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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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Last edit by: JDiver
Wiki Link
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, 2:27 pm
  #76  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: DEN
Programs: AA EXP, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 1,905
Originally Posted by bchandler02 View Post
So the way I read this, as a current Gold member, I will have to spend a minimum of $3571.42, not including tax, to maintain Gold down the road. I've been able to do this pretty easily for 2500-3000 in the past.

I agree that the earnings on BA are horrible - since I go to DUB at least once a year I usually end up on BA from LHR to DUB. For now, I'll assume the AA flight numbers operated by BA are safe, but it could make me reconsider and fly direct out of PHL or ORD in the future, not to mention direct to DUB is easier without LHR in the mix.

However, for my current trip, which is giving me ~13k EQM for $1200 all in, would now give me 8400 EQM, and that's not including the probably ~200 of tax/fees, which would make it somewhere around 7000 EQM. This alone will make me seriously reconsider my strategy for next year, either looking elsewhere, or just taking 1 big trip in J each year instead of many smaller trips like I have been doing.
I think you are misreading things (or I am misreading you)

EQMS continue to be based on distance flown. Not $

Last edited by bse118; Nov 17, 15 at 2:28 pm Reason: Typo
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Old Nov 17, 15, 2:45 pm
  #77  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 469
Originally Posted by Juanefny View Post
That's not how I read it. Here's the full q&a:
Will the 500-mile minimum for elite members on all flights and for non elite members on shuttle flights for EQMs continue to apply under this new methodology?

Yes, the 500-mile minimum for elite members for EQMs will continue to apply. The 500-mile minimum for non-elite members on shuttle flights will, however, be removed when the changes to award miles are implemented in the second half of 2016.
There is conflicting info in different faqs. In the "Award Miles" FAQ, it says:

Will the 500-mile minimum for elite members on all flights and for non-elite status members on shuttle flights for award miles continue to apply under this new methodology?

No, the 500-mile minimum for elite members on all eligible flights and for non-elite members on shuttle flights will be removed when the changes to award miles are implemented in second half of 2016.
millions is offline  
Old Nov 17, 15, 2:48 pm
  #78  
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Seattle, WA
Programs: AAdvantage Gold, AS Gold, SPG Gold, Emerald Club
Posts: 217
Originally Posted by JamilD View Post
Transcon Business: 32,500
Transcon First: 50,000

Ouch.
And I just spent 50K for mixed J/f to Europe for next year. And now they want 50K just for Transcon?
GrandMoffJoseph is offline  
Old Nov 17, 15, 2:50 pm
  #79  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Programs: AA Lifetime Gold
Posts: 162
As a Platinum, I am really getting stiffed on miles. Last month I flew to London and earned 21,004 miles in my account. My ticket cost 693.00 base + 709.70 taxes for a total of 1402.70. If I understand this correctly, I would earn 8 * 693.00 for a total of 5,544 miles in my account, right? Or will I still get the 10,502 BIS miles plus the dollar multiplier? I am reading it to mean I will only get 5,544 miles in my account. If so, that is really, really bad.
LookingAhead is offline  
Old Nov 17, 15, 2:51 pm
  #80  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: DFW Texas
Programs: AA (ExecPlat, >2MM), United (Gold, >1 MM), HH (Diamond), SPG (Gold), Accorhotels (Gold)
Posts: 91
Originally Posted by lobo411 View Post
RDMs for GLD are $7/dollar. We used to get 75% more miles than Gold. Now we get 12%. How is that not a massive gutting of PLT?
Quite correct. PLT milage earned is now crap. EXP not much better. A typical coach ticket to Europe (R/T DFW-LHR is 9500 miles) will earn 8x$1000 (the other $500 being taxes) = 8000 miles (11000 EXP) instead of 19000 under the old system.

After the devaluation of miles, you are still worse off.

If you pay for business tickets you will come out with more miles (e.g., 44k instead of 32K miles for a R/T DFW-NRT).
PolarRoute is offline  
Old Nov 17, 15, 2:53 pm
  #81  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: OKC
Programs: IHG Spire, National Exec, AA Plat
Posts: 1,546
Originally Posted by bse118 View Post
I think you are misreading things (or I am misreading you)

EQMS continue to be based on distance flown. Not $

I am hoping I misunderstood. Here is what I am referring to from the original post:
Earning in 2016 and beyond
In the second half of 2016, award miles for travel on American marketed flights will be calculated based on what you pay for your ticket (base fare plus carrier-imposed fees, excluding any government-imposed taxes and fees) and your elite status; the higher your status, the more you’ll earn.

