Last November American announced some major changes to the AAdvantage program, consisting of three main areas:
- An award chart devaluation, for bookings as of March 22, 2016
- A change in elite benefits, including a reduction in systemwide upgrades for Executive Platinum members
- The program going revenue based in the second half of the year, meaning redeemable miles are issued based on how much you spend rather than how much you fly
I’ve been front loading my paid American travel this year, so that I can still earn as many miles as possible under the old system. For example, I recently flew on a $570 ticket from Los Angeles to Beijing via Dallas, which earned me ~33,000 redeemable miles. Under the new system I’d earn ~6,000 miles for that ticket.
American business class to Beijing — not bad for a $570 ticket
Under the new system, members earn the following number of miles:
- AAdvantage member: 5 miles/dollar
- AAdvantage Gold member: 7 miles/dollar
- AAdvantage Platinum member: 8 miles/dollar
- AAdvantage Executive Platinum member: 11 miles/dollar
A lot of people are planning their travel for the second half of the year, and understandably are trying to figure out how many miles they’ll earn. The thing is, American hasn’t actually announced on which date the AAdvantage program goes revenue based, other than that it will happen in the second half of the year.
I’ve followed up with American to see if they have any further information, though they don’t as of now.
So when should we expect American AAdvantage to go revenue based?
I would plan on them going revenue based as of July 1, 2016, since that’s the earliest possible date.
However, for some reason I don’t think that will happen. I suspect the actual date is more likely to be August 1, or maybe even September 1. It’s purely speculation on my part, but there’s a lot of back-end IT stuff which has to be updated before the program goes revenue based, and American sure has been busy this year.
If they actually intended for it to be July 1 all along, I think they would have made it clear from the beginning. The fact that they’ve been vaguely referencing the second half of the year suggests they’re still working out the exact date, but that it might not be July 1.
Regardless, I do think American will give at least 30 days notice of when the program goes revenue based, so it’s not something we should be caught too off guard by.
Of course I’d love for American to maintain their traditional program for as long as possible, but it’s only a matter of weeks until the AAdvantage program goes revenue based. I do think we’ll get some advance notice, so if they are planning on implementing a revenue based program as of July 1, I think we’ll know about it in the next couple of weeks.
On what date do you think American AAdvantage will go revenue based?