The 2015 American AAdvantage program is providing hefty bonuses to premium cabin flyers while not taking away anything from members flying on discount fares (in other words, 1 mile continues to earn 1 mile — while business and first class tickets earn bonuses like most international programs provide).
Already the AAdvantage program provided:
- Miles based on distance flown
- Bonus miles for elite frequent flyers
- Bonus miles for more expensive tickets
This is a new bonus added on top. Here’s how it was announced for the year.
Here’s what AAdvantage President Suzanne Rubin said at the time the bonus was launched (bolding mine):
As the largest airline in the world, with a global network that spans 54 countries, our frequent flyer program must also be the best in the business. A mile flown continues to be a mile earned in AAdvantage, and now we’re going to reward customers even more when they purchase a First or Business Class ticket.
She’s very clear in this statement: Earning a mile from flying a mile is a key element of being the best frequent flyer program.
Now American has made this premium cabin bonus even more generous. They’ve increased the bonuses awarded to general members.
They’ve doubled the bonus for first and business fares, and added a bonus for discounted business class.
What this does is give general members the same premium cabin bonus as American’s Gold and Platinum members (while still awarding an even bigger bonus to Executive Platinums).
This could either mean:
- That they view the program as working, and so want to expand it.
- That they aren’t doing well enough with non-elite flyers.
Clearly they haven’t felt the need to increase bonuses for elites at the point they’re revisiting the program, so that tells me that it must be doing the job they’re looking for with frequent customers.