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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, 1:00 pm
  #1  
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Arrow JUST THE FACTS: 2016 AAdvantage Program Changes Announced 17 Nov 2015

A really quick cut and paste job, page is live (also added to Wiki): http://www.aa.com/i18n/AAdvantage/pr...antage2016.jsp

AAdvantage program updates
Starting in 2016, we’ll make changes to the American Airlines AAdvantage® program. We’re evolving to build a rewarding program for all members, while giving our best customers access to our best benefits.

These updates will roll out in phases over time. We’ll keep you updated as we implement these changes.
Elite status in 2016
Qualifying structure
Beginning January 1, 2016, elite-qualifying points will be removed from our qualifying structure. Instead, qualification will be determined by Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) or Elite Qualifying Segments (EQSs) earned during a calendar year.

The membership year is also changing. Beginning with the 2017 membership year, elite status will be valid through January 31 of the following year.
Qualify for AAdvantage elite status in 2016
EQSs and EQMs
EQMs and EQSs will continue to be earned for eligible travel on American Airlines, oneworld® airlines, Alaska Airlines and American-marketed codeshare flights.

You’ll still earn 1 EQS for each eligible segment you fly.

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
Learn more about earning EQMs on American
The amount of EQMs you earn on partner airlines will change. Earn rates will vary depending on the airline.

Explore our partner airlines
Earn more EQMs

Also, as a Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive card or AAdvantage® Aviator™ Silver MasterCard® credit cardmember, you’ll still earn 10,000 EQMs after you reach your qualifying spend for the year when you use your eligible AAdvantage credit card.

Learn more about the Citi®/AAdvantage® Executive card
Learn more about the AAdvantage® Aviator™ Silver MasterCard®
Elite-qualifying thresholds
Qualification* Executive Platinum / oneworld® Emerald SM Platinum / oneworld® SapphireSM Gold / oneworld® RubySM
EQMs 100,000 50,000 25,000
EQSs 120 60 30
*At least four of the segments must be flown on American during the qualifying year to receive elite status.
Upgrades
Systemwide upgrades

If you qualify for Executive Platinum status by December 31, 2015, you’ll still earn 8 upgrades to use during your 2016 membership year.

Starting January 1, 2016, Executive Platinum members will receive 4 systemwide upgrades upon qualification or re-qualification, with the ability to earn up to a total of 8 per year.

Earn additional upgrades
Customers can earn up to 4 additional systemwide upgrades; 2 for every 50,000 EQMs earned above 100,000.

500-mile upgrades

Starting March 1, 2016:

Gold and Platinum members will earn four 500-mile upgrades for every 12,500 EQMs earned during the membership year
The price of 500-mile upgrades will increase to $40, online, at the airport and from an American Airlines agent
The price for purchasing 500-mile upgrades with miles will increase to 40,000 miles for 8 upgrades
Award miles
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
Sample calculation
Earn bonus miles

We’ve extended our 2015 AAdvantage bonus miles promotion! Earn more award miles when you fly on a First or Business class ticket on American and select other airlines until the changes to earning award miles go into effect in the second half of 2016.

Learn more about our AAdvantage bonus miles promotion
Award redemption changes
We’re changing existing award levels for award tickets redeemed on March 22, 2016 and beyond. Plus, we’re introducing new MileSAAver® awards as low as 7,500 miles one-way (plus any applicable taxes and carrier-imposed fees) for flights 500 miles or less.

Changes to American award charts
Changes to other airline award charts
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Old Nov 17, 15, 1:00 pm
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Right on cue, reload aa.com/aadvantage2016 at 14:00:10, and it's live.
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Old Nov 17, 15, 1:01 pm
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Quick lowlights:

72,500 USA-South Pacific in F will be 110,000

Originating from contiguous 48 states:
To: Main Cabin
Off Peak Main Cabin Business / First First
Contiguous 48 U.S. states+ – 12,500 25,000 50,000
Canada & Alaska+ – 15,000 30,000 55,000
Hawaii+ – 22,500 40,000 65,000
Caribbean+ – 17,500 27,500 52,500
Mexico+ – 17,500 27,500 52,500
Central America+ – 17,500 27,500 52,500
South America Region 1+ – 20,000 30,000 55,000
South America Region 2 – 30,000 57,500 85,000
Europe* 22,500 30,000 57,500 85,000
Middle East / Indian Subcontinent* – 40,000 70,000 115,000
Africa* – 40,000 75,000 120,000
Asia Region 1 – 35,000 60,000 80,000
Asia Region 2 – 37,500 70,000 110,000
South Pacific – 40,000 80,000 110,000
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Old Nov 17, 15, 1:03 pm
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Originally Posted by TheBOSman View Post
Quick lowlights:

72,500 USA-South Pacific in F will be 110,000
Yeah, F to Asia and SWP biggest increases for sure. Everything else seems palatable to me, IMO.
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Old Nov 17, 15, 1:06 pm
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Interesting tidbits I see:

50k EQM earn for 2 more SWUs as EXP
Sticker prices going up to $40 each
75k maximum revenue ticket earn
Current mileage promo extended until new earning style kicks in
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Old Nov 17, 15, 1:07 pm
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The F/J (3x) and R,D,I (2x) EQM levels are only applicable to AA marketed flights, like this year. So BA flights in premium cabin will all just get 1.5x multiplier. Sensible and predictable.

