Effective June 1, 2014, travel using miles on American Airlines will increase, significantly. Until recently, American would charge just double for last seat availability if you use miles, however, that is all about to change. American Airlines quietly changed its AAnytime awards overnight, making this a huge devaluation on AAdvantage miles.
AAnytime award rates will now be variable in nature – meaning they will not be fixed and will fluctuate based on demand and load factors seem fit by the airline. AAnytime awards will also now have three levels, each level will (obviously) have an increase in price, level three prices have not yet been released by the airline.
What are the difference in rates? Well, before this change the cost of a one way Business Class AAnytime award between the United States and Europe was 100,000 miles, now it’s 135,000 or 180,000 miles round trip. It is also rumored that American may have eliminated first class award redemption for flights to South America and eliminated the AAnytime award redemption for domestic flights. However, none of these two theories have been confirmed as of right now.
Below are some other changes affecting American flyers:
- Gold and Platinum members lose a free checked bag
- Business international travelers will get Bose noise cancelling headphones
- Dividend Miles members can book last seat availability awards now.
- The elimination of distance-based awards (oneworld explorer awards): American says most of its flyers do not use this option. This oneworld explorer awards have a few annoying criteria but it calls for cheaper redemption rates..
- Elimination of stopovers
- Last seat availability: There will always be a last seat available for award redemption, the price will just be VERY VERY high.
Below is the new award redemption chart:
Also, earlier this morning American Airlines sent an email out informing AAdvantage customers of the changes:
As we integrate our two airlines, our goal is simple: restore American Airlines to its status as the greatest airline in the world. That’s why we’re taking delivery of two new aircraft every week, have given you access to the world’s best network through a codeshare agreement, and now offer the ability to earn and redeem miles on both carriers.
As we continue to align our business, we have a few updates to share with you about our new award travel levels and checked bag policies:
Redeem for less. Effective today for travel starting June 1, 2014, a one‑way AAnytime award now starts as low as 20,000 miles plus applicable taxes and carrier–imposed fees. Plus we’ve lowered the minimum number of miles needed for AAnytime awards to popular destinations like Hawaii, the Caribbean and Europe. Our lowest AAnytime mileage levels are available for more than 50% of the year. Don’t forget we still offer MileSAAver awards that can be redeemed for as low as 12,500 miles each way, plus applicable taxes and carrier-imposed fees.
No blackout dates! Continue to use your miles for any seat on any American Airlines flight using an AAnytime Award. Award levels vary by date and a few select dates throughout the year are now offered at higher mileage levels.
For complete information, visit the American Airlines award chart.
Checked Baggage — We’ve also updated our baggage policies, effective for tickets issued on American Airlines flights on or after April 8 and for tickets issued on US Airways flights on or after April 23.
For complete information, visit aa.com/baggage.
Thank you for flying with us. We appreciate your loyalty and will keep you updated as we continue to build the new American.
I personally plan to begin burning my miles before more devaluations take place due to the merger. Although AA was overdue for a devaluation, given that all other airlines have done it, this one came with little to no indication. How have these changes affected you? Let us know in the comment box!