“Up Up and Away!” – Airline Status Requalification By-The-Numbers

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I’m currently hoisting my celebratory hot chocolate in the Buffalo Admirals Club (US Airways Club) after just finishing my 100th qualifying segment of the year to meet the requirements for Executive Platinum status again.

American NEW_787_aircraft_masterimage

Our takeoff from Chicago was punctuated by the delighted squeals of an adorable toddler girl behind me who gleefully shouted “Up up and away!  Wheeeeeeeee!!!” as the plane took off.  Girlfriend, I couldn’t agree more.

Qualifying on segments versus miles is what some road warriors call “the hard way” when it comes to airline status requalification.  I concur.  This is not my first time to cross the segments mark- but it is my first time to do it BEFORE crossing on mileage.

It’s been a rough travel year for me period – and not my normal pattern at all.  For starters, I did a lot more travel by cruise ship in the last 18 months than by airline which changed my discretionary travel patterns.  As such, my qualifying this year was almost exclusively domestic as I took advantage of my last United redemptions under the old mileage model during the early half of the year rather than flying internationally on revenue tickets.  And my work travel was down by wide margin – almost 50% less than I normally do – partially due to a stalled out (and later tabled) project that was over a quarter of my calendar year and partially due to movement towards more teleconferences versus face-to-face meetings.

In the next two weeks I’ll be sharing my 2015 airline/hotel/other programs strategy as well my year-end summary, but for today, here’s a wrap up of what the 100 segments for airline status requalification on AA looked like, by-the-numbers

  • Years at Executive Platinum: 15 consecutive
  • Total miles in program: 0ver 4 million (none from credit cards!)
  • Segments flown to requalify: 100 (with more still to come)
  • Miles flown to requalify: 97,933 (with more to come)
  • Flights on discounted (50% points) fares: 79
  • Percentage of flights that had first/business seating: 75%
  • Upgrade success on those flights:  88%
  • Total flights flown in first/business:  66
  • Total flights flown in coach: 34
  • Flights on US Airways: 17
  • Flights on American Airlines: 79
  • Flights on Alaska:  4
  • Unique airports covered:  34
  • International segments:  2
  • Domestic segments:  98

Next year, I should be back on my normal qualifying pattern – by miles first, not by segments.

About Jennifer Moody

Jennifer is a management consultant and avid volunteer. Her career and volunteer duty travels have helped her log top-tier airline and hotel status annually for the last nineteen years. In addition, she embraces the opportunity to maximize her vacation time by planning extracurricular trips that have taken her to over 60 countries and 48.5 US states. Once an "every week" road warrior, she now only travels around 100 days a year. She resides in her native Fort Worth, Texas where she enjoys cooking, gardening, sewing, needlepoint, wine, and playing with her Border Collie/Great Pyreness mix puppy Harley Quinn.

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  1. Congrats on the crossing – especially on segments! That is one hard way to get top tier status! Btw, you are in my neck of the woods. My original home airport is Rochester, about 65 miles away from you! That club in BUF was the only western NY option for us with lounges. 🙁

    • I have worked projects in this area for 12+ years and always loved this little lounge when I was a US Airways elite. I like this region in general – the improved access to it from Texas was one if the things that I *do* like about the AA/US merger. 🙂

  2. Segments are impressive indeed. I passed on my only chance to fly to Buffalo — actually Niagara falls — since Toronto was a non-stop flight from DFW and only an hour’s drive further. So you can see where I’m coming from here. I follow what I call the “rule of two”: if a non-stop lands a two hour or less drive further from my destination than the closer airport, I take the non-stop. I’ve learned this rule over many years and, trust me, the learn-by-doing method is a hard way to learn!

    • I’m the same way! The problem becomes when the one-stop (or two-stop) airport is *still* 60-90 minutes away (which happens for me a bit too often!)

      • I was right across the lake in Toronto this week. I wound up with 50k on UA, and status matched to DL and flew 40k in 3 months. 110k miles, all domestic. (I don’t count Canada as international. )

      • Wow… that’s a fun three months. The lake certainly looked beautiful as we were flying at 24k from Buffalo to Chicago today. Its looking like my travel will be back to normal for 2015… so far at least. I’m looking at four trips just in the first two weeks of the year!

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