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AAdvantage Changes for 2016 - DISCUSSION, REACTION & POLL

View Poll Results: My plans for dealing with the 2016 AAdvantage changes:
I'm actually benefitting from this - good deal for me.
46
6.80%
I'm neutral - I gain some, lose some. I'll stay.
132
19.53%
I'm not happy, but stuck with AA / oneworld at this point.
176
26.04%
I'm unhappy & will use AA & other airlines opportunistically.
274
40.53%
I'm outta here! Bye, American.
48
7.10%
Voters: 676. You may not vote on this poll

AAdvantage Changes for 2016 - DISCUSSION, REACTION & POLL

Old Nov 17, 15, 7:22 pm
  #226  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Atlanta,GA
Programs: American AAdvantage ExecPlat, Former DL Skymiles Diamond (MM), Marriott Lifetime Platinum
Posts: 203
Originally Posted by controller1 View Post
I agree with JDiver. IMO, AA was smart to be the last of the big 3 to devalue and change their FF program. After DL and UA changed their programs, AA was able to welcome those programs' flyers with open arms as they searched for a program that was nearest to what was previously their own program.

Now that the migration has slowed, AA decided it was time to join DL and UA. IMO, AA believes there will be little out-migration due to the (now) similarity of the programs.
As someone that migrated FROM Delta (and I fly out of Atlanta!), I still far prefer what AA is giving us here. This is far less convoluted. No ridiculous minimum spend. They flat out tell you what you will get for your miles, and they are easy to calculate. (Even if coach will be earning less than before). They kept the sticker-upgrade program, which I like because it means I can actually get an upgrade when I need/want one (usually). The nominal increase in sticker cost is meh, but it's not insanely different.

Overall, AA built a program that accomplished what they wanted (rewarding higher spenders) without making their program a colossal mess like UAL/DL did. I like it. More than ever, I'm glad I switched to AA, and I'm not disappointed with these inevitable changes.
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Old Nov 17, 15, 7:26 pm
  #227  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: DCA
Programs: MR Plat; AA Gold; UA Silver
Posts: 337
As a Gold, I'm struggling to see what the point of sticking with AA is. If I switch to United, the programs are basically the same - except I can get FREE upgrades instead of having to use stupid stickers. That's a huge plus.

The problem for me is I am DCA based and AA has a lock. They need to build that silver line to IAD faster.
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Old Nov 17, 15, 7:30 pm
  #228  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: LAX
Posts: 2,718
Originally Posted by ellis01 View Post
As someone that migrated FROM Delta (and I fly out of Atlanta!), I still far prefer what AA is giving us here.
AA is still easy:

EXP: You still get some elite perks.

PLT/GLD: You get 0. 0 is easy. Nice and round.
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Old Nov 17, 15, 7:30 pm
  #229  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Austin, Texas
Programs: Airline nobody. Sad!
Posts: 25,848
2016 AAdvantage Program Changes Announced 18 Nov 2015

Good luck clearing an upgrade as a Gold on UA...
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Old Nov 17, 15, 7:31 pm
  #230  
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: LAX
Posts: 2,718
Originally Posted by jlb3 View Post
If I switch to United,
Why switch to anyone? UA/DL put the whole idea of sticking with one airline on life support. AA just put a pillow over its face and pushed till its arms stopped flailing.

If there is no reward for loyalty, then we have to be opportunistic.
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Old Nov 17, 15, 7:32 pm
  #231  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: DCA
Programs: MR Plat; AA Gold; UA Silver
Posts: 337
Originally Posted by TheBOSman View Post
Good luck clearing an upgrade as a Gold on UA...
I'm Silver on UA and I've been upgraded 3/3 flights. Got Econ+ on 1 flight (IAD to ATL), and then got F on 2 flights (ATL to IAD, and DCA to BTV).
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Old Nov 17, 15, 7:33 pm
  #232  
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: MCO
Programs: AA, B6, DL, EK, EY, QR, SQ, UA, Amex Plat, Marriott Tit, HHonors Gold
Posts: 7,043
Originally Posted by jlb3 View Post
As a Gold, I'm struggling to see what the point of sticking with AA is. If I switch to United, the programs are basically the same - except I can get FREE upgrades instead of having to use stupid stickers. That's a huge plus.

