Most of the feedback I’ve read about today’s AAdvantage announcement is positive. That said, I admittedly tend to look at things through the eyes of a longtime AAdvantage member, and no doubt, my own thoughts on the coming 2015 program are positive. I don’t doubt that my feelings are impacted by the fact that the combined program is going to look a lot more like what I currently know as the AAdvantage program than anything else. I think that’s a good thing. Not everyone agrees, and they have their own very valid reasons.

new aadvantage program, combined aadvantage program, 2015 aadvantage program,

  • Reader Dan frequently flies between JFK and CLT, a route measuring 514 miles. That’s 14 miles beyond the new 500 mile complimentary upgrade threshold, thus requiring 2 upgrades (earned or purchased) when AA and US are on a combined reservation system.
  • Reader Joe rarely flies less than 500 miles.
  • Reader Jon, an AA Gold member prefers using “stickers” to upgrade and fears that he’ll frequently be locked out of premium cabins on shorter flights.
  • Fellow BA blogger Jeanne at Heels First picked up on an important change for Dividend Miles members that did not get a lot of coverage today.
  • By far, my favorite alternative view point is that of Carolina Travel Girl, a longtime US Airways customer.

All are very reasonable viewpoints that I have some empathy for, even if I feel like the 2015 AAdvantage program is the best possible outcome for the largest number of American and US Airways customers right now. And “right now” is a point that needs to be emphasized. We may have seen the majority of changes that will take place in 2015…..and perhaps 2016, but sooner or later these two airlines are going to be one, and they’re going to be on one IT platform. More on that later.

-MJ, October 28, 2014