earned by flying on One World Airlines and Alaska Airlines. Do be aware that qpoints are not the same as frequent flyer mileage that can be used for redeeming awards

    Note Lan Argentina and Lan Dominica are not part of One World


    When travelling in First Class, Business Class or BA World Traveller Plus 1.5 points is earned per mile flown.

    Note no points earned on BA between UK and USA

    For other discount fares please refer to this table

    Where points are earned, there is a min point earning of 500

    American Airlines

    qpoints per - Fare Bases
    flown mile

    1.5 - Y B

    1.0 - H K L M V W

    0.5 - G N O* Q** S

    ( O class only eligable on US domestic Flights , Q is invalid on transatlantic flights )



    Aer Lingus

    Within Ireland

    1.0 - Y H

    Ireland to US

    1.0 - Y H K

    Ireland - UK excluding LHR

    1.0 - Y B H

    Ireland - Europe or LHR

    1.0 - Y B H K



    British Airways Excluding flights between UK and USA

    1.5 - Y B

    1.0 - H

    0.25 - K L M N O R

    0.125 - G Q S V


    Cathay Pacific

    1.5 - Y B

    1.0 - H



    Finnair

    1.5 - Y B

    1.0 - A H K M V

    0,5 - G L N S Q O T W


    Iberia

    1.5 - R Y

    0.3 - B H K M Q V

    0.15 - G L N O S



    Lan Excluding flights to or from Cuba

    1.5 - B Y

    1.0 - H K L M N V

    0.5 - G N O Q S



    Qantas Airways

    1.5 - B Y

    1.0 - H K W

    0.5 - M V L R

    0.25 - G O S


    How do I know what class my ticket is booked in

    The simplest is to phone the airline which you are travelling with and confirm. If you know the fare basis for your ticket, then the booking class will normally be the 1st character of the fare basis. For Qantas flights you may be able to find the booking class by going to http://www.qantas.com.au/regions/do/dyn/yourBooking and retrieving the booking information. This site is a bit hit or miss on whether a flight details will show the booking class

    When travelling domestically on Qantas,

    cheap red-e-deals book in the eligable class of O whilst the higher priced ones book in the ineligable class N

    Super Savers book in S M V L or R

    Flexi Savers book in K or W

    Fully Flexible book in B or Y


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

    go to http://gc.kls2.com/ 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.


    I now know about qpoints but what redeemable miles will I earn

    go to www.aa.com , then from menu on left select Aadvantage -> Partners & Mileage Programs -> Airlines and then click down into the appropriate airline

    How long will my status last

    Challenges can be timed to start on the 1st or 16th of a month 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, status will last till end of february 2 years time ( e.g start on 16th June 2006 and status will last until end of february 2008 )


    What are the benefits of status

    Please look at www.aa.com where the handbooks can be downloaded and check out www.oneworldalliance.com


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

    Easy Method
    --------------

    1st of all, make sure that you put no frequent flyer number in the booking

    When you have booked the flight, get the 6 character AMADEUS locator

    Go to www.ba.com and select "Manage my booking" and then "Retrieve booking" from the list on the left. (It doesn't matter if is a Qantas flight , the BA MMB will do whats needed).

    Put the reference number and name into the fields and retrieve the booking

    On the right hand side list there will be a link to "Add frequent flyer number" . Select this

    Select American Airlines from the drop down menu and fill in your AA Frequent Flyer number in the box

    If you go to www.checkmytrip.com and check the booking, it should appear correctly ( as detailed further down )

    NOTE: The link to Add the FF number will ONLY be available if no FF number has ever been put in the booking; if an FF number has been put in the booking this method cannot be used and the method below should be used.

    This is the idea method since it does not reply on an agent knowing how to add AA FF numbers

    Hard method
    ---------------


    Make sure that you ONLY put the AA number into your booking. When booking a flight on QF or BA, you can check that it is in correctly. go to www.checkmytrip.com and look up your reservation using the booking reference number

    When you get the details you should see something similar to

    Traveler: MR MY NAME
    Frequent Flyer: Qantas Airways - AAxxxxxx

    when travelling on QF or

    Traveler: MR MY NAME
    Frequent Flyer: British Airways - AAxxxxxx


    If you have an itinery with multiple carriers, there should be an entry for each airline flown

    Do make sure that NO OTHER FF NUMBER appears in the booking

    If you see an entry of format


    Traveler: MR MY NAME
    Frequent Flyer: American Airlines - AAxxxxxx

    then phone QF/BA back and get them to remove the number and re-enter it properly


    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: PLATINUM
    or
    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?
    Registered Users don't see this and have the option of removing all other advertisements.  Register HERE

    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 requalifying requirements as detailed on aa.com. If starting challenge between Jan 1 and Jun, 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

    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
     
  2. NM

    NM
    Moderator

    Aug 27, 2004
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    Excellent work Dave. No Admin, can we please have this one made into a sticky! This is a great reference and I can see a lot of questions being answered by referring people to this post.
     
  3. MD

    MD Junior Member

    Sep 28, 2005
    35
    0
    Sydney
    You can also see booking class for QF flights on "Manage My Bookings" on the Qantas website:

    Status: Confirmed
    Class: Economy (K) (sigh)
    Flight Duration: 10h 40m

    MD
     
  4. serfty

    Moderator

    Nov 16, 2004
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    Great Stuff Dave!

