MAJOR Changes Coming To American AAdvantage In 2017

Late last year, some major changes were announced to the AAdvantage program, including the introduction of revenue based mileage earning, a huge award chart devaluation, an increase in elite qualifying miles earned for premium tickets, a cut in Executive Platinum benefits, and much more.

American-787

Well, today American AAdvantage is announcing some more major changes, most of which kick in next year. Today we’re learning about the date AAdvantage will go revenue based, the introduction of a fourth elite tier, the introduction of a revenue requirement for status, a change in upgrade priority, and a new upgrade benefit for top tier members.

AAdvantage-Program

AAdvantage will go revenue based as of August 1, 2016

It was announced last year that the American AAdvantage program will go revenue based as of the “second half of 2016.” Up until now we’ve only been able to speculate as to the date as of which that will happen.

Well, it’s now official: American AAdvantage will go revenue based on the earnings side as of August 1, 2016. As a reminder, here’s how many miles AAdvantage members will earn under the new program, excluding taxes and fees:

Elite Status LevelMemberGoldPlatinumExecutive Platinum
Miles Earned Per Dollar Spent57
(40% bonus)
8
(60% bonus)
11
(120% bonus)

As is the norm with revenue based programs, miles awarded for travel on partner airlines will be based on a percentage of the distance flown based on the booking class purchased. We can expect some mileage earning rates to eventually be adjusted on partner airlines, though American isn’t sharing the details of that yet.

American is introducing a fourth elite tier

This shouldn’t come as a surprise, given that Delta and United offer four elite tiers, and US Airways used to offer four as well. American won’t be adjusting existing elite tiers, but instead will be adding a fourth elite tier — called Platinum Pro — for those who earn 75,000 elite qualifying miles and/or 90 elite qualifying segments in a calendar year.

The three most significant benefits of Platinum Pro status are as follows:

  • Unlimited complimentary upgrades within 500-mile eligible regions (as opposed to Platinum members, who have to earn “stickers,” and redeem those for upgrades
  • Higher upgrade priority than Platinum members
  • Nine miles per dollar spent, rather than the eight miles per dollar spent for Platinum members

I’d say these are actually fair incremental benefits, given the higher upgrade priority and complimentary nature of the upgrades. Meanwhile Gold and Platinum members have to redeem stickers in order to get upgraded.

I’m still scratching my head about the name, though.

American is adding a revenue requirement for status

Effective January 1, 2017, American is adding a revenue requirement for status. Not surprisingly, it exactly matches the competition:

GoldPlatinumPlatinum ProExecutive Platinum
25K EQMs or 30 EQSs50K EQMs or 60 EQSs75K EQMs or 90 EQSs100K EQMs or 120 EQSs
$3k EQDs$6k EQDs$9k EQDs$12k EQDs

I’d note that both Delta and United have opportunities for elite members to have this revenue requirement waived through their co-branded credit card:

  • With Delta, all elite qualifying dollar requirements can be waived by spending $25,000 on a Delta Amex Card
  • With United, elite qualifying dollar requirements can be waived for Silver, Gold, and Platinum members by spending $25,000 on a United Chase Card

American hasn’t yet announced an option to get a waiver through their co-branded credit card. I’ve been told that American is still evaluating their options when it comes to a potential waiver for cardholders. If/when they come up with something, it will be separately announced. As of now we don’t know anything one way or another, though, which is rather frustrating.

American is changing how upgrade priority works

American has been unique in how they prioritize upgrades. Upgrades clear first by status, and then by the time added to the waitlist. In other words, if you’re an Executive Platinum member who books your ticket way in advance, you’re almost guaranteed to clear. However, the downside is that if you’re a last minute planner, you’ll often be paying the highest fare and also have the worst odds at upgrades.