5 miles/U.S. dollar – AAdvantage member
7 miles/U.S. dollar – Gold
8 miles/U.S. dollar – Platinum
11 miles/U.S. dollar – Executive Platinum


To me, this is saying that instead of earning 4751 miles from DFW to LHR (or 9502 round trip) , as a Gold I would earn 7*<whatever fare/fees>. So let's say $900 for that not including taxes. 900*7=6300 miles.

Somebody please tell me if I am wrong. This is one time I hope I am being a complete idiot and not understanding this, because otherwise it sucks.
bchandler02 is offline  
Old Nov 17, 15, 2:54 pm
  #82  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: DFW Texas
Programs: AA (ExecPlat, >2MM), United (Gold, >1 MM), HH (Diamond), SPG (Gold), Accorhotels (Gold)
Posts: 91
Originally Posted by LookingAhead View Post
As a Platinum, I am really getting stiffed on miles. Last month I flew to London and earned 21,004 miles in my account. My ticket cost 693.00 base + 709.70 taxes for a total of 1402.70. If I understand this correctly, I would earn 8 * 693.00 for a total of 5,544 miles in my account, right? Or will I still get the 10,502 BIS miles plus the dollar multiplier? I am reading it to mean I will only get 5,544 miles in my account. If so, that is really, really bad.

Yep 693*8=5544.

It sucks. I found a great ticket to Sao Paulo - $680 R/T on UA, just after they changed. I am Gold on UA and I got 4200 miles, whereas on a previous trip I got 24000.
PolarRoute is offline  
Old Nov 17, 15, 2:55 pm
  #83  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Allen, TX
Programs: AA EXP/3.85 MM, HHonors Gold, National Emerald
Posts: 38
Unhappy camper with these changes, since most of my AA miles are used for award travel to India from DFW (MileSaver awards).

* TATL J travel goes up by 2,500 miles each way (67.5K -> 70K)
* Trans-Pacific J travel goes up by a whopping 25K miles each way (85K -> 110K, i.e. 55K+30K -> 70K+40K for the two segments). Flying by CX via HKG no longer as attractive as it used to be.
* Small mercies: TATL Y travel 45K -> 40K. But no fun traveling to India in coach to begin with :-)

Also miffed at the loss of 4 SWUs - chances of me making 200K EQMs next year are not looking good, so will have to make do with 4 SWUs.

Oh well.
docykm is offline  
Old Nov 17, 15, 2:55 pm
  #84  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: NYC
Programs: DL PM; AA 1MM
Posts: 3,336
Originally Posted by millions View Post
There is conflicting info in different faqs. In the "Award Miles" FAQ, it says:

Will the 500-mile minimum for elite members on all flights and for non-elite status members on shuttle flights for award miles continue to apply under this new methodology?

No, the 500-mile minimum for elite members on all eligible flights and for non-elite members on shuttle flights will be removed when the changes to award miles are implemented in second half of 2016.
I think the answer is different for EQMs and RDMs, thus the two different FAQ answers:
EQMs: 500-mile minimum remains for elite members
RDMs: No minimum for anyone
ty97 is offline  
Old Nov 17, 15, 2:58 pm
  #85  
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: DFW Texas
Programs: AA (ExecPlat, >2MM), United (Gold, >1 MM), HH (Diamond), SPG (Gold), Accorhotels (Gold)
Posts: 91
Originally Posted by bchandler02 View Post
I am hoping I misunderstood. Here is what I am referring to from the original post:
Earning in 2016 and beyond
In the second half of 2016, award miles for travel on American marketed flights will be calculated based on what you pay for your ticket (base fare plus carrier-imposed fees, excluding any government-imposed taxes and fees) and your elite status; the higher your status, the more you’ll earn.

