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REACTION, DISCUSSION: EQD, status tier, upgrade changes as of 6 Jun 2016

View Poll Results: The AAdvantage changes announced 6 Jun 2016 will
incentivize me to fly AA more, as I benefit overall
27
3.55%
cause me to buy premium over discount AA fares
26
3.42%
not impact my travel on AA in the balance
128
16.82%
make me choose AA or a competitor, depending on itinerary
181
23.78%
make me become an independent agent
221
29.04%
cause me to join another airline's FF program
178
23.39%
Voters: 761. You may not vote on this poll

REACTION, DISCUSSION: EQD, status tier, upgrade changes as of 6 Jun 2016

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AAdvantage Changes Announced 6 Jun 2016 - REACTION, DISCUSSION

This thread is dedicated to "REACTION, DISCUSSION" of the changes announced June 6, 2016.

For "JUST THE FACTS", please use JUST THE FACTS: EQD, status tier, upgrade changes as of 6 Jun 2016


Link to AAdvantage Program Updates page on aa.com.

Link to Gary Leff's "View from the Wing" blog article on these changes.

Link to Ben "Lucky" Schlappig's take in "One Mile at a Time" on View From the Boarding Area

Summary of changes:

aa.com: Unknown but intended: aa.com updated to show EQM, EQD and RDM/AW for your convenience when booking and in your account for keeping informed about your accruals.
Aug 2016:

Change to earning Award / Redeemable Miles to revenue based begins (see FT thread)

Bonus award miles "More Miles" for premium cabin discontinued

For travel beginning August 1, 2016

Earn award miles based on your ticket price and elite status on American-marketed flights.

You earn miles on the base fare plus carrier-imposed fees minus government-imposed taxes and fees. The more you spend (and the higher your elite status level) the more you’ll earn.
  • AAdvantage® member – 5 miles for every U.S. dollar
  • Gold member – 7 miles for every U.S. dollar (40% bonus)
  • Platinum member – 8 miles for every U.S. dollar (60% bonus)
  • Platinum Pro - 9 miles for every U.S. dollar
  • Executive Platinum member – 11 miles for every U.S. dollar (120% bonus)
On most flights marketed by partner airlines, you'll earn award miles based on a percentage of the flight distance and the fare class of your ticket. Rates will be available by July 15.

NOTE: this also pertains to "special fares", such as those purchased through AA Vacations. (not AA language)

1 Jan 2017:

Status earning to have EQM/EQS criteria AND "EQD" revenue spend requirement

In addition to the (same as 2016) required EQM or EQS, to earn status one will have to also earn "Elite Qualifying Dollars" / "EQD" spend credit as follows (during the calendar year):

"EQDs will be awarded based on:

Ticket price (base fare plus carrier-imposed fees, excluding any government-imposed taxes and fees) on American-marketed flights

EQD calculations will not include change fees and similar (premium seats, baggage, etc.) charges.

Q. Do checked bag fees, seat purchases, 500-mile upgrades or other products/service fees count toward earning award miles and EQDs?

No, only the base fare paid for your ticket including any carrier-imposed fees will count toward earning award miles and EQDs. Fees for other products or services will not be awarded miles or EQDs, including but not limited to the following: checked baggage fees, Admirals Club® memberships, Wi-Fi passes, in-flight food and beverage purchases, in-flight entertainment, unaccompanied minor fees, pet travel fees, 500-mile upgrades, mileage upgrade cash co-payments, Mileage Multiplier, BuyMiles, GiftMiles, ShareMiles or other mileage purchases, ticket change fees, ticketing fees, same-day confirmed flight change or standby fees and service charges. (Thanks to ty97.)
Flights marketed by oneworld® carriers and Alaska Airlines will earn EQDs based on a percentage of the flight distance and the fare class purchased (as may "special fares" - not AA language)

NOTE: EQD offset may be earned by spend on Barclaycard AAdvantage Aviator Red and Silver cards (added language not from AA)

With the addition of EQDs, we’ll remove the rule that 4 segments must be traveled on American or American Eagle during the qualifying year to receive elite status."
New EQD requirement
  • Gold - $3,000
  • Platinum - $6,000
  • Platinum Pro - $9,000 (beginning 1/1/17)
  • Executive Platinum - $12,000
Elimination of four AA marketed EQS requirement

NOTE: Concierge Key is treated as a higher status tier than Executive Platinum for upgrade Priority, but is not otherwise an AAdvantage status tier.

Change from three status tiers to four - new 75K "Platinum Pro" added

"In 2017 you can start earning toward a new level, Platinum Pro, with benefits like:
  • Complimentary upgrades on flights in 500-mile upgrade markets
  • Earn 9 award miles/U.S. dollar (80% bonus)
  • 2 free checked bags
  • oneworld® Sapphire status
  • 72 hour upgrade window
NOTE: Platinum upgrade window goes from 72 to 48 hours; Concierge Key upgrade window is 120 hours.


