For quite some time now, American Airlines (AA) Executive Platinum members like myself have been wondering “How to attain American Airlines Concierge Key status?”, Over time, there have been plenty of rumors and speculations of the Concierge Key benefits and how to achieve the by-invitation only status with the airline. Even today, a simple search for the term “Concierge Key” on the AA website returns with no matches.
As an AA Executive Platinum for the past five years with over 218,000 miles flown and over $42,000 elite qualifying dollars expended this year alone (as of November 7, 2017), I too have been curious on how to be invited to the Concierge Key program.
What did I find out?
During a recent call to the Executive Platinum desk about a reservation, I asked about Concierge Key. To my surprise, I received an unexpected response from the pleasant Customer Service Representative (CSR) from what was the standard response for many years. She indicated that earlier in October, the Executive Platinum desk was provided corporate guidance that all inquires regarding Concierge Key status should be referred to the AirPass desk and provided me the number to call.
Before calling, I checked out the AirPass website to get myself familiar with the program and have a better understanding of what the program was all about before calling. After becoming smarter on the program, I proceeded to call the AirPass desk and was greeted by a very professional CSR. I proceeded to ask him about the program and the benefits which he eloquently explained while I patiently waited for the opportunity to ask about Concierge Key. He went thru his explanation and then started talking about the benefit of achieving elite status level based on the annual monetary commitment level. Like on the AirPass website, his explanation didn’t include any reference to Concierge Key.
It was at the moment that I asked “How about Concierge Key?”. Without any hesitation, he responded that with an Annual Commitment of $50,000 one would be awarded the Concierge Key Elite Status for the period of the annual membership. Needless to say, I wasn’t floored at the amount of commitment needed but rather to the fact that he responded without hesitation.
In summary, AirPass is a membership program that offers prepaid, unrestricted travel at a fixed rate which is ideal for the short notice traveler. it comes with some tangible additional benefits as well as a significant shortfall that can be unfavorable to international travelers like myself.
AirPass Membership Benefits
As listed on the AirPass website, the membership benefits include:
- AAdvantage Elite Status based on Annual Commitment
- Priority Check-in and Boarding
- Admirals Club Membership
- Improved Seating Options
- Complimentary Inflight Amenities
- AirPass Companion Travel Privileges
- Baggage Fee Exemption
- Priority Baggage Delivery
AirPass Program Shortfalls
During the phone call, I was perplexed to hear about one of the significant AirPass reservation system restrictions. As explained to me by the AirPass CSR, the online reservation system only allows for reservations on AA operated flights only. Meaning, if you’re going to a destination that includes a One World partner operated segment, you will be unable to make the reservation online and will be required to call the AirPass desk for CSR assistance. Furthermore, he indicated it could require two separate reservations to complete the trip with the One World partner. I find that to be significant inconvenience and a major shortfall.
Aside from attaining Concierge Key via AirPass membership, there is no published criteria on how to attain or maintain Concierge Key status other than by invitation. However, If you are an American Airlines loyalist, that travels mostly short notice, spends more than $50,000 annually on AA operated flights and are willing to commit that amount upfront, this is your “key” to Concierge Key.
Image Credits: American Airlines
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