    Soon we will need to start referring to you as "n² [​IMG] DSN". I'll leave it to Lindsay Wilson to adjudicate that one. :D

    Some information about Qantas international Flights. The classes used vary somewhat from those for Qantas Domestic and some Red e-Deals are are booked into V class rather than N, O or Q.

    For example, here is a link Clue Card for Flights between SIN/BKK and Oz: Australia to Singapore and Thailand Fare Structure.

    For these international fares, it's the "Sale" fares that book into N/O/Q.
     
  5. tuapekastar

    tuapekastar Established Member

    Mar 16, 2005
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    Excellent work Dave. Should save a lot of re-posting of questions and answers.

    I have noticed elsewhere there has been discussion re whether the time period for the challenges is 3 months or 90 days...some insist that it's 90 days. Excluding February, 3 months will only ever be 91 or 92 days, so it's hardly a big difference, but if your last qualifying flight is on day 91 or 92 and if you miss qualifying because of it that would be a big shame. :cry:

    I have no idea which is correct (or if AA has a relaxed attitude toward it) but being a little paranoid about those things I would plump for completing it in 90 days.

    Cheers
     
  6. BlacKnox

    BlacKnox Active Member

    Jan 29, 2005
    732
    13
    Excellent Work Dave Noble. I know that QF O fares earn 50% while N fares are ineligible, yet is it true that N fares are the more expensive of the two? Doesn't make much (common) sense.
     
  7. Craigo

    Craigo Intern

    Sep 22, 2003
    63
    0
    Canberra
    My recollection (and multi-star dsn will correct me if I'm wrong) is that QF swapped the classes for the web and phone red-e-deals. N class used to be the web-based fare (cheapest) and O the phone-based fare.

    However, AA used to have O as the non-earning fare class and changed it to N to reflect the relative price structure at around the time QF swapped the codes.
     
  8. Dave Noble

    Dave Noble Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2005
    6,419
    8

    if you start on the 1st of the month , you have until the final day of the month e.g. 1st July start date, allows you until the 30th September to complete ( 92 days ). if you start on the 16th of a month, you have until the 15th of the month 3 months later. I think that the use of 90 days by some staff is used since in nearly all cases 90 days is actually less than actual and avoids issues like people starting on 1st July and whining when they fail to get platinum when they take their final flight on the 1st october and saying that that is 3 months

    The only problem is when starting on 1st February , since 3 months from 1st February is only 89 days

    Dave
     
  9. tuapekastar

    tuapekastar Established Member

    Mar 16, 2005
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    Thanks for the explanation Dave, and yes, that last point is a good one!

    Cheers
     
  10. Deeruck

    Deeruck Junior Member

    Nov 10, 2003
    20
    0
    Can someone explain what a reference like this will do? Does the reference to American Airlines mean that they will use this FF number, and no other airlines will?
     
  11. Dave Noble

    Dave Noble Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2005
    6,419
    8
    It means that it has been associated with AA flights only. You need it to show that the AAxxxxxx number is associated with the airline you are travelling with

    Dave
     
  12. auriga

    auriga Active Member

    Nov 6, 2005
    785
    20
    Is there a way of finding which booking class a particular fare is, especially prior to booking? In particular referring to the red e-deals for domestic QF flights.
     
  13. Dave Noble

    Dave Noble Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2005
    6,419
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    It isn't easy. I tend to check whether the flight has O class availability since that QF site will not sell N if you can get an O but you do need to go elsewhere ( e.g. expertflyer ) to determine this

    Dave
     
  14. auriga

    auriga Active Member

    Nov 6, 2005
    785
    20
    ahhh.... what a shame.....
     
  15. cowombat

    cowombat Intern

    Aug 17, 2005
    57
    0
    Melbourne
    Platinum challenge on JAL

    It's now possible to earn AA mileage on JAL (I did some mileage last month). But I haven't (yet) signed up for the platinum challenge... probable will do so for travel in Dec and Jan.

    Does anyone know if mileage on JAL, credited to AA is OK for credtit to the platinum challenge?
     
  16. BlacKnox

    BlacKnox Active Member

    Jan 29, 2005
    732
    13
    Re: Platinum challenge on JAL

    Not yet. AA has a partner agreement with JAL so one can earn miles on either program when flying with the other. However these are not elite miles, and therefore are no good for the AA challenge.

    JAL has recently applied to become a member of the oneworld alliance. After JAL is accepted, it will then be possible to do the AA LOC on JAL.
     
  17. Dave Noble

    Dave Noble Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2005
    6,419
    8
    Have added a nice new easy method for ensuring that AA FF numbers can be easily added to QF bookings

    Dave
     
  18. JamesF

    JamesF Intern

    Apr 15, 2005
    62
    0
    SYD
    Hi guys,

    Just a quick question. Preparing to do the challenge. We have some short segments coming up (67 miles, ORD-MKE). Would that count as 500 q-points towards the challenge? What about if its booked in a cheap economy class like N or Q which only gets 0.5 qpoints/mile? Is that 250?

    Thanks for the advice

    cheers

    james
     
  19. Dave Noble

    Dave Noble Senior Member

    Oct 10, 2005
    6,419
    8
    Minimum qpoint earning will be 500

    Dave
     
  20. JamesF

    JamesF Intern

    Apr 15, 2005
    62
    0
    SYD
    thanks dave, great news. might be able to squeeze in to the plat 10,000 qpoint requirement after all.

    appreciate all your advice! will report back when the candy is officially stolen in a few months.

    cheers

    james
     
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