Chasing Status? Mid-year review and way forward for EQMs and RDMs.

Chasing Status? Mid-year review and way forward for EQMs and RDMs.

Do you chase airline status?

I don’t chase airline status. When I travel for leisure, I pick the cheapest flights I can find that fit my schedule. With most programs (including American, soon) going to a revenue-based earning style with a minimum-qualifying dollar amount, most people will lose airline status or only have the lowest level. Who will keep it? Business flyers.

That’s where my status “chasing” begins. With my new job, I typically now fly about 3 times a month. When my company is paying for it, and I need to go to a certain place at a certain time, it’s a no-brainer to credit it all to one airline if I can. Status is better than nothing, right?

So, where am I as of now? Let’s see.

American Airlines miles earning

Current status/miles stats.

Those numbers are from exactly 6 months into the year, and I’ve re-qualified for Gold. I project I’ll hit Platinum in December if all goes well – and actually through segments most likely.

Luckily for me, a lot of the flights I take can be pretty pricey. “But Joe, why does price matter?” Great question, reader – let’s keep going.

Starting August 1st, AA is changing their redeemable miles earning so that it’s based on what you pay for the ticket.¬†As a primarily American Airlines flyer (it’s pretty much only AA or DL in the southeast), this new earning system actually might be of benefit for me.

Currently, as an AA Gold flyer, I get a mile per mile flown, then a 25% bonus. And for flights under 500 miles, it will give me 500 minimum. Since I fly shorter flights within the southeast, this usually means earning about 2,000 miles for my roundtrip (typically 4 short flights). Sometimes they’re a bit longer, but we’ll use this.

AA Earning chart

The current chart

With the new earning chart in place August 1st, my redeemable miles earning could go up significantly.

American Airlines earning chart August 1st

New earning chart starting August 1st

As you can see above, as a gold elite, these short flights I could make me significantly more – 7 miles per dollar (for Gold).

Let’s take my flight in two weeks to Charlotte, for example. It’s a direct flight that’s only about 300 miles – so 1,000 mile roundtrip in the current system. The bill for my flights? Over $1,100. If this was a month later, I would earn just over 7,800 miles ($1,115 x 7). Now I realize that’s an asinine amount to spend on a flight, and that’s definitely not the norm. But I would say my flight average probably $500, which would give me about 3,500 miles – 1,500 miles more than I’m typically making right now.

So, to recap:

  • I’m just over halfway to Platinum miles wise, and just under half for segments
  • I’m looking forward to the change in RDM earning (sorry, I’m selfish)
American Airlines Miles Earning Chart

Next stop: Platinum!

What’s your airline of choice and how’s you status looking this year?

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