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Tour tip: up to the challenge? get airline status fast.

Hop on the fast track to status

One of the great benefits of flying all over the globe is accruing miles with airlines’ frequent flyer programs. Signing up for these programs is a no brainer since they are offered for free and can have some really great benefits; the more you fly the better these benefits get. Such can include not only redeeming miles towards free travel but also upgrades, priority access through security and boarding, lounge access and baggage fee exemptions for one or more check in items. Frequent flyer programs are well worth the free price tag and an excellent way to get something back for your loyalty.

If you are just starting out on your journey, as a crew member going out on tour, sign up for them all! Most major airlines partner up with smaller and/or other international airlines and will share and honor benefits. So you can actually sign up for just three or four frequent flyer programs and have all of your bases covered! This is all fairly straightforward and easy to do. Simply sign up for an account, make sure you give your frequent flyer number either when booking your ticket or at check in, and the airline will keep track of the miles flown for you.

When traveling often, as you do on tour, your focus may be of gaining preferred status. If obtaining a gold, silver, platinum, ruby, sapphire, executive level (or which ever the preferred nomenclature the airline chooses to use for expressing value to its different level members) is your goal, then frequent flyer programs will help you climb to the top and keep you sitting pretty.

Much of the airlines’ frequent flyer info and details can be found directly through the their websites, however there are sometimes ways to achieve a higher status level faster that are not always advertised.

A particular example of this is a program that American Airlines offers called The Gold and Platinum Challenge; this program is only available if requested. While a service of this nature comes at an additional charge, it is rather cheap considering the benefit to be gained in your travel comfort. The Gold and Platinum Challenge offers a short cut to become an elite status member. The way that this specific program works is that typically you need 25,000 and 50,000 elite qualifying miles, respectively, to achieve higher status levels. The Gold and Platinum Challenge, however, is a 90 day window in which you are able to achieve this with half the required flying miles. The costs of these challenges are $120 for Gold and $240 for Platinum. You have to pay this up front and you do not receive a refund if you fail to complete the challenge. Challenges must be requested by telephone (1-800-882-8880).

These challenges can be very easily accomplished on tours that require one to fly from one end of the world to another and back again all within a relatively short time frame. For example, starting out in NYC then traveling to Australia, then back again. Such a round trip alone is over 20,000 miles. With this kind of travel, you will obtain instant status when booking the ticket.


While over the years American Airlines has adjusted the rules and requirements to complete this challenge program, it has always been a good deal. Be sure to ask for current details when booking.


The Gold and Platinum Challenge is just one example of the many programs of this kind to be had- just call your airline and ask! It can be as easy as that.