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Angry about AAdvantage devaluation / vent / what can I do? (April 2014, consolidated)

Angry about AAdvantage devaluation / vent / what can I do? (April 2014, consolidated)

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Old Aug 26, 15, 3:42 am   -   Wikipost
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Angry about AAdvantage devaluation / vent / what can I do? (April 2014, consolidated)


Thread referred to: Devaluation, new tiers, oneworld Explorer award gone, etc. 8 April 2014

Without any prior notification, American Airlines announced on 8 April 2014 some significant AAdvantage program rescissions and devaluations, effective immediately:

  • oneworld Explorer awards can no longer be claimed; (pre-existing awards will be honored)

  • Stopovers at North American gateways for international partner award tickets were eliminated

  • AAnytime awards now reflect variable, demand-based pricing

  • US Dividend Miles North Asia premium awards have repriced

Important Information

AAnytime Awards: Effective April 8, 2014, for tickets issued for travel starting June 1, 2014, we have updated award levels. We will continue to honor any award tickets issued on / before April 7, 2014. For award bookings after April 8 for travel between April 8 and June 1, 2014, these award mileage levels will apply.

oneworld Explorer Awards are no longer available for award booking. We will continue to honor any award tickets issued on / before April 7, 2014.
This thread is specifically to vent and offer ways for readers to protest or complain.


Possibilities for action / communication:

Originally Posted by hillrider View Post
Here's what you can do, as stated by the U.S. Supreme Court in its recent case (Source: http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions...2-462_p8k0.pdf page 13)

Congress has given the Department of Transportation (DOT) the general authority to prohibit and punish unfair and deceptive practices in air transportation and in the sale of air transportation, 49 U.S.C. §41712(a) , and Congress has specifically authorized the DOT to investigate complaints relating to frequent flyer programs. See FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012, §408(6), 126 Stat. 87. Pursuant to these provisions, the DOT regularly entertains and acts on such complaints.
It is your duty to enter a complaint with the DOT at http://airconsumer.ost.dot.gov/CP_AirlineService.htm. You can even quote this passage from the U.S. Supreme Court.
Sample communication to USDOT here.

Originally Posted by ooshawn
Just wrote an unhappy letter to AA/USAir execs (all email addresses I could find), if you want to feel free to use/build off of the following:
douglas.parker<at>usairways.com,
sean.bentel<at>aa.com,
tom.horton<at>aa.com ?
Customer.Relations<at>aa.com,
ken.fischer<at>usairways.com,
robert.isom<at>usairways.com,
suzanne.rubin<at>aa.com
Corporate structure: http://www.aa.com/i18n/amrcorp/corpo.../structure.jsp

Originally Posted by MyTravels
USPS:
<Executive Name>
P.O. Box 619616
DFW Airport, TX 75261-9616
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Old Apr 10, 14, 1:39 pm
  #181  
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Done and response received:


Thank you for contacting the Department of Transportation's Aviation Consumer Protection Division. This office deals with airline service complaints. Issues regarding airline and aircraft safety, emergency exit seating, low-flying aircraft, pilot licensing and related issues should be sent to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA); contact information will be found at http://www.faa.gov/contact. Security issues, including passenger screening, the "no-fly" list and the baggage screening process are handled by the Department of Homeland Security's Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at [email protected].

If your message was a question regarding service issues other than safety or security, answers to most aviation consumer protection questions, including the rights of passengers, can be found in the information available on our website, particularly in the publication "Fly-Rights". To obtain electronic versions of a number of air travel consumer publications, go to http://airconsumer.ost.dot.gov/ and click "Travel Tips & Publications."

Although we do not mediate individual complaints, if your complaint concerns airline service we will enter it in our computerized industry monitoring system, which serves as a basis for rulemaking, legislation and research. Complaints are also charged to the company in question in our monthly complaint report, which is distributed to the industry and made available to the news media and the general public so that both consumers and air travel companies can compare the complaint records of individual airlines and tour operators. Complaints are also routinely reviewed to determine the extent to which carriers are in compliance with our regulations. We also use these complaints to track trends or spot areas of concern, which we feel may warrant further action in the future.

Thank you for taking the time to contact us.