The problem for me is I am DCA based and AA has a lock. They need to build that silver line to IAD faster.
There is no point in remaining loyal to AA. Buy the cheapest option offering you the best product. Don't expect to get upgraded as a Silver, Gold or anything on UA though. Expect that going forward the best way to get upgraded is through kiosk and post-purchase offers. I typically have gotten very good ones when flying DL and UA, and I have no status on either (nor do I plan to).
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Old Nov 17, 15, 7:37 pm
  #233  
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: DEN
Programs: AA EXP, Hilton Diamond
Posts: 1,906
Originally Posted by ellis01 View Post
As someone that migrated FROM Delta (and I fly out of Atlanta!), I still far prefer what AA is giving us here. This is far less convoluted. No ridiculous minimum spend. They flat out tell you what you will get for your miles, and they are easy to calculate. (Even if coach will be earning less than before). They kept the sticker-upgrade program, which I like because it means I can actually get an upgrade when I need/want one (usually). The nominal increase in sticker cost is meh, but it's not insanely different.

Overall, AA built a program that accomplished what they wanted (rewarding higher spenders) without making their program a colossal mess like UAL/DL did. I like it. More than ever, I'm glad I switched to AA, and I'm not disappointed with these inevitable changes.
^ Replace DL with UA and ATL with DEN, and this is pretty close to how I feel. Although, the SWU changes are disappointing (mainly how stingy AA is going to be with the additional ones beyond 100K EQM)

Originally Posted by jlb3 View Post
As a Gold, I'm struggling to see what the point of sticking with AA is. If I switch to United, the programs are basically the same - except I can get FREE upgrades instead of having to use stupid stickers. That's a huge plus.
As a former UA 1K, I suggest you do some checking with the UA Forum before you jump over to UA because of the free upgrades at the Silver level (AA Gold = UA Silver). They're very few and far between. UDU ain't all it's cracked up to be.

Originally Posted by jlb3 View Post
I'm Silver on UA and I've been upgraded 3/3 flights. Got Econ+ on 1 flight (IAD to ATL), and then got F on 2 flights (ATL to IAD, and DCA to BTV).
Huh? This doesn't make any sense.

Econ+ is not an upgrade.

UA doesn't fly DCA to BTV.
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Old Nov 17, 15, 7:43 pm
  #234  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: JFK
Programs: UA*G life-qualifier
Posts: 1,394
Originally Posted by JoeTravel View Post
The BIG 3 US airlines don't care about those in the back, no matter who they are. They do care about those in the front and want to make certain they paid for it. The loyalty of yesterday is gone. The points are devalued. The stock prices went up.

Note that many of these changes came from people on forums like this. You all helped the airlines learn about the things that favored you, not them. Keep that in mind the next time you post something.
Good point FT has been a gold mine to the airlines.


Apart from low oil prices, I have to imagine that there is some correlation by UA and DL (and soon to be AA) making record profits after over a decade + of bankruptcies and huge losses, by cutting everything. And that includes everything. As a passenger, you can't pay the lowest price and always expect to sit in first class, unless you want a truly awful first class. And that is what US Airlines are now known for. It sucks that you can no longer enjoy caviar upgrades for spending 3k per year, but I think one thing we can all agree on is that AA would not hold out from UA and DL. They tried that with bankruptcy (noble) but in the end untenable. When i joined FT in 2001 I learned a lot from this forum how to game UA. Now the big 3, with minimal competition, have done what any smart business does - reward its best customers. You can't really fault them. The mileage run is not dead if you are buying first or business - just for economy.
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Old Nov 17, 15, 7:43 pm
  #235  
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Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Benicia CA
Programs: Alaska MVP Gold 75K, AA 3.8MM, UA 1.1MM, enjoying the retired life
Posts: 31,439
Originally Posted by jlb3 View Post
As a Gold, I'm struggling to see what the point of sticking with AA is. If I switch to United, the programs are basically the same - except I can get FREE upgrades instead of having to use stupid stickers. That's a huge plus.
No problem with the minimum spend at UA? The 25K level there (silver) requires $3,000.
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Old Nov 17, 15, 7:46 pm
  #236  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: DCA
Programs: MR Plat; AA Gold; UA Silver
Posts: 337
Originally Posted by tom911 View Post
No problem with the minimum spend at UA? The 25K level there (silver) requires $3,000.
I get Silver as a Marriott Platinum. Plus I don't think I'd have an issue with the $3k requirement. I frequently travel with other people and put their tickets on my card.
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Old Nov 17, 15, 7:46 pm
  #237  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Austin, TX
Programs: AA Million Miler, Hilton Gold, Marriott Gold
Posts: 94
Guess I am a free agent come 2017

