I’m 4 days late in talking about this, but I didn’t want to let March 1 come and go without paying a little tribute to my (now lost) American Airlines Platinum status.  It was good while it lasted, but changes in travel patterns, and most importantly, what seemed to me to be a much less reliAAble American Airlines over the last year have resulted in my being demoted to Gold status as of March 1.  In the last year, I passed the 1 million AAdvantage mile mark, and with that comes lifetime Gold status.  That will be sure to ease the sting of when I have to fly American this year, but speaking from experience, it just doesn’t compare.

American is just about the last big airline that doesn’t automatically upgrade all of its elites for free.  Instead, you earn 4 500-mile upgrades for every 10,000 miles you fly.  I may be wrong, but I think that was a big reason my Platinum upgrades almost always cleared, and Platinum isn’t even the top tier status at AA.  I think that having to “pay” for your upgrades with AA thins things out, and leads only those who really want an upgrade to request them.

My Platinum status also got MrsMJonTravel and I access to some great BA lounges when traveling outside the country.  Certainly our favorite had to be the phenomenal BA Concorde Room at LHR Terminal 5 this summer.  Complete with sit-down restaurant and so much more, that certainly was a highlight of our travels this year.

Status aside, my longtime affinity for AAdvantage has provided some great travel experiences.  Just this summer, MrsMJonTravel and traveled in Business Class to Rome for a 3-week Mediterranean adventure.  Shortly thereafter, we were in First Class to London and then on to Glasgow on British Airways.  Those are just 2 trips I’ve taken over the years.  Although, early on, I must admit that I wasted far too many miles on domestic trips….but at least I was in First Class!  I’ve also used miles to confirm upgrades domestically and internationally with success.

There are other things I miss about flying American, but none more so than the fabulous Admirals Club staff, especially at DCA.  There are none better….anywhere.  If lounge staff at other airlines worked half as hard at taking care of their customers as these folks do, those airlines would really have something to market.  Long story short, American and AAdvantage have been pretty good to me.  Maybe my travel needs will evolve again, and I’ll be back.  In the meantime, American…please don’t break AAdvantage or the Admirals Clubs while I’m away.