Over the years, I have held top tier status with all the US airlines, as they exist today (Alaska Airlines MVP Gold 75K, American Airlines Executive Platinum, Delta Airlines Diamond Medallion, and United Airlines Premier 1K). There are many things to appreciate about having top tier airline status in the US, one of which is the airline upgrades to be sure! But, that is not what I miss the most from my American Airlines top tier elite status, Executive Platinum.
What I Miss Most From American Airlines Top Tier Elite Status
While I had quite a few domestic flights with American Airlines, most of my travel is foreign travel these days so the complimentary upgrades were not huge for me (though I certainly enjoyed them!). Also, the systemwide upgrade certificates were nice but on the routes I flew, I only had 1 clear (the others I gave away) so they did not do me a lot of good (though it was fantastic to fly from Athens to Philadelphia in business class, having paid only $240 for the ticket!).
No Fee for Award Redeposit/Changes
No, the thing I miss the most is the unlimited award redeposits! A lot of my travel can be quite fluid as I switch flights around to find the schedule that works best or the particular route/aircraft I am trying to get. But, being an American Airlines Executive Platinum meant I was actually able to book award trips whenever I wanted and then change them or redeposit them – for free. For anyone not American Airlines Executive Platinum, that will cost $150 for the first ticket on an itinerary. Considering how many times I changed/redeposited, that would have gotten very expensive (and I just wouldn’t have been able to do it) for sure!
Because of the American Airlines devaluation last year, I had booked and then rebooked several awards. I added up and figured I would have had to pay well over $1,500 in the year I was Executive Platinum – just for the award redeposits I did! That made things so much simpler for me to have those fees waived!
That is seriously one of my favorite parts of airline top tier elite status – being able to book award tickets to nail down my trip and then change them as better airlines/routes/seats become available or just changing it as my schedule changes. Now, I sit here as a lowly Gold member and do not get that perk anymore. It means I am being much more selective about the award bookings I make and have, as a result, missed out on some decent options because I don’t want to pay to change.
Want to Change An Award Ticket and Do Not Have Top Tier Status?
So, what happens if you want to change or cancel your award ticket and you don’t have top tier elite status and don’t to pay the fee?
Here are a couple things you can consider:
- Using airline/travel credits from a premium credit card (but be careful because some programs, like Aeroplan, do not come up as travel and won’t be reimbursed)
- Wait for a schedule change and then call and tell them the new schedule doesn’t work for you and you want to cancel (if the flight is delayed more than 60-90 minutes, you should be able to do that).
Anyone else consider award redeposit fee waivers to be an incredible top tier elite benefit?