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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 youll 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, well 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. Youll 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 Jun 9, 16, 9:14 am
  #781  
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Originally Posted by upinsmoke View Post
The whole point of this mess is to get people to buy more (and higher priced) tickets on the airline when they otherwise wouldn't (because they would have bought elsewhere).

Going all-revenue means someone who hit $12k with 50k EQM could now shift their spending elsewhere to gain elite status. This system makes sure they continue to spend beyond $12k to reach the 100k EQM.
That also makes the assumption that the added benefits at 100k are worth the hassle of the additional 50k miles. In some cases, that may be so. In others, not so much.
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Old Jun 9, 16, 9:19 am
  #782  
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Originally Posted by Fanjet View Post
I think many people see loyalty as being able to extract the most benefit from the minimal amount of cost. How odd that the airlines don't want to follow that model anymore. It's like a groom at the altar telling his soon-to-be-bride: I promise to be loyal, to honor and cherish you, so long as you stay thin, remain pretty, and continue to cook and clean.
And to further that analogy, the airlines are like high maintenance brides that look horrible without makeup and yet demand the world so they'll put out once in awhile. And if you don't comply, they'll make your life miserable.

I guess there are people who do it. I know multiple people who've signed up for that plan more than once.
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Old Jun 9, 16, 9:28 am
  #783  
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Originally Posted by sapguy View Post
Your points are RIGHT ON!

As a bemused UA 1K lurker, I am not at all surprised at all the indignation of "program gutting", and "goodbye AA because my business is no longer valued", blah blah blah.

Over at UA, we had the same indignation and ranting by over-entitled elites who have had it good for too long (many even bragged that they requalified for 1K for $1,200 since it's a mileage based program).
I've seen many 1K lites, but I have never seen one qualify for that little in the 10+ years I've been on FT.

Well, at UA, we're over all that now, and for quite sometime already. Today, UA flights are very full, average fares are slightly higher than before the move to the revenues-based model, and UA is on its way to becoming a decent airline again.
Some of that is due to less choice and fewer competition in the market place. Fewer seats, higher prices. And if DL is sold out, you may have to buy a UA or AA seat to get there. Not really choice - just a force of necessity.

And a lot of the change has happened since SMI/J has left. I never thought I'd see the day I wanted Tilton back until Jeff showed up. He cut everything to the bone (under the name of Operation Quality ) and UA continually lagged the competition in terms of profits.

Funny now that UA has a CEO who actually wants to improve things and even admitted they sucked that things are starting to change. Jeff was a cutter. Period.

I predict that AA will be just fine, as the US3 airlines need to thin their elite ranks to get rid of the unprofitable flyers which compete with the benefits of elites paying far higher fares. HVF are key assets in this new world of airlines economics.
You need both. Tell me how many all business class airlines have lasted, just catering to the top tier? Hint - not very many, if any. Why is that? Because there aren't enough of them out there.
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Old Jun 9, 16, 9:29 am
  #784  
 
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Originally Posted by Superguy View Post
Didn't A3's *G easy qualification disappear?

It still may be easier than most, but I heard the golden ticket's over. I haven't followed *A much over the last couple years.
Qualification is a little tricky but requalification is a breeze. SAS also has some very cheap TATL premium economy fares that earn a lot of miles.

http://runningwithmiles.boardingarea...ify-hard-earn/

Last edited by nk15; Jun 9, 16 at 9:36 am
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Old Jun 9, 16, 9:34 am
  #785  
 
