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Speculation: New American AAdvantage FF Program Features (Discussion)

Speculation: New American AAdvantage FF Program Features (Discussion)

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Old Dec 1, 14, 10:53 pm   -   Wikipost
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What’s next

We plan to bring current Dividend Miles accounts into the AAdvantage program in 2015
(date as yet unspecified - JD). That means we will combine your award mileage balances, your Million Miler™ balances, and your elite-qualifying activity from both programs. In the meantime, continue to book travel and earn miles as you normally would. We will follow up with you when we begin the process of integrating accounts, but rest assured your miles and elite status are safe as we work to combine the two programs.

It will take some time to fully integrate our loyalty programs, including everything from the systems that support them to bringing our terms and conditions in line with one another. We will be sure to keep you updated as changes occur
.
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Old Dec 10, 13, 2:29 pm
  #61  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Reston, Virginia, USA
Posts: 652
I burned most of my AA miles last month. 3 RTs in F. I will not be seeking more AADvantage miles until I see if it is worth doing.
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Old Dec 10, 13, 2:46 pm
  #62  
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Programs: an inch longer than you. Seriously, this is BS just for bragging.
Posts: 1,200
I could see either 3 or 4 tiers. 4 because UA and DL have them, and to sort of match that competitively, or 3 because it ticks off fiewer people. I've got to believe there are many more 75-99k flyers on AA than on US. I'm also certain there are way more AA Platinums than there are US 25-50k flyers. Losing the 75-99 tier would tick off fewer than making ALL the AA plat become 3rd tier instead of staying middle tier

I notice that the mileage bonus for DL is 100% on their top THREE tiers, is that correct? Bottom tier gets 25% but nobody gets 50% or 75% ?
Delta Elite Level Comparison

On UA it's 25%, 50%, 75%, 100% bonuses for each tier. But that's UA, I don't see AA emulating UA on anything.
United Elite Level Comparison

I am betting minimum spend might enter into the equation, but I can't believe they'd both start a min spend AND do a 4th tier all at once.

I think it's easier to market the idea of raising the miles needed to redeem than it is to suddenly reduce the miles you get. Essentially the same effect either way, but I think psychologically it's easier to keep giving out at the same rate and make it harder to cash in.

One way to help cushion the blow to 75k-99k US flyers who were formerly getting unlimited upgrades is to give them a wad of 500 mile upgrade credits to spend, which I predict is the method AA will continue for upgrades moving forward. Top tier Exec Plat will get upgrades as they do now, the rest of us have to choose which flights we want to request them for and use our upgrade credits. Unlimited upgrades for everyone who makes 25k miles? No way. Too big, and too much a trademark of a smaller airline having to throw a big bone to get people to fly them, which AA doesn't need to do.

If they keep the priority for upgrades as somehow based on who has flown the most miles, that might help the loss of the 3rd US tier, as those people would be above the 50k plats for upgrades.

I'm a lifetime plat on AA, I'm sure we'll be grandfathered for anything they do that maps current platinums to whatever the new tier will be called and whatever minimums they implement. Personally I don't mind being 3rd tier (2nd from bottom in 4 tiers) if they keep the 100% mileage bonus.

As someone else pointed out, I do think it points to 3 tiers not 4 in how they are rolling over US's 4 tiers into 3 oneworld tiers. However oneworld isn't in a position to change to 4 tiers at the drop of a hat the way AA could. Still I think as a founding member of Oneworld and to make it consistent, it'll end up with 3 tiers and they do their best to placate the relatively small number of US Air 75k-99ers

Last edited by LovePrunes; Dec 10, 13 at 3:11 pm
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Old Dec 10, 13, 3:26 pm
  #63  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: BOS
Programs: Marriott Titanium / LTG, HHonors Gold, JetBlue Mosaic, Nat'l Exec
Posts: 3,366
Originally Posted by LovePrunes View Post
I think it's easier to market the idea of raising the miles needed to redeem than it is to suddenly reduce the miles you get. Essentially the same effect either way, but I think psychologically it's easier to keep giving out at the same rate and make it harder to cash in.
Very true. Increasing redemption levels also reduces the liability of existing mileage on the books, which is much more important.

