Looks like rumors are starting to fly as American Airlines starts to train their employees for upcoming changes to the AAdvantage program. Initial reactions from employees seems to be better than expected, that the changes aren't great, but they aren't going as far as United and not nearly as bad as Delta.
While we've seen the writing on the wall, it's still disappointing to see this happen. United has switched to revenue based earning, as has Delta. Delta has all but decimated their loyalty program, so why anyone is loyal to them is a bit curious to me, but some people fly out of Atlanta I guess. Miles redemptions have gone up for both companies and now that the merger with US Airways is done for American, they seem to be wasting no time in making changes.
So while reactions are that there are negatives, the path to elite status isn't nearly as bad as it has been for United and Delta. So I am curious what this means, is this going to be revenue based, where I need to pay a certain amount of money to get status. I hate this idea since it's no better than just asking people to buy status. Indications up front from people are that it is not going to be revenue based, but something more innovative. I'm nervous about this whole thing. I am new to the travel game and I cherish my Platinum status, if they make it more difficult to get it, I'm not sure I'll be able to hold that position.
When will we see these changes? Indications are that we will see the for 2016, which means they have not given us much time to see and adapt to the coming changes. We'll see how this all works out, I guess now I'm just glad I was able to book my flight back from Beunos Aires before this all went into effect.
American holds a special place as one of the single best programs in the world... I hope they don't go overboard here and jeopardize that position. Loyalty is a two way road, sour the relationship from your end too much and I have no reason to stick with you anymore. Tread softly American, you've got a lot of very loyal customers who have lots of competition to turn to.