American Airlines Revamps AAdvantage Frequent Flyer Program for 2016

By Paul Riegler on 17 November 2015
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American Airlines planes in Philadelphia

American Airlines planes in Philadelphia

American Airlines, which over the course of the past year merged both its operations and frequent flyer programs with those of US Airways, announced sweeping changes to its AAdvantage loyalty program.

American is eliminating one method of earning elite status within the program, namely Elite Qualifying Points. Starting January 1, 2016, AAdvantage members will be able to earn status with either Elite Qualifying Miles or EQMs or Elite Qualifying Segments or EQSs. First-class, business-class, and full-fare coach tickets on American will earn additional EQMs as well.

Executive Platinum members, the top tier of the program, will only receive four systemwide upgrades instead of eight, at the start of the year although they will have the opportunity to earn up to four more in the course of the year based on account activity.

American is also changing the expiration date of elite status. Starting with 2017, elite status will run through January 31 of the following year, instead of through February.

Finally, the Fort Worth-based carrier is changing how members earn award miles on flights marketed by American. In the second half of 2016, the number of miles awarded for a flight will be based on the price of the ticket and the member’s elite status level as opposed to actual miles flown. The airline is also changing award redemption levels for flights that are redeemed starting March 22, 2016.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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