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Update on the American Airlines Elite Status Fast Track Promo – It Was Targeted But Should Be Honored

by on August 16, 2013 · 18 comments

in American Airlines, Elite Status

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Earlier this week, American Airlines posted what looked like a public promotion for fast-track elite status where where non-elites can earn Gold, Platinum or Executive Platinum status faster and keep it through February 28, 2015. To qualify, you only had to fly the following amount of miles:

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

It looked like the promotion was open to all non-elites since the airline originally posted it on its LinkedIn page, and that to apply, all you need to do was register by 11:59 p.m. (CT) on August 27, 2013, using promotion code H3TLI, then reach the mileage thresholds by flying on American or select airlines between September 1, 2013, and December 31, 2013.

Well, a lot of people hopped on the offer and got confirmation that they had been enrolled, but within hours, the promo page had been taken down by American Airlines with no explanation, making it look as though the promotion had originally been targeted but made public by accident. That made even the folks who were able to register anxious that they would not, in fact, be eligible to take the challenge.

The terms of the promo, it turns out, were too good to be true.

The terms of the promo, it turns out, were too good to be true.

In response to the uproar – especially by American’s own elites on the generous terms of the promotion that excluded them, an American Airlines representative posted the following message on the American Airlines Executive Platinum Fliers Group page (emphasis mine):

Hi Everybody – yesterday was quite a day and I greatly appreciate your feedback in all forms and fashion! As you know, from time to time we run highly targeted offers to attract high-value customers. These offers are not intended to be publicly available or dilutive to the benefits that you have earned through your loyal flying on American. We believed the offer we launched yesterday to be significantly more targeted than it was, and as such took the offer down very quickly. The eligible customers who received the offer, registered for the promotion prior to its closing and achieve the mileage requirements during the stated time period will still receive status. We apologize for any confusion and appreciate your continued loyalty.

So there are a few things to take from this. First, that it was indeed a targeted offer that was made public unintentionally. Second, that if you did manage to register before it was taken down that American says it will honor the promotion and award you with elite status if you earn those elite-qualifying miles. That’s good news for those of you who were able to sign up for it, but bad news if you weren’t targeted and weren’t able to register before it was pulled. The one sticking point may be the use of the phrase “eligible customers.” Presumably that means that if you were a non-elite and registered before the promo was pulled, but the message also says “who received the offer” which is a bit vague since it was public, so if you did register but are not sure if you were properly enrolled, you should call American Airlines customer service and see if you are indeed registered for it.

I’ve asked my contacts at American Airlines to explain what happened, but was just told the same thing in the exact same terms as the Facebook wall message. I am still trying to get answers as to who was targeted and why since, if you would have been targeted, but might not have signed up in time, then you could maybe still make your case to the airline that you should be considered for this promotion. I was told that since the promotion was not meant to alienate flyers, that if you were able to sign up and you met the criteria (ie you are a non-elite and can complete the flight requirements) then it will be honored for you whether you were one of the intended recipients or not.

On the other hand, I am wondering if any of you were able to register for the offer but later had it rescinded or were told you were ineligible. If that happened to you, share your circumstances in a comment below. For those of you who were able to register, good luck with completing the flight requirements and I hope you make it to elite status.

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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  • Gregory Feczko

    I registered for it and got an email that I was accepted — I am not currently Elite, but I will be soon thanks to this generous offer :)

  • daevans

    I saw the previous offer posted that AA ran this summer and jumped on it, even though I was Platinum. I achieved the 30K miles and never got bumped to EP, so I called AA and they said they only honor these programs if you are selected. The said that the marketing department has a set of segmentation criteria that they use to determine who they want to offer it to.

  • JayPHX

    I registered my partner who is a kettle on AA. Received the confirmation email at 15:44 MST. I called AAdvantage customer service for an unrelated matter the next day and was told he is indeed enrolled. However, I tried to register my parents later that night and all codes were dead. My mom called AAdvantage and she was told the offer was closed. They only would offer her the traditional status challenge.

  • Mickey

    Just an FYI: If the email you’re referring to read

    “Dear XXXXX,

    Thank you for registering for the H3TLI promotion on AA.com.

