This is one of those “arrgghhh!” moments with travel! You may know the feeling – you wait until the last minute to take advantage of a special offer or a great ticket price to ensure you have the maximum amount of time and the special offer vanishes. Oh, no!!!! 🙂 That was me when I read this news last week on View From The Wing.
US Airways Trial Preferred Status Gone
US Airways has long offered a Trial Preferred offer that basically allowed anyone (non-US Airways elite members, that is) to pay a fee and have US Airways status for 90 days. During that period of time, if they flew a set amount of miles, they would receive that status they had temporarily or a higher status that they may have earned during the trial period.
However, last week, they finally pulled this great offer. Many thought it would have been gone last month and more thinking it might disappear at the end of this month (myself included). Well, most everyone was wrong as it disappeared just before Christmas.
Fast Track Status
It was really a great way to fast track a person from no status with an airline to a status that would give them many benefits and then allow them to even match the status to an airline that they may use more than US Airways. Since US Airways and American Airlines have merged, status levels between airlines will be combined in the coming year so it meant that people who embarked on a Trial Preferred offer would eventually have AA status as well.
Fast Track To Executive Platinum
Must Read: The last great mileage run
Probably the best use of the Trial Preferred offer was the ability to fast track to be an eventual American Airlines Executive Platinum member (AA’s highest elite tier). Before the elite levels merge, the status that you would have held would have been US Airways Chairman’s Preferred status, their highest status level.
To do that, you would have had to pay to enroll in any of the Trial Preferred offers (from $200 for Silver to $600 for Platinum) and fly 30,000 miles on US Airways and/or American Airlines during the 90 day period. After that, full top-tier elite status! Plus, once you received Executive Platinum status, you would receive the valuable eight systemwide upgrades that allow you to upgrade any paid fare to the next cabin on American flights. So, a cheap international fare in economy could be upgraded to business class!
Great Fare Allowed Exec Plat To Be Had For Less Than $1,000
There was a great mileage run opportunity not long ago that offered insanely cheap flights between Philadelphia and Las Vegas. Using multiple trips and a Trial Preferred offer, it was possible to get Executive Platinum status for as little as $750! That mileage deal is over, but there are still many flyers that will be flying those trips to earn top tier status on the new American in just one month – and have 30,000 miles towards qualifying for status in 2016!
Back To My “ARRGGHH” Moment
I know – I should never have held off this long. But, the thing that kept me waiting until the last minute was some trip plans that I was waiting to materialize. If I was able to secure Executive Plat status through this offer, I would have needed every one of the 90 days from the end of this month to get it done due to other plans earlier. I guess it was not meant to be as I watched it disappear!
Oh well, now that just makes my mileage crediting decisions all the easier. Since I now have Alaska Air MVP Gold 75K status, I will be crediting my AA flights to them. If I am able to retain this status for the following program year, I will earn a total of 252,000 valuable Mileage Plan miles. I mean, I can redeem 90,000 miles for a one-way award ticket on Emirates First Class aboard their A380 or 70,000 miles for a one-way in Cathay Pacific’s beautiful first class cabin. That is a lot of premium travel! So, I am not going to miss not going for Executive Plat too much. I would have enjoyed the systemwide upgrades, but most of my flights on American are award flights anyway, so I am ok.
How about you? Did the pulling of this trial offer blindside you in anyway or were you much better prepared than I was? 🙂