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JUST THE FACTS: 2016 AAdvantage Program Changes Announced 17 Nov 2015

JUST THE FACTS: 2016 AAdvantage Program Changes Announced 17 Nov 2015

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Old May 5, 16, 9:18 am   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
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AAdvantage Program Changes for 2016 - Just the Facts
as announced 17 Nov 2015 in FAQ on aa.com

PLEASE READ BEFORE ASKING YOUR QUESTIONS: we are seeing the same questions come up time and again, and those are often addressed here. NOTE: this thread is being closely monitored and moderated as needed to ensure it stays within the narrow remit of its topic.


Please see and post to AAdvantage Changes for 2016 - Discussion and Reaction all reactions, speculation about next steps, opinions, discussion, praise, complaints etc.

Link to AAdvantage program updates and FAQ links (17 Nov 2015)

New related threads:

FAQ: Award changes after 22 March 2016 - which incur redeposit, which not (Award changes 22 March 2016 or after may incur award miles redeposit (fees) and significant increases of miles required to issue new ones - but some changes may be made without doing so.)

See Earning AA Elite Qualifying Miles / EQM on AA, oneworld, partners 2016 for more about earning EQM.

See Earning AA Award / Redeemable Miles / RDM on AA, partners later 2016 for more regarding AAdvantage Award ("Redeemable") Miles.
Link to Gary Leff's article with charts, etc.

Also: brp has revised his spreadsheet for 2016 conditions - now named Miles Tracker v. 8.0. It can be downloaded from Gargoyle's page linked to in the OP, or here: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/...Tracker-v8.xls (NOTE: due to technical problems, the proper spreadsheet was not uploaded.)

AA reducing some checked baggage allowance tickets pchs on / after 29 Mar 2016

Elite Qualification and Earning Elite Qualifying Miles (EQM) - Change 1 Jan 2016
In 2016, there will be two methods to qualify for elite status:
  • Elite Qualifying Miles (EQM) or Elite Qualifying Segments (EQS)

  • Elite Qualifying Points (EQP) no longer exist (EQM replaced them).

  • Thresholds for elite status qualification remain the same as 2015.
EQM will continue to be calculated based on distance flown (base miles). All EQM on AA marketed flights ("AA codeshares" / "AA coded flights") will earn at least 1 EQM per mile flown, with bonus multipliers for higher fares (regardless of operating carrier, AA itself or another carrier):


AA Marketed Flights Link
  • 3 EQMs/mile – Full-fare First or Business / F, J
  • 2 EQMs/mile - Discount First or Business / A, P, D, R, I
  • 1.5 EQMs/mile – Full-fare Main Cabin / Y, B and W when AA marketed on airline partners
  • 1 EQM/mile - Discount Main Cabin / all other Main Cabin fares
  • This applies to all AA marketed flight numbers, regardless of operating carrier.
  • Elites continue to earn 500 EQM minimum per segment

    Originally Posted by brp View Post
    Further confirmation of above from inside AA. He (JonNYC) got a message from AAdvantage

    Originally Posted by JonNYC Vie
    That's what I'm told as well-- fix on the way, system not operating as intended at present.
    Further confirmation of above from inside AA. He got a message from AAdvantage
    Originally Posted by AAdvantage
    Thanks for your questions on EQM earning. There is a glitch in how the minimum mileage guarantee for EQMs is being calculated. The calculation should credit the 500 mile minimum before applying the EQM multiplier. Beginning in the next few weeks, we will be running a retroactive process to “true up” any accounts where the member did not earn the proper number of EQMs. This process will continue to run until the calculation can be reprogrammed in the AAdvantage system.
    So, they will do an adjustment for those that were shorted so far and the system will soon be fixed for real.
    Cheers.

    So, they will do an adjustment for those that were shorted so far and the system will soon be fixed for real.

    Cheers.
AA Elite-Qualifying Partner Airlines
  • 1.5 EQMs/mile - First, Business, and Premium Economy
  • 1.0 EQMs/mile - Full-fare economy (typically Y and B, but varies by partner)
  • 0.5 EQMs/mile - All other mileage-earning economy fares
  • This applies to partner-marketed flights which are eligible to earn AAdvantage miles (typically meaning operated by oneworld carriers and affiliates, though this varies by partner), even if operated by AA.
Link to aa.com Partner Airline Miles Earning Charts as of 1 Jan 2016.

