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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 17, 15, 3:47 pm
  #106  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Programs: AA EXP, AA LT Gold, SPG Plat 75
Posts: 857
Originally Posted by brp View Post
I had this same question. I was looking, for example, at the Deep Discount on BA. It has

25% Base Miles (Elite Qualifying)
0.5 EQM per mile flown.

So, it's either EQM = 0.5 * number of actual flown miles (and the Base Miles column has no meaning)

or it's EQM = 0.25 * 0.5 (=0.125) * actual number of miles flown.

Definitely not clear.

Cheers.
Pure speculation, but I am under the impression that base miles = miles flown multiplier for RDM whereas EQM is miles flown multiplier for, well, EQM

As in a 10,000 trip in deep discount would earn you 5,000 EQM and 2,500 RDM, respectively
Phasers is offline  
Old Nov 17, 15, 3:51 pm
  #107  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
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Originally Posted by brp View Post
I had this same question. I was looking, for example, at the Deep Discount on BA. It has

25% Base Miles (Elite Qualifying)
0.5 EQM per mile flown.

So, it's either EQM = 0.5 * number of actual flown miles (and the Base Miles column has no meaning)

or it's EQM = 0.25 * 0.5 (=0.125) * actual number of miles flown.

Definitely not clear.

Cheers.
I'm confused about this too. Although sadly, I suspect it'll be the latter. For example, on the cheapest Air Berlin fares, we've always earned only 25%, which is 25% EQM and 25% RDM (bonuses aside). Going forwards, if EQM was 0.5 * number of actual flown miles, it'd be an improvement. And Air Berlin is by no means alone here.

I'm flying BA UVF - LHR on 31 January, and thought I'd just sneaked through here to earn the full 4,000 or so EQMs. But now, I expect to get 4,000 RDMs but only 2,000 EQMs.

If this is the case, there's no point even trying for Plat next year.
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Old Nov 17, 15, 3:54 pm
  #108  
 
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Originally Posted by kingstontoon View Post
I'm confused about this too. Although sadly, I suspect it'll be the latter. For example, on the cheapest Air Berlin fares, we've always earned only 25%, which is 25% EQM and 25% RDM (bonuses aside). Going forwards, if EQM was 0.5 * number of actual flown miles, it'd be an improvement. And Air Berlin is by no means alone here.

I'm flying BA UVF - LHR on 31 January, and thought I'd just sneaked through here to earn the full 4,000 or so EQMs. But now, I expect to get 4,000 RDMs but only 2,000 EQMs.

If this is the case, there's no point even trying for Plat next year.
Pure speculation, but I am under the impression that base miles = miles flown multiplier for RDM whereas EQM is miles flown multiplier for, well, EQM

As in a 10,000 trip in deep discount would earn you 5,000 EQM and 2,500 RDM, respectively, on BA
Phasers is offline  
Old Nov 17, 15, 3:55 pm
  #109  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Programs: AA Lifetime Gold
Posts: 162
Platinum Example #2: Flight to Bangkok earned me 39,264 in September. Under the new program I will have earned 8,136 ($1,017 pre-tax * 8). The London trip i mentioned earlier and Bangkok trip earned just over 60,000 miles in my account. In the future I will earn about 13,600 miles on those two trips. Unbelievable.
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Old Nov 17, 15, 4:03 pm
  #110  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: DEN
Programs: AA EXP, Hilton Diamond
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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 (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.
The above is for RDMs.

Your original post (below) referred to EQMs. Those, and the status you earn from them, remain based on distance.

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.
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Old Nov 17, 15, 4:14 pm
  #111  
brp
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Originally Posted by Phasers View Post
Pure speculation, but I am under the impression that base miles = miles flown multiplier for RDM whereas EQM is miles flown multiplier for, well, EQM

As in a 10,000 trip in deep discount would earn you 5,000 EQM and 2,500 RDM, respectively
That's what I would have thought had it not said (elite qualifying) on what would be presumed to be the RDM multiplier. But this is what I'm thinking as well, despite that.

