American Airlines just updated its status challenge policy due to coronavirus
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There was one component of American’s elite status extension announcement that was still to be determined. And that’s what would happen to those who were participating in status challenges once travel was halted.
At the time, we confirmed with AA that they would do something to make it up to those who could no longer complete their status challenge. And now, we’ve got the details of what AA’s doing.
For anyone who was registered for an elite challenge starting on or before March 31 that ended after March 31, 2020, the Fort Worth, Texas-based carrier is offering a do-over. AA will provide the opportunity to register for a new challenge any time between July 15, 2020 and Nov. 1, 2020. This expanded window will allow flyers to determine when’s the best time to restart their challenge, based on when they feel comfortable getting back in the air.
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Affected customers should expect to see an email from AA with details of the new challenge offer in the next few weeks, and the registration portal should appear in the AAdvantage promotion center as of July 15.
It’s unclear if AA is planning to lower the thresholds for earning status through a challenge like its doing for those earning status outright, but we’ll be sure to update this post when we learn more. Also, note that the progress earned during the first challenge won’t be rolled over to the second.
Though American’s been known to send out a plethora of targeted fast-track status challenge offers, it’s not the only U.S. airline to offer such a program —Delta and United do too.
As part of Delta’s Medallion updates, the carrier says that members currently enrolled in a challenge or promotion, like Status Match Challenge, Reclaim My Status or promotions offered through an employer, can start a new promotion when ready to start traveling again.
United similarly told TPG that if you’re in the middle of one and want to change the date or cancel and restart later, you can do so by calling United.
There’s one U.S. airline that has gone above and beyond for those who were enrolled in a status challenge. As part of Alaska’s status extension news, the carrier is granting full status through the end of 2021 for those participating in a challenge. If you initiated one with Alaska between Dec. 1, 2019, and March 31, 2020, the temporary status has been extended through Dec. 31, 2021.
Nonetheless, it’s great to see American finally formalize its status challenge extension. If travel is slow to recover, I’d imagine the carrier might further extend the valid dates. For now though, rest assured that you have until November to start planning future travel.
All photos by the author.
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