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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
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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 19, 15, 3:34 pm
  #241  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: DEN
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Originally Posted by DataPlumber View Post
Can someone check my math against the new rules:
Assume an EXP buys a $3500 I class discount biz fare from ORD-LHR which for easy math we will say is 4000 miles one way.

So EQM would net out as:
3500 (fare) * 2 (class multiplier) *2 (roundtrip)= 14000 EQM

Award miles earned would be:
4000 * 11 (EXP status kicker) * 2 (roundtrip)= 88000 Award miles earned
You seem to have it precisely backwards.

EQMs based on distance flown.

RDMs based on ticket cost.

So swap the 4000 and 3500 in your calculations.
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Old Nov 19, 15, 3:35 pm
  #242  
 
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Originally Posted by DataPlumber View Post
Can someone check my math against the new rules:
Assume an EXP buys a $3500 I class discount biz fare from ORD-LHR which for easy math we will say is 4000 miles one way.

So EQM would net out as:
3500 (fare) * 2 (class multiplier) *2 (roundtrip)= 14000 EQM

Award miles earned would be:
4000 * 11 (EXP status kicker) * 2 (roundtrip)= 88000 Award miles earned
EQM: 4000 (distance) * 2 * 2 = 16,000
Award Miles: Base fare ($2500) * 11 = 27,500

Found a sample business class trip ORD-LHR for $3600, base fare was around $2500 + $1100 taxes and carrier-imposed fees.
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Old Nov 19, 15, 3:45 pm
  #243  
 
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Originally Posted by bse118 View Post
You seem to have it precisely backwards.

EQMs based on distance flown.

RDMs based on ticket cost.

So swap the 4000 and 3500 in your calculations.
Ahhh. Now it makes more sense.
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Old Nov 19, 15, 4:48 pm
  #244  
 
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One point I haven't seen mentioned much, if at all, in the excitement: the carnage on the redemption side isn't just limited to the numbers in the award charts, but also extends to the definition of "off peak." For example, Europe changes from Oct. 15-May 15 to Nov. 1-Dec. 14 & Jan. 10-Mar. 14. Feel free to compare for your own favorite region.

To paraphrase South Park, smaller, shorter, and cut (in the middle).
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Old Nov 19, 15, 5:05 pm
  #245  
 
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Originally Posted by beltway View Post
One point I haven't seen mentioned much, if at all, in the excitement: the carnage on the redemption side isn't just limited to the numbers in the award charts, but also extends to the definition of "off peak." For example, Europe changes from Oct. 15-May 15 to Nov. 1-Dec. 14 & Jan. 10-Mar. 14. Feel free to compare for your own favorite region.

To paraphrase South Park, smaller, shorter, and cut (in the middle).
It's been mentioned. Brazil completely lost off peak.
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Old Nov 19, 15, 5:47 pm
  #246  
 
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Originally Posted by JamilD View Post
EQM: 4000 (distance) * 2 * 2 = 16,000
Award Miles: Base fare ($2500) * 11 = 27,500

Found a sample business class trip ORD-LHR for $3600, base fare was around $2500 + $1100 taxes and carrier-imposed fees.
In fact, fees will be included, as they should be, they really are part of the fare. Only government and airport taxes will be excluded. At least that's how I read the changes.

Right now, a 4000 mile round trip in business including all the bonuses (which will stay until the switch) comes to:

(4000*1.25 + 4000 + 3500) * 2 = 25,000

while under the new system you will be closer to 33,000. You will do better on these sorts of trips.

The whole EQM/EQP maximization game of flying SFO-LAX-MIA-LHR-DUB instead of SFO-LHR-DUB will, otoh, become pointless from a redeemable mileage accrual, since you'll be paying more or less the same fare and earning the same mileage.
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Old Nov 19, 15, 7:03 pm
  #247  
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will AA vacation packages earn miles based on distance?

One other exception to earning by $ paid at UA and/or DL is packages (such as the airline's vacation pages) which purposely obscure the cost of the flight vs the cost of whatever else in in the package. Since they want to reveal the division of costs in the package, they award miles based on flight distance not cost.

I guess the other way to do it would be to award miles based on the total cost of the package, but if the package was hotel-cost-heavy (with a cheap flight component) the airline might give away more than it wanted that way, unless the miles were at a smaller multiplier than a flight purchased alone would have.