As of “later in 2017,” American will be prioritizing upgrades based on a 12-month rolling elite qualifying dollar total, sorted by elite status. In other words, an Executive Platinum member who has spent $20,000 on American in the past year but booked a week out will be prioritized ahead of an Executive Platinum member who has spent $10,000 in the past year but booked 11 months out.

American is adding upgrades on award tickets

As of “later in 2017” (the exact date will be announced at a later point), Executive Platinum members will receive complimentary upgrades for award tickets within regions which are eligible for 500-mile upgrades.

500-mile upgrades are valid for flights within the 50 United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, the Bahamas, Bermuda as well as between the United States and Central America (Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua or Panama).

These upgrades will be prioritized after Executive Platinum members on revenue tickets have cleared.

American-First-Class

As a point of comparison, I’d note that:

  • Delta offers complimentary upgrades on award tickets to Gold, Platinum, and Diamond Medallion members
  • United offers complimentary upgrades on award tickets to all elite members, assuming they have the airline’s co-branded credit card

What do I make of these changes?

The AAdvantage program going revenue based on the earnings side is a negative change, but we already knew that would happen.

The fourth elite tier seems fair enough, and actually has some decent benefits between Platinum and Executive Platinum. The unlimited complimentary upgrades and higher upgrade priority are worthwhile. This is a devaluation for lifetime Platinum members, but to be honest I can’t blame American for that, given how many people have lifetime status under American’s old system.

The revenue requirement is disappointing, and I’m especially frustrated by the fact that they’re announcing this without knowing one way or another whether there will be an opportunity to get that waived if you spend a certain amount on their co-branded credit card. It would be nice to know one way or another, because it could impact how people view the program.

As far as the change in upgrade priority goes, I have mixed feelings about it. I’m generally a last minute planner and didn’t necessarily think the old system was the best, since typically those paying the highest, last minute fares had the worst shot at upgrades. However, the new system further reinforces the concept that your value to the airline is your exact revenue the past 12 months, rather than your overall loyalty.

The new upgrade benefit on awards is nice in theory, but I’d note that it’s still less generous than what Delta and United offer in that regard.

Bottom line

I’ve long been an American fanboy because they were sort of the underdog. I always thought “well, they might not be the best airline in terms of their onboard experience, but they have a great loyalty program, and that makes them worth flying.”

Then they announced a lot of improvements to their onboard product, which were great. Then they merged with US Airways, which set them back a decade in terms of their onboard product.

Now I genuinely think their loyalty program has gone from industry leading to worse than what’s offered by Delta and United. Rather than focusing on the onboard product and updating their fleet (there are still no plans to reconfigure the ex-US Airways A320s and A321s, which are horrible), they’re chipping away at their loyalty program.

I’m very disappointed at the state of AAdvantage, and am finally seriously considering dropping my status. See my follow-up post for the 10 reasons I’m considering breaking up with American.

What do you make of these changes to the AAdvantage program?

About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

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Comments

  1. The revenue based earning is always the part that stings. Otherwise, none of this matters to me as a non-elite flyer on any airline anymore. I’ll still try to spend my $$ on airlines whose miles have some remaining value. Otherwise, I’m entirely a free agent…and it feels great.

  2. At least no word that they’re going revenue/price-based on awards. That would be a blow to those of us with many miles.

    No one beats Doug Parker in a race to the bottom.

  3. I don’t really see what better measure of “overall loyalty” AA could use to rank upgrade priority. 12-month rolling EQDs is a bit harsh — and it will be especially interesting to see if AA follows DL in awarding some measure of EQDs on partner flights, which UA still does not — but you can’t argue that someone who has flown on hundreds of rock-bottom coach fares for years is somehow a customer more deserving of reward than one who has spent a lot in the last 12 months.

    It is actually more rewarding of “loyalty” than DL or UA, since those airlines rank upgrades by fare class on that particular flight — so on AA, an elite who has flown a lot (and expensively) recently but happens to be on a cheap fare one particular day gets treated better than they would at DL or UA. That is actually a decent way to award loyalty, since someone might be a very valuable customer to the airline through their job, and just happen to be flying on a cheap coach fare on vacation one day. Doesn’t AA still want to award them?