The is no minimum dollar spending requirement to obtain status.

AAdvantage Miles Award Charts - Change 22 Mar 2016
Link to American Airlines Award Charts as of 22 Mar 2016 (Note: some region descriptions were updated ~10 Feb 2016.)

See this post by Smiley90 for a compilation of new mileage redemption charts and changes.

Link to oneworld and other airline Award Charts as of 22 Mar 2016

Link to tool for old and new award chart comparison by bgriz18.

The number of miles required for many awards changed effective March 22, 2016. Award flights ticketed on or after March 22, 2016 will be subject to the new award charts.

In addition, off-peak (OP) periods have been sharply reduced. For example, Europe OP has changed from Oct. 15-May 15 to Nov. 1-Dec. 14 & Jan. 10-Mar. 14.
NOTE: Region changes

  • Bolivia and Manaus, Brasil: changing from South America 2 to South America 1
  • Venezuela: changing from South America 1 to South America 2
  • Guam: changing from Asia 2 to South Pacific
  • Sri Lanka: changing from Asia 2 to Indian Subcontinent/Middle East
  • Kiribati, Palau, Solomon Islands and Tuvalu: added to South Pacific region
Earning Redeemable Miles (RDMs) / Award Miles - Change second half of 2016 (EST. ~1 OCT 2016)
For the first part of 2016, RDMs will continue to be earned as they are today. Sometime (most likely later) in "the second half of 2016" RDMs will switch to spend-based model, akin to Delta and United.

RDMs earned will be the base fare plus carrier-imposed fees (excluding any government-imposed taxes and fees) times the following multiplier based on status level:
  • 5 miles/U.S. dollar – non-status AAdvantage member
  • 7 miles/U.S. dollar – Gold Member
  • 8 miles/U.S. dollar – Platinum Member
  • 11 miles/U.S. dollar – Executive Platinum Member
It appears from the FAQ NO 500 mile minimum for elites - further information will be forthcoming from AA as these changes roll out.
In the example below, in Costa Rican Colones so used only for illustrative purposes, the airport and countered fees and taxes would be excluded from RDM calculations:

As it states in the thread specific to this issue, it appears ~01 October is the likely start date for revenue-based Award Miles earning - and they'll announce one month in advance.

Earning AA Award / "Redeemable" Miles / RDM on AA, partners later 2016

Originally Posted by Fernando_BR View Post
(2 May 2016)

Hi everyone,

This is what I´ve read on a Brazilian blog.

The blogger met Suzane Rubin on the T-Mobile Arena, and posted that she told him that they would not change before September, and probably only in October, with a 1-month notice.

I have a booked roundtrip Sao Paulo to Dallas in August, so I hope he is right and this information helps !

I don´t know him, but I follow his blog. You can check it (in Portuguese):
http://www.mestredasmilhas.com/2016/...ards-2016.html

(Reformatted for wiki use.)

"Agora vamos às novidades. Tive o privilégio de conversar particularmente com a Suzane Rubin, e a equipe do AAdvantage, e já posso adiantar algumas informações aqui. Eles me confirmaram que a mudança para revenue não irá ocorrer antes de setembro, mas com data provável em Outubro deste ano, e com pelo menos 1 mês de aviso prévio. Também o crédito de pontos será na data do voo, ou seja, se você compra uma passagem agora, e voa somente em dezembro, provavelmente irá receber pontos, e não milhas pela distância voada."

Translated:

Now for the news. I had the privilege to talk particularly with Suzanne Rubin and the AAdvantage team, and I can share some advance information here. It was confirmed to me that the change to revenue (based earning) will not occur before September, but with a probable date in October this year, and with at least one month's notice. Also the credit points will be for the date of the flight, or if you buy a ticket now, and fly only in December, will probably get points, but not (Award / Redeemable) miles by distance flown.

Business Extra changes

Effective 30 Nov 2015, European Business Extra members' accounts have been migrated to the joint AA-BA-IB "On Business" programme. (Announced 24 Nov 2015)

Apparently effective ~1 Jan 2016, BPX- upgrades become more restricted. See this post. (Remains unannounced!)

24 hour ticket hold gone as of 1 April 2016

HOLD ticket WILL change 1 Apr 2016 - 24 hr hold or / & cancel

Effective April 1, you will not be able to put paid bookings on 24-hour hold if making them by telephone.