EQMs for additional SWUs also makes sense if you think that they are trying to make the rewards stay similar for their higher end flyers. Extra 50kEQMs per each additional 2 SWUs. So a person flying all F/J is going to get EXP at 50k BIS miles (4 SWUs) and then another 50k BIS miles will deliver them another 2+2 SWUs for a total of 8 SWUs at 100k BIS miles. The EQM promo this year should have been a good hint of where AA was planning to focus rewards...
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Old Nov 17, 15, 1:08 pm
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At least we have four months to book those flights for redemption that are much higher
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Old Nov 17, 15, 1:12 pm
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Originally Posted by Superguy View Post
Interesting tidbits I see:

50k EQM earn for 2 more SWUs as EXP
Sticker prices going up to $40 each
75k maximum revenue ticket earn
Current mileage promo extended until new earning style kicks in
Good summary of slightly less noticeable changes.

Plus this one:
One change not noted here is that international business class awards which include business class on a 3-cabin flight within North America will cost an additional 7500 miles. So if you’re flying American’s premium transcon service between New York and Los Angeles or San Francisco, if you’re flying 3-cabin equipment Miami – Los Angeles, or you’re flying Cathay Pacific between Vancouver and New York JFK you’re going to pay 7500 miles more one way.
http://viewfromthewing.boardingarea....tive-march-22/
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Old Nov 17, 15, 1:16 pm
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A couple of flaky changes in the award tables:
US-Asia1 60k and US-Asia2 70K (business)
Canada-Asia1 65k and Canada-Asia2 72.5k (business)

Current tables have 50k (asia1) and 55k (asia2) regardless of whether you start in US or Canada. For YVR-HKG, this is kind of silly. It's less flying than LAX-HKG or SFO-HKG. Odd that it's a premium in the new tables, they must be assuming a Canada-US-Asia routing and thinking that is more costly....
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Old Nov 17, 15, 1:16 pm
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Europe to Middle East J and F going from 30 and 40 to 42.5 and 62.5
Middle East to Australia J and F going from 45 and 60 to 80 and 100

Affects Etihad residences.
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Old Nov 17, 15, 1:17 pm
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I'm still going thru the info, but CX earning is horrid in Y.

Y, B 100%/1.00
H 100%/0.50
K, M, L, V, Q, S, G, N 0%/0

JL is awful too:

Full-Fare Economy Y, B 100% – 1.00
Discount Economy H, K, M 70% – 0.50
Discount Economy L, V, S, G, O, R 50% – 0.50
Discount Economy N, Q 30% – 0.50

So not only do they gimp your base miles, but then they chop your EQMs in half on top of that. 15% total EQMs?
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Old Nov 17, 15, 1:20 pm
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Originally Posted by Superguy View Post
I'm still going thru the info, but CX earning is horrid in Y.

Y, B 100%/1.00
H 100%/0.50
K, M, L, V, Q, S, G, N 0%/0
That's very little change, though. The only changes are Y,B go from 1.5 EQP (1.0 EQM) to 1.0 and H goes from 1.0 to 0.5. CX earning is , but it always has been.
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Old Nov 17, 15, 1:21 pm
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With the award chart changes upcoming, is it safe to speculatively book award travel before March, then change dates as needed, given AA's policy of not charging for award changes when origin and destination remain the same?
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Old Nov 17, 15, 1:23 pm
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Originally Posted by jamespvg View Post
0.5 EQM for most AS fares and a cap of 1.5 BA EQM even on JBA routes are supremely disappointing to me. The BA decision especially. If they're interested in incentivizing us to buy-up to higher cabins, what's the sense in capping EQMs on revenue shared, métal-neutral services? Rubbish.
For AS, I often find the AS metal flights with AA codes for about the same price, maybe a few $$ higher, so you can book that way and get 1EQP multiplier instead of .5

Not always the same for BA, but clearly some may see an incentive for booking AA codes on the deep discount business class fares that we keep seeing.
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Old Nov 17, 15, 1:23 pm
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Originally Posted by Superguy View Post
I'm still going thru the info, but CX earning is horrid in Y.

Y, B 100%/1.00
H 100%/0.50
K, M, L, V, Q, S, G, N 0%/0

JL is awful too:

Full-Fare Economy Y, B 100% – 1.00
Discount Economy H, K, M 70% – 0.50
Discount Economy L, V, S, G, O, R 50% – 0.50
Discount Economy N, Q 30% – 0.50

So not only do they gimp your base miles, but then they chop your EQMs in half on top of that. 15% total EQMs?
No, the chart now lists EQMs per mile flown, NOT EQMs per base mile. So JL bottoms out at 0.5 EQM/mile flown, which is an increase on the cheapest fares.

In fact, every partner I've looked at bottoms out at 0.5 EQMs on all non-zero-earning fares, so that's an improvement on EQMs cheap fares on JL, QF, what was previously announced for BA, and a substantial improvement over the EQPs (which were as low as 0.5*0.25 = 0.125 for QF, for example).
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