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