The 24-hour hold (as well as "pay for extended hold") will be available online, though 24-hour hold will only be available for an indeterminate, interim period of time.

There will be no free cancellation if travel is booked less than seven days out.

Other key changes
  • As of January 1, 2016, EXPs will earn 4 SWUs (down from 8) upon requalification with 100K EQM. Two additional SWUs will be earned at 150K EQM, and again at 200K EQM.
  • As of March 1, 2016, Gold and Platinum elite members will earn 4 "stickers" for each 12,500 EQM flown (up from 10,000 EQM) in a membership year.
  • As of March 1, 2016, the price to purchase a "sticker" (online, kiosk, agent) increases to $40 (up from $30 online/kiosk, $35 agent).
  • As of March 1, 2016, the price to purchase 8 "stickers" using miles increases to 40,000 RDM (up from 35,000 RDM).
  • Elite status earned in 2016 for 2017 will expire on January 31, 2018.
  • No announcement about the rumored revised status challenge has been made
Link to ARCHIVE: 2016 AAdvantage Program Changes (formally unannounced, but reliably sourced)
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Old Nov 17, 15, 10:57 pm
  #166  
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Originally Posted by ashill View Post
Partner airline award charts have the new EQM earnings.

BA ranges from 0.5 EQM/mile flown (H fares and below) to (only) 1.5 EQM/mile flown (all premium cabin fares, from discount premium economy to full F).

ETA: All discount economy fares on AS earn 0.5 EQM/mile flown. This includes many fare classes that currently earn 1.0 EQPs. For me, that's a big ouch.

Based on the information JonNYC provided about the AA earnings, which was (of course) spot on, I had no objection to the short notice, since it was an improvement in the elite qualifying process for all flyers. But the revisions to the partner EQM earning chart with about six weeks notice is not good pool.

Does that mean that on a H class BA ticket which currently earn 100% miles will earn only 50% from next year?
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Old Nov 17, 15, 11:00 pm
  #167  
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Originally Posted by Guy Betsy View Post
Does that mean that on a H class BA ticket which currently earn 100% miles will earn only 50% from next year?
From January, BA H class will earn 0.5 "EQMs per mile flown"

The base miles is listed at 100%

If I am understanding it correctly, a 2000 miles flight would earn 2000 redeemable miles and 1000 elite qualifying miles
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Old Nov 17, 15, 11:15 pm
  #168  
 
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Originally Posted by lobo411 View Post
This chart presents the old and new regime most clearly. It also helps to explain why many EXP aren't too annoyed. They haven't been hung from meat hooks like GLD/PLT have. Maybe in 2017 though...



http://aviationblog.dallasnews.com/2...-in-2016.html/
That example doesn't seem THAT bad even for Plat. (IMHO, but clearly better for Gold or Exps)
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Old Nov 17, 15, 11:23 pm
  #169  
 
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Originally Posted by ellis01 View Post
That example doesn't seem THAT bad even for Plat. (IMHO, but clearly better for Gold or Exps)
$1894? That's kind of an expensive fare to LHR, even for DFW, no? If traveling for leisure, from NYC, I would be going for fares less than half that. Then mileage is going to take a bigger hit..
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Old Nov 17, 15, 11:30 pm
  #170  
 
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Originally Posted by Apieinthesky View Post
$1894? That's kind of an expensive fare to LHR, even for DFW, no? If traveling for leisure, from NYC, I would be going for fares less than half that. Then mileage is going to take a bigger hit..
Well, if a person is planning summer vacation now, and still thinks that buying this far in advance will get them the best deal, and insist on AA flight numbers, then it's actually pretty much spot on for July/August DFW-LHR RT bought right now.
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Old Nov 17, 15, 11:38 pm
  #171  
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Originally Posted by ellis01 View Post
That example doesn't seem THAT bad even for Plat. (IMHO, but clearly better for Gold or Exps)
Originally Posted by Apieinthesky View Post
$1894? That's kind of an expensive fare to LHR, even for DFW, no? If traveling for leisure, from NYC, I would be going for fares less than half that. Then mileage is going to take a bigger hit..
They cherry-picked an example that makes it look not bad at all. Of course revenue-based mileage accrual looks just fine when you're paying $0.20/mile.
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Old Nov 18, 15, 4:51 am
  #172  
 
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Did some awards go down?