  4. Wouldn’t really call these that earth shattering, especially since we knew about the program going revenue based.

    They’re big changes for a program, but they’re matching (or racing down to) the competition.

    What level one world status do Platinum Pros get?

  5. Hahahahaha, so Delta isn’t so bad after all…
    AA racing to the bottom.
    Didn’t they just get an new VP of their AAdvantage program?

  6. Wow, that would be quite the change! I look forward to seeing which airline you might be switching your business to.

  7. When you treat loyalty like an equation to be solved, you’ll find that your customers brush up on their math skills as well and begin to fly better airlines.

  8. So basically, AA has completely gutted their loyalty program, resulting in something that looks worse than DL or UA.

    Switch to Delta. Now that the big three are basically the same from a loyalty perspective, operational reliability, customer service, and onboard service are the biggest differentiators. DL beats AA and UA in all those measures.

    Sure, you can’t use SkyMiles to fly FC on Cathay or Etihad, but there is still a lot of value to be had with business class redemptions. Low-level awards on DL metal are still quite common, and its partners often have good availability. In addition, fuel surcharges are rare on DL. No 115K plus $600 in taxes like you’d find when using AA miles on BA.

  9. Was expecting worse based on the title and some Twitter traffic. Was hoping AA was not going to go down the revenue requirement path but oh well, that will most likely veer me back to UA as I don’t think I will be able to hit both EXP and 1k. Seeing what DL has done with their E+ and upgrade polices AA still has a ways to race to the bottom should they choose.

  10. I’m looking forward to your post on where you’re thinking about moving your loyalty to Lucky.

    I’d be intrigued by a look at some foreign carrier alternatives and your take on Alaska

  11. It is a truly a sad day for American Airlines elite members who have been with them over the years and through all of their mergers. I am really disappointed in their changes but I understand these are the times we live in! I might join you Lucky on switching over my elite status!

  12. I got status an AA “by accident” – a paid business flight on another airline got canceled and they put me on AA, and I got all sorts of miles. I enjoyed the perks for a while, and MIGHT have considered sticking around if they had kept the program mileage-based, but now there is literally NOTHING to differentiate them from UA and Delta.

    Meanwhile, I have an upcoming trip to London, and am booking La Compagnie business class for $200 more than AA’s economy fare (and the exact same fare as BA’s premium economy).

    I get constant reinforcement that airlines’ frequent flyer programs nowadays are pretty much useless for people like me, who travel only a few times per year. They don’t want to do what it takes to keep me loyal. So I’m no longer loyal.

  13. The most frustrating part is that AA can’t seem to announce all of these changes at once. Stop making big changes every 6 months, announce some big changes and let them go into effect before you make more big changes. When the ball is constantly moving you are only going to frustrate your good customers and you are shattering our loyalty.

  14. A lot of complications to be worked out – surely few to the “aadvantage” of the customer.

    I wonder how will AAVacations purchases be credited?

    If status is already earned going via butt in seat going into the 2017 year, will it not be recognized until revenue requirements are (also) met? That question has some theme and variations awaiting answers, too. Revenue totals per individual 12 month, or calendar year? As it kicks off, will no one have status until spending totals are met (following these miserly plans to their illogical extremes…)?

  15. I can’t understand this move from a high level, corporate strategy perspective. One of the key drivers of competitive advantage in an industry is (at least some level of) differentiation from your competition – I fail to see why AA wants to voluntarily give up this differentiation, thus, in my mind, completely eroding competitive advantage and simply becoming a commoditized product.

  16. AAdvantage could regain many a customer through 2 changes: Double EPs (240 EQS/24k EQD) get distance-based whenever it gives them more than $ spent and old mileage chart on RT but, for a One-way ticket it is proportional to how much of the RT ticket it was i.e. a RT F ticket to NRT costs 12k RT and 9K one way it would be 125k RT and 93750 OW.

