The headline says it all. I did not requalify for Platinum this year, and will be demoted to Gold (by virtue of my lifetime million miler status, although American still does “soft landings”) on March 1, 2011. In the mailer, which included my membership card, and the coupons AA gives out each year to its elites to recognize good service from employees, I was offered the opportunity to “buy back” my Platinum status for the 2011 membership year.
This is an option American started offering a few years ago. Basically, you pay them a not insignificant sum of money($769 dollars for me), and you get to keep your status for one year, and hopefully requalify. You can’t buy it back twice in a row. If you come up short on requalifying, and know you will be flying more the following year, it makes sense to consider this option. In my case, it’s not likely that I’ll be flying American enough in 2011 to justify the expense, and when I do fly them, my Gold status will help make things bearable with priority boarding, and the off chance of an upgrade to First Class. So bring it on, March 1! At least we’ll be closer to Spring.