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The EQD will prove some pain, because ironically I am now finding extremely cheap fares on AA in 2017. I am almost at 90-100k eqms and only 3.5k eqds, it seems I will have to reach 200keqms to meet the minimum spent in 2017, which is nuts, I don't want to fly that much, the hotel costs are killing me...
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Old Jun 9, 16, 9:39 am
  #786  
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Honestly looking at the BA program, it's far better for those who are consistently buying J/F fares. Plus you'd get comp Admirals Club once you hit Silver/Sapphire and FL at Gold/Emerald.
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Old Jun 9, 16, 9:41 am
  #787  
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Originally Posted by Superguy View Post
...UA may be offering the same screw job on miles, but at least you can actually use them. I've had a much easier time burning UA miles as a Kettle than I have AA miles as an elite.
Me too-- no comparison even, I find UA miles much easier to use than AA miles for my particular travel. Just last week flew JFK-FRA-LIN and returned this week MUC-EWR using UA miles for J-awards and all were incredibly easy to get and book on-line, on-the-fly. And, there were -many- options available.

Every time I look in the last 2 years, same situation.
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Old Jun 9, 16, 9:49 am
  #788  
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Originally Posted by FlyingFrZ View Post
Well it does sound like in your particular situation you will be earning more RDM, especially if you are primarily paying for domestic premium class flights
Not always.

I paid $1000 for an F ticket that was about 2500 miles one way. I ended up getting about 14,500 miles between COS bonus, PLT bonus, and premium fare bonus for flights < 3000 miles.

Under the new program, I'd probably get about 8100 miles, since about $100 of that fare was taxes.

Same deal on a P fare I bought to ICN earlier this year. The current plan netted me about 53,000 miles. On a $5500 fare (without tax), I'd end up with 49,500. Not a huge difference, but I'm certainly not making out for buying the premium fare. In fact, I'd get about the same whether I bought the P fare or the full Y fare. You'd think AA would rather me by the Y fare, as then they wouldn't have had to provide me all the F perks for about the same money.

And even with the premium fares, you're still capped at 75k RDMs per ticket. So there's diminishing returns the more you pay - unless you can afford expensive one way premium tickets.

The only place I've seen an increase is on short haul flights that are on the expensive side.
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Old Jun 9, 16, 9:54 am
  #789  
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Originally Posted by sayonara View Post
It's difficult to ascertain whether the airlines' hidden agenda is to dump loyalty programs or they have lost perspective of what the programs were originally set to accomplish. I find it difficult to believe that the IRS and corporate compensation committees are going to let the status quo continue - rewarding the wealthy with a tax free benefit that has suddenly become over the top enriching. For example, an executive at EP level who pays $5,000 for a RT Business class ticket will receive 55,000 miles for the trip. Three RTs will equal Business Class to Europe Level 1 Anytime and two RT will earn Business Class Mile Saver. If the executive delays purchasing the ticket, the trip could easily earn 90,000 miles which would equal Business Class Level 2 Anytime after only 2 RTs. My prediction - the ultimate payers will aggressively seek to claim the value generated my these overly rich programs. "Small business" flyers who are passing on the cost will also be impacted. And when that doesn't happen the IRS will change the tax code now that the programs are skewed to shaft the less fortunate. This leaves the airlines vulnerable to class warfare based on all the things done to economy fliers: bag fees, crammed seating and back of the plane seating.

I believe that we all should be more respectful of those riding in coach. (the back of the plane arrives the same time as the front) The new program shows a whole lot of disrespect. Thoughts?
A couple things you're forgetting:

Tickets earn 75k RDM tops, even if more could have been earned without the cap. Buy a $10k ticket as an EXP? Tough - you still get 75k miles unless you do it as 2 one ways, which may or may not be cost prohibitive.

You're also going on the assumption that premium award tickets are easy to come by on AA. They're not. One can earn a crap ton of miles, but without planning and flexibility, and a bit of luck, actually burning them for premium awards (especially on TATL flights with no YQ) is difficult. Even harder if you want to take someone with you.
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Old Jun 9, 16, 10:00 am
  #790  
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Originally Posted by nk15 View Post
The EQD will prove some pain, because ironically I am now finding extremely cheap fares on AA in 2017.
You know, you don't have to buy the lowest fares...
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Old Jun 9, 16, 10:01 am
  #791  
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Originally Posted by brp View Post
I would be interested in this as well. I've made modifications for my AA tracking sheet to include a column for EQD, but I will be able to tweak it more once the partner earning figures are out in July. But that will just look at the implications of AA and various partners on AA status. Yours is a different, and very interesting, dimension for decision-making.

