American