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American Airlines announced today that they are making some changes to the AAdvantage program. We’ve long known something like this was in the works, but it’s always nerve-wracking when the big day finally hits. It’s like (the complete opposite of) Christmas morning!!! 🙂
I’ll have a post up probably tomorrow detailing the full scope of the changes, but in the meantime I thought I’d write something on the Top 5 biggest devaluations in the award chart itself. In the meantime, you can check out
- The official American Airlines press release
- View from the Wing – BREAKING: American AAdvantage Reveals Their New Award Chart Effective March 22
- One Mile at a Time – American AAdvantage 2016 Changes (Including Award Chart Devaluation)
- Miles to Memories – HUGE AAdvantage Changes Coming in 2016: Devaluations to Both Earning & Redemptions & More Negatives Too!
(or any other travel blog most likely)
Top 5 worst American Airlines award chart devaluations
In the meantime, I thought I’d give my thoughts on the “Top” 5 worst award chart changes / devaluations
First Class from the US to Asia 2
As I’ve said before – anything that gives outsize value is eventually going to end. We saw it with the Club Carlson Bonus Award night, and most recently with the end of 4500 British Airways Avios flights. 67,500 American miles to fly First Class on Cathay was a GREAT deal. We knew it was going to go up, but it’s a bummer that it’s going all the way up to 110,000 AAdvantage miles (one-way!) For now, you can still redeem 70,000 Alaska Airlines miles to fly on Cathay
First Class from the US to Australia
Similarly, First Class partner awards to Australia are going from 72,500 miles to 110,000 miles one-way, a 52% increase!
Increase in off-peak award price to Europe and decrease in time
Granted, it’s not a HUGE increase, but one of the best (cheapest) ways to get to Europe was American off-peak awards at 20,000 AAdvantage miles one-way. This is now 22,500 miles one-way. Granted, not a huge increase, but an increase nonetheless.
Also, as pointed out in the comments, the dates that are considered “off-peak” to Europe have been gutted. It used to be most of the year, now it’s only January 10 – March 14 and November 1 – December 14
Even worse than the change to off-peak awards to Europe was the removal of off-peak flights to most other regions. Currently, American offers off-peak pricing to Japan, Hawaii, South America (both Northern and Southern South America), Central America and the Caribbean. They’ll continue to offer that if you fly on American metal, but partner off-peak pricing will only be to Europe
Large increase in 3-class domestic flights service awards
If the award includes a flight on one of American’s 3-cabin routes (such as Cathay JFK to Vancouver or American’s transcontinental service), Business class and First Class awards come with a 7500 mile premium (so 32,500 and 57,500 miles respectively)
There are some good things as well, such as a reduction in cost for awards to Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean as well as the addition of 7,500 mile one-way awards for flights under 500 miles (it will be interesting to see if Reduced Mileage Award discounts apply to these awards!)
Remember that for award flights, anything booked March 21, 2016 or earlier will still use the old American Airlines award chart (even if it’s for travel after March 22nd).
Are these in your “Top 5”? Or is there something worse? Leave a note in the comments
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