American Airlines will once again send physical elite kits, including luggage tags
You might want to check your mailbox.
Beginning Tuesday, Aug. 3, American Airlines is once again sending physical elite-status kits to top-tier flyers who achieve and requalify for status.
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Last year, American started phasing out physical membership packages, relying instead on a "fully digital" experience to welcome travelers back to status.
Now, the airline is now doing an about-face after listening to member feedback. "These kits are important keepsakes of their achievements," American cited in explaining why they're making a comeback.
With the latest move, top-tier Executive Platinum and second-to-top Platinum Pro members will receive elite kits, while AAdvantage Gold and Platinum flyers will continue to receive online-only membership packages.
Just like before, Executive Platinum members will receive a personalized membership card along with two personalized luggage tags, while Platinum Pro elites will only receive the membership card.
Starting on Tuesday, if you've achieved either of AA's top two statuses this year, you'll receive an email congratulating you on the achievement, and letting you know to expect a physical kit in the mail.
They'll be sent via USPS and take 4 to 6 business days to arrive. If you achieved status earlier this year and would like a physical kit, you'll need to call AA to request one.
In addition to bag tags for top-tier members — a source of great pride for select road warriors — all physical kits will include six recognition certificates that can be presented to AA staff for above-and-beyond service. (Those certificates will then be deposited by the crewmember to be eligible for additional bonuses or prizes.)
Elsewhere, United suspended sending physical elite kits in 2021. Delta appears to be continuing to send personalized bag tags for those who qualify for Medallion status.
For those hoping to score one of the physical elite kits, AA has made it considerably easier to earn status this year. Due to the pandemic, the airline slashed thresholds and added limited-time promotions, the latest of which includes an offer to earn either 2,000 elite-qualifying dollars or spend $15,000 on a co-branded American Airlines credit card to automatically requalify for status this year.
In addition to physical kits for elites, each of the Big 3 U.S. airlines has an invite-only status tier. Those members receive an upgraded welcome kit, often tricked out with special gifts, like a pair of Ray-Ban aviator sunglasses for Delta 360s, or a personalized metal luggage tag repurposed from a decommissioned MD-80 aircraft for AA's Concierge Keys.