I am most disappointed in the reduced earnings for RDMs. I have really gotten used to having a 100% bonus on miles flown - and have used these miles freely. This is a huge reduction for me.

I will continue my pursuit for million miler - Gold for life will be useful for a slightly better flying experience domestically. I should make it by mid next year, after that I can start taking advantage of fare sales in Premium Economy and Business on other airlines for my international travel. The places I go most often offer these and I haven't taken advantage of them devoting my $6000 or so a year travel budget to loyalty to American.

I will save my AA miles for international business/first at some point in time, I won't concern myself with earning more, just keeping them from expiring.

I will get rid of airline credit cards and probably switch between Amex Platinum and cash back products - makes my life easier.

Whoever pointed it out first is right - this is no longer a loyalty program, it is just a reward program, and not a very good one at that. None of them are.
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Old Nov 17, 15, 7:48 pm
  #238  
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: DCA
Programs: MR Plat; AA Gold; UA Silver
Posts: 337
Originally Posted by bse118 View Post
Huh? This doesn't make any sense.

Econ+ is not an upgrade.

UA doesn't fly DCA to BTV.
Sorry, meant IAD to BTV.

I consider econ+/MCE an upgrade bc it's a better seat with more legroom that I didn't have to pay for. I'm sure I'm in the minority there.
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Old Nov 17, 15, 7:49 pm
  #239  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Atlanta,GA
Programs: American AAdvantage ExecPlat, Former DL Skymiles Diamond (MM), Marriott Lifetime Platinum
Posts: 203
Originally Posted by tom911 View Post
No problem with the minimum spend at UA? The 25K level there (silver) requires $3,000.
On my few business flights on Delta this year: I qualified on EQM for Gold, but my spend was too low, so I'll remain Silver. (and since I'm lifetime Silver anyway, I gained nothing.)
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Old Nov 17, 15, 7:50 pm
  #240  
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: DCA | DEN
Programs: AA EXP/2.9mm | Marriott LT Titanium 1.6k nights | NEXUS
Posts: 975
Originally Posted by newyorkgeorge View Post
MRs are such a tiny, tiny fraction of elite flyers I doubt that airline management has given them much thought. I do think that airlines are trying to better align rewards given in relation to financial metrics of elites. Certain FFs may not like it but it is where the industry is heading. And with three major global airlines in the US there is not much choice.
Good post. I am by no means a top-tier AA elite, but only on a few occasions in the last 5-6 years did I need MRs to get to 100k, and it was usually under 10k EQMs in Nov/Dec when business travel slowed down.

If using MRs alone, I could have done that for the whole year I suppose. I am no expert, but now I get to EXP for under $12k, most of it for work. If I read the changes right for sometime in 2016, and pay for a few more instant upgrades (or just book up front) it might actually be easier for me.

I have no issues with AA for seeking to clear RDM miles from their balance sheet with the awards chart. I am sitting on 975k, and just don’t have the time to use them. I might pull back business travel a lot in the next year, so this might be just the impetus I need to start using them That said, the charts don’t look that extreme to me.
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