Did some awards go down? I am looking at Central America Business/First for 2016 and I seeing only 25,000 miles for one-way from the US. This is a 5,000 mile drop. If this is accurate, then I will wait until before using my miles.
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Old Nov 18, 15, 7:15 am
  #173  
 
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Originally Posted by lobo411 View Post
This chart presents the old and new regime most clearly. It also helps to explain why many EXP aren't too annoyed. They haven't been hung from meat hooks like GLD/PLT have. Maybe in 2017 though...



http://aviationblog.dallasnews.com/2...-in-2016.html/
Seems that if you are Plat or below and are mainly concerned about earning and using RDMs it makes sense to credit AA flights to Alaska. If you can make MVP (their first tier) you get 1.5 x miles flown for Y, 1.75 x miles flown for Business, and 2 x miles flown for First, with a reward chart for flights on AA that is like the current AA award chart. Am I missing something? Sure, you miss out on being able to use stickers to upgrade a Y ticket, but that seems like the only downside.
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Old Nov 18, 15, 7:15 am
  #174  
 
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I’m not familiar with the AA programme but have read this wiki and I’m still really struggling to understand in what way the EQM earnings on BA have been ‘slashed’ in premium cabins (ignoring discount Y).

I understand that post-changes, you’ll earn a max of 1.5 EQM. But according to the table here, today you already earn a max of 1.5 EQP or 100% EQM. Or is it that today the EQP gets multiplied by the base mile PLUS the class of service bonus, so you get 1.5 x 150% in F today, but only 1.5 in future?

Please could someone spell out with a simple example of JFK-LHR on BA in J/F – what EQM/EQP would you earn today, and what EQM will you earn post-Feb?

Thanks!
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Old Nov 18, 15, 7:16 am
  #175  
 
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Originally Posted by lobo411 View Post
This chart presents the old and new regime most clearly. It also helps to explain why many EXP aren't too annoyed. They haven't been hung from meat hooks like GLD/PLT have. Maybe in 2017 though...



http://aviationblog.dallasnews.com/2...-in-2016.html/
That's a patently ridiculous example, cherry-picked to make the changes look okay. A large swath of FFers (and I would bet my left foot it's the large majority) are flying on mid-fares and lower. I fly CLT - LAX r/t weekly on mid-priced fares. Right now, I earn 8500 miles on an average $550 fare. After the changes? About 5000 miles ($460 x 11). A big cut when added up over a year and an even bigger cut when looking at redemption possibilities.

The ONLY winners in this are spending at least 19 cpm over an ENTIRE year. If you're not, you're getting screwed... hard. And, if you are, you're still getting screwed because your miles are worth much less starting in March.

Which begs the question: why stay with AA? I can fly with DL, get a baggage guarantee (I routinely wait 40 - 60 minutes for bags on AA), get much better operational performance, better food, more partner availability, more planes with in-seat power, IFE, etc, etc. Why in the world should I keep flying AA?

With this change, AA is bottom of the barrel.
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Old Nov 18, 15, 7:27 am
  #176  
 
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Originally Posted by flyingmusicianlax View Post
That's a patently ridiculous example, cherry-picked to make the changes look okay. A large swath of FFers (and I would bet my left foot it's the large majority) are flying on mid-fares and lower. I fly CLT - LAX r/t weekly on mid-priced fares. Right now, I earn 8500 miles on an average $550 fare. After the changes? About 5000 miles ($460 x 11). A big cut when added up over a year and an even bigger cut when looking at redemption possibilities.

The ONLY winners in this are spending at least 19 cpm over an ENTIRE year. If you're not, you're getting screwed... hard. And, if you are, you're still getting screwed because your miles are worth much less starting in March.

Which begs the question: why stay with AA? I can fly with DL, get a baggage guarantee (I routinely wait 40 - 60 minutes for bags on AA), get much better operational performance, better food, more partner availability, more planes with in-seat power, IFE, etc, etc. Why in the world should I keep flying AA?

With this change, AA is bottom of the barrel.
Let's make our example then using AA's average yield of $0.16 / mile (per '14 10k).

