American Airlines Updates Loyalty Rewards Program

American Airlines (AA) has announced upcoming changes to its AAdvantage program. Here's how members will be affected.



December 15, 2022

DALLAS — Today, the largest carrier in the world, American Airlines (AA) announced new changes to its AAdvantage program. These changes include an eliminated mileage earning cap and new Loyalty Point Reward tiers beginning at only 15,000 Loyalty Points.

With that said, a majority of these changes are negative for AAdvantage members. The updates come as AA announced the end of its AAirPass program in November after 50 years.

This includes an increase in Loyalty Point requirement to attain AAdvantage Gold status and certain Loyalty Point Rewards, and reducing the number of miles travelers can earn for basic economy. These changes will not go into effect until the next elite status qualification year which is from March 2023 through February 2024. American stated that these new changes will not affect current elite status earnings for this year which ends on February 28, 2023.  

Travelers who pay basic economy fares earn travel miles and Loyalty Points at the same rate as other airfares. It does not matter if you splurge on a first-class ticket or a basic economy seat, members would earn the same amount of AAdvantage miles and Loyalty Points no matter the price. This will be ending in 2023, where AAdvantage members will earn a mere two miles for every dollar spent on basic economy tickets instead of the previous 5x miles. 

The requirement to earn AAdvantage Gold Status has increased by 33% in regard to Loyalty Point requirements. Previously, in order to obtain Gold status travelers need 30,000 Loyalty Points, now travelers will need to earn 40,000 Loyalty Points to receive Gold Status. However, the airline will not be making any other changes to any other elite status requirements. With this said, AAdvantage members will start receiving perks at 15,000 Loyalty Points. 

The Dallas-based carrier is adding three new tiers to its Loyalty Point Rewards program. After earning just 15,000 Loyalty Points travelers will receive Group 5 preferred boarding for the rest of the year. Also, the member has a choice between five preferred seat coupons or priority check-in, priority screening, and group four broadening, but only for one trip.

American is following its Northeast Alliance partner JetBlue (B6)with perks for non-elites. Last week, B6 revamped its Mosaic elite status giving travelers perks once they spend $1,000 or $10,000 on the JetBlue credit card.

Featured image: American Airlines N787AL Boeing 777-200(ER). Photo: Alberto Cucini/Airways