American Airlines Elite Status Fast Track Promotion For Non-Elites

by on August 14, 2013 · 59 comments

in American

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Update: American seems to have pulled the promo page for the time being, but we’ll put it back up here if/when it goes live again – I am still trying to get confirmation that it was targeted, and if so, who received the offer.

American Airlines just launched a new elite status fast-track promotion where non-elites can earn Gold, Platinum or Executive Platinum status faster and keep it through February 28, 2015.

Upon reaching the required elite-qualifying miles threshold, your AAdvantage elite status membership benefits will take effect immediately.

American Airlines is offering the opportunity for frequent fliers to fast track to elite status.

To apply, you need to register by 11:59 p.m. (CT) on August 27, 2013, using promotion code H3TLI, then reach the following mileage thresholds by flying on American or select airlines between September 1, 2013, and December 31, 2013.

American Airlines Elite Fast Track Table

American Airlines Elite Fast Track Table

  • Gold: 6,000 elite-qualifying miles
  • Platinum: 12,000 elite-qualifying miles
  • Executive Platinum: 30,000 elite-qualifying miles

The offer is only open to non-elite status AAdvantage members, those already with Gold, Platinum, and Executive Platinum elite status are not eligible. Elite-qualifying miles can be earned on travel with American Airlines, American Eagle, American Connection carrier, British Airways, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines and Qantas flights, as well as eligible codeshare flights. Upon reaching the required elite-qualifying miles threshold, your AAdvantage elite status membership benefits will take effect immediately.

American Airlines Elite Status

The benefits of Elite Status include:

  • Mileage bonuses on eligible flights
  • Complimentary access to Preferred Seats
  • Special upgrade privileges
  • Priority Access at check-in and boarding
  • Priority Access at security screenings
  • Free checked bags

American launched a similar offer last year, allowing members to an accelerated route to Platinum (10,000 miles) and Executive Platinum status (25,000 miles). The mileage requirements for this one are slightly higher, but you have a longer period of time to complete them and can fly partner airlines and codeshare flights, which should make things easier.

The one major downside to this is that it is not open to flyers who already have elite status on the airline, so even if you’ve been diligent about earning Gold or Platinum status, there’s no way to challenge up with this promo, which kind of feels off since the airline is rewarding people who don’t fly it often over their own elite flyers – clearly they’re trying to attract elites from their competitors.

Still, if you currently don’t have status on American but are looking for a way to earn it fast without all the usual flying you have to do, this is great news, and if you can rack up the mileage quickly, your elite status will be good until a year from February, which could end up being nearly 17 months depending on how much you fly and how quickly. As an Executive Platinum, I love my elite status thanks to the mileage bonuses, extremely useful Systemwide Upgrades, and unique perks like Elite Rewards.

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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  • Garrett

    Do the 50% bonus AAdvantage miles for the more expensive tickets count towards the requirements of this offer?

  • Fred

    Do you have status during the challenge, a la Hyatt Diamond?

  • Michael Goff


  • Dave Golden

    What is the best way to earn these miles? I apologize in advance for my ignorance but I am not familiar with the AAdvantage program. I signed up for the offer – and signed my wife up for it as well. Because it is good through 2015, it might be worth just planning flights to earn this status as I would place a pretty high value on the status based on what I have read and our experiences on American in First Class. Can these miles be earned by signing up for a credit card? (I assume only flights) Help us out! :)

  • Danny

    I can’t help but think about how convenient this is coming right after the delta changes.

    I’ve been with delta for a little while, but I’m not so attached to them that I won’t look into this.

  • Taylor Michie

    Gold can be attained for as little as $448 R/T with a quick out-and-back transcon trip. Seems like a pretty good value for anyone looking for status. But, of course, EXP is where the real value is.

  • Taylor Michie

    You are correct in assuming that only butt-in-seat miles qualify. Bonus miles (credit card rewards, other promotional rewards) do not count towards the challenge.

  • Chris K

    Are there any setbacks from earning Ex Plat through the promo versus earning it outright?

  • Guest

    Anyone able to share a good AA mileage run route?

  • JC

    Anyone able to share a good AA mileage run route originating on the east coast? New to AA.

  • elitenewbie

    I have never had elite status before as I always fly on award tickets, but this promotion sounds so easy that I am tempted. From a quick calculation, it would take about $2000 worth of ticketing to get to the EXP level. This would only be worth it if I can get a bunch of free first class upgrades on my award seats for next year. From what I can find, I CAN get my award seats upgraded using the 8 SWA right? so that is basically 8 guaranteed first class flights?

