Changes which have been quietly implemented to the American Airlines AAdvantage frequent flier loyalty program effective as of today, April 8, 2014, for tickets issued for travel starting June 1, 2014 include increased amounts of American Airlines AAdvantage frequent flier loyalty program miles required to be redeemed for AAnytime Awards; the elimination of one world Explorer Awards; and if you earned Gold elite level status, you can no longer check a second bag free of charge.
Many FlyerTalk members are even more livid about receiving no advance notice about the changes than they are about the changes themselves.
American Airlines will continue to honor any award tickets issued on or before April 7, 2014 — but for award travel booked after April 8, 2014 for travel between April 8 and June 1, 2014, these award mileage levels will apply.
Here is the new award chart released by American Airlines — or click here to access a larger version of the chart from the official Internet web site of American Airlines:
As you can see by the chart above, there are now three levels to the AAnytime awards — and the amount of American Airlines AAdvantage frequent flier loyalty program miles to be redeemed for Level 3 still remains a mystery.
“What’s interesting about the new award chart is that it now separates Canada and Alaska from the 48 US”, FlyerTalk member Fanjet noted. “And it is also reflective of the growing differentiation between Y and J/F. The domestic coach awards seem to be somewhat better for Anytime awards. The old chart was 12.5K for Saver and 25K for Anytime. Now it is still 12.5K for Saver but either 20K or 30K for Anytime. However, when travelling internationally on J or F, then Anytime awards become more prohibitive. However, the international fleet will be flying with better– and more importantly, fewer– premium seats. It’s called “supply and demand” for a reason. Of course BA awards aren’t that hard to find at Saver levels. So would you rather pay the fuel surcharge or the mileage surcharge (involved with an Anytime award)?”
In other news, oneworld Explorer Awards are no longer available for award booking effective immediately. American Airlines will continue to honor any award tickets issued on or before April 7, 2014.
“Elimination of int’l gateway stopovers hurts the most”, lamented FlyerTalk member tsmith12. “I was planning to book 3 trips this week with stopovers… Ugh!”
FlyerTalk member richarddd posted that “The elimination of oneworld explorer means multi-city travel on partners will be much more expensive.”
If you have Gold elite level status in the American Airlines AAdvantage frequent flier loyalty program, you just lost another benefit effective immediately: you can no longer check a second bag for free.
Shortly after I posted this article, US Airways implemented changes to its Dividend Miles frequent flier loyalty program — again, with no advance notice or warning.
Granted, these changes effective immediately for the American Airlines AAdvantage frequent flier loyalty program will seem minor to a number of its members — but they are major for those directly affected by them. They will not affect me at all — but that is not the point. The way these changes were implemented — quietly, with no advance notice — has been described by some FlyerTalk members with words such as sleazy and sneaky.
I agree. This once again harkens the question: how important to you is your trust in a frequent travel loyalty program; and is that trust eroded by the way changes to frequent travel loyalty programs are implemented — especially when there is no advance notice of those changes which are perceived to be devaluations, such as by Wyndham Rewards, Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants Group, Club Carlson, and the LifeMiles frequent flier loyalty program of Avianca and Taca as only a few of what seems to be many examples?
As FlyerTalk member Stripe wondered, “What’s the point of still calling them ‘AAnytime’ awards?”
You are not the only FlyerTalk member wondering that very question, Stripe.