  17. Most of this is to be expected but the upgrades based on EQD is a bit harsh. Really didn’t see that one coming. Time to switch everything domestic to Southwest! Then internationally just decide by who has the best times and direct flights that work for me.

  18. Really bad. I am Executive Platinum until January 2018. Hard to see why I would be motivated to be with American after that.

  19. @RCB, agree completely that these incremental dribbled out changes are really hard on future planning. I hope this is the end of the big changes for a while. As for loyalty programs, I guess I’m still on board with AA (at least for now) because they fly the best metal on the routes I most use and I like the international award availability options. On second thought, maybe this is a good time to take a fresh look at Delta…..

  20. As an AA Gold, my biggest disapointment with this is that it will further hurt my chances at upgrades using stickers (which I estimate is currently around 50%) because a big chunk of more people will get them automatically without choosing to use stickers. I am somewhat ok with that b/c I understand Gold is low-tier, but if I were a barely-qualifying Platinum, this would make me very upset.

  21. Interesting that they prioritize EXP upgrades on awards above other levels on cash tickets. I think DL will upgrade elites on awards, but they are pretty far down the list.

  22. Given that the million miler lifetime status qualification changed 5 years ago , I was hopeful that 3 million lifetime miles would result in Plat Pro for life. Not the case so no real incentive to fly past 2 million mark. I am less than 50 K away from UA million miles so my spend – all premium cabin – is going to UA.

  23. I’m fine with all these changes except the name of the new tier level: Platinum Pro???
    Come on AA, you can do better!

  24. What is impact on Million Milers? Will you still keep Platium status earned? Is there opportunity now to earn Platinum Pro or is Platium still stop status no matter how many million miles you earn?

  25. @ Fran P — You keep Platinum status, though there’s no opportunity to earn Platinum Pro lifetime status.

  26. What is impact on Million Milers? Will you still keep Platinum status earned? Can you now earn up to Platinum Pro status or is Platinum still top status no matter how many million miles you earn?

  27. AA still doesn’t think that their products are inferior to Delta’s, and that many of their top customers remain loyal to AA mostly because it has a superior FF program.

    Once AAdvantage and Skymiles programs become essentially the same, why the heck would I fly AA instead of Delta? I think most other AA loyalists will ask the same question.

  28. I’m another AA EXP looking at options. What is the best way to concisely get a good overview of Delta’s program (earning, upgrades, partners etc)? Presumably not their own website. Learning the ropes is to tedious…

    ChrisNYC

  29. That takes care of any lingering reasons to remain loyal to AA. Looking forward to the free agent market, other than trying to use up the remaining AA systemwide upgrades for this year I’ll plan to fly with whoever has the best schedule. price and service for the rest of 2016.

  30. @Tom — what AA is doing is the same as DL. DL’s priority is Diamond on the highest coach fare, then the second highest, and so on, down to the lowest coach fare, then Diamond on an award, then Platinum on the highest coach fare, and so on. So AA is the same as treating awards as just the lowest priority within an elite level, though AA is otherwise prioritizing within an elite level by EQDs instead of fare.

  31. @ChrisNYC- You should check out the Delta Fan Boy of Boarding Area- Rene’s Points

    I guess I am the only EXP that is going to stick to AA. I still think I will hit the requirements posted and they didn’t increase anything other than dollars. I like that I will be able to upgrade on Award tickets now, although I would be more happy to use my upgrades on partner carriers. That would be ideal.

  32. I’m PLT and on track for PLT this year, but definitely will go free agent now in 2017. I wish I could get my money back for all the non-refundable tickets I already have with AA in 2016.

