It seems Suzanne Rubin, President of theAAdvantage Loyalty Program, was a little late in getting an email out to the US Airways Dividend Miles members about some of the upcoming changes. I received the email around 11 p.m. on Tuesday evening, long after much of this has been bouncing around Twitter and the points/miles/travel blogs all day. It certainly has created a great deal of discussing, fussing, and cussing!
She begins by telling us that with the integration of the two airlines they have one simple goal and that is to return “American Airlines to its status as the greatest airline in the world.” Increasing the fleet of aircraft, creating a new network of codeshare flights, and allowing mutual redemption are a few of the things accomplished with the merger thusfar. Unfortunately, this new network has caused my home airport of AGS to lose its once daily direct Washington flight.
Rather than just saying that mileage requirements have increased and exactly where and by how much:
“Effective today for travel starting June 1, 2014, you can now use your miles for any seat on any US Airways flight. Award amounts will vary by date and a few, select dates are offered at higher mileage levels throughout the year.”
Instead of saying that North Asia redemptions have increased:
“You’ll notice changes to our medium and high award travel tiers which now lowers the minimum number of miles needed for award travel to the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America.”
The mileage upgrade fee used to be waived for Preferred members (unless it was for International Envoy) and now:
“As of April 23, 2014, the mileage upgrade fee will now apply to Preferred members on US Airways flights. The fee will continue to be waived for fares purchased in Y or B.”
The only little bit of good news is that Chairman’s Preferred members:
“… may now check up to four bags free of charge when traveling in First Class or Business Class. This is effective for tickets issued on American Airlines flights on or after April 8, 2014 and for tickets issued on US Airways flights on or after April 23, 2014.”
For those who are:
- Gold, Platinum and Chairman’s Dividend Miles Preferred members
- AAdvantage Platinum and Executive Platinum members
- oneworld Sapphire and Emerald members
- Silver Preferred members
- AAdvantage Gold members
- oneworld Ruby members
The new baggage rules can be found at the US Airways Baggage Policies page.
Gary Leff wrote a wonderful post this evening entitled A Big Lesson Learned for American; Respect Your Members. I absolutely agree with what he has written. We all knew that changes were going to take place and I believe we are all trying to take them in stride. But not only slipping these changes in but also waiting until the end of the day when the blogosphere has already been full of heated discussions and posts to send an email to Dividend Miles members is not the members first communication they are striving for.
I have the utmost respect for Suzanne Rubin and realize the task before her is a formidible one. I was fortunate to meet her in Los Angeles prior to the OneWorld MegaDo and have seen her passion for what she does and for the airline she represents. However, I do hope Gary’s message of ‘respect’ got through in his conversation yesterday.
If the New American wants to be ” out in front of members with their own communication first” then perhaps they need to rethink their strategy a bit.
Edit to add: My email notification from American Airlines was delivered to my inbox last night at 2:09 am.