Sincerely,

Aviation Consumer Protection Division (DOT ACPD)
U.S. Department of Transportation
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Old Apr 10, 14, 1:47 pm
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Originally Posted by Cloud1Heavy View Post
Done and response received:


Thank you for contacting the Department of Transportation's Aviation Consumer Protection Division. This office deals with airline service complaints. Issues regarding airline and aircraft safety, emergency exit seating, low-flying aircraft, pilot licensing and related issues should be sent to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA); contact information will be found at http://www.faa.gov/contact. Security issues, including passenger screening, the "no-fly" list and the baggage screening process are handled by the Department of Homeland Security's Transportation Security Administration (TSA) at [email protected]...
Is there a way to have a copy of the e-mailed letter/complaint inserted into header of this thread much like the contact info for DOT is?
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Old Apr 10, 14, 1:50 pm
  #183  
 
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Originally Posted by povertyjetset View Post
Is there a way to have a copy of the e-mailed letter/complaint inserted into header of this thread much like the contact info for DOT is?
Just edit the wiki (click edit on the wiki post )
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Old Apr 10, 14, 1:52 pm
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Doesn't it say, ´moderators can edit this Wikipost?´
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Old Apr 10, 14, 2:43 pm
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Originally Posted by povertyjetset View Post
Doesn't it say, ´moderators can edit this Wikipost?´
I thought Jdiver said that anyone could edit a wiki and its not a moderator duty but maybe I am wrong
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Old Apr 10, 14, 2:45 pm
  #186  
 
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Originally Posted by john398 View Post
I thought Jdiver said that anyone could edit a wiki and its not a moderator duty but maybe I am wrong
No. Anyone can edit their posts. Moderators can edit other people's posts. Names have been changed to protect the innocent etc...

Last edited by rjlon; Apr 10, 14 at 2:46 pm Reason: To prove a point
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Old Apr 10, 14, 2:45 pm
  #187  
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Originally Posted by john398 View Post
anyone could edit a wiki
correct.
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Old Apr 10, 14, 3:06 pm
  #188  
 
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Submitted the complaint to the DOT and got the same response as Cloud1Heavy. I also sent them a message on Facebook and got a very prompt but generic response. I like how there does not appear to be any information regarding the "enhancements" on their wall.
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Old Apr 10, 14, 3:37 pm
  #189  
 
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Exchange on Twitter :

@me :
@AmericanAir The removal of stopover on award with no notice just ruined our november NCE-LAX-MEX vacation plan. Angry.

@AmericanAir
@me We made the recent changes to be more inline with industry competition. We're sorry to hear your plans have changed.

@me :
@AmericanAir So this means, you don't compete anymore. Is this legal ?
By the way, I don't change our plans, I'd rather change the airline.

@AmericanAir
@me We understand your frustration, Fabrizio. We're sorry for the inconvenience.


I just checked : LAX MEX on orbitz... $149.66 on spirit, $192.66 on Alaska and United. $199.66 on AA. Two days ago, I would not even think about what to choose. Now it's a complete different story.

Last edited by FabrizioB; Apr 10, 14 at 4:07 pm
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Old Apr 10, 14, 3:47 pm
  #190  
 
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The responses on Facebook and Twitter are a complete disaster. They clearly had no clue what changed and were told to only say what they are, period. No deviation from the plan, stick to the script! Ridiculous...
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Old Apr 10, 14, 3:55 pm
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Originally Posted by glocklt4 View Post
The responses on Facebook and Twitter are a complete disaster. They clearly had no clue what changed and were told to only say what they are, period. No deviation from the plan, stick to the script! Ridiculous...
The answer is very very simple. If everyone who is upset shifts their business to a different carrier there will be a retrenchment. If people moan in websites but still line up to hand over their cash to AA, the slide will continue. Words are cheap but actions speak louder. Interesting to see how many people take action and how many just moan. Either way not exactly a PR success for AA. With better handling they could have achieved the same without p***ing so many people off.
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Old Apr 10, 14, 4:10 pm
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Originally Posted by rjlon View Post
The answer is very very simple. If everyone who is upset shifts their business to a different carrier there will be a retrenchment. If people moan in websites but still line up to hand over their cash to AA, the slide will continue. Words are cheap but actions speak louder. Interesting to see how many people take action and how many just moan. Either way not exactly a PR success for AA. With better handling they could have achieved the same without p***ing so many people off.
Agree. But what options are there? DL (skypesos)? UA (skycrap)?

You can try to fly a smaller airline, such as WN, B6, or VX. But they don't fly everywhere you need to go.

Basically, loyalty is dead. We stuck with the airlines during the tough times and this is their way of saying thank you. Not to get controversial, but someone (government) allowed all these mergers to happen. So most people saw this coming years ago. It's not like joe smoe can just open an airline business to compete with these guys. And our friends in D.C. will never let a foreign airline fly domestically (see Emirates).

