AA Announces Changes to 2015 Elite Program and Merger Update

AA Announces Changes to 2015 Elite Program and Merger Update

There was an email sent out to all members this morning updating about American Airlines’ 2015 Elite Status Qualifications and merger with US Airways.

Here are some key changes to the American Airlines Advantage Program:

  • There will still be separate elite benefits in terms of upgrades and upgrade window on American operated flights and US operated flights.

Elite Qualification:

  • All tier qualifications (Gold, Platinum, EXP) will stay the same, except for segments for EXP which will be increased to 120 from 100.

Upgrades on American operated flights:

  • Unlimited upgrades on flights less than 500 miles for all elite members.
  • Any flight 500 miles or over will have the existing rules (Certs for Gold/Platinum, unlimited for EXP)

Upgrades on US operated flights

  • Unlimited upgrades for any elite
  • Now AA elites can clear upgrades earlier. Existing policy has any AA elites clear upgrades on US operated flights at check-in (up to 24 hours before your flight). Now it has been extended: 2 days for Gold, 3 days for Platinum, and 4 days for EXP.

Other Upgrade Information:

  • Codeshare flights: Upgrades on codeshare flights in eligible markets will continue to be offered based on availability at check‑in. Learn about upgrades on codeshare flights
  • Systemwide upgrades: Once we combine programs, systemwide upgrades can be used on any American and US Airways marketed and operated flights worldwide. Learn about systemwide upgrades
  • Mileage upgrades: All AAdvantage members will be able to redeem their miles for upgrades on American and US Airways marketed and operated flights.

Starting January 2015:

  • Bonus miles on American and US Airways Business Class tickets will increase from 25% to 50% to match what you receive in First Class
  • Executive Platinum members will enjoy complimentary same‑day flight changes on both airlines

My thoughts about the change

  • It is great that they haven’t changed the elite qualifications at all save for the segment requirement for EXP.
  • AA elites can now get upgrades on US airways earlier, which is what many AA elites have been looking for.
  • AA elites may fly US Airways more now that they can get unlimited upgrades on their flights
  • The wording doesn’t make it clear when we can start using SWU on US Airways flights.

You can see more at //www.aa.com/i18n/AAdvantage/AAdvantage2015/index.jsp or the email below:

In the second quarter of 2015, we’ll reach the next milestone on our path to integration by combining our frequent flyer programs into a single AAdvantage loyalty program. View a full timeline of events »Here’s what you can expect:

Earning elite status

The AAdvantage program will continue to offer three elite status levels — AAdvantage Executive Platinum, Platinum and Gold — and you’ll still have three ways to qualify with elite‑qualifying miles, points and segments. On January 1, 2015, the segment qualification requirement for Executive Platinum will move to 120, and the current 100 segment threshold will continue until December 31, 2014.

Here’s how qualifications will work:

Elite Status Qualifications

Combining accounts

If you have a Dividend Miles® and an AAdvantage account, we’ll combine them in the second quarter of 2015. You’ll hear from us early next year with information on how to quickly and easily match your accounts online. When we combine programs, we’ll move your Dividend Miles elite‑qualifying activity, award mileage balance and million mile balance into your AAdvantage account on a one‑to‑one ratio. We’ll determine your elite status level by looking at your combined elite‑qualifying activity for 2014, and separately, your combined 2015 year‑to‑date elite‑qualifying activity. Learn how we’ll combine your accounts »

Upgrading your experience

When our programs combine, your upgrade benefits will work differently for American and US Airways flights as we are still operating as two separate airlines. Once we have a single reservation system later in 2015, we’ll adopt the American upgrade process for all flights.

Here’s how your upgrade benefits will work on American Airlines marketed and operated flights:

American Upgrade Table

500‑mile upgrades: Gold and Platinum members will continue to earn four 500‑mile upgrades for every 10,000 elite‑qualifying miles flown to use on flights over 500 miles or to upgrade a traveling companion. Learn about 500‑mile upgrades »

Here’s how upgrades will work on US Airways marketed and operated flights:

US Airways Upgrade Table

Codeshare flights: Upgrades on codeshare flights in eligible markets will continue to be offered based on availability at check‑in. Learn about upgrades on codeshare flights »

Systemwide upgrades: Once we combine programs, systemwide upgrades can be used on any American and US Airways marketed and operated flights worldwide. Learn about systemwide upgrades »

Mileage upgrades: All AAdvantage members will be able to redeem their miles for upgrades on American and US Airways marketed and operated flights.

Benefiting on both carriers

Once we combine programs, elite members will continue to enjoy the same great benefits, including mileage bonuses, priority through the airport, free checked bags and much more. View a full listing of benefits »

Earning miles will continue to be easy. You’ll still be able to earn miles by making everyday purchases and by flying. Plus, you’ll be able to redeem your miles for any available seat with AAnytime® Awards on US Airways flights.

In the meantime, enjoy the following benefits before we combine programs:

Right now

  • Executive Platinum members receive a complimentary alcoholic beverage and snack item when traveling on US Airways flights in the Main Cabin as they do today on American

January 1, 2015

  • Bonus miles on American and US Airways Business Class tickets will increase from 25% to 50% to match what you receive in First Class
  • Executive Platinum members will enjoy complimentary same‑day flight changes on both airlines

For now, continue flying and enjoying reciprocal benefits and the ability to earn and redeem miles on both carriers. We’ll keep you updated as we move forward with other important integration milestones.

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