February 2017

Introduction of highly restricted AA Basic Economy fares. FT link.

These will accrue 0.5 EQM, 0.5 EQS, will not permit rollaboard size / overhead baggage (only one personal item) unless you have status, no upgrades permitted, etc.


"Late" 2017:

Change to upgrade priority to EQD-based priority

"The way your upgrade request is prioritized will change later in 2017. You’ll be listed according to your elite status level followed by the number of EQDs earned in the last 12 months."
EP, and within EP by EQD spend in last 12 month period; PlatPro, ditto, and on to Platinum, Gold. For both upgrade request and airport list if request goes to airport list.

Executive Platinums able to upgrade MC / coach award flight (On flights 500 mile upgrades are usable, courtesy upgrades; priority within EP by last 12 month EQD spend).

"Starting later in 2017, Executive Platinum members can use their complimentary 500-mile upgrade benefits on AAdvantage® award tickets for travel on American from Main Cabin to the next class."

Peripheral issues:

AA Vacations: AA Vacations packages (like partner airline tickets) will earn EQD, EQM, and RDM/AW based on the distance flown as determined by the fare class purchased. This is in accordance with the "Special Fares" section of the new EQD earnings pages, and confirmed here

EQD requirements will apply to non-US residents as well as US as currently exists

EQD requirements can be partially offset by spend on Barclaycard AAdvantage Aviator Red or Silver cards.

Partners (AS and oneworld): accrual of EQM as reflected on charts on aa.com; EQD credit to be announced (15 Jul 2016)

Status: AA has no current plans to add "Lifetime Platinum Pro" status.


Resources:

GLOSSARY:

EQD: Elite Qualifying Dollars (base fare + carrier imposed fees, - government imposed taxes and fees)

EQM: Elite Qualifying Miles (accrual depends on fare basis, airline and miles flown)

EQS: Elite Qualifying Segments (discrete qualifying segment credited by AA)

Platinum Pro: new tier beginning 1/1/17 requiring $9,000 EQD and 75,000 EQM or 90 EQS in one calendar year

For links to new threads about these and other recent changes affecting AA flyers, see below.

Link to AAdvantage Program Updates page on aa.com.

Link to Gary Leff's "View from the Wing" blog article on these changes.

Link to Ben "Lucky" Schlappig's take in "One Mile at a Time" on View From the Boarding Area

Link to Andy's take on the Award Miles earning changes on View From the Boarding Area.

Links to useful threads:

GUIDE: Earning EQD / Elite Qualifying Dollars on AA and partner airlines (2017 on)

GUIDE: Earning AA Elite Qualifying Miles / EQM on AA, oneworld, partner airlines 2017

GUIDE: Earning AA Award / Redeemable Miles / RDM on AA, partners 1 Aug 2016

HELP DESK: Elite Qualifying EQD, EQM & Award / RDM Calculations & Planning 2017

AAdvantage® earning estimates - FAQ (aa.com)
(aa.com "AAdvantage program updates" - link)

Link to FT thread: What are AA Platinum Pro Benefits? Are they worth it? (master thread)

Link to FT thread: oneworld not requiring connecting protection or interline baggage 1 Jun 2016

Link to ARCHIVE: "Speculation about upcoming changes tba 6 Jun 2016"

