American & US Airways Mileage Totals Will Be Combined For 2014 Program Year

While January 7 was “customer day one” for the new American, there are still lots of unanswered questions. Loyalty Lobby points to the US Airways Preferred Trial page on usairways.com, where they seem to have updated the terms & conditions to add the following:

Status for the 2015 program year beginning in March 2015 will be determined by the member’s activity in 2014 in the US Airways Dividend Miles program and the American Airlines AAdvantage program.

This is hardly surprising and for that matter I wouldn’t read too much into it since it’s just posted at the end of the T&Cs of a promotion, but it’s interesting nonetheless.

I think we all expected the elite qualifying mileage totals from AAdvantage and Dividend Miles to be combined at the end of the year, so it’s nice to see it in writing (even if it’s only at the bottom of T&Cs).

I am curious about how they plan on integrating mileage totals, though. While US Airways lets you qualify for status on elite qualifying miles or segments, American lets you qualify on elite qualifying miles, elite qualifying points, or segments.

What are elite qualifying points? Well, American gives you a flat one elite qualifying mile per revenue mile flown, regardless of whether it’s discounted economy or full fare first class. Meanwhile the number of elite qualifying points awarded varies by fare class, ranging from 0.5 to 1.5 points per flown revenue mile.

For example, here’s American’s mileage earning chart:

American-Mileage-Accrual-Chart

As a point of comparisan, here’s US Airways’ chart for elite qualifying mileage accrual on American:

US-Airways-Mileage-Accrual-Chart

That means if you fly a mix of discounted economy and full fare or premium tickets, it’ll take more flying to reach top tier status with American than US Airways (or most other airlines, for that matter)

So when they combine mileage totals, will they not account for elite qualifying points, will US Airways retroactively add elite qualifying points for their members, or what? This is something that’s worth keeping in mind potentially. For example, if you primarily travel paid first or business class it could make sense to credit to US Airways, since you’d accrue bonus elite qualifying miles for paid premium cabin travel on them. Meanwhile with American you only accrue bonus elite qualifying points for paid premium cabin travel.

Hopefully we’ll have more information soon…

Comments

  1. Hi Ben…

    Does this mean that we will likely have the opportunity to buy up to Chairman’s Preferred and then receive Executive Platinum status in 2015?

  2. @ Jason — I would guess they’ll have a single program next year, so if you qualify for Chairmans Preferred for the 2015 program year then that should become the new top tier status.

  3. Any hints on when you can actually combine your AAdvantage and Dividend Miles accounts and use those combined totals to book awards?

  4. @ PSL — Unfortunately not. I would guess it will be possible shortly after US Airways joins OneWorld (March 31), but I could be wrong.

  5. Wish I felt sure enough re: how this works to put $25k on my new USAir card to help me stay Exec Platinum.

  6. What about the offer for 50% more miles when crediting AA to US? Will that help get status quicker as well?

  7. I don’t think those T&Cs are as crystal-clear as you suggest. They don’t say “combined” activity; arguably they just state that your activity in a given program will determine your 2015 status (which is consistent with what AA/US have already said as of Jan 7).

  8. I agree with Chris, it could just mean that they look at “the member’s activity in 2014 in the US Airways Dividend Miles program and the American Airlines AAdvantage program”, and if you have enough in either one (separately), then you;ll get status in the new combined program.

    If they were ready to commit to adding 2014 EQM’s from each program to get a total, they wouldn’t bury the announcement in ambiguous small print on one of the two airlines’ buy-up web page.

  9. When will usairways post an accrual chart for travel on oneworld carriers as they have now for star alliance? No one at usair seems to have an answer, but I assume it would have to be soon? I don’t want to book travel in April on QR until they show what fare codes count towards preferred status.

  10. @ Luke — I would guess they’ll only post the chart once they join OneWorld. That being said, I think it’s safe to assume it’ll be similar to American’s chart for partner accrual.

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