No More Priority AAccess for Citi AAdvantage Cardholders

by on December 24, 2012 · 12 comments

in American, Citi

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Apparently Citi AAdvantage cardholders have been enjoying a benefit by mistake that they were not entitled to. One of the many perks to holding a Citi American AAdvantage credit card is priority boarding – you’re among the first to get onto the plane so you don’t have to worry (as much) about finding space for your overhead bag. However, cardholders have actually been given Priority AAccess – a set of privileges normally reserved for airline elites and passengers flying in first or business class.

American Airlines has caught on, though, and informed its co-branded credit cardholders that the priority boarding their card entitles them to is only “Group 1 privileges” that allow them “to board the plane at the beginning of the general boarding process,” and that tickets booked or altered after November 14, 2012, will no longer display Priority AAccess.

American sent this email to cardholders to tell them they'd no longer get Priority AAccess.

American sent this email to cardholders to tell them they’d no longer get Priority AAccess.

Translation: No cutting in front of elites or first or business class passengers just for having a Citi AAdvantage card, and none of the other perks of Priority AAccess like priority check-in and security lines. Apparently American’s elites have spoken up and voiced their concern.

That policy is in line with American’s new economy fare class system where you can purchase bundles of extra perks like free checked bags, Group 1 boarding and no change fees, as well as bonus miles and waived confirmed flight changes for an extra fee on the basic fare. Again, you’ll note the use of the term “Group 1 boarding” since elites will still have Priority AAccess as will premium class customers that gets them onboard earlier.

From the perspective of an elite traveler, this is a great move that will make elite boarding less of a cattle call, though I doubt if this will actually make much of an impact. However, I work hard to retain my status, so I’m glad that American respects that.

Even if you are miffed by this change, there are still other reasons to get AAdvantage cards, though, including the 10% mileage award refund for cardholders (up to 10,000 miles a year) with personal products like the Citi Platinum Select / AAdvantage Visa Signature Card; a 5% annual mileage bonus with the CitiBusiness / AAdvantage World Mastercard; and Admirals Club access with the Citi Executive / AAdvantage World Elite Mastercard.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • W Brian Duncan (aka IPBrian)

    I was a bit bummed by this move, but I should make it to gold by March this year (my first status with AA) so long term I love the move. :-)

  • Ticketace

    50000 AA mile bonus promotion on AA website until December 28th. New Citi AA applicants only.

  • Ticketace
  • alxstevens

    I’ll definitely miss this benefit. I don’t fly AA often enough or far enough (1-2 short haul flights a month) to get status, so I liked having the Priority AAccess, especially at ORD. This may actually be just enough for me to get rid of the card, but we’ll see how it plays out.

  • Adpage

    This was also the case of the Gold Amex Delta Card if you used a digital boarding pass. But they fixed that too

  • Josinei

    Well, i have no status with any airline company, but have flown first and i do not care about boarding earlier…. Don’t even know whats the purpose of getting inside and wait, wait, wait and wait till everybody is in. I’d rather do what i always do, traveling on first or not, im one of the last to go onboard.. of course not everybody like that :)

  • Adpage

    Once your carry-on gets gate checked several times over, you’ll understand

  • Suzannehendrix

    Thank goodness! Finally. I am permanent Gold with AA (achieved million miler status) and have been really annoyed at the crowd to “elite board” on AA for the last few years. Too many credit card holders were making it a mess.

  • Cooper Marcus

    Same here – this was the main reason I’ve been loving this card, and now that AA has taken it away, I’m no longer sure this card is worth the annual fee.

  • Jason

    Does this apply to the AA citi executive MasterCard as well?

  • Cam

    I saw “Group 1″ on my ticket and asked at both airport (origin and transfer) if that was priority access, they said yes yes it is….

  • Thepointsman

    The points guy…more like king of the a-holes priority access is and never was like a cattle pen. Note he said cattle call.. Dumbass…

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