How-to Guide for Free American Airlines Elite Status (Free Checked Bags & More!)

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I let you know how to get free oneworld Ruby elite status on American Airlines that comes with free checked bags, priority check-in, and priority boarding.  It’s through an offer for free Silver elite status with Air Berlin which is equivalent to oneworld Ruby status.

But after registering for the deal, you need to add your Air Berlin frequent flyer number to your American Airlines ticket.  And some folks asked if we can show you how to do that.

American Airlines Elite Status

I’ll Show You How to Add Your Air Berlin Frequent Flyer Number to Your American Airlines Ticket to Enjoy Perks Like Free Checked Bags. That Can Save You a Lot of Money!

So here’s a step-by-step guide to add your Air Berlin frequent flyer number to your American Airlines ticket!

Changing Your Ticket’s Frequent Flyer Number

Through November 30, 2016, when you sign-up for free Silver Elite status with Air Berlin, you’ll get free oneworld Ruby Elite status for 4 months.  And get perks like 1 free checked bag, and priority security, check-in, and boarding.  That can come in handy during the holidays!

But to get oneworld Ruby Elite status perks on an American Airlines flight, you’ll have to add your Air Berlin frequent flyer number to your American Airlines ticket.  

If you don’t want to switch frequent flyer account information online, you can call American Airlines at 800-433-7300 with your ticket information.  An agent can add your Air Berlin frequent flyer number to your reservation.

But changing or adding your Air Berlin frequent flyer number to your ticket online is pretty easy too!

Step 1.   Sign-In to Your American Airlines Account

Just sign-in to your American Airlines frequent flyer account with your frequent flyer number, last name, and password.

American Airlines Elite Status

Login to Your American Airlines Frequent Flyer Account and Find Your Existing Reservation

Then click “Your account”  to go to an existing reservation.

Step 2.   Find Your Reservation

American Airlines Elite Status

Once You’re Logged In, Click “Your account” to Make Changes to Your Frequent Flyer Information

From there you’ll be able to see your existing reservations.  To go to a specific reservation to change the frequent flyer number, click “View.”

American Airlines Elite Status

Once You’ve Found Your Reservation, Click “View.”

Step 3.   Edit Your Frequent Flyer Number

Then click “Add / edit passenger information” below your flight details.

American Airlines Elite Status

You Can Add & Edit Passenger Information (Like Frequent Flyer Numbers!) Even After Your Reservation Has Been Ticketed

Then you’ll be able add your Air Berlin frequent flyer number.

American Airlines Elite Status

Select Air Berlin as the Frequent Flyer Program From the Dropdown Menu and Add Your Air Berlin Frequent Flyer Number. Then Click “Save.”

After you’ve updated your number, click “Save.”  That’s it!

What to Do If You Don’t Have an Account

If you haven’t set-up online access to your American Airlines frequent flyer account, you can also edit your reservation by going to “My trips / Check-in” from American Airlines’ homepage.

Just enter your first and last name along with your confirmation number, then click the “Find reservation” button.  From there, the process to add your Air Berlin frequent flyer number is the same.

American Airlines Elite Status

Go to “My trips / Check-in” From American Airlines’ Home Page to Change the Frequent Flyer Information on Your Ticket

Some folks have had trouble updating the frequent flyer number on American Airlines award tickets.  Because the loyalty number box was grayed out and they can’t select another frequent flyer program.  So calling American Airlines at 800-433-7300 might be the best route to minimize frustration.

If you haven’t bought a ticket yet, you can easily add your Air Berlin number as part of the ticketing process.  And check out my post about how to credit the miles you fly to your favorite frequent flyer program!

Booking an American Airlines Ticket Through the Citi ThankYou Portal?

If you’re using Citi ThankYou points from a card like Citi Prestige for an American Airlines ticket, you have to add your American Airlines frequent flyer number when making the reservation.  Then change it later via the American Airlines site or by calling American Airlines.

AA 11

If You’re Booking an American Airlines Award Ticket With Citi ThankYou Points, You Can NOT Add Your Air Berlin Frequent Flyer Number During Checkout

You can NOT add your Air Berlin frequent flyer information during the booking process.

Are There Drawbacks?

If you participate in this deal, you’ll earn Air Berlin miles for your flight.  So you could end up with Air Berlin miles that you’ll never be able to use!  And if you’re trying to earn elite status with American Airlines, earning miles with Air Berlin will not help.

Plus, if you have an American Airlines credit card, like the Citi American Airlines Executive card or the Citi American Airlines Platinum card, you already get 1 free checked bag and priority boarding.  So it isn’t worth taking advantage of this deal, because you’ll lose American Airlines miles!

In short, this offer is best if you:

  • Really want a free checked bag
  • Don’t have an American Airlines credit card
  • Are NOT working towards elite status with American Airlines
  • Don’t mind earning Air Berlin miles you’ll likely never use

So make sure the deal is worth losing out on the American Airlines miles you’d earn for your flight.  Because if it’s a long flight, like New York to Los Angeles, it might be worth paying the bag check fee to earn American Airlines miles and elite credit!

Bottom Line

With the deal from Air Berlin, you can get free oneworld Ruby Elite status for 4 months when you sign-up for free Air Berlin Silver elite status.  And get perks like 1 free checked bag, and priority security, check-in, and boarding on American Airlines flights.

But you’ll need to add your Air Berlin frequent flyer number to your American Airlines ticket, so I’ve made a step-by-step guide to show you how.

If you don’t want to make changes to your ticket online, you can call American Airlines at 800-433-7300 with your ticket information, and an agent will add your Air Berlin frequent flyer number to your reservation.

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13 responses to “How-to Guide for Free American Airlines Elite Status (Free Checked Bags & More!)

  1. Can I use this technique for an AA frequent flier ticket? Your example is for cash tickets.

    Thanks a lot!

  2. Any chance of an upgrade with this status on an AA flight? Especially if not flying from an AA hub?

  3. I want to add that once we have enough earned miles in AirBerlin Frequent flier, redeeming them with other international airlines e.g Etihad (serves many US cities) is also an option.

  4. I still show Classic now for 5 days?

  5. I am wondering if there is someone has actually been upgraded to Silver with Air Berlin through this promotion. Anyone?

    I registered 9 days ago but it still shows Classic.

  6. Every miles website posted this without paying attention to the important small print that you must be an Xing (German Linkedin) member to get the upgrade AND give your business email, the one you created your Xing account with, to get the status. In short, a good way to make sure only Germans get it.

    • Thanks for clarifying Luke. Unfortunately, none of the fearless leaders of the travel hacking world pointed this out. Not sure if anyone got Silver from this. Darius – I signed up pretty much instantly after the original post appeared. Been stuck on “Classic” for 11 days now. Oh well.

  7. Anyone with luck creating a Xing account now and getting approved for the airBerlin Silver status?