  • Michael Rodriguez

    I have a quick question regarding the AAdvantage Citicard program. Can anyone confirm that the Citibusiness card’s double points on “telecommunications” works on cell phone monthly bills?

  • Jim

    Can you explain why someone would rather have status than $450? I’ll take the cash, but that’s me. Honest question.

  • Taylor Michie

    It’s a personal decision, not the same for everyone. In this case, perks of gold include priority boarding, increased checked baggage allowance, ability to upgrade to First using stickers, and elite bonus mileage on flights flown while gold.

    You have to weigh those benefits and decide if that’s worth $450 to you.

  • JC

    How did you get to the $2000 number? Interested as I am trying to figure out if this is worth the spend.

  • Eric

    If I have Platinum on Delta, would it be better to do a status match?

  • Winelover

    Great Offer! Love the fact that it is qualifying miles and not points! Anyone know whether flights booked with the 10% BA discount are disqualified?

  • TravelScrounger

    SWA/SWU Upgrades, or EVIPs as they are called at AA, are not eligible for Award flights. But they are good for almost every cash fare bucket.

  • Guest

    Does anyone know if BA flight bought with the 10% off BA Visa discount are disqualified?

  • Douglas

    This seems like proof that AA is desperate for business and also means that these “elite” tiers will be a lot less “elite” next year.

  • Michelle

    the link is not working. The following message appears on the screen: the page you have requested no longer exists or has expired.

  • Starmaddy

    Same here. Got a working link but it says “The promotional code you entered is not valid. Please contactAAdvantage Customer Service. “

  • gtg5017

    Ditto. Did a google search and it’s the first page that comes up but it’s definitely either down (server overload?) or they pulled the promotion due to unexpected high demand?

  • Matt

    So any word on a working link? Thanks

  • Eugene

    Is this targeted? I got the same code not valid error when I enter the code

  • Jimmy

    Do the deep discounted Econ tix get penalized EQMS? I heard its like 50%…does that effect this promo?

  • Chris

    According to American Airlines via Twitter: “The promotion continues to be available for targeted customers”

  • m

    is this st ill working? I’m AEP but i tried to sign up my wife and kids for the challenge and could not get the system to process (logging into each account separately)

  • Terry

    In my opinion, the promo is targeted. You can definitely sign up and even receive confirmation email. But AA could void your registration by claiming you are not on the target list.


    I hate this Promotion. If it ever comes back – I am PLAT now and probably won’t re-qualify this year (I’ll be gold next) – but some newby can join today and fly 30000 eqm and be EX-PLAT – that’s just wrong. If I fly the SAME 30000 EQM I will just barely be PLAT. That’s B. S.

  • Simon

    I have a cross country Jetblue/American itinerary coming up. I’ve already found I can use the JetBlue leg towards regular AAdvantage miles per AA’s website, but I can’t tell if those miles would count towards this promo..any idea? If it worked I’d only be 600 miles short of gold after one roundtrip!

  • Santastico

    This AA offer means: “Screw you loyal customers!!!! We will make it easier for tons of people that never flew AA to become elite and compete with you that has being a loyal customer for many years for upgrades, seat assignments, etc…”. In my case I am a lifetime Gold with AA and if I want to become Executive Platinum I have to fly 100K miles. Too bad I am a loyal customer.

  • Chad Singiser

    Agreed total BS…. work so hard for PLAT and we mean nothing now… frustrating

  • Chad Singiser

    So frustrating for current PLAT members… I have over 50K mile and could be EXEC PLAT if I had nothing … just 30 ?? who do I send my email too??? Wait.. I doubt they will care.

  • Adam

    As a current Exec Plat member and having been one for the last three years while earning it the hard way with actual 100k butt in seat miles- I feel this is the biggest slap in the face any airline has ever dealt to me. It’s a downright punishment for being so loyal to AA and spending a ridiculous amount of money with them. I encourage all current Elite members to email Customer Relations at AA as I did to vent our frustration. That is the only way we can protect what we worked so hard for

  • Tokina Maso

    Can someone please share a link to the screenshots of this offer. I signed up yesterday, but today it got pulled out. Thank you!

  • thepointsguy

    You can tweet them @americanair @aadvantage to voice your concerns

  • thepointsguy

    No- it appears just elite qualifying miles count…not EQ Points (what you get for expensive fares)

  • Winelover

    anyone got a reply from Is this really targetted. The T&Cs dont say that…

  • Winelover

    Not sure what people are complaining about – if you fly 30,000 miles in the 4 months promotional period (Sep-Dec) and average this out over a 12 month period you would be flying 90,000 annually. Not sure that is such a big break AA is giving new customer considering that 100,000 gets you Ex-Plat too…

  • indy

    Do you think they’ll honor it for non-targeted, non-elite members who signed up in time? fingers crossed!

