America West, winner of the 2003 Freddie Award for Best Elite Program, has announced some minor trimming of its elite program.
The major change is reduced flight bonuses. Platinums will receive a 100% bonus on miles flown, down from 125%. Golds will receive a 50% bonus down from 100%. Silvers will receive a 25% bonus down from 50%. In addition, Platinums will no longer be offered “Reduced Top Value Awards.” No more reduced mileage for capacity control-free redemptions.
On top of the elite changes, America West has announced higher redemption prices for awards. Used to be you could redeem a 20,000 mile award for a coach ticket. That option is now gone. Flights under 750 miles start at 15,000 miles and flights over 750 miles start at 25,000 miles.
A first class coast to coast flight will run 50,000 miles — 10,000 miles more than on United (at least for the moment). Ouch!