5 miles/U.S. dollar – AAdvantage member
7 miles/U.S. dollar – Gold
8 miles/U.S. dollar – Platinum
11 miles/U.S. dollar – Executive Platinum


To me, this is saying that instead of earning 4751 miles from DFW to LHR, as a Gold I would earn 7*<whatever fare/fees>. So let's say $900 for that not including taxes. 900*7=6300 miles.

Somebody please tell me if I am wrong. This is one time I hope I am being a complete idiot and not understanding this, because otherwise it sucks.
You got it right. DFW-LHR is 9500 R/T. As Gold you now earn 1.25*9500=11400 miles for the trip. To earn that much under the new rule you need to buy a ticket that costs 11400/7= $1628 plus taxes (probably a $2300 ticket total).

However, the typical ticket is $1600, with about $1000 in revenue, so you would earn 7000 miles.

Last edited by PolarRoute; Nov 17, 15 at 3:00 pm Reason: add info
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Old Nov 17, 15, 2:59 pm
  #86  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: NYC
Programs: DL PM; AA 1MM
Posts: 3,336
Bolding mine:
Originally Posted by bchandler02 View Post
I am hoping I misunderstood. Here is what I am referring to from the original post:
[I]Earning in 2016 and beyond
In the second half of 2016, award miles for travel on American marketed flights will be calculated based on what you pay for your ticket

[SNIP]

Somebody please tell me if I am wrong. This is one time I hope I am being a complete idiot and not understanding this, because otherwise it sucks.
Awards miles is a synonym for Redeemable Miles (RDMs). Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) will continue to be earned based on distance flown. RDMs only will move to $$-based in the second half of 2016.

You’ll continue to earn EQMs based on the airline and booking class purchased. Plus, Full-fare Economy, Business Class or First Class tickets on American-marketed flights will earn EQMs at a higher rate – getting you to elite status faster.

On American-marketed flights:

3 EQMs/mile – Full-fare First or Business
2 EQMs/mile - Discount First or Business
1.5 EQMs/mile – Full-fare Main Cabin
1 EQM/mile - Discount Main Cabin
ty97 is offline  
Old Nov 17, 15, 3:01 pm
  #87  
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Thousand Oaks, Ca., USA
Programs: AA Plat Pro; Bonvoy Titanium Lifetime Elite;Hyatt Globalist; HHonors Diamond; United Silver
Posts: 6,184
Still two big questions:

Miles and copay changing?

Date changes allowed after March 22 at old level?

(Related to that is date plus routing changes if keeping origin and destination).
beachfan is offline  
Old Nov 17, 15, 3:04 pm
  #88  
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Wedged somewhere between BTS and VIE ✈
Programs: Star Alliance Gold (A3 Gold)
Posts: 5,698
Still trying to get my head around these changes (as a member who doesn't credit often to AA). I only have a small number of miles for redeeming as I have status with BA and credit to them. But I'd planned to use up all my miles next year. I have 2 questions that I'm still not certain about, but I'm sure that you folk understand the changes a lot better!

1. How many miles (redeemable miles) will I earn for a BA flight in N bucket, LHR-SIN, on January 24th? As I understand it, I'll still earn 6770 as it's before 1st February.

2. Will award flights still cost the same as now if booked before 22nd March 2016, but flown after?

I only have 13500 miles and plan to credit the SIN flight to take me over 20,000 miles, then I'll book VPS-VIE and call it quits.
headingwest is offline  
Old Nov 17, 15, 3:06 pm
  #89  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: London
Programs: AAdvantage, and BAEC in name only
Posts: 541
Just a few weeks ago I flew AMS-HNL-LHR for $450 and picked up 33k RDM. (Already used them towards a J redemption to SFO next year).

Next year as PLAT that trip would earn me 3,600 RDM?
LSunbury is offline  
Old Nov 17, 15, 3:08 pm
  #90  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: LAX
Posts: 2,718
Originally Posted by PhilWW262 View Post
Just a few weeks ago I flew AMS-HNL-LHR for $450 and picked up 33k RDM. (Already used them towards a J redemption to SFO next year).

Next year as PLAT that trip would earn me 3,600 RDM?
Yep. If you were GLD, you'd earn 3150 RDM. Do you feel rewarded for having earned twice as many EQM to get PLT?
lobo411 is offline  

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