  • Winelover

    It didn’t state anywhere it was targeted…

  • Garrett


  • Margita

    I have tickets for flight on British airways. Hat are qualifying miles? Or should I just sign up and see

  • Andrew

    Current elite members need to chill out. When you did not have status you most likely had some sort of challenge or match available to you. Most elites have short memories of the time before they were elite.

    If they did something for current elites like US Airways did a few years ago with hop skip and jump there would be complaining too.

    Most companies throw a bone to non customers or ones who did not bring in significant business to entice them to bring more. Look at what cable companies, directv, newspapers etc do to bring in new customers or to upsell existing ones.

  • Jeff James

    Andrew – This is twice they had this type of promotion this year, and it would be nice if they would do something for the current elite’s and give us a month or so of double EQM’s.

  • Jeff James

    Adam – I agree, and I did exactly what you suggested and contacted AA.

  • jjflysalot

    Hmmm, I wonder if AA will give those that qualify some ‘Applause Certificates’ ….instead of drink coupons! D’OH! Who’s in charge of marketing anyway at AA?

  • Eric

    Does it look like this is ever coming back? Any idea what happened? Weird!

  • efilon87

    If I book an Alaska Airlines in Q, will that count towards the needed mileage?

  • thepointsguy

    Only if it’s a codeshare flight.

  • Pingback: Update on the American Airlines Elite Status Fast Track Promo – It Was Targeted But Should Be Honored | The Points Guy()

  • Greco

    I think I have registered successfully (I did that the moment I saw the post in FB, thank you TPG!) since I got an e-mail thanking me for registering. However, after reading that this offer was pulled away, I thought I should send an e-mail to AA so they confirm for me. So far no response…

    Any chance to wait for a reply to my e-mail, or should I call them directly? What is the best practice with AAdvantage?

    I am actually planning several BA flights in Europe soon, which will help a lot if this promo is valid. That’s why I need to know what happens anyway, otherwise I will waste my flights registering in AA and will miss the chance to become Silver in BA next fall (I just subscribed in BAEC, and in AA I only have 1000 miles from last year – I am completely new to OneWorld).

  • Greco

    Just got an e-mail from AAdvantage that I am indeed eligible for the fast track promotion:

    Dear Mr. A,

    It’s our pleasure to assist our valued AAdvantage® members. Thanks for contacting us here at AAdvantage® Customer Service.

    Thank you for participating in our H3TLI promotion. You are properly
    registered and eligible to participate. This particular promotion proved to be so popular that we quickly exceeded the small number of intended participants and so promotion registration was closed. Congratulations for being successful in your registration.

    You must travel between September 1, 2013 and December 31, 2013. Flights prior to September 1 are not eligible for this promotion. Your travel may be on American Airlines, Finnair, British Airways, Iberia, Japan Airlines and Qantas.

    Thank you for giving me the opportunity to respond. We look forward to serving you in the future.


    <first name
    AAdvantage Customer Service
    American Airlines

    I completely understand how frustrating this is to those that are earning their miles the hard way, I would have been frustrated if I was in that category. On the other hand, AA honours the promotion even if it wasn’t intended to everyone out there.

    All in all, I feel happy that I will have the chance for a quick elite status. I was expecting a BAEC Silver by the beginning of next year, since I’ve got several flights with BA in from of me, so I would become elite eventually anyway. But this also gives me the chance to enjoy AA miles that carry better value than Avios.

  • Dan

    Spoke with AA today and the promotion registration period ended on the 14th and it was in fact targetted. Too bad, maybe next year.

  • waz

    Quick question points gurus. I’ve enrolled in this promotion and have confirmation from AA. But I was told that this promotion is completed on base miles, not EQM when I called them up. I asked them to confirm multiple times but the operator insisted it was base miles only. Is this correct? Or was she misled?

  • waz

    seems im confused, base miles and EQM are the same thing right?

  • Alex

    eligible codeshare? meaning AAXXXX flights regardless of oneWorld carriers correct?

  • BlueKony

    Am new to AAdvantage… I saw the Promo and I grabbed it fast.. Have been thinking how long it’s gonna take a broke arse student like me. Anyways I finally got my Gold status Today which is gonna last until Feb 2015 :). Isn’t that awesome.. Actually you don’t only qualify by miles only.
    The message says 6000 Miles, Points or 6 segments. I qualified by flying 6 segments only which was way less than targeting 6000 miles…
    Am soooo happy…. Y’all other Elites Members should cool off, they will probably work out something for you guys too..

    Just be happy for we new Elite members :)

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