Cheers.
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Old Nov 17, 15, 4:17 pm
  #112  
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
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Programs: status free since 2017
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Why is there redemption category to Middle east on AA chart (not partner)?

Looking on the phone so pasting pic is a pain but look it up... it's there with milesaver and anytime awards.
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Old Nov 17, 15, 4:29 pm
  #113  
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Any idea what 2nd half of 2016 means - did they specify a month?

Makes a helluva difference for me for summer travel whether its revenue or distance by then

Too bad AA chose to not differentiate themselves from DL and UA.
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Old Nov 17, 15, 4:30 pm
  #114  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: FNT, but DTW if I can't help it
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I'm a little confused about the following situation:

If I book a flight < 500 miles (Say, 240 miles) in fare code Y (full-fare economy), how many EQM will I get as a PLT? I understand the 500-mile minimum is sticking around for at least the first half of the year... but what about the bonus for full-fare?

Is it 500 or 750?
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Old Nov 17, 15, 4:38 pm
  #115  
 
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Originally Posted by brp View Post
I was looking at the Deep Discount on BA. It has

25% Base Miles (Elite Qualifying)
0.5 EQM per mile flown.

So, it's either EQM = 0.5 * number of actual flown miles (and the Base Miles column has no meaning)

or it's EQM = 0.25 * 0.5 (=0.125) * actual number of miles flown.

Definitely not clear.
I posted almost the identical question in the BA earnings thread brp, and it's not clear to me either. Is it 50% or 12.5%? The source of my confusion is the same as yours --the parenthetical words elite qualifying. I wonder if "(elite qualifying)" is a mistaken holdover from an earlier chart?

Originally Posted by brp View Post
That's what I would have thought had it not said (elite qualifying) on what would be presumed to be the RDM multiplier. But this is what I'm thinking as well, despite that.
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Old Nov 17, 15, 4:39 pm
  #116  
 
Join Date: May 2008
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Originally Posted by rankourabu View Post
Any idea what 2nd half of 2016 means - did they specify a month?

Makes a helluva difference for me for summer travel whether its revenue or distance by then
In the original thread, prior to formal announcement, JonNYC used the terminology 'late 2016' and the discussion appeared to imply (this is my interpretation and could be wrong) that some IT updates will be required to support the new RDM scheme. Therefore, I think the exact date is fluid based on when IT is ready to support it.
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Old Nov 17, 15, 4:40 pm
  #117  
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I was confused on the exact earnings on partners and hoping that it will be clarified
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Old Nov 17, 15, 4:43 pm
  #118  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
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Wait... it's going to cost less miles to go USA>SA1 and SA1>SA2 in business than just USA>SA2? This doesn't seem well planned.
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Old Nov 17, 15, 4:44 pm
  #119  
 
Join Date: May 2008
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Originally Posted by josmul123 View Post
I'm a little confused about the following situation:

If I book a flight < 500 miles (Say, 240 miles) in fare code Y (full-fare economy), how many EQM will I get as a PLT? I understand the 500-mile minimum is sticking around for at least the first half of the year... but what about the bonus for full-fare?

Is it 500 or 750?
The 500 mile minimum remains for EQMs for elites.. I presume a 1.5x fare on route less than 500 miles will earn 750 EQM.

When the RDM scheme changes in the second half, there will be no 500 mile minimum for RDMs for anyone.
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Old Nov 17, 15, 4:44 pm
  #120  
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
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I must be missing something. Under the current system, I earn around 1200 miles for my commuting flights, round trip, usually in deep discount coach. Under the new system, I'd earn 8 X $350-ish miles = 2800 miles, more if I make EXP this year.

My international flights end up being 8 X $7000 (paid J) = 56,000 miles, vs around 22,000 that I earn now.

Am I miscalculating that, because my commuting flights especially are in deep discount coach, which I thought were the very fares that AA didn't want to reward. I'm surprised I'd earn more miles?
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