Originally Posted by LovePrunes View Post
As someone else pointed out, I do think it points to 3 tiers not 4 in how they are rolling over US's 4 tiers into 3 oneworld tiers. However oneworld isn't in a position to change to 4 tiers at the drop of a hat the way AA could. Still I think as a founding member of Oneworld and to make it consistent, it'll end up with 3 tiers and they do their best to placate the relatively small number of US Air 75k-99ers
The only thing that points to is that OW has three tiers. That is not going to change anytime soon; hence US needs to assign its members to those existing tiers. Did you expect them to invent a tier on the fly just for US plats?

I am honestly baffled at the huge number of people who seem to be arguing that AA will make its decisions on the number of FF tiers based on LT status names or "consistency" or "harmonization with OW" or whatever. They will make the decision based on economics, period. If they figure out they will maximize profitable loyalty by having 17 tiers named after cats, that's what they will do.

And we are not talking about just a "relatively small number of US Air [sic] 75k-99ers" -- we are talking about large numbers of UA and DL elites as well. Loath though I am to admit it, UA and DL are much more important benchmarks for the new program than US is.
dtremit is offline  
Old Dec 10, 13, 3:49 pm
  #64  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: San Francisco, CA
Programs: United 1K; AA Platinum
Posts: 320
Originally Posted by LovePrunes View Post
Unlimited upgrades for everyone who makes 25k miles? No way. Too big, and too much a trademark of a smaller airline having to throw a big bone to get people to fly them, which AA doesn't need to do.
That's exactly what UA Silver status affords you (albeit you never get cleared). Still, UA is hardly a small, scrappy startup.
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Old Dec 10, 13, 4:32 pm
  #65  
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Palm Beach/ New England
Programs: AA EXP 3MM, DL GM, Marriott Platinum
Posts: 3,931
Originally Posted by dtremit View Post
One question occurs to me: for an AA elite, flying AA, who is actually present at the airport -- what is the practical difference between standby and SDC?
SDC is confirmable 24 hours before the scheduled departure of the flight you are changing to. Standby is not available until airport control, and is not confirmed until the gate agent finishes boarding ticketed passengers on the flight.

SDC means you can still get on the PALL list for upgrades. Standby clears after all ticketed passengers upgrade requests have been processed. (if there is still an unoccupied F seat when standbys are cleared, you can upgrade to it then).
fastflyer is offline  
Old Dec 10, 13, 5:01 pm
  #66  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Wichita
Programs: AA Platinum, Hyatt World of Confusion, Marriott Lifetime Platinum
Posts: 588
Originally Posted by dtremit View Post
Today, both DL and UA continue to offer a 75k tier -- both with benefits not available to AA PLTs. Some of those benefits are pretty significant -- UDUs, waived award fees, and waived ticketing charges on both; SWUs and award flight UDUs on DL; regional confirmed upgrades on UA.
I'm a UA Platinum and most of those 'benefits' are vapor. I almost never get upgraded (I think once since Jan. 1). AA Platinum is far more valuable, at least to me, than UA Platinum.
KansasMike is offline  
Old Dec 10, 13, 5:06 pm
  #67  
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Join Date: Aug 2008
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Can anyone here please explain to me how an AA Platinum elite who flies 75K-99.9K miles per year would be upset about having a new tier level at 75K???

As for the LT Gold/Platinum question and the renaming of tiers. If 25K becomes the "silver" level, then you will be notified by AAdvantage that the Gold elite level will now be called the Silver elite level. And thus, your LT Gold status becomes LT Silver status. AAdvantage reserves the right to change its program at any time. Which includes the changing of its elite tier names. What if they dropped the metallic naming of elite levels and chose colors instead. If there were no Gold elite level anymore, would you expect the LT Gold status to go away completely, or just be renamed?
Fanjet is offline  
Old Dec 10, 13, 5:28 pm
  #68  
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Programs: AA EXP
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Originally Posted by Fanjet View Post
Can anyone here please explain to me how an AA Platinum elite who flies 75K-99.9K miles per year would be upset about having a new tier level at 75K???
Probably worth pointing out that if you're already flying 90k but don't do the extra to get to 100k then status probably doesn't matter to you (the difference in benefits between any hypothetical 75k tier and EXP will still be substantial). If it does matter then you're being foolish by not putting the effort in (2 x trans-con). The only people that this may truly benefit are those who fly 75k-85k a year IMO. In fact, 3 tiers may even benefit those who are used to doing 50k-65k on US as their benefits would be better (if all things stay the same).
Stripy is offline  
Old Dec 10, 13, 5:53 pm
  #69  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Programs: AA SPG Amex
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Originally Posted by Fanjet View Post
If there were no Gold elite level anymore, would you expect the LT Gold status to go away completely, or just be renamed?
I think that depends on whether AA was trying to do away with LT status and wanted an excuse to do so. If so, then that may be a justification.

