American Airlines’ Status Challenge Options (from 2016) | Australian Frequent Flyer
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American Airlines’ Status Challenge Options (from 2016)

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Veteran Member
Nov 16, 2004
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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 May 2016


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 7,000 "Elite Qualifying Miles" (EQM's) for Gold or 12,500 EQM's for Platinum within 90 days of registering. Earning rates are given further down

American Airlines initiated a new Gold and Platinum elite status challenge in 2016 (unless they have attempted or completed a recent challenge, or are trying to use a challenge to regain status).

Requirements of the new challenge:

  • Gold status: earn 7,000 EQM in 3 months (not 90 days); signup fee US$120.00 for start date from Jan 2016, US$100 from April 2016, US$140 from June 16 2016
  • Platinum status: earn 12,500 EQM in 3 months; signup fee US$200.00 for start date from Jan 2016, US$180 from April 2016, US$200 from June 16 2016

Start dates are now anytime, not particular date, and may be backdated two weeks. It is the start date, not the date of the phone call or the date the challenge is completed, that matters.

Status is awarded after the flight upon which the required threshold was crossed (some years ago, it was during and miles earning benefits applied to the earning flight - that has changed).

To qualify, EQM must be earned on flights marketed by:

  • AA American Airlines
  • AY Finnair
  • BA British Airways
  • IB Iberia
  • JL Japan Airlines
  • QF Qantas

    AA marketed fights earn as if flying AA, regardless of operating carrier. AY, BA and IB marketed flights must be operated by a oneworld airline; normally, JL and QF are the exceptions to this requirement.

How do I Join the AA AAdvantage scheme

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

How do I sign up for the challenge

Phone AAdvantage Customer Service in the US on +1 888 697 5636 ( from Australia , replace the + with 0011 )

How do I earn qpoints

American Airlines

 RDM per  EQM per
 flown    flown   Fare Bases
 mile     mile 
 1.50     3.00    F (Full Fare First) J (Full Fare Business)

 1.50     2.00    A P (Discount First) D I R (Discount Business)

 1.00     1.50    Y B W (Full Fare Economy)

 1.00     1.00    H, K, M, L, W, V, G, Q, N, O, S (Discount Economy)

RDM per  EQM per
 flown    flown   Fare Bases
 mile     mile

 1.50     1.50    F A (First) 
 1.25     1.50    J D I C (Business) 
 1.10     1.50    W T R (Premium Ecomomy) 

 1.00     1.00    Y B (Full Economy)

 1.00     0.50    H (Economy) 
 0.50     0.50    K L M V N G S (Discount Economy)

 0.25     0.50    O Q (Deep Discount Economy)

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

If booking online on, before selecting flights click the [+] and the view for the option will expand showing the booking class fare bucket for each relevant segment.

If you have a booking with AA already made, go to 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 90 days are allowed to complete the challenge.

At this stage it is unknown - older challenges used to depand upon start date. At this stage, any successful challenge in 2016 should allow status until at least 31st January 2017.

What are the benefits of status

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

How can I check how I am doing

Log into your account at 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 7000/12500 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 )

I 'failed' the challenge (or did one two years ago) - what now

Indication on FlyerTalk is challenges (successful or not) may be undertaken no more frequently than once every five years.

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 This must include at least 4 segments "on American" during the qualifying year.

Executive Platinum : 120 sectors or 100k EQM's

Platinum : 60 sectors or 50k EQM's

Gold : 30 sectors or 25k EQM's.

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

Yes, there is no '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 | and check the earning levels for the carrier being flown.

For the first half at least of 2016, Elite members will earn at least 500 miles for flights under 500 miles on American Airlines and American Eagle (including codeshare flights booked as an American Airlines flight number) and participating AAdvantage and oneworld airlines:Elite status benefits - AAdvantage elite status - American Airlines

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

In the second half of 2016, award miles for travel on American marketed flights will be calculated based on what you pay for your ticket (base fare plus carrier-imposed fees, excluding any government-imposed taxes and fees) and your elite status; the higher your status, the more you’ll earn.

  • 5 miles/U.S. dollar – AAdvantage member
  • 7 miles/U.S. dollar – Gold
  • 8 miles/U.S. dollar – Platinum
  • 11 miles/U.S. dollar – Executive Platinum
Earning award miles for travel on most flights marketed by partner airlines will be based on a percentage of the flight distance and the fare class purchased. Exact calculations will be available in the future.


If wanting to redeem a one way trip within Australia, the cost from March 22nd 2016 will be

10,000 miles in Economy Class
20,000 miles in Business Class

If wanting to redeem a one way trip between Australia and New Zealand, the cost from March 22nd 2016 will be

15,000 miles in Economy Class
25,000 miles in Business Class

For the redemption costs for AA awards: American Airlines award chart

For the redemption costs of other partner awards: oneworld and other airline award chart


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.

For travel on or after January 1, 2016

Class of servicePurchased fares booked inBase milesClass of service bonus milesEQMs per mile flown
FirstA, F100%50%1.50
BusinessC, D, I, J100%25%1.50
Premium EconomyR, T, W100%10%1.50
Full-Fare EconomyY, B100%1.00
Discount EconomyK, L, M, V, N, G, S50%0.50
Discount EconomyO, Q25%0.50

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 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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