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American Airlines’ ConciergeKey Top-Tier Status [Complete Guide]

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American Airlines’ ConciergeKey status is the holy grail for any frequent AA flyer. It’s the top tier in its AAdvantage program, given only to those who spend more money than almost any other consumers.

There are plenty who salivate over the benefits of this coveted tier, not least fans of the movie “Up in the Air,” in which George Clooney’s character, a ConciergeKey member, is on a quest to earn 10 million miles. So the more you understand about what’s included, the better you’ll be able to see if it’s worth trying to earn ConciergeKey status. (And, no, you don’t necessarily need to accrue 10 million miles.)

The perks are exclusive, the hype is real, and what’s known isn’t published, so let’s do a deep dive into this exclusive club.

Here’s what we’ll explore:

  • What is American Airlines’ ConciergeKey status?
  • What are the benefits?
  • How do you better your chances of receiving ConciergeKey status?
  • How does ConciergeKey compare to other top-tier programs?
  • How do you leverage ConciergeKey to your benefit?

What Is American Airlines ConciergeKey Status?

American Airlines has 4 published elite status tiers: Gold, Platinum, Platinum Pro, and Executive Platinum.

In 2022, American Airlines completely changed how you earn elite status, creating a second loyalty program currency alongside the existing AAdvantage miles. Now, each tier has a specific number of Loyalty Points that you need to earn to achieve status. You earn 1 Loyalty Point for each AAdvantage mile you earn. For example, to become an Executive Platinum, which is America’s highest public tier, you need to earn 200,000 Loyalty Points.

Above Executive Platinum is ConciergeKey, an invitation-only tier that is not open to the general public. While Executive Platinum has published requirements, ConciergeKey does not.

ConciergeKey is primarily meant for the primary decision makers for large corporate travel accounts or influencers who American feels can get more people to fly on their planes.

In addition, those who hit very high spending levels on travel may be offered ConciergeKey, but it’s worth noting that the amount you need varies. Again, nobody fully knows the exact criteria for getting invited to ConciergeKey.

American Airlines Flagship Business
American offers lie-flat seating on many of its wide-body aircraft. Image Credit: American Airlines

Who Can Get ConciergeKey?

Anyone can get ConciergeKey. However, you need to be a successful influencer or have a lot of influence over travel at a major corporation.

If you’re trying to attain ConciergeKey as a regular traveler, you’re likely looking at spending north of $50,000 and flying more than 200,000 miles annually. The more premium cabin travel you book and the more you fly true American Airlines metal, the better shot you have.

It’s also been reported that the airline considers which airport is your usual departure point. If you normally fly out of an American Airlines hub airport where AA is dominant and doesn’t face much competition from rival airlines — think Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW), Miami (MIA), or Charlotte (CLT) — then you may have to earn more Loyalty Points than someone whose home airport is one where AA has to fight harder to win passenger traffic.

Bottom Line:

Want American Airlines ConciergeKey? Be ready to spend at least $50,000 with American Airlines for even a chance to get an invitation.

ConciergeKey Status Benefits

Membership Benefits

  • Complimentary Executive Platinum status that includes awesome perks like upgrades on award tickets
  • 120% mileage bonus on all tickets. Interestingly, ConciergeKey members do not receive any additional mileage bonus over Executive Platinum members.
  • Flagship First check-in access at select airports
  • Up to 3 complimentary checked bags. This is the same number of free checked bags as in Executive Platinum.
  • Complimentary same-day standby is available, and ConciergeKey members receive priority.
  • Complimentary same-day flight changes are available, and ConciergeKey members receive priority.
  • Complimentary preferred and Main Cabin Extra seats, but ConciergeKey members do not get any more preferences than this and compete against Platinum, Platinum Pro, and Executive Platinum members for these seats.
  • Complimentary upgrades within North America up to 72 hours before departure on both paid and award tickets
  • Guaranteed availability to purchase tickets in the Main Cabin, meaning you can still attempt to book seats on flights more than 72 hours from departure that are flagged as sold out, albeit at very premium prices.

Onboard Service

  • You get complimentary food and beverage items when in the Main Cabin. This is the same benefit afforded to Executive Platinums and AirPass members. This benefit includes a complimentary alcoholic beverage and snack in the Main Cabin.
American Express Premium Economy
American offers a Premium Economy product on most widebody flights, providing a more relaxing travel experience. Image Credit: American Airlines

Bookings

  • There’s a dedicated phone line for any bookings or questions and an email address for any reservation inquiries. Generally, these lines are staffed with senior agents, and many ConciergeKey agents double as Executive Platinum agents.

