Yesterday, I wrote a short post about rumors that we’d be seeing the details of a combined AAdvantage program soon. I’d hoped to hear something as part of today’s earnings release, but that wasn’t to be. There’s always tomorrow, but good news is usually announced earlier in the week. That said, IF they are ready to go with a combined program by March 1 as the rumors suggested, there’s only so much damage that can be done.

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OK, the Piedmont program was my first, but the truth is that I’ve earned and burned more AAdvantage miles than any other currency, I care about it the most, and for what it’s worth….I still have a little red, white, and blue in me. AAdvantage is THE frequent flyer program in my opinion, and everything that happens there matters to me. In the absence of an announcement that may or may not be forthcoming, here are my best guesses, take them for what you will.

Near Term

IF AAdvantage announces a combined AA-US program soon, it is going to look a lot more like the current AAdvantage program than anything else. Frankly, with all the IT work that must go on behind the scenes, there really is no other option. It is possible that we get a fourth tier. As much as I dislike complication, the truth is that most of the rest of the industry has been on four tiers for a while now. It’s more possible than not that AAdvantage had a fourth tier in mind for as far back as bankruptcy. Further, we’ve already been through a bit of a devaluation a few months back. Here we go –

  • Four tiers – Silver (25K), Gold (50K), Platinum (75K), Executive Platinum (100 and something K). I’m least sure about this).
  • Complimentary upgrades for Executive Platinum.
  • Earned/Paid upgrades by the “sticker” for everyone else (Sorry CTG) :).
  • Program mostly unchanged otherwise.

Longer Term

  • We’re headed towards a revenue based program.
  • Whether that copies Delta or not remains to be seen. I predict it looks more like BA than DL. Of course, all this depends on how the programs at DL/UA pan out.

So…there you have my thoughts. What are yours? Predictions for the future? Let’s watch what happens.

-MJ, October 23, 2014