American Airlines Changes Frequent-Flier Policy

April 15, 2014 by

American Airlines

American Airlines has announced a change in their Frequent Flier Awards policies that are effective as of April 8, 2014. The changes include doubling the number of frequent-flier award miles needed to procure a one-way ticket for travel on the busiest days. This translates to 50,000 miles for flights on days like the Sunday following Thanksgiving.

American explained the reasons behind the changes in a statement. First of all, the changes reflect polices more comparable to those of merger partner US Airways. Plus, the new rules eliminate blackout dates for members of US Airways’ Dividend Miles program.

The changes also inch American closer to changes like those adopted by smaller competitors, which link some awards to ticket price instead of miles flown. Smaller companies like Delta increased their earning by almost $150 million by making the change, and American Airlines would most likely surpass that with the 110 million members in their loyalty program.

American Airlines

What the Changes Mean

For members of AAdvantage, accumulated miles for a free one-way ticket were previously 25,000. Now, with these recent policy changes in place, miles needed for an economy AAnytime award will go up by 5,000 to 30,000 miles during part of the year, and while American’s statement doesn’t specify dates, the rate for the remainder of the year will go down to 20,000.

Other changes include:

  • Baggage fees: Baggage fees for AAnytime award travelers and full-fare economy ticket travelers will now be charged for those using miles to get a free ticket under the new policy. AAdvantage Gold members and Dividend Miles Platinum and Gold travelers will receive one less free checked bag. On flights to and from South America, there will no longer be a charge for a second checked bag.
  • Blackout dates:┬áThe update on blackout dates effective today will be implemented for travel starting June 1.

For a complete look at all the changes being implemented, read American Airlines statement for full details.

Photo credits: wikimedia, Andrew Morrell

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