This page is for tips and tricks related to getting elite status.
Elite status is a must for frequent travellers. On Domestic flights, you get a lot of free upgrades. But almost as important for short hops: you get to go into the short lines for check-in, security (some airports), and boarding.
The hard way to get elite status is to fly a lot. But there are some tricks...Edit
—If you have status on one airline, call the local sales office of another airline, tell them your status level and they will either upgrade you to equivalent status, or give you a "challenge" to fly a certain number of miles in the next 3 months on their airline... and if you meet it, they will upgrade you when you achieve the challenge.
--United often allows you to BUY a few thousand elite miles for a fee late in the year.
-- The American Airlines "Challenge": You can challenge your membership level to Gold or Platinum by flying 5,000 or 10,000 "points". Note that points are not miles flown. Points are accumulated by flying on American (or partner airlines). They are similar to miles but on discounted flights you may earn a discounted number of points, or in some cases, no points. To makea challenge, you should call American Airlines AAdvantage Customer Support line at +1(800)421-0600 and have your membership ID ready .
--Extra connections is an old trick for adding miles. IF you're going from San Francisco to San Diego on United, book a connecting flight through LAX, and you get 500 miles for SF-LA and another 500 for LA-SD. You spend a lot of extra time in the airport, but you get double miles
-- Mileage runs- a USA today article on ways to get to gold or platinum if you're a few miles short—Fly through (sat night stay arbitrage) - I used to have to fly roundtrip from SFO-Philly round-trip during the week. In coach it was over $1,000 because there was no Saturday night stay. I found that I could fly SFO-Pilly, have my meeting, then fly Philly-London, spend the weekend in London, then fly back to SFO for $600.