American AAdvantage Answers Tons of Milepoint Member Questions

As a followup to her live chat on Milepoint, American AAdvantage President Suzanne Rubin went back to her office with all of the questions that didn’t make it in during the evening event and wrote out answers.

There were a ton of questions, this was a ton of work, and it’s really appreciated.

I went through the Q&A and found several items of interest:

  • They do not anticipate any changes to their award chart. I’ve predicted no changes during bankruptcy at least, and I take them at their word that they don’t have plans to increase the price of award tickets any time soon.
  • They continue to evaluate status matches on a case-by-case basis. Some months ago they began matching United top tier elites to their own top tier status, entirely apart from their usual status challenges that you have to pay to register for, fly to achieve status on an expedited basis, and are limited to achieving Platinum (rather than Executive Platinum status). While there’s no formal solicitation of other airline top tier elites at the moment, they are still open to matching interested customers. I assume that ‘case-by-case basis’ means they’re going to do more than look at whether you have status with the current airline (e.g. you have United 1K status by virtue of a partner’s multi-million mile status), instead evaluating whether you’re likely to be a profitable customer for them.
  • Fuel surcharges on British Airways and Iberia awards are per those airlines’ requirements rather than an American decision. That’s possible as both British Airways and Iberia are joint business venture partners and they’ve made moves to harmonize their programs. Certainly the British Airways surcharges are a tradeoff that also made it possible to fly BA between the US and London with American miles (I like the old system better of no fuel surcharges, you could fly from Canada or the Caribbean to London and from London to Africa with no fuel surcharges). I’d be surprised if American is entirely helpless in the matter though.
  • They do not intend to introduce a ‘tens of dollars’ upgrade policy (cheap upgrades sold to non-elite members while elites remain on the waitlist) a la United. Always good to hear!

If you’re interested in American AAdvantage, you may want to read the whole thing.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community Milepoint.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. I am so glad someone asked the Awardwallet question. Don’t like the answer but at least the question was asked.

  2. Gary,

    #3 — My gripe isn’t so much fuel surcharges on BA awards, I get that — my gripe is really with AA’s European award inventory on its own metal, which is presumably 100% fully within its control.

    I’d like to hear an official AA comment on that. It’s one thing when awards aren’t available for a day or two at the saver level; it’s another when 75% of the calendar days have nothing at all (while BA has space every day…)

  3. I see that the AA rep gave a new excuse, err, explanation for why the airline no longer permits AwardWallet users to view their AAdvantage miles:

    “…Our preference is to enter into commercial agreements with these sites that recognize American’s rights and control the unauthorized dissemination of American’s customer data.”

    While it’s commendable that AA has finally chosen to provide the truth their decision (as opposed to the initial “security” excuses), it’s disappointing that they are trying to profit from giving us easy access to our own AAdvantage mileage balances.

  4. No changes to the award chart? They’re expiring the Miles With No Expiration. I’d sure like to hear a transcript of what was she said.

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