Updated 6 Jan 2012 - JDiver


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Old Sep 8, 16, 7:04 am
  #1756  
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: NYC
Programs: AA EXP, SPG Plat, Marriott Silver, HH Gold
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Originally Posted by jjmoore View Post
Simply put, the system has become more fair. Reward those who are loyal (and my definition of loyal is those that spend $ on the airline). Spend more $, receive more reward. I don't' understand why people whine about how they feel "slighted" when an unfair system becomes (finally) fair and promotes true loyalty. It was the same when UA and DL made the change.
The missing factor with this view is incentivizing marginal spend. Even the "$5k EXPs" are valuable in that they were incentivized to spend more for connecting itineraries, extra trips, etc. That is behavior that needed incentivizing. FF who do not care about RDM because they have too many already and who are on OPM do not need more incentivizing. We'll see if it works out the way they thought when the next downturn comes. I'll bet many they lost will not come back.
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Old Sep 8, 16, 7:09 am
  #1757  
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Originally Posted by transparent View Post
The missing factor with this view is incentivizing marginal spend. Even the "$5k EXPs" are valuable in that they were incentivized to spend more for connecting itineraries, extra trips, etc. That is behavior that needed incentivizing. FF who do not care about RDM because they have too many already and who are on OPM do not need more incentivizing. We'll see if it works out the way they thought when the next downturn comes. I'll bet many they lost will not come back.
Encouraging people to take up seats on multiple flights rather than 1 flight , for a small extra revenue doesn't seem like behaviour to be encouraged
Dave Noble is offline  
Old Sep 8, 16, 7:49 am
  #1758  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble View Post
Encouraging people to take up seats on multiple flights rather than 1 flight , for a small extra revenue doesn't seem like behaviour to be encouraged
It can be. If the plane leaves with an empty seat, that is lost revenue with fixed cost baked in. If they get even $500 for any of the empty seats, it narrows the gap.
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Old Sep 8, 16, 7:51 am
  #1759  
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
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Originally Posted by transparent View Post
The missing factor with this view is incentivizing marginal spend. Even the "$5k EXPs" are valuable in that they were incentivized to spend more for connecting itineraries, extra trips, etc. That is behavior that needed incentivizing. FF who do not care about RDM because they have too many already and who are on OPM do not need more incentivizing. We'll see if it works out the way they thought when the next downturn comes. I'll bet many they lost will not come back.
Of course many don't come back. For some, they have moved on to another hobby. For others, they have found other ways to spend money or made a long-term commitment to something other than travel. And for many, when the economy will hit the skids, they simply won't trust the legacies...
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Old Sep 8, 16, 8:04 am
  #1760  
 
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Originally Posted by Dave Noble View Post
Encouraging people to take up seats on multiple flights rather than 1 flight , for a small extra revenue doesn't seem like behaviour to be encouraged
Small extra revenue is better than zero revenue for an empty seat.
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Old Sep 8, 16, 8:32 am
  #1761  
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
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Someone taking a connecting itinerary on you is better than someone taking a direct itinerary on another carrier.
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Old Sep 8, 16, 8:33 am
  #1762  
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I recently got a status match to BA Gold through my company, so I am going to move the flights I bought via AA.com over to BA and take advantage of their triple Avios promo. I mean, why would I accept a third in RDM when I can get the full value and then some with BA. I've already made PLT and will not make EXP this year, so yeah.
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Old Sep 8, 16, 9:44 am
  #1763  
 
Join Date: May 2011
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Originally Posted by uxb View Post
I recently got a status match to BA Gold through my company, so I am going to move the flights I bought via AA.com over to BA and take advantage of their triple Avios promo. I mean, why would I accept a third in RDM when I can get the full value and then some with BA. I've already made PLT and will not make EXP this year, so yeah.
Good move, IMO. The 3x Avios thing really was nice timing for you. ^
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Old Sep 8, 16, 1:58 pm
  #1764  
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Originally Posted by uxb View Post
I recently got a status match to BA Gold through my company, so I am going to move the flights I bought via AA.com over to BA and take advantage of their triple Avios promo. I mean, why would I accept a third in RDM when I can get the full value and then some with BA. I've already made PLT and will not make EXP this year, so yeah.
Additionally, elite status on BA get you lounge access worldwide, unlike AA status which doesn't give you lounge access in North America (except for MEX)
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Old Sep 8, 16, 5:16 pm
  #1765  
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Originally Posted by mvoight View Post
Additionally, elite status on BA get you lounge access worldwide, unlike AA status which doesn't give you lounge access in North America (except for MEX)
True, but I really hate BA. *sigh*
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Old Sep 8, 16, 8:23 pm
  #1766  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
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Originally Posted by uxb View Post
True, but I really hate BA. *sigh*
It'd be only four required BA flights tho. If you don't care about UDU, BA Gold is pretty awesome.
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Old Sep 8, 16, 11:25 pm
  #1767  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
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Originally Posted by AAExecPlatFlier View Post
Rumor not me is that there won't be a cc wavier. I was fully expecting one.
I was expecting one as well. Looks like AA "copy and paste" the worse parts of DL and UA's FF program but didn't include the better part.

Originally Posted by sapguy View Post
Same old tired argument! The point here is that AA is not as clueless as people think or some people on this board wish that they are since no CC waiver has been announced nor one is likely to be announced.
-I never said AA won't eventually announce a CC waiver.

-Maybe AA is clueless. After all, this is the same CEO who tried to charge pax for water.

Originally Posted by sapguy View Post
Just wondering who is clueless???
You have your opinion and I have mine however I really do NOT appreciate you speaking to me in a condescending manner.

Originally Posted by Biggie Fries View Post
Point being: Without them (i.e., given the ambient horribleness of garden-variety AA air travel), even low fares don't tempt me that much. Maybe that's just me.
Count me in. I'm actually glad I don't have to spend god knows how much time searching for MR fares, etc.

