When Will The Other Shoe Drop For AAdvantage?


American announced earlier today that pretty much nothing will change for the new combined AAdvantage elite program in Q2 of 2015.   Elites will now be upgraded on sub-500 mile flights where nobody cares about being upgraded anyway. USAirways elites will have to get used to a new upgrade system and will lose their old frequent flyer numbers. And miles from USAirways will be automatically moved to American on a yet to be determined date in Q2. But that’s about it, no major surprises there.

As it stands American is the only of the remaining 3 network carriers to not have a spend requirement to earn elite status. And while United went through a painful devaluation earlier this year and Delta continues to make sure their miles are the worst in the industry, American hasn’t had a devaluation to their sAAver award chart in years.

I still expect to see an AAdvantage devaluation for 2015.  But for now, we’ll continue to hold our breath.

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24 Comments On "When Will The Other Shoe Drop For AAdvantage?"

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Does the news out today give you any clue when the Barclays USAirways card will end?


I’ve heard sometime in 2014.


Such an ominous title….I got the text and my heart stopped.


It’s inevitable. I don’t care for all the AAplause and cheering that went on today. Makes me feel like a slowly boiled frog.


I dont know where I saw it today, either TPG or FT, that as per AA senior management AA will not devalue in 2015 or add spend requirement as AA is the oldest FF program and does not follow others. Its the leader. I’ll tey to find the link.



What do you think will happen. What are your predictions?


Slowly boiled frog….thats a good one.


They have not said they will not devalue in 2015.

There will be a devaluation, period.
How bad is anyone’s guess.


Will the companion pass with us air transfer over? Will the 5k off awards from Barclays card still be valid?

Gary Leff

There almost has to be a devaluation, because anything that’s several orders of magnitude better than the average in the industry doesn’t last.

But I’m pretty confident it won’t be implemented during 2015. They’ve got bigger fish to fry, especially the reservation system integration that should come late 2015.

Once that’s done, they can focus on greater changes. 2016 will almost certainly see some, maybe a lot, and while they probably have some idea what those changes will look like it’s far enough off that I’d bet even AA isn’t fully certain yet what those will be.


Are American Airlines miles good for traveling anywhere in the US for less than 25000 miles round trip. I saved tons of miles for ElAl (which is discontinuing) and the info. I get for traveling to anywhere in the US is 12500 each way. Is there a way around this? What are American Airline miles good for? How can I get my best value?
When trying to go to Israel, when I called Lufthansa, they had very high taxes and surcharges to Israel in the summer. Is there a specific route I should be taking to avoid the surcharge? I tried various routes and direct with United and surcharges (or taxes) seem high to me. Also, if you put an Israeli address on the account, does that mean you are subject to VAT or anything else to be concerned about?
Also, when trying to get to Israel with British Airways, when calling British Airways for booking flight from NY to TLV via Berlin, they said the taxes or fees was $129. You wrote that it’s $91.74. Did it go up? Or did I do something wrong?


Are American Airlines miles good for traveling anywhere in the US for less than 25000 miles coach round trip. The info. I get for traveling to anywhere in the US is 12500 each way. Is there a way around this? What are American Airline miles good for? How can I get my best value for my AA miles?


Has anyone heard whether US Airways miles will count toward the American million mile balance for lifetime gold?


American this year has basically made it very difficult to get a nonstop flight cross country you have to do it with the stop now on the saver award. isn’t that a devaluation?


@Rochel: RT within Hawaii



Please address Rochel’s concerns as I have the same. Would like to sell my American miles – should I wait till after the merger or will it not make a difference?


@Gary Leff:
Wow nice to meet you here:-)


I work for a company with approx 1600 people that fly almost every day (consultants etc.). We have been encouraged by mgmt to focus our travel on AA if at all possible to support their continuing the program in tact. Gladly doing so.


when is Q2?
I would like to travel this summer
using my combined US/AA miles


Just received a letter from amex, delta is capping the account of points you can transfer to an annual 250,000


No required wait period.

@Gary Leff:
Having bigger fish to fry hasn’t stopped the devaluations this year (AA stopover award, AA OneWorld chart, various US award increases)

I’m not nearly as confident as you that 2015 won’t bring a massive AA devaluation.

Actual flight mile should count.

0 days.

There are tons of great uses now, go fly somewhere!

I hope it helps!




Just booked tlv- jfk for March 23. These were not available for a while. I guess they just released some


Could you help me compare the difference of AA mileage to Marriot points. I can transfer from Marriot to AA with 20% discount offer (140,000 Marriot become 50,000 AA) I know the value of AA since I’ve been redeeming them for many years. Not sure what the value of Marriot is. Thanks!