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Last week, I wrote about an opportunity where you could sign up for an American Airlines status challenge and possibly earn Executive Platinum status (their top status) for only 25,000 EQP (elite qualifying points), which is a quarter of the amount it usually takes.
It appeared that it was probably intended to be a targeted offer, though anyone could sign up on the offer page. I’m not clear if anyone was able to successfully register for the promotion or not (let me know in the comments if you did). I posted the offer and then mostly forgot about it, since I typically don’t chase airline elite status.
A strange email
Yesterday I got a strange email.
Here’s how the email read (I got no context other than this)
Please take a look at the deal advertised on this link:
I tried to sign up for this, but the American Airlines customer service wants a promotion code that’s associated with this deal. Could you please do some searching online and find the promotion code?
It appears that someone read my post at some point, tried to sign up, couldn’t sign up online, then called in, and American Airlines asked for a promotional code. He/she then forwarded it to a virtual assistant to have the assistant find a promo code, who then contacted the main BoardingArea contact box, and Randy Petersen forwarded the email to me. Convoluted, I know
The offer is dead, Jim
Going to the original offer page, you now see
I’m not surprised – my guess is that this was intended to be a targeted offer, got out to the general public, and when American saw a huge influx of signups, they pulled the deal. This kind of thing happens all the time, which is why we always say whenever there’s an offer that seems “too good to be true” (like a favorable status challenge or a mistake fare), you best jump on the deal now and ask questions later!
(SEE ALSO: 4 reasons why you’ll miss out on the next mistake fare)
(SEE ALSO: 5 steps to get you ready for the next mistake fare sale!)
The relationship between blogs and “the miles community”
I put “the miles community” because personally, as a blogger, I feel like I belong to the miles community, and I try to be a good member
It seems that the community is divided into the following camps of peoples
- Hard-core enthusiasts who believe that no deals should be shared with anyone except members of their secret forums
- Veteran enthusiasts who don’t mind helping people, but require them to put in some effort
- Newbies that are wanting to learn and willing to put in effort, but find it very difficult to figure out how to get started
- People that just want the information spoonfed to them and will only follow simply laid out instructions (arrows and circles)
With bloggers too, there is a range of personalities, from those who scour Flyertalk, reddit and other sources and try to share information to the least common denominator, to those who try to be more judicious about what and how they share.
Did I, personally, contribute to the death of this deal? It’s possible I played a part. This news was also on blogs like View from the Wing, Million Mile Secrets and others who are MUCH larger than me! My general philosophy for deals like this is to share them and act fast. That being said, I do also try to balance a line between that and not sharing more sensitive deals. It’s a tough line to walk!
Where do you stand on if (or when!) deals should be shared?
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I’m not sure that’s how the deal died. I tried to sign up very early on and got that error page. I tried from two different computers and browsers.
Good point – deals can die from a variety of different reasons. All the better to jump on them fast if you see a good one!
I tried to sign up a few times and it would not let me. Either the page would not load correctly or I would get an error message indicating that it was a targeted offer. Boo.
Whoever called is an idiot.
Agree. Isn’t that rule #1? 🙂
I don’t think you contributed to killing the deal. I was able to sign up through that link, but never got any email confirmation, so I called AA.
They told me it was a targeted offer and that I wasn’t eligible, even though I had been able to enroll online. When I dug a little deeper, I found out some info about how they go about offering these types of promos, but couldn’t get them to actually offer one to me!
I signed up via the link on your blog. However, I never got the confirmation email so I figured it was meant to be targeted. Didn’t call since I didn’t want to ruin it for anyone else if it ended up being honored. Guess now that it’s dead, maybe I should call?
I don’t like these things being shared, because I worked really hard to make it to EP on the straight and narrow…I don’t want all my hard-earned upgrades being taken up by people who’ve only flown as much as I had by February (on my own dime!)
Oh well…that’s how it goes….
Frank – that’s totally fair! I didn’t really think about that aspect of it much because I’m not a status guy
Of course, I’m not saying I wouldn’t have taken advantage if I’d been able to…
really, it’s AA I should come after for disincentivizing my extra flying by handing these things out like candy! 🙂
I’m with you in favor of sharing the wealth, the news, the tips, the hints….. asap. and jeers to the knowing, arrogant “community” that wants to hoard it all for their elite, privileged flyertalk pals… as if nobody ever showed them the way.
live long and prosper, Jim
I’m reminded too of the wisdom above about book it first, ask questions (if then) later. Back in May, the dealmommy caught that via top cash back portal, and then via British Airways, it was actually possible to book nice hotel rooms net-net for free — or actually a small profit in some arranged cases. (Orlando, Vegas, etc.) I got several of those nights, but hesitated thinking that “this must be a mistake.” Maybe it was…. or not, but in fiddling around, I missed chance at even more “ultimate” deals. (the promo even stayed open for about a month) Lesson learned. 🙂
Generally I feel the same way, but I do believe that things that are more “exploitative” in nature probably don’t belong on blogs. Like when a certain airline was counting Guam as part of the US (so you could book US-Guam for the miles cost of any intra-US flight)
Will, I’m with Jim here. If you truly want everyone to be able to take advantage of an offer like you say, his logic is absolutely correct. One of the basic rules in this game is don’t kill the deal by making a phone call or sending an email, tweet… whatever. I’ve been at this game for roughly 16 years and it’s amazing how the folks who feel they’re entitled to every secret has grown over the years. I guess that’s just an extension of our society in general today.
I was able to sign-up the Better 1/2 and I. The link said it would send confirmation emails 9/14.
Many on Flyertalk, including AA moderator(s) say that this will not be honored by AA (happy now Frank) as many AA mistake promos in the past, you were able to sign up but it actually didn’t transpire.
I hear what you’re saying Frank but at the same time, who isn’t looking for a deal? Do you mean to say that if it came your way before qualifying that you wouldn’t have done it. And if not, do you truly believe that AA is true to you? That they’re not looking for deals for themselves that benefits themselves. Apparently they were already giving it out for free regardless, for some type of return “business wise” regardless of who you. So either way you lose. So who on the outside of AA can you truly blame? At the end of the day, the world of business is based on deals for survival, from the top to the bottom…..bottom line.
Oh no, I’m sure I would have given it a good crack myself, if I had the opportunity. If the airline offers it, you’ve absolutely got to grab it. My post wasn’t meant to be a censure at all (and lets be honest, I didn’t fly 100k miles without flying some spectacular deals anyways), rather more of a counterpoint from someone from a vested interest. As I mention above, its actually AA that I should have beef with for giving these things away to some while extracting so much from others. So, I do wish that your challenge had been honored, though I also hope that the value of the level is retained.
Frank, I agree with your logic. I think the real issue hear are the idiots that have to call customer service to see if that mistake fare they just booked or that signup bonus or special code they weren’t entitled to in the first place was for real. If you want to take advantage of something then do it and shut up. Don’t ruin it for everyone else. You’ll know soon enough what the outcome is.
Love the quote – “if you want to take advantage of something then do it and shut up” – very well said!