  33. Curious how the change with EQDs impacts a flight I have booked for late December 2016 with a January 2017 return?

  34. The AAdvantage program going revenue based sucks big time. I have a long transatlantic flight which would have given me some 12,000+ miles round trip and now it is devaluated to a mere cross-country stint (I will get some 5,000 miles even with the gold “bonus”). What a load of crap. The ONLY way to earn miles effectively is to sign-up for cards and drop them 11 months later, and repeat the cycle. Flying itself? Negligible contribution, so why bother flying AA?

  35. Sigh…EXP here, throwing in the towel. I probably do come close to meeting the rev requirements…but I usually do at least 2-3 MRs per year to hit 100k, and I refuse to chase both EQM and make sure I shove exactly enough cash down AA’s gullet to earn my keep.

    But I don’t think I’ll jump over to UA or DL’s program. Will probably go for a foreign airline, perhaps even on OW – with the ironic effect that I’ll be losing upgrades on AA, but suddenly getting access to Admirals Clubs (a sad consolation prize.)

  36. Having three out of the four tiers with the name “Platinum” is not good design or marketing.

  37. Well,

    To the extent they involve reshuffling the deck and altering the ways goodies get divvied, changes like these always create winners and losers.

    I am LT Plat but my travel pattern is mostly the DCA-BOS shuttle, and in amounts insufficient even to earn Gold were I not LT Plat.

    My ox gets totally gored by these changes and I am bummed. Big time.

  38. Perhaps a dumb question, but I can;t seem to find a cogent explanation of exactly how status qualification works under this new program. What exactly must one do to reach EXP now, for instance? Thanks for indulging me.

  39. Rolling EQD count: very smart, I had always thought that is the best way to go. In fact, having discrete levels is really redundant, just go by EQDs alone.
    Counting miles will eventually disappear… all qualifying will be EQDs, give it a year or two.
    Eventually upgrades will go to the highest bidders, none will be free. (already practically happening on United)

  40. The platinum pro name is probably the best they could have done. They couldn’t make it a fancier metal than platinum because then it looks like you’re devaluing EXP or make it something that might be below platinum because you’ve got regular platinums below you. With platinum above and below it had to be some flavor of platinum in the middle. And they probably didn’t want to create a new level below platinum because that would mean carrying over all the lifetime folks into a higher level.

  41. Soon they’ll go 3-3 in first on 73x and 32x. DL will be the first.
    They’ll take all the the SWUs ( 8 to 4 to 0 ).

  42. Sorry but as someone who travels to the USA a number ofl times each year, flying internally is a most unpleasant experience a frequent flyer from outside the USA could have.
    Treated like cattle from the moment you enter the airport is pretty much par for the course.
    I am Australian and while domestic travel here is not brilliant, it is light years ahead of any experience you will have in the USA regardless of airline, status or class of travel.
    Domestic flying in the USA should be avoided if at all possible, point to point from outside the country is definitely your best option with an external airline. I have no doubt this is the reason American airlines in general have lost so much international market share.
    Worse is the probably don’t care – as evidenced by the sort of changes listed here.
    As for AA and its changes – can’t say I’m surprised, it seems like flying inside the USA regardless of airline is in a race to the bottom of the barrel.

  43. Just filed a DOT complaint since I paid more $$ for a ticket in August to fly AA vs competing carriers based on their advertising I would earn miles flown, and that it was deceptive advertising.

    Stated the FAA Modernization Act which in Section 408 say the DOT can investigate complaints regarding:
    (6) the rights of passengers who hold frequent flyer miles or equivalent redeemable awards earned through customer-loyalty programs; and
    (7) deceptive or misleading advertising.

    What the hell, AA says that AAdvantage is a marketing tool, they advertise its benefits to entice purchases, when those changes are made, it’s deceptive advertising; can’t hurt to file.

    My biggest gripe is the less than 60 days notice, the last time they pulled this crap they said the would give sufficient notice, 55 days is not.

  44. Will this affect also non-US based travellers who credit miles to AA? Or will there be some kind of EQD exemption? I think UA has something similar.