Upgrades

  • You get priority on all upgrade lists, priority lists, standby lists, and more. ConciergeKey members on a domestic itinerary using a complimentary upgrade trump Executive Platinum members using a systemwide upgrade. Upgrades for ConciergeKey members clear up to 120 hours before departure.
  • You get systemwide upgrades. Although not directly tied to status level, systemwide upgrades are available through the Loyalty Point Rewards system on the way to and beyond Executive Platinum or even ConciergeKey status. ConciergeKey members receive 2 additional systemwide upgrades in addition to those earned with Loyalty Points earnings.
  • Copays are waived on all upgrades. If a ConciergeKey member uses American Airlines miles to upgrade a ticket, they don’t have to pay the usual cash component. This savings can be substantial on international tickets, especially where mileage costs can be in the 25,000-point range with $350 copays. This is an incredible perk that could save you thousands of dollars per year.

At the Airport

  • Next-flight guarantee protection means that if a member’s original flight is canceled, they can be “protected” on the next flight, even if that flight is sold out, though it’s not clear exactly what “protection” entails. We do know that, in the event of a delay or cancellation, ConciergeKey members gets first dibs on the next flight to their destination.
  • Complimentary Admirals Club membership allows them to access American’s network of airport lounges. This is a savings of up to $850 per year, since there is no need to purchase a separate membership. Members can bring in their 2 complimentary guests, as well.
  • Access to business class Flagship lounges when flying domestically, even on arrival
  • Via Executive Platinum benefits, ConciergeKey members are considered Oneworld Emerald, with all of the priority access perks, international first and business class perks, and reciprocal lounge and check-in access.
  • You get Flagship First check-in, regardless of class of service flown or route. There’s usually no line, and the check-in area opens up to the end of the security line, giving anyone who has access to this area an expedited experience going through security. An attendant checks your credentials before proceeding. Flagship check-in is only available at major hubs such as New York, Los Angeles, and Miami.
  • Flagship Lounges access is granted to you (when available) on all itineraries. American Airlines Flagship Lounges are in major hubs, including Miami, Los Angeles, New York, and Dallas. This is a huge benefit, as these clubs are more upscale than the traditional Admirals Club and include plentiful buffet food options, premium liquor, showers, and more personalized assistance.
  • You get personalized assistance during irregular operations. Often, you’ll find airport agents calling or texting members directly or meeting them on the ramp as they disembark flights. In times of severe weather, mechanical cancellations, or other periods of delay, this benefit can come in handy.
  • You get airport escorts, including tarmac transfers. If there’s a fight connection or terminal change, you may receive a transfer from an airline representative who will meet you on your flight. This is incredibly useful in case of a delayed or tight connection. This is only offered at major hubs.
  • On boarding, you get priority status prior to group 1 on all flights. ConciergeKey members can board the aircraft before everyone else, including those in first class.

Other Benefits

  • Select ConciergeKey members can gift Executive Platinum status to someone else (spouse, family member, friend, colleague, etc.) Keep in mind that if this designated Executive Platinum member doesn’t earn as many Loyalty Points as other Executive Platinums, they’ll always be behind them on any upgrade or priority lists, since those are determined by earned Loyalty Points.
Bottom Line:

ConciergeKey offers numerous perks. However, the most valuable perks may be getting the highest priority on upgrade lists and being able to be confirmed on oversold flights.

In addition to the many benefits, members also receive “surprise and delight” gifts such as events with company executives and even complimentary status to gift to family or a friend.

In the past few years, members received a package of high-end chocolates symbolizing locations around the world, as well as luggage tags made out of metal from retired MD-80 jets

American Express First
If you’re a ConciergeKey member, you’re likely to get upgraded to first class on most trips. Image Credit: American Airlines

How You Can Improve Your Chances of Getting ConciergeKey

Securing ConciergeKey is mostly a behind-the-scenes affair — one that you need a lot of money or major connections to obtain. Since there are no published guidelines, your experiences may vary.

The first way to improve your chances is to spend a lot on flights with American Airlines. When we say “a lot,” we mean upwards of $50,000. This includes spending a lot on full-fare premium cabins on American.

The second way is to become a travel manager of a large corporate account that has agreements with American Airlines. Depending on the size of the account, how many corporate travelers there are, and the prospective or signed spending, ConciergeKey may be assigned to the travel manager.

Bottom Line:

Travel managers with enough pull to make employees fly American have a higher shot at becoming ConciergeKey members.

By no means is this an exact science, so we wouldn’t recommend shifting money immediately toward American in an attempt to earn ConciergeKey status.

American Airlines 787-9 Flagship Business Class rear cabin view
American Airlines 787-9 Flagship business class rear cabin view. Image Credit: Stephen Au

The last way is probably the “easiest,” but also one that greatly depends on luck. If you’re an influencer with a large audience, you may be selected for ConciergeKey status depending on how many people you can theoretically convince to fly with American.

