American Airlines re-designs rewards offering
‘Hybrid’ scheme launched by biggest US airline
The biggest US carrier American Airlines has re-designed its AAdvantage loyalty programme to focus rewards on ticket price rather than distance flown.
Under the new scheme, members will earn award miles based on the price of the ticket purchased and their status level in the programme.
American Airlines is falling into line with other major carriers such as Delta Airlines and United Continental in awarding miles based on ticket price, rather than distance flown. This means that all three major carriers now operate a ticket price-based rewards model, cementing a major change in the US travel loyalty sector.
Alaska Airlines, Spirit and Frontier are now the last major US carriers that still redeem frequent flier miles baed on distance flown.
AAdvantage members will earn five miles for every US$1 spent on the base fare and carrier-imposed fees. Gold members will receive seven miles, Platinum members will receive eight, and Executive Platinum members will receive 11 miles.
Redemption levels also will be changed from March, with award redemption requirements being lowered for trips to Mexico, the Caribbean and Central American, and for travel on US domestic flights of under 500 miles. But trips to Europe and Asia and travel in premium cabins will require higher redemptions.
The AAdvantage programme was the first loyalty scheme in the air travel industry, created in 1981.