1000 mile flight, $160 ticket

Member:
Current: 1000, future: 800

Gold:
Current: 1250, future: 1120

Platinum:
Current: 2000, future: 1280

Executive Platinum
Current: 2000, future: 1760

So, based on this math, yes it's a clear devaluation. BUT, that's based on mainline yield for all customers. Bake in regional yields ($0.28 / mile) plus that I'm sure AAdvantage members skew higher yield and that example hardly seems patently ridiculous at all.
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Old Nov 18, 15, 7:53 am
  #177  
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Originally Posted by AAFlyerSPGStayer View Post
Let's make our example then using AA's average yield of $0.16 / mile (per '14 10k).

1000 mile flight, $160 ticket

Member:
Current: 1000, future: 800

Gold:
Current: 1250, future: 1120

Platinum:
Current: 2000, future: 1280

Executive Platinum
Current: 2000, future: 1760

So, based on this math, yes it's a clear devaluation. BUT, that's based on mainline yield for all customers. Bake in regional yields ($0.28 / mile) plus that I'm sure AAdvantage members skew higher yield and that example hardly seems patently ridiculous at all.
AA landed a hard (and the hardest) punch on the chins of AA Platinums. Reminds me of DL and how they gutted the value DL's 50k-74k flyers got out of DL SkyMiles. But in some ways this AA move is a worse hit on AA Plats than that DL move was on DL's equivalent elites with a similar volume flying pattern.
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Old Nov 18, 15, 7:56 am
  #178  
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I've read through as much as I can of the thread so far... Has there been any definitive clarification on the absurd dichotomy between "Base miles (elite qualifying)" and "EQMs per mile flown" for partners? They can't both be correct, and even a 10th grader could tell you that you can't get 0.5 EQM per mile flown, while 25% of the miles flown will be elite qualifying... They simply cannot be read in conjunction, so either one or the other is true.

Surely someone at AA could have, I dunno, proofread these pages before posting them? As in, someone who knows enough about what an EQM is to know that these two column headers directly contradict each other? Sigh.
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Old Nov 18, 15, 8:47 am
  #179  
 
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Originally Posted by lobo411 View Post
If you're Gold, you get 7 miles per dollar. If you're Plat, you get 8 miles per dollar.

Plats got totally destroyed. To be Plat before, you had to fly 100% more EQM than Gold. But you earned 100% more RDM.

The new Plat (which should be renamed Brown, but I digress): you still have to fly 100% more EQM than Gold. But you only earn 12% more RDM.
Totally this. This year I am Plat, but I switched about half my trips to Southwest and made A-List. I will re-qualify for Gold on AA. I was thinking about how I would miss the benefits of Platinum.... until the new chart came out.

Dropping from Platinum to Gold means:
  • I will earn 12.5% fewer miles (and each mile is worth less with the award devaluation).
  • I will lose International lounge access.
  • My priority for domestic upgrades will be lower (but still subject to using stickers).
  • I cannot select MCE seats until 24 hour before the flight.

I will miss the international lounge access, but I fly internationally infrequently enough I can just buy lounge access when I need it. MCE seats are always available at T-24 as others get upgraded. The big thing I thought I would miss was the 100% RDM bonus, but that just went away.

On the plus side, I now have status on a second airline. Southwest has saved me a ton of money on short hauls, and A-List means I basically almost always get the exit row (if not, I get my choice of aisle seats), plus drink coupons, etc.

In my case, at least, being disloyal (splitting travel between 2 airlines to get the lowest status on each) has paid off more than being loyal to AA (and getting the mid-tier status).
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Old Nov 18, 15, 9:23 am
  #180  
 
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Multi-carrier tickets, multi-carrier crediting

When AA are calculating RDM based on price paid, how are they going to calculate "price paid" for complex itineraries?

For example without any effort I can get 7 segments on a ticket on one fare, 3 BA and 4 AA. The AA segments should earn at 11* fare paid, the BA ones will earn at some percentage times distance times class of service factor. I will fly such an itinerary next week - what happens if I do the same in the second half of 2016?

How much did I pay for the AA segments and how much for the BA ones?

If I chose to credit some segments to BAEC and some to AAdvantage, does that affect this calculation?

Another example: I buy an AONE6 RTW fare, how much did I pay for each segment? There is a non-public but predictable allocation of revenue from xONEx fares to each carrier so there is a division of revenue already defined, but how will AA tell me what the calculation is even if they use it?

How do other airlines with cost-based RDM earning handle multi-carrier itineraries?
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