This morning American Airlines surprised everyone with many negative changes to their frequent flier program, AAdvantage. Many of the changes impact mainly international fliers, if you want to check out the full list see everything in detail. What is very disappointing with these changes is that they were rolled out this morning with no warning at all.
Some airlines have been good about announcing changes that will be upcoming like United’s recent devaluation but others like Delta and now American are surprising their customers with these negative changes overnight.
Changes Announced Today
Perhaps the most impactful change to travelers to who will be flying into Orlando is the increase of the AAnytime Award prices. Luckily the MileSAAver (lowest level) awards will be remaining the same price (12,500 points one way). See the new award chart
- MileSAAver Awards: As low as 12,500 miles each way. If your plans are flexible, MileSAAver Award is right for you.
- AAnytime Awards: No blackout dates, you can use your miles for any seat on any American Airlines flight, for as low as 20,000 miles each way.
Previously AAnytime awards were available to be used to book any award seat on American for about double the price of the saver award levels. Now there will be 3 tiers of award prices that American can use to raise or lower the price of award seats as they see fit.
The tier 3 award level doesn’t even have prices right now but we can all assume that they will be very expensive and probably not worth it.
How will this impact award flights to Orlando? Let’s take a look at award availability in June from Chicago to Orlando.
Looking at the MileSAAver availability it looks like there is decent but not great availability on flights from Chicago to Orlando. If none of those dates will work for you you’ll have to look at the more expensive AAnytime awards.
Here is a look at the AAnytime award calendar with the new prices that have gone into effect. As you’ll see there are now three different levels of AAnytime awards, a few at 20k miles, most at 30k miles but a few at a very high 50k miles one way from Chicago to Orlando.
This represents a huge increase in prices from the previous awards, especially the much more expensive 50k miles on certain days.
Two other changes which may impact your travel to Orlando include:
- Unaccompanied minor fees are being increased from $100 to $150 one way.
- US Airways Mastercard holders will now receive one free checked bag on American and US Airways flights.
Overall the changes are very disappointing to consumers of American and US Airways. Your frequent flier miles are now worth less than the were just yesterday, I fear that this could be the sign of further changes coming that will only put more money into the airlines pockets.