American Airlines Is Still Sending Out Status Buy-Back Emails…..My Offer Is Ridiculous

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One thing you can be sure about with American Airlines is that you’re not going to be short of emails offering you different ways to part with your cash in increasingly uneconomic ways. If the airline isn’t trying to sell you miles that you can’t easily use it’s pushing its co-branded credit cards, trying to get you to buy a cruise or tempting you to book a hotel room through RocketMiles (where you’ll also earn miles you can’t easily use).

Quite simply the airline will try to sell you anything it thinks you may be gullible enough to buy….and that included airline status.

One of the most powerful things about airline rewards/loyalty programs is the information they provide to the airlines about their customers’ habits, traits and plans but, for some reason, American Airlines appears to be remarkably poor at using the information it has to hand.

At the beginning of this month American Airlines sent me an email offering me the opportunity to pay a lot of money to secure Platinum Pro status for next year:

a woman sitting in a chair

This was despite the fact that I have had Executive Platinum status for the past 6 years and the fact that I had enough flights booked (and showing in my American Airlines account) to maintain that Executive Platinum status through next year.

Fast forward to today when another email drops in to my inbox offering me yet another chance to pay for status in 2018.

a woman sitting in an airplane

I’ve taken a few flights since the beginning of the month so I’m no longer being offered the chance of Platinum Pro status, now it’s a chance to buy up to Executive Platinum.

I still have enough flights booked to get me to Executive Platinum but I thought I’d check to see what my offer was anyway:

a screenshot of a email

Apparently American Airlines thinks that I may be prepared to part with $2,495 miles to secure Executive Platinum status for next year.

This is despite the fact that…..

  • I’m less than 5,000 miles and 400 elite qualifying dollars away from retaining Executive Platinum status for 2018
  • I have flights booked and showing in my account which will see me over both the required thresholds

Just how dumb do these guys think I am?!

Even if I didn’t have enough flights booked to retain my top-tier status I still wouldn’t pay $2,495. If I wanted my status back that badly I could book a quick mileage run for a quarter of that amount!

The Irony

In the days where Executive Platinum status was the king of all airline statuses (it was fantastic) American didn’t run these kinds of promotions…..but now that the AAdvantage program is no better than mediocre the offers to buy status keep flooding in.

What American’s hierarchy are actually doing is making one of their products worse as every year goes by (watch out for the devaluation I expect in 2018) while, at the same time, pushing harder than ever to sell it to the public.

Thanks But No Thanks

Clearly I won’t be taking up American’s offer to waste some of my cash and I’d urge anyone who received a similar offer to ignore it too.

While the various offers American is emailing out will differ from person to person I’d be very, very surprised if more than 1% of the offers merited a second glance.

AAdvantage status isn’t worth anywhere near as much as it once was with domestic upgrades becoming harder to clear, international upgrades being a lottery and the value of the bonus miles you get for having elite status dropping year-on-year.

I’m sure there will be some who will think that spending a couple of thousand dollars will be worth it but I urge those people to consider what exactly they’ll be getting in return for their cash. Upon close examination I suspect that it won’t be a lot.