    For your reference, details of this offer can be found on AA.com under view all offers, or in the communication where you learned of this promotion.

    To earn the bonus miles or other incentives offered, be sure to meet all of the promotional requirements. For most promotions, activity that occurred prior to registration will not count toward qualification. In addition, please note the timeframe in which bonus miles or incentives will be awarded. These and other specific requirements are always included in the Terms and Conditions listed with the offer. Thank you for your participation.

    AA.com
    American Airlines”

    Then that doesn’t confirm anything. Everyone who registers for AA promotions (regardless of whether they’re eligible or not) receives that email. It’s been like that for quite some time. AA always goes back and throws out the ineligible entries.

    My suggestion: email AAdvantage customer services and get written confirmation otherwise prepare for disappointment.

  • Matthew555

    Who do we contact to get access to the AA EXP Facebook page?

  • jjflysalot

    Seem to recall same promotion and ensuing debacle a few months back. I wasn’t targeted, but registered anyway AND got a confirmation via email only for them not to follow through. To add insult to injury on this latest fail–I just paid for a challenge. AA–get they act together.

  • Amelie

    I registered and received the confirmation email. I will be UA Plat soon so I’m not sure if I should just try for 1K (and hope for an AA match) instead of AA Exec Plat through this challenge. I did search FT and the blogs to get an idea of AA’s status match offer history. I live in the DC Metro area so it may not be worth it for me. I’ll accept any advice. :-) Thanks!

  • Gregory Feczko

    Thanks Mickey! Appreciate that update. I’ll email them ASAP to confirm –

  • Vik

    I’ve read the expression ‘kettle’ a few times. Can you explain what it’s meant to refer to? Thanks

  • JayPHX

    Sure – it’s actually a reference to “Ma and Pa Kettle” who are film characters from the 1940′s and 50′s. basically they are the stereotype of country bumpkins who have come into some money and are now moving in a different social circle. Think “Beverly Hillbillies”.

    In the flying circles, it is a pejorative term for people who fly infrequently and often don’t understand the rules of say the TSA, the gate agents, or all the intricate details that aviation nerds such as ourselves live and die by :-)

  • Scott

    I am going to talk to AA customer service tomorrow. ALthought I am Plat. 4 life through 3.6 MM lifetime miles, I would love to get this offer rather than the one they gave me a week or so ago, 25,000 Elite Qualifying Points (which in my book is 50,000 miles, as I do not buy full fare coach, what less say Business or first, as a general rule.) I will let you know if they let me switch to 30,000 miles from 25,000 EQP and if so, post. I am happy they gave me SOME offer (as it seemed like all the offers were for UA mostly 1K/GS fliers and that does dilute the value of my plat. 4 life and does irritate me.) Their marketing dept. is very strange!

  • Little Tea Blog

    How can I get confirmation of this? I signed up for the promo in time. I am a frequent traveler and am about to move all of my travel to AA but want to make sure I make platinum.

  • R. Scott

    It says “eligible customers who received the offer.” I take this to mean–”Those who were actually targeted and received an e-mail”. Based on my interaction with AA, I believe this is what they are saying, and therefore will not be honoring those who just signed up on the public link.

  • NguyenVanFalk

    I never trust AA. Last fall, they decided to revoke Priority Boarding from AAdvantage Citi cardmembers under the guise that it had been a typo in the terms all along. What a load of BS.

  • Hairythunder

    Emailed AA over the weekend and this morning received an email confirming that they would indeed honor the Fast Track Elite Status enrollment. Thank you The Points Guy.

  • stickfig

    I am EXP this year but will lose it for next. Signed up an got an email from American saying that I am not eligible being I am already EXP this year.

  • iTouchBooth

    One my flight back from LHR to LAX, I sat next to an AA EXP flyer. He mentioned about a group on Facebook “american airlines executive platinum fliers” Ive been searching high and low for this group but no luck. Any one here a member. If so, I just flew my 100K two weeks ago and would love an invite. Thanks

  • Oscar

    I got the invitation too, I registered but never got a confirmation. Called a couple if times and AA advantage customer service supervisor told me was only a one time promotion and already expired.
    Ofcourse I flew 9000 miles last month,. 3000 more than is required n the promotion

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