I haven't seen any explanation of this case in AA's write-up so far. (I can't even tell if they've made decisions on such details yet!)
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Old Nov 19, 15, 8:33 pm
  #248  
 
Join Date: May 2015
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So effective Jan 1, 2016, the number of EQM earned will change according to fare class purchased. Effective Mar 1, 2016 the 500-mile upgrade requirements will be changed so that Elite members will earn 4 upgrades for every 12.500 EQM.

What happens in the window Jan 1 - Feb 29 though? Assume I am flying a 10,000 mile Business Class Fare. Under the new scheme, it would yield 20.000 EQM. Does it mean that I would earn 8 upgrades for this flight?
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Old Nov 19, 15, 9:07 pm
  #249  
 
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Originally Posted by MarkedMan View Post
In fact, fees will be included, as they should be, they really are part of the fare. Only government and airport taxes will be excluded. At least that's how I read the changes.

Right now, a 4000 mile round trip in business including all the bonuses (which will stay until the switch) comes to:

(4000*1.25 + 4000 + 3500) * 2 = 25,000

while under the new system you will be closer to 33,000. You will do better on these sorts of trips.

The whole EQM/EQP maximization game of flying SFO-LAX-MIA-LHR-DUB instead of SFO-LHR-DUB will, otoh, become pointless from a redeemable mileage accrual, since you'll be paying more or less the same fare and earning the same mileage.
More direct routes will not impact redeemable award miles but will hit you on the status miles needed to re qualify.
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Old Nov 19, 15, 9:10 pm
  #250  
 
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Originally Posted by MarkedMan View Post
The whole EQM/EQP maximization game of flying SFO-LAX-MIA-LHR-DUB instead of SFO-LHR-DUB will, otoh, become pointless from a redeemable mileage accrual, since you'll be paying more or less the same fare and earning the same mileage.
Indeed. If it's RDM's that matter, a whole new approach is required now and might take me a while to get used to.
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Old Nov 20, 15, 5:32 am
  #251  
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Originally Posted by Ldnn1 View Post
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?
EQP in the current programme is a factor of EQM. Therefore, if you fly 3000 miles on BA in paid J today, you'd earn 3000 EQM and 4500 EQP. You'd also earn some extra EQP according to this promo, based on which fare you bought. Starting in February, you'll just earn 4500 EQM. I hope this helps.
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Old Nov 20, 15, 6:20 am
  #252  
 
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Originally Posted by Microwave View Post
EQP in the current programme is a factor of EQM. Therefore, if you fly 3000 miles on BA in paid J today, you'd earn 3000 EQM and 4500 EQP. You'd also earn some extra EQP according to this promo, based on which fare you bought. Starting in February, you'll just earn 4500 EQM. I hope this helps.
Thanks, that's what I thought. So (ignoring the current promo, which could in theory be replicated) status earning on BA in in J/F won't be slashed at all - it'll still be 1.5x miles.

The only difference is that status earning on BA in J/F relative to AA gets worse, because EQM on AA in J/F will increase post-Feb, right?

I wanted to clarify because some of the discussion upthread suggests that BA status earning is taking a battering in both economy AND premium cabins, but it seem to me that's only the case in economy.

Last edited by Ldnn1; Nov 20, 15 at 6:28 am
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Old Nov 20, 15, 7:28 am
  #253  
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
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Originally Posted by JamilD View Post
Found a sample business class trip ORD-LHR for $3600, base fare was around $2500 + $1100 taxes and carrier-imposed fees.
Carrier-imposed fees count towards mileage awards. Taxes are exempted.
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Old Nov 20, 15, 8:32 am
  #254  
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Originally Posted by Ldnn1 View Post
Thanks, that's what I thought. So (ignoring the current promo, which could in theory be replicated) status earning on BA in in J/F won't be slashed at all - it'll still be 1.5x miles.

The only difference is that status earning on BA in J/F relative to AA gets worse, because EQM on AA in J/F will increase post-Feb, right?

I wanted to clarify because some of the discussion upthread suggests that BA status earning is taking a battering in both economy AND premium cabins, but it seem to me that's only the case in economy.
BA is going from being "equal" to AA to being at a substantial disadvantage–I suppose that could be spun in both ways.
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Old Nov 20, 15, 11:30 am
  #255  
 
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I'm somewhat confused... I'm flying AY in Early April (YYZ-LHR-HEL-SIN-HEL-LHR-YYZ) with all segments in J with the two TATL flights on BA. If I understand correctly, I will earn RDM of 100% Miles Flown+100%PLT Bonus+25% class of service bonus? And for EQM I will earn 150% of miles flown?
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