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It’s a matter of fact that frequent flier programs change all the time, and generally those changes are not in consumer’s favor, and can accurately be described as “devaluations”.  Today’s bad news comes from American Airlines.american-aadvantage-changes-logo

Brief history of American AAdvantage changes

There have been a variety of American AAdvantage changes over the years, but I’ll give a brief rundown of some of the American AAdvantage changes over the past year or so.  The big changes recently came last November, when American totally changed their award chart and announced changes to how you earn miles and status.  SEE – American Airlines devaluation: Earning, Status and Award Chart – what you need to know

Back in November, American announced that they would be moving to a revenue based model, similar to what United did when they went revenue based earlier in 2015.

  • 5 miles/U.S. dollar – regular AAdvantage member
  • 7 miles/U.S. dollar – Gold
  • 8 miles/U.S. dollar – Platinum
  • 9 miles/U.S. dollar – Platinum Pro
  • 11 miles/U.S. dollar – Executive Platinum

Today’s American AAdvantage changes

As we expected, the date for the American AAdvantages changes to award and elite status has now been announced, and it is August 1st.  A brief rundown of the changes

  • The 500 mile minimum for earning redeemable miles for elites will go away.  This will not change EQMs.
  • There will be a new elite tier at 75,000 EQMs, called Platinum Pro. You can start earning Platinum Pro status starting on January 1st, 2017 for the 2018 elite year.  Platinum Pro members will earn 9 miles / $ on American flights.
  • All elite status will require a certain amount of revenue spend (see below).  At this time, there isn’t any announcement as to whether there will be any type of waiver (such as the one that Delta has where a certain level of spend on the credit card waives this requirement).  Personally, I think they’ll end up with SOMETHING there

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  • There are also changes to how upgrades are prioritized between different elite members
  • Ominously, there is also promise of additional changes “later in 2017”

All in all, this was about what was expected given American’s devaluation back in November.  If you weren’t expecting something like this well…. I don’t know what to tell you.  Personally, I will continue to focus on “being my own elite“.

Other reading on the American Airlines changes

Here are some additional links of other news reports / blogs talking about the American Airlines changes

I will endeavor to update this post as any additional information comes out

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