  45. I don’t see the big deal about EQD’s. The spending thresholds seem very low for the travel involved. Granted, this will have a big impact on people who are earning status through mileage running on cheap premium tickets, but if you’re not spending $12k a year on tickets, why would AA want you to have top elite status?

    The rest of the changes seem positive to me. I like the upgrades on award tickets particularly.

  46. On or after Aug 1, will this go by date of ticket purchase if it is prior to Aug 1, or will it go by date of travel?

    @Tm Carter agree completely, as EXP who travels domestic markets outside the US, not just gateways, US domestic travelers are treated worse than cattle. There is absolutely no need for the rude treatment, other countries get by just fine without having to be this way. The worst is the yelling by TSA in security. This is just not done elsewhere.

  47. Thanks for the confirmation Lucky. While I know that most any question I call and ask about now, I’m given the wrong answer, not surprising when I called AA about this I was told it goes by date of ticket purchase.

  48. Broke up with Delta for AA few years ago. Worse product but better loyalty. But if all things are equal in terms of earning and upgrades — AA does not have anywhere NEAR the product AND experience that Delta or Jet Blue offer. As a gold/silver 25-35K a year flyer — There is NO reason to stay loyal to them. It’s Delta again for me or Jet Blue. At least I can pool my points with them.

  49. I really hope that a lot of folks leave the Advantage program so my upgrades clear all the time!
    Call me crazy but a 12k spend for Explat seems pretty fair don’t we all spend that staying Explat anyway?
    I’m sticking in and hoping a lot of people leave or drop to plat pro and let the Explats clear all upgrades!
    I love the upgrades for mileage tickets but who would ever us AA miles on AA?

  50. Hmmm….this can only be described in one way. But…wait…isn’t that you know who? Regardless, this is now:

    *MEJOR EN SU CLASE*

  51. I have created a new group on Facebook called “Dis-AAdvantaged”. If you are disillusioned by the changes taking place in the AAdvantage program, this is the group for you. The more people that join, the louder our voice, and the more likely we are to succeed in getting AA to listen to our point of view. Tweet about the group to your friends, share it on Facebook. Its time we take back control of our frequent flyer program!

  52. @ Laura, I too was just told by one EP agent that the date of ticket purchase determines the miles calculation, not the date of travel – so I called back to switch all of my post-Aug reservations BACK to my AA number, but then THAT agent said it was definitely based on date of travel, regardless of purchase date.

  53. If you buy a ticket for December 2016 returning in January 2017, does the spend count towards 2017 EQD?

  54. @Pat. miles calculation is based on date flown. I purchased my ticket july 18 or so, flew 8/1 (had a family thing on 7/31 which prevented me from booking my outbound flight then), and mile posted Thursday 8/4 and it has the dollar spent factored in. this def. sticks…I’m loosing about 3k redeemable miles R/T for my usual monthly route (CMH-QRO/GDL-CMH)

  55. I would be curious to understand the process a little better. I think there is something else going on. It used to be that they would email me a few days out on upgrades. Now nothing. Sometimes I get upgraded and sometimes not, where I’ve been upgraded every flight for three years. A friend who is not a frequent flyer got an email offering first class for $11. So I’m pretty sure they are sending those out to make an extra couple of bucks and just not mentioning it to those who have been paying high fares for years. I would love to see a follow up from you on this.

  56. I am a 30 year AA loyalist, million miler, but only Gold status. I need Bus class for bad back & cannot risk waiting list. It seems the only way i can use my 250,000 miles is to plan a big international trip with flexible date & destination, taking any RT bus seat i can get. Then – sayonara AAdv !!