We’d categorize this as luck, to be honest. There’s really no way to control this aside from shifting a large viewership to actually fly with American Airlines. Most readers probably won’t start a YouTube channel dedicated to this effort, so consider this point purely informational.

Is ConciergeKey Worth It?

This is subjective. We don’t believe that spending $50,000 or more to receive priority waitlist access, transfers, and next-flight guarantees is worth it if you’re paying for it on your own.

Still, if you’re flying a ton and spending a lot with American Airlines through a corporate agreement or similar method, it may be worth it for you.

While ConciergeKey is certainly a flashy program — and we wouldn’t turn it down for a second if offered — the reported spending requirements do seem sort of ridiculous.

American Airlines Planes at the gate
American Airlines is one of the world’s largest airlines and has the largest loyalty program of any airline. Image Credit: EQRoy via Shutterstock

How ConciergeKey Compares to Other Airlines’ Invitation-Only Statuses

Both Delta Air Lines and United Airlines have their own invitation-only status programs. United’s is Global Services, and Delta’s program is Delta 360.

United Global Services

When it comes to United, Global Services is the tier at the top of the ladder. United MileagePlus members often report that Global Services members fill the top several spots on an upgrade list between hubs and that upgrades for Premier 1K members, United’s highest public elite status tier, are becoming much harder to get.

Global Services members also have access to special confirmed upgrade inventory, allowing them to confirm into a higher cabin. United Global Services members can also create their own award availability.

Some basic Global Services benefits include:

  • Opening your own award inventory, so long as there is T and R inventory available
  • Access to a Global Services help desk (there’s a similar benefit among all legacy carriers)
  • Priority boarding (similar to other carriers)
  • Onboard meals are served first (along with Premier 1K members).
  • Highest upgrade priority for United flights (complimentary upgrades start clearing 120 hours before a flight, compared to 96 hours for United Premier 1K members)
  • Tarmac transfers when available at major hub cities, though this is not guaranteed
  • Companions can be upgraded if the Global Services member is on a purchased business class ticket.
  • Access to remaining Global First Lounges on business class tickets

Currently, there’s only 1 published way to earn Global Services, and that’s through United’s Million Miler program. If you earn 4 million miles with United MileagePlus, you’re awarded Lifetime Global Services status.

Bottom Line:

A major area where Global Services is better than ConciergeKey is with upgrade inventory. Global Services members can open award inventory on flights without true award space.

Delta 360

Delta 360 is the equivalent of American ConciergeKey and United Global Services. However, unlike the others, Delta has publicly mentioned its top-tier status.

According to Delta, there are a few metrics that Delta looks for in prospective members. These include overall Delta flight activity, premium product purchases (Delta One, Delta Premium Select, First Class), and spending on Delta SkyMiles® American Express Cards.

As a member, you receive unexpected tarmac transfers in the case of delays, as well as premium handling on the ground and within the airport. Think of Delta 360 as more of a consistent American Airlines 5 Star program more than anything, but still valuable, for sure. Delta 360 tends to go to very large corporate accounts.

Major perks of Delta 360 include:

  • Tarmac transfers in hub cities such as Detroit, Atlanta, or Los Angeles
  • A dedicated contact line (most major legacy carriers have this for their invitation-only status holders)
  • Surprise gifts such as jewelry or Champagne throughout the year

Final Thoughts

While the requirements to earn ConciergeKey are unpublished, the perks are top-notch. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to know exactly what will earn you ConciergeKey status.

The upgrades, lounge access perks, airport transfer rides, and better service certainly do make this coveted elite status appealing. If you’re in a position to earn or receive ConciergeKey membership, it’s the best way to enjoy all the perks of flying on American Airlines.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of ConciergeKey?

ConciergeKey benefits include priority boarding, priority waitlisting for upgrades, protection on sold-out flights, Admirals Club membership, access to the Flagship Lounge, and additional systemwide upgrades.

How many ConciergeKey members are there?

American Airlines doesn’t publish this data, but based on recent estimates, there are likely to be approximately 15,000 ConciergeKey members worldwide. Keep in mind that some of these individuals may have been given status and won’t actually utilize it but are still counted.

How do I become a ConciergeKey?

There are no published requirements to becoming a ConciergeKey, but most estimates say you need to spend north of $50,000 annually to be considered.

What is ConciergeKey on American Airlines?

ConciergeKey is an invitation-only status on American Airlines above its highest public status tier, Executive Platinum. The tier doesn’t have any published earning requirements, but those invited receive a host of benefits including top upgrade priority, airport transfers, and expedited airport and ticketing assistance.

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About James Larounis

James (Jamie) started The Forward Cabin blog to educate readers about points, miles, and loyalty programs. He’s spoken at Princeton University and The New York Times Travel Show and has been quoted in dozens of travel publications.

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