AAdvantage Redeemable Mileage (RDM) Earning Rate Goes Revenue Based
Note, that the announcement says it’ll tell you how many miles you’ll earn for flights after 1 August 2016 when you book on American’s website, but as of this writing, it is not showing.
New AAdvantage Status Level
This one is a push, in my opinion, as they could have just as easily instituted another level at 125k instead of 75k miles, mirroring Delta (granted, they’d need to tweak the other levels too).
The Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQD) Shoe Drops
Interesting things that stand out:
The way your upgrade request is prioritized will change later in 2017. You’ll be listed according to your elite status level followed by the number of EQDs earned in the last 12 months.
Funny Math for Partner Marketed Flights: This FAQ also jumped out at me:
Why are award miles and EQDs for travel on partner airline marketed flights calculated differently from American marketed flights?
When you fly with a partner airline, the fare you paid isn’t always shared with American. Therefore, flights that are marketed by American’s partner airlines earn mileage and EQDs based on a percentage of the distance flown as determined by the booking code of the ticket purchased.
Overall, this puts another nail in the coffin–perhaps not quite the final one though. It will certainly thin the ranks of elite flyers out, barring EQD waivers, in 2018. I think the most noticeable change immediately will be the revenue based earning of RDMs. Ironically for me, I’ve got a flight in August, where I’ll actually earn nearly 3x the miles under the new system, but I suspect for many, it’s going to hurt. Those super cheap airfares to Asia and Europe that many have gotten on, won’t be nearly as rewarding, in some cases 50% or less.
We’ll see the biggest impacts of these changes March, 2018, when the elite ranks are thinned. I say this, because I think a lot of folks–myself included–pushed hard to requalify or get the majority of flights in before 1 June, expecting revenue based earning of RDMs to kick in around then, and decrease the earn rate. Even for folks who haven’t gotten all the way, it wouldn’t surprise me if they finish it off this year, since most of the rough changes don’t kick in until next year anyway.