I guess it was fun while it lasted but I'm actually spending more time playing guitar (again) now.
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Old Sep 9, 16, 9:23 am
  #1768  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
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Originally Posted by Alex_I View Post
- Exactly! I flew about 50K all business miles during last two months just to get over 150K EQM to receive 2 more SWUs. Right now I have no upcoming reservations with AA. I did not change my job and I will still travel extensively but I am shopping around and trying different airlines just for fun - and I am treated very well by other airlines when paying for J and F. Finally, I just cancelled my AAdvantage Citibank card - no needs for more of the devalued AA "currency". I guess this is not what AA had in mind when changing AAdvantage after 35 years running.
I am a leisure and budget value traveler. As a lifetime Plat I justified paying a little more to fly AA because of the RDM, lounge, seat assignment and more than likely upgrade. I frequently bought stickers. Just for the RDM it justified going to Europe, HKG or S.A. on a whim. All on Coach. During low season, so flights were half full. It justified doing MR.

What really has me fuming is the deliberate lack of Saaver Awards.

My shift is now to burn my miles, all international. I will not earn anymore through flying, credit card, shopping mall, dine program, hotel, car rental, etc. Shifting my credit cards to PP lounges.

I have booked my next 3 flights with Southwest. All cheaper than AA. And also it is impressive that I got domestic awards at 10K RT! OT, but I love SW refund policies and also reimbursement of the difference in price.
What really convinced me was trying to book spring break awards. Impossible on AA. Now on SW I easily got 4 seats to CUN and at 18K each!
I will miss ORD Lounge, and preferred seat assignment. But my 2017 goal is to get SW companion pass. So that means all domestic work trips will go to SW. Maybe just $7,500 a year, but I know SW will welcome me.

Overall, I am not a sore looser, I am at peace with AA. I break up in a friendly way. I am glad that my 15 year relationship was fun, but now, move on. But I know I will see AA in the future, to still burn my miles, but not as my main carrier.
ORD-TGU is offline  
Old Sep 9, 16, 8:38 pm
  #1769  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
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Assuming there is no EQD waiver for CC, a big loser is the Barclay’s Aviator Silver card (the old US card). The primary benefit of that card’s $195 annual fee is the 10K EQM issued for $40K calendar year spend.

Come 2017, I suspect the critical path for earning status for many will be the EQD requirement, not the EQM. Absent some relief from the EQD requirement (even just partial relief proportionate to the 10K EQM), paying the annual fee is likely not worth it. With the Citi card, the Admiral’s Club membership pretty much pays the fee with the EQM on top of that.

My card anniversary and fee comes due early in the year, so I will know the situation before I pay for another year. I feel for Silver cardholders who have to decide now whether to pay the $195 not knowing what will happen in 2017 regarding the EQM waiver. It sure seems like it is not going to happen.
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Old Sep 9, 16, 9:25 pm
  #1770  
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
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Originally Posted by NovaEngr View Post
Come 2017, I suspect the critical path for earning status for many will be the EQD requirement, not the EQM.
I'm sure that statement is correct for many, but that's precisely their goal. They are in the driver's seat right now, and there is nothing on the horizon that gives optimism to anyone hoping it will change.

As one who pays for premium cabin seating, I have no problem meeting the EQD. Having both Citi and Barclay cards means that I can fly less and still qualify - or switch to award tickets once my EXP has been renewed for the following year. That may be about to change, however.

Being MDE based, I'm just tired of dealing with American for my trips to and from the USA. I'm now using Copa whenever possible, including creating my own connection from a Copa city to my ultimate destination over to AA. The 319s just aren't that comfortable with my travel frequency, and there are countless other problems.

Mainly I hate connecting at MIA and waiting for my large Priority-marked bags to arrive at customs baggage claim. They always come out last. I'm pretty sure that it's the way they come out of the hold because of size, but I am still paying a premium price for substandard service. I only wish that waiting for bags was the least of my problems this year.

Now that I have qualified for 2017 EXP for a couple of months and using miles (or trying) for every AA trip, I'm even more disappointed. The awards are often (dare I say "usually?") insanely priced in miles in one direction, the other or both. I booked my daughter to meet me at SFO for Thanksgiving last night. AA wanted 25,000 for Economy on the outbound and only offered something at 77,000 for the return. I didn't even check to see if the 77,000 miles for the return were F or Y, but it didn't matter. 102,000 total miles for DFW-SFO-DFW on an airline where I'm EXP vs. 75,000 total in F on UA where I no longer have any status. No brainer.

UA doesn't fly here (MDE), or I might seriously consider switching back to them. Our options just stink these days, so we're going to pay one way or the other. IME, however, AA is the worst. They just happen to have the most options for my regular destinations. Otherwise, I would be gone, and it has little to do with the recent Elite qualification and miles-earning changes. ::heavy sigh::
KenInEscazu is offline  

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