There was a big scare last week that American AAdvantage would no longer award full mileage for discount fares on British Airways or Iberia.
- On September 24 new earning rates were posted to American’s website
- But only in foreign languages
- And to go into effect in just one week.
American made clear this was a mistake. we’ve seen other odd mistakes posted to American’s website this year, like that top tier status would require 120,000 miles flown rather than 100,000. Every time this happens it’s hard to imagine it wasn’t just a mistake to announce things early rather than to put the information up at all. In the case of elite status requirements though the announcement never came.
I haven’t gotten to the bottom of what prompted the wrong information being posted on foreign language AA.com web pages. Clearly someone mocked up very specifically what lower AAdvantage earning rates would look like for travel on British Airways and Iberia. It was specific information, with a specific implementation date (October 1).
But the information wasn’t right, that’s not what they’re doing at least not now (or October 1). And it isn’t what they’re about to do.
You won’t earn any miles on London Heathrow buses.
I still think it’s strange and unsustainable that you can still earn 100% flown miles on British Airways and Iberia when crediting flights to the AAdvantage program, after British Airways and Iberia devalued their own programs no longer award full mileage themselves. As it stands, anyone who lives in London even but does not earn status above British Airways Gold and can meet American’s minimum of 4 flights on their own planes to earn AAdvantage elite should clearly credit flights to American and not to BA.
That said, American’s Laura Nedbal makes one thing clear to me about changes like this:
[I]f we were to issue changes like this we would be certain to give plenty of advanced notice.
All of the messaging from AAdvantage for the past year and a half has been that they’ve internalized the importance of giving members advance notice of changes.
We can’t take statements like this to the bank per se, but it’s pretty declarative nonetheless.