Cheers.
Send me a PM and I'll get it to you when it's done.
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Old Jun 9, 16, 10:07 am
  #792  
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Originally Posted by JonNYC View Post
Me too-- no comparison even, I find UA miles much easier to use than AA miles for my particular travel. Just last week flew JFK-FRA-LIN and returned this week MUC-EWR using UA miles for J-awards and all were incredibly easy to get and book on-line, on-the-fly. And, there were -many- options available.

Every time I look in the last 2 years, same situation.
I've been having to use miles lately to move family around the country (kids seeing parents, family weddings, etc). I find myself being forced to redeem F awards on AA more because there are rarely, if ever, Y seats available at 25k level. Sure, 25k one way maybe, and often higher. Even flying on light days and willing to fly at off peak times - no dice.

On the rare occasion I could find a 12.5k one way Y seat, there's only ever one. Rarely multiples. So I ended up having to get 2 F tickets for my mother-in-law and stepson for their trip next week. Ironically, it's easier to find F - and in multiples, than it is for Y tickets. Go figure.

A couple years ago, I burned 200k miles on 2 C *A tix for my honeymoon. Easy as pie to find, and multiple options. As a bonus, we were able to find availability such that we are able to book a long layover and spend the day in AMS before heading on. I can't imagine doing that on AA.
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Old Jun 9, 16, 10:13 am
  #793  
 
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Originally Posted by sapguy View Post
Your points are RIGHT ON!

As a bemused UA 1K lurker, I am not at all surprised at all the indignation of "program gutting", and "goodbye AA because my business is no longer valued", blah blah blah.

I predict that AA will be just fine,
You are absolutely right except that I choose AA lot of times even when it's not the most convenient. Other than boarding ahead of others and NOT being able to use the crap load of earned miles, there is actually no benefit. It was like a obsessive compulsive disorder that I should use AA because of status and miles. Finally I am free, can choose whichever is convenient instead of sticking to one. That way they do lose my business.

BTW AA service sucks (if there is any) and miles are completely useless.
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Old Jun 9, 16, 10:19 am
  #794  
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Originally Posted by nk15 View Post
The EQD will prove some pain, because ironically I am now finding extremely cheap fares on AA in 2017. I am almost at 90-100k eqms and only 3.5k eqds, it seems I will have to reach 200keqms to meet the minimum spent in 2017, which is nuts, I don't want to fly that much, the hotel costs are killing me...
The solution here is not to fly 200,000 miles, but rather the 100,000 you've been flying and then make some big ticket purchases that bring you up to $12,000 pretax. I've been flying 100K a year on UA or AA for the last 20+ years. Just not going to happen in 2017 as I won't spend $12,000 for leisure flying.

I know two top tier UA flyers, both 100% leisure flyers, and they meet the $12,000 spend over there by purchasing more expensive international economy tickets. UA makes it a little easier as you need those kinds of tickets to upgrade with systemwides, so at least they have a little incentive. At AA you'd just be throwing the money at them to hit the spending minimum.
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Old Jun 9, 16, 10:19 am
  #795  
 
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Originally Posted by Superguy View Post
I've been having to use miles lately to move family around the country (kids seeing parents, family weddings, etc). I find myself being forced to redeem F awards on AA more because there are rarely, if ever, Y seats available at 25k level. Sure, 25k one way maybe, and often higher. Even flying on light days and willing to fly at off peak times - no dice.
For some of the trips I am looking, I am not finding anything other than AAnytime which costs 30K while ticket price is just $130. Trying to use BA miles for AA travel is completely another story. Even if a saver award is available on AA, its not available on BA and sometimes its only first class.

At least Delta is better in that sense. If the ticket price is low then there is a low mileage award.
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