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Often when someone discovers that I work for ?American Airlines, a range of questions follows, everything from “What does it take to be a pilot?” to “Who picks the in-flight snacks?” It’s easy to have questions when it comes to flying — not only has travel attracted our attention for decades, but there is so much going on from the moment you book your ticket to the arrival at your destination. While I don’t have an answer for every question I receive, I do my best to respond when possible. I know many of you are commenting on our Facebook page, so I thought this month, I’d address a few common themes.

How Can I Earn Elite Status?
Many questions asked have to do with the AAdvantage program and earning elite status. Whether you’re a weekly business traveler or a seasonal traveler, you can be rewarded for every mile you fly. There are three AAdvantage elite-status membership levels that you can reach through points, miles and segments: AAdvantage Executive Platinum (100,000 miles or points, or 100 segments); AAdvantage Platinum (50,000 miles or points, or 60 segments); or AAdvantage Gold (25,000 miles or points, or 30 segments).

When customers buy any eligible-fare tickets on American Airlines, American Eagle, ?AmericanConnection, our oneworld member ?airlines or on select AAdvantage participating ?airlines, they can build up miles, points and segments toward elite status. They also have opportunities to earn elite-qualifying miles by using the Citi Executive/AAdvantage World Elite MasterCard. “Why would I want elite status?” you might ask. Elite status offers plenty of perks, everything from upgrade privileges, reservation assistance, and PriorityAAccess check-in and boarding to discounts on Admirals Club memberships. There is plenty of information for you at AA.com/EliteStatus.

How Does American Support the Military and Veterans?
Other comments that spark my interest are about American’s strong commitment to our military and veterans. First and foremost, everyone at American is extremely grateful for all members of our military for their service. We have a long history of supporting veterans and military servicemen and women, and we’re honored to assist them as they ship out for duty or come home to family and friends. We offer military members special perks when traveling with us, including priority boarding, preferred seating and upgrades if available, waived baggage fees, priority baggage delivery to the claim area, complimentary Admirals Club admission for qualifying active members of the military in uniform and reduced-rate shipping via ?American Airlines Cargo. We also offer military fares in select markets.

Beyond travel offerings, American participates in many military charities. American and American Eagle donate air travel for Snowball Express, an annual event that brings children and spouses of fallen military to one destination for an all-expenses-paid trip. You can help support troops and their families by purchasing an American Airlines Gift Card and selecting the USO Gift Card option. For every $50 of travel purchased, American donates $5 to the USO. If you’re interested in our charitable efforts, I encourage you to visit AA.com/JoinUs.

How Can I Find Out the Status of My Flight?
One final question I want to address is how you can use our tools to get up-to-date flight information. Have you ever been stuck in traffic on the way to the airport and wished you’d been reminded of your flight and departure gate earlier? We can help make sure you’re not that person making a mad dash through the terminal. Provide us with the best way to contact you and we’ll proactively notify you of all departure and arrival information so you’re in the right place at the right time. Set up flight notifications straight to your phone, tablet or email at AA.com/Mobile. Are you an AAdvantage member? Enter your settings just once and we’ll automatically send notifications every time you fly.

Also, did you know that you can use your phone or tablet to check in? When departing from an eligible city, email your boarding pass directly to your device. At the airport, just pull it up, make sure the entire barcode is visible on the screen and proceed through security. Your gate agent can simply scan your boarding pass, and then you’re all set! Visit AA.com/Apps for information on all our convenient services.

Have other tips or tricks when flying American? Add them to the Travel Tips tab on our Facebook page. See you in the air again soon!

Craig S. Kreeger
Senior Vice President – Customer Experience
American Airlines