On the other hand, if there are now four tiers, then giving LT GLD the "new" GLD would still put them third from the top .
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Old Dec 10, 13, 5:55 pm
  #70  
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Originally Posted by Stripy View Post
Probably worth pointing out that if you're already flying 90k but don't do the extra to get to 100k then status probably doesn't matter to you (the difference in benefits between any hypothetical 75k tier and EXP will still be substantial). If it does matter then you're being foolish by not putting the effort in (2 x trans-con). The only people that this may truly benefit are those who fly 75k-85k a year IMO. In fact, 3 tiers may even benefit those who are used to doing 50k-65k on US as their benefits would be better (if all things stay the same).
Some people may not have the time, nor want to spend the extra money on doing mileage runs. However, because of those times they do have to be in a metal tube, being at a higher tier (and thus a higher upgrade priority) would be viewed as a bonus. Perhaps if a 75K level tier is implemented, then those AA Plats who fly just 50-65K per year can then do mileage runs to cross that 75K threashold.
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Old Dec 10, 13, 6:52 pm
  #71  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: YYF/YLW
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Originally Posted by dtremit View Post
At the time of the US/HP merger, three of the six major legacies also offered a 75k tier (CO/NW/DL). It was a competitive decision.

Today, both DL and UA continue to offer a 75k tier -- both with benefits not available to AA PLTs. Some of those benefits are pretty significant -- UDUs, waived award fees, and waived ticketing charges on both; SWUs and award flight UDUs on DL.
Not anymore: Delta took their already-restricted SWUs away from 75k elites today, effective March 1 (replacing them with a product somewhat like the UA regional upgrades, valid on almost any fare, but excluding the premium transcons). To my eye, the only benefits of DL Plat (75k) status that significantly beats the current AA Plat (50k) is the waived award change and phone booking fees. On paper, I think AA remains quite competitive at the 75k level (except for Australia-based discount economy fliers like me ).

And there's of course lots of disagreement about whether UDUs are a benefit. I prefer certificates and the ability to upgrade a companion at my priority, something AA offers but DL doesn't. (Dunno about UA.)
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Old Dec 10, 13, 8:24 pm
  #72  
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Programs: AA EXP - 8 MM, Hyatt Lifetime Diamond
Posts: 613
The reality of the “new” AA, UA, or DL is that the travels that fly more than 100K miles per year and spend heavily will be fine. Everyone else will be squeezed.
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Old Dec 10, 13, 8:32 pm
  #73  
 
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 9,014
If the HP/US merger and the AAdvantage 1 way award change provided any hints, you can count on benefits disappearing quietly.

It would be up to us to read between the lines and find these things when the details are announced. Basically, if not said = gone.
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Old Dec 10, 13, 8:39 pm
  #74  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: PHL
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Posts: 1,922
Originally Posted by WhatsInYourBackpack View Post
Quote:

*Just thought it was impt that we address the very real and serious concerns of the merger that are at the top of everyone's mind --> cookies.
Don't forget the soup!
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Old Dec 10, 13, 8:49 pm
  #75  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: DCA
Programs: AA PPro, Mariott Ambassador, B6 Mosaic, SBUX Gold, Best Buy Elite
Posts: 1,794
Originally Posted by MAH4546 View Post
US Airways fliers will soon have meals in first class, a real long-haul business product and customer service. It's like going from Kia to Lexus, although that's not exactly a the best comparison, since Kia is known to provide a reliable, quality product. Despite US Airways execs in the two lead rules, make no mistake - American Airlines is the one taking over, and the new airline is largely going to resemble American Airlines and AAdvantage.
Other then the meal thing, I disagree, My experience dealing with US customer service has been excellent, and the US Envoy product is on par.
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