Basically, we are all screwed and frequent flyer loyalty is dead. We can continue to rant, but there will be more change coming. You know that AA will announce sometime late this year to a revenue based accrual plan, similar to DL, WN, & VX. So it's pretty much over.
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Old Apr 10, 14, 4:22 pm
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Originally Posted by glocklt4 View Post
The responses on Facebook and Twitter are a complete disaster. They clearly had no clue what changed and were told to only say what they are, period. No deviation from the plan, stick to the script! Ridiculous...
This I find hilarious. I have been monitoring the feedback on social media as well. Their response is all canned. "Copy, Paste", repeat.
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Old Apr 10, 14, 6:03 pm
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Originally Posted by kalstravels View Post
...
I live in AUS, which has many AAdvantage members, just like other Texas "non-hub" cities like SAT and ELP. I would be willing to bet that a majority of AAdvantage members do not live in the five AA hub cities - Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, Dallas, New York. This means they are often connecting in
a hub city to get to their final destination. More often that not, these AAdvantage members also are enrolled in other loyalty programs, like United Mileage Plus in my case...
Maybe this has come up, but I haven't seen it reported anywhere - the booking engine is plain broken, in ways that hub customers might not notice. Here are a few screenshots of itineraries that price out as multiple awards for no reason:


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Old Apr 10, 14, 7:49 pm
  #195  
 
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Sometimes the customer service emails are read

Perhaps I read too much into the reply which took one day.
At least it appears to not be the standard reply which has been reported/posted here and other web sites.


Dear Mr. {WF}:

Thank you for contacting American Airlines Customer Relations.

Thank you for taking the time to write and for sharing with us your comments. Please be assured I have sent a copy of your comments to the appropriate management personnel for internal review and survey. Mr. {WF}, we appreciate the interest you have taken in American and hope to welcome you aboard soon.


The main parts of my email to AA


While I am just one of the many commenting - I have
attempted to provide customer friendly suggestions ensuring
loyalty while eliminating the most flagrant of the
"abuses" (non-commercial activities) within the AA system


1.
The lack of an award stopover at North American gateway
will cost me money this year.
Do (did) I use it a lot? No. Though we do have
relatives in SFO, which results in arrival/departure on CX.

what should have been done.
--------------------------
Award stopovers at the North American gateway must be within
one week of the international segment

2.
The lack of notice on Explorer awards will seriously degrade
loyalty. Have I used Explorer awards? Yes. Often? No.
Would I have used them again? Likely. Do I consider the
Explorer award one of the few signs of One World commitment
/ community? Yes. Most other OW airlines continue to
provide them in some form.

what should have been done.
--------------------------
Each AA frequent flyer has until 01 Jul 2014 to book
ONE AA explorer award commencing prior to 01 Jan 2015.
or
Raise the mileage needed to purchase the 9000 mile and
longer versions. Qantas get away with this strategy still.

3. Soft landing for PLT and EXP
what should have been done
--------------------------
offered soft landing benefits for 70K and 125K earn
respectively the FOLLOWING year.
I tend to fly more ever other year. Lack of soft landing
will entice me to credit to another OW airline.
How many people could plan ahead to select it? Not many
Would it soften the (actual) loss? Yes.
And provide a sense of offered loyalty to the customer.

4. Airlines continue to say their PROFITABLE customers are
the ones who fly in premium cabins or on premium fares.
Annual re-qualification reflects this by awarding 1.5 EQP
in the relevant fare classes.

Why does the million miler program not have a similar
acknowledgement?

What should have been done.
--------------------------
At the end of each year your million miler balance will
be credited by the difference in your EQP and EQM balance
(provided you have more EQP) That is still flown mileage
just in a bigger/better (more profitable) seat. Or take
the view that might be taken by QF in such a situation -
apply the difference (if positive) calculated for ONLY AA
flights.

5. {editted} relates to lack of pro-active support in
acknowledging and repairing a mistake on AA.com

What will I do?
--------------

Will I continue flying AA when in the USA? Likely.
Will I continue to transit NRT so that I can fly AA
trans-Pacific? No.
Will I ticket on AA Trans-Atlantic? No. BA Y+ purchased
ex Asia is too good a bargain. Especially eastbound.

What will I do when I envision not qualifying for AA PLT?
Likely credit to CX after any soft landings with QF have
expired.

In many ways those programs are / have been inferior to AA.
(poor credit for economy - even in premium fares or Y+)
(QF mismatch of earn / award cost for premium seats)
But they have benefits that AA removed
(QF soft landing)
(CX lounge access for CX Ruby in CX lounges)
(CX credit for Y expanded fare classes(V through K)

Thanks for reading
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