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American Set To Introduce Fuel Surcharges On ALL International Award Tickets!

(This story is still developing, so apologies in advance if it ends up being false)

Update: False Alarm. Here’s the official response from American:

Last night, in a routine effort to better align American to industry standards with other global carriers, American began collecting carrier-imposed surcharges on tickets for travel on other carrier’s metal.  This change was intended for revenue tickets only, but the surcharge was erroneously added to AAdvantage award redemptions on other airlines as well.  Except in the cases of British Airways and Iberia (where American currently collects these surcharges), no carrier-imposed surcharges will be applied when redeeming AAdvantage miles for award travel on other carriers.  Any customers who encountered this fee in error will be fully refunded.

There’s nothing quite like waking up in the morning and discovering that another loyalty program has made a serious downgrade. One Mile at a Time reports on news received from an American Airlines phone agent that suggests they will be imposing fuel surcharges to all international award tickets (even on their own metal) as of today.

new-american-logo

If true, this is some shockingly bad news, and seriously degrades the value of American miles in my opinion. I’ve traditionally thought of them as on par with United miles, but the thought of having to pay a few hundred dollars on every award ticket will change that equation considerably.

The other aspect that makes it hard to swallow is the complete lack of notice in making what is a very significant change. There are reports on FlyerTalk of people still being able to book with certain partners, so if you were thinking about booking any trips, you might want to jump on that ASAP.

As I mentioned above, this story is still developing and has yet to be confirmed by American themselves. I’ll be sure to provide an update once we hear from them – but in the meantime, how are you American frequent flyers feeling about this change? Anyone now thinking about jumping ship to (gasp!) United?

UPDATE: Make sure to Follow @AmericanAirlines on Twitter – there does seem to be information coming out slowly, including reports of partners that are not affected:

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