April 8 2014

#AAdvantageMAAsacre Award Chart – a Side by Side Comparison

By now you’ve likely seen today’s big miles-and-points news – the sudden devaluation of American Airlines’ frequent flyer program. As United and Delta changed their programs for the worse (rather significantly) in recent months, AA was ripe for its own devaluation. While today’s press release proclaimed “new award travel options” and “enhancements,” the bottom line is not favorable to we who earn and redeem miles.

To be fair, some of the changes are indeed for the better. But they are the minority, vastly outweighed by unfavorable changes. I have many thoughts on the matter, but sharing them today would come off as a rant so let me just share the quantitative side of things today.

I nerded out and made a chart. The layout of AA’s old award chart (now valid for travel through May 31) is inconsistent with its new award chart (valid for travel starting June 1), making comparison difficult. I tried to solve that by creating charts of consistent layout. It was not possible to fully align the old and new award categories as AA changed some regional definitions and award tiers, but I tried to lump the regions together as logically as possible.

Here they are:

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While the numbers tell some of the story, there are material changes to the program aside from just increased mile requirements. Significant among them is that the ability to book a free stopover on an international award ticket has been eliminated.

Also, no more free checked bags with AAnytime award and full-fare economy tickets (for legacy American), and one fewer free checked bag for AAdvantage Gold members and Dividend Miles Platinum and Gold members.

The asterisks currently showing on the new award chart? A mystery for now, perhaps even to AA itself – which apparently hasn’t determined (or at least communicated) what it will charge for redemptions in that highest tier.

It is entirely possible there are typos on my charts, so please point out any and I will happily make corrections.

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Posted April 8, 2014 by Admin in category "American", "News

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