  57. The biggest outrage here is the requirement, new in 2017, that to earn premium status one must satisfy BOTH a revenue requirement AND a mileage requirement. For example, flyer A takes 5 cross-country round trips; each trip is 5K miles and each ticket is $600, so they meet both requirements for gold status. Flyer B takes only 4 of those trips, but buys their tickets later and spends $800 per ticket; since they meet only the revenue requirement and not the mileage requirement they don’t get gold status. The bottom line is flyer B gave the airline more revenue ($3200 vs. $3000) AND cost the airline less to deliver the service (4 trips rather than 5), but it is only flyer A who is rewarded.

    What possible business purpose could be served by this arrangement? Is American Airlines being deliberately perverse, or just stupid?

  58. Living in Dallas, the only airline choices are American or Southwest — will Delta ever reopen their hub at DFW? As an EXP, the best benefit has been the 8 systemwide upgrades — those are being cut in half. Gogo WiFi is a joke, the old US Air planes don’t have electric outlets, and even as an EXP, it’s become virtually impossible to get upgraded on flights between the hubs (which is what I travel 80% of the time). It’s also very hard to use miles — again, people in Dallas have no choice — unfortunately Atlanta, the closest hub, is 732 miles away.

  59. I have been putting up with horrible service and sub-par overall experience so I could hang on to the thread of what AAdvantage elite status use to be. Their miles are now worthless as the only way to use them in an “efficient” way is to agree to impossible dates, countless connections and horrible hours. As soon as my freshly minted Platinum Status expires, I am taking my $$$ somewhere else…..

  60. For the Platinum Pro complimentary upgrades, does anyone know if 500 mile eligible regions means all domestic flights (USA, Canada, Central America) or if it’s the same as the current platinum upgrades where it’s only auto requested for flights 500 miles or less. Have seen both in writing but the way it’s written here makes it sound like the former. All responses appreciated 🙂

  61. I am a little confused about the timing of things. I am Platinum through Feb 2018, but are the new rules regarding when upgrades clear (now 48 instead of 72 hours for Plat) in effect as of Jan 1, 2017? Meaning that, starting 7 days from now, my upgrades won’t clear at 72 any more?

    I agree with the other commenter who said they don’t understand why AA didn’t just roll everything out at once. The incremental changes are completely baffling.

  62. Truly, the benefits of having Elite Status (have Gold) have deteriorated to the point that it really isn’t beneficial. Whereas I used to be notified of upgrades consistently, for the past 6 months, upgrades are non existent. AA doesn’t value their customers or loyalty any longer. Someone sits in a room and figures out all the ins and outs of making the program very difficult. Unless something changes in the next year, I’m out. Jet Blue is sounding better all the time.

  63. What the heck is wrong with you American Airlines? I have been a member for many years and now you treat your long time, devote premium members like garbage? I was Gold for a while, almost never got upgrades due to Platinum’s going before me. Now I am Platinum and have to compete with a FOURTH new tier, Platinum Pro? Three tiers, Silver, Gold, and Platinum is what it should be. Not different versions of the same level. Three versions of Platinum now as if two weren’t enough? Unbelievable,

  64. Most of my friends that where loyal to AA are now switched to Southwest and Virgin. Southwest due to baggage and Virgin because it is more hip and more perks. Ive been a loyal customer for 20 years. Just started flying Alaska on all the flights that I used to fly on AA.

  65. Most of my friends that where loyal to AA are now switched to Southwest and Virgin. Southwest due to baggage and Virgin because it is more hip and more perks. Ive been a loyal customer for 20 years. Just started flying Alaska on all the flights that I used to fly on AA.

  66. Miles earned on American are now worthless. I’ve got almost 200,000 of them, but there are so few seats available for use with mileage that people are call up in popular markets like to Australia to use them, particularly business class upgrades, that people are calling over a year in advance and still not getting them. in any other business, this would be called “fraud”. Going to use these for the few remaining hotels and car deals that can be used, at really lousy rates per night, and then cut up my AA card. Done.

  67. AA sucks , 709,000 miles 300,000 with USAir 80 500 mile segments and now board in group 8 ! and no upgrades .
    Thanks AA it will be Jet Blue now , goodbye !

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