As a newly minted AAdvantage Executive Platinum member in 2015, I am trying to figure what the changes to American Airlines AAdvantage mean to me. There are three main areas with program changes in 2016.
- AAdvantage Elite status will be more difficult to earn when flying Oneworld Alliance airlines and other partner airlines, unless the flights are ticketed as AA codeshares.
- In the second half of 2016 there will be a change to earning redeemable miles based on ticket price and elite status rather than flight miles. Discount economy flyers will earn far fewer redeemable miles when this new system takes effect. Currently, I earn 25,000+ EQM and redeemable miles on a $500 round trip ticket between San Francisco and Stockholm. That will be reduced to 11 miles per base fare, likely under 5,000 redeemable miles on a $500 ticket price that includes taxes and fees.
- Award miles increase for many American Airlines awards and OneWorld partner awards, especially in Business and First Class. You can book award travel using AAdvantage miles at the current award chart level through March 21, 2016 for travel as far out as the schedule allows. New award miles prices take effect March 22, 2016.
American Airlines Award Comparison for OneWorld Alliance and Partner Airline Awards current price levels and new price levels as of March 22, 2016.
American Airlines Oneworld Alliance and Partner Airlines
oneworld airline partners
- American Airlines
- British Airways
- Cathay Pacific
- Japan Airlines
- LAN Airlines
- Malaysia Airlines
- Qantas Airways
- Qatar Airways
- Royal Jordanian Airlines
- S7 Airlines
- SriLankan Airlines
- TAM Airlines
Additional airline partners
- Air Tahiti Nui
- Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air
- Cape Air
- EL AL
- Etihad Airways
- Fiji Airways
- Gulf Air
- Hawaiian Airlines
- Jet Airways
- Seaborne Airlines
Overall, economy class partner airline awards are not hit hard with the new changes. Middle East and India even drop in miles for economy class awards.
Alaska and Canada awards increase across the board. This makes a big hit on Alaska Airlines partner awards.
Business Class awards are less for travel to Mexico, Central America and Caribbean in 2016.
The primary increases are in Business Class and First Class awards. Combine the higher miles awards with a 2016 AAdvantage program planning to reduce miles earned for actual flights places AAdvantage First Class awards firmly in the realm of credit card miles earners, rather than flyers.
My chart only looks at flights with USA 48 origination or destination. Award increases have occurred in all regions around the globe.
Link: AAdvantage Award Charts
Loyalty Traveler – American Airlines AAdvantage 2016 changes with new award charts on aa.com
Loyalty Traveler – AAdvantage 2016 Changes to Off-Peak Seasons for discount economy awards