In Jason Reitman's Up in the Air —released onFriday—George Clooney's character strives for his ten millionth AmericanAirlines frequent flier mile. It's an accomplishment, he claims, achieved byonly six people, and it comes with serious perks—like a dedicated bookingagent. Is this for real?
Not quite. AA's elite-level rewards program is three-tiered:Gold, Platinum, and Executive Platinum, which requires 25,000, 50,000, and100,000 miles, respectively, flown within a calendar year. Each level offersgraduating benefits: Gold members enjoy complimentary upgrades; Platinummembers earn more bonus miles; and Executive Platinum members have perks likeguaranteed availability. (A chart of the various rewards offered is available here .)AA also offers a dedicated booking agent for EP members—but not a "personal"travel agent, like in Up in the Air .
But log enough airtime, and AA will reward you with alifetime membership that doesn't require any minimum yearly travel. One millionaccumulated miles earns a lifetime Gold membership, and two million a Platinum.AA won't disclose the number of lifetime Platinum members, but a rep assured methat it's a "very, very exclusive" club. Reitman, the rep told me, used some poetic license withthe perks, as he did with the 'ten million' number—there is no special markafter two million.
Update, 5:16pm, Dec. 5th:
This post originally stated
, incorrectly, that less than 5 million miles were redeemed in 2008. Actually, less than 5 million
were redeemed. We deleted the sentence.
TODAY IN SLATE
False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.
Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.
No, New York Times, Shonda Rhimes Is Not an “Angry Black Woman”
The Music Industry Is Ignoring Some of the Best Black Women Singing R&B
How Will You Carry Around Your Huge New iPhone? Apple Pants!
The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola
The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.
The Other Huxtable Effect
Thirty years ago, The Cosby Show gave us one of TV’s great feminists.