According to View From the Wing, American AAdvantage has rolled out changes effective February 1, that will result in reduced mileage earning on BA and Iberia flights. This follows information about these now confirmed changes being introduced then retracted several weeks ago. (Feature image credit: Shutterstock)

I put a “best of” post up last week that I originally wrote in 2014 for a reason other than the fact that I’m vacationing on a ship in the middle of the Atlantic. I thought the content was relevant to where we are now, especially in light of comments made by American’s President recently, and a repeat wouldn’t hurt. In that post I opined that “I think EQPs could form the basis of a new AAdvantage program that rewards big spenders on the one hand, while not completely dynamiting the traditional system we’re all most comfortable with.”

Of course, elite qualifying points and miles are not the same thing, but I think the rate at which they are earned could form the basis of a new mileage earning structure at AAdvantage.


American Airlines President Scott Kirby promised innovation within the frequent flyer program” during the company’s recent quarterly earnings call, and it wasn’t the first time the topic has come up. One example of an “innovation” AAdvantage might implement is that you earn a half mile for each mile flown on a G, Q, N, O, or S fare, but you earn 1.5 miles per mile flown for a Y fare…..perhaps more. In theory, such a structure would better reward those who pay higher fares, but there are exceptions as Pizza in Motion points out. There are a lot of moving parts in this, and I haven’t even brought elite status earning into the conversation.

I am not endorsing this idea as a great thing, nor do I have any specific “inside” information on what AAdvantage is working on. However, I have never quite subscribed to the theory that a “new” AAdvantage had to be a carbon copy of SkyMiles or MileagePlus, and I think I’ve pointed that out in this space more than once.

In the end, the only thing I am certain of is that change is going to come to AAdvantage just like it has at their two primary U.S. competitors and Southwest. Will Alaska’s Mileage Plan be the last port in the storm of the century? In the near term, perhaps, but I would not bet my mileage balance on that option being around forever in its current form.

-MJ, November 3, 2015