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American Boosts Upgrade Priority for Concierge Key Members

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Like Delta and United, American Airlines offers an uber-elite tier for its most valuable flyers, called Concierge Key. However, while United Global Services offers tremendous benefits like enhanced award availability and much-improved confirmed upgrades, Delta 360 and AA’s equivalent have been a bit light on perks.

Concierge Key isn’t easy to earn, so it’s no surprise that with today’s announcement, American is working to provide a bit more incentive to qualify. There’s no published requirement, but based on reports it seems clear that you’ll need to spend a lot with the airline in order to be considered — in some cases $45,000 or more, before taxes and fees.

We explored 7 of the top Concierge Key benefits here, which range from a dedicated support phone number to exclusive event invites — but our seventh on the list, “high upgrade priority,” didn’t officially provide a benefit beyond what Executive Platinum members experience. Fortunately for AA’s top elites, that changes in January.

Today, AA shared the following enhanced Concierge Key benefit:

Starting in January 2017, ConciergeKey members will have higher upgrade and waitlist priority – above Executive Platinum members, including a new 120-hour upgrade window.

Once this perk goes into effect (on or around January 1, 2017), top elites will officially be recognized for their loyalty beyond Executive Platinum members. This top priority applies to all upgrades, both complimentary and via instruments, such as certificates and mileage redemptions. In other words, Concierge Key members should be getting upgraded much more frequently than they are today.

As we covered back in June, American is planning additional changes to upgrade procedures later next year. Namely, the upgrade priority will change again — elites will be upgraded based on status level, followed by the number of EQDs (elite-qualifying dollars) earned in the last 12 months. Additionally, Executive Platinum and Concierge Key members will be able to receive complimentary 500-mile upgrades on award tickets, similar to the perk United offers to cardholders today.

Do you find Concierge Key status to be a worthwhile perk?

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