I’ve got a problem. After two years of qualifying for Platinum status on American, I now find myself at 24,996 miles for the year — exactly four miles away from achieving Gold status for 2015. While I was able to arrange for most of my international flights in previous years to be American Airlines or its oneworld partners, this year proved to be much more difficult. Now I find myself on the precipice of Gold with a major choice to make. Do I book a flight to get those extra four miles or do I just let it drop? Is Gold status even worth it?
I’ve called American twice now to see if they’ll make like Spike Lee and Do The Right Thing by crediting me the four EQMs. They will not. In fact, twice I’ve been told that they’re happy to help me and then pointed me to American’s new option to secure status which involves me spending $399 for Gold or $1199 for Platinum. No thanks. I can just book a quick flight to get Gold for well under $399. In fact, a roundtrip to Vegas will set me back $139. I could also book a flight home to Chicago for $326 and I’m currently leaning towards that option. It’s still less than the $399 cost to just get Gold.
The question, though, becomes whether it’s even worth it. I’ve got the Citi Executive Platinum AAdvantage card that gets me a free checked bag, priority boarding, and lounge access. Gold comes with the bag and boarding amenities as well as free same day standby and a 25% mileage bonus. It also gives me access to Main Cabin Extra seats, but that’s only until March 1, 2015 and my Platinum status extends until then anyway. I use the same day standby option all the time, so it’s actually probably the feature most important to me in terms of status (as well as those Main Cabin Extra seats). So, the real question I need to ask is whether same day standby and the mileage bonus are worth the $326 it’ll cost me to fly to Chicago.
I just don’t know. I was home for a full week in June, which gave me plenty of family time, but this is the holidays and I just made it through a fairly depressing solo Thanksgiving here in Los Angeles. It would be nice to see my family, but it’s also -100,000 degrees in Chicago in December. I could have qualified for an extra 10,000 EQMs via my credit card, but you have to spend $40,000 for the year to get there and I’m not even close, so it’s highly unlikely that I’ll make it there by the end of the year.
Essentially my choice is to book a flight to get the status via earned miles, spend a ton of money to get it via my credit card bonus, or just let the status drop and start flying JetBlue more now that I’ve seen their magical ways up close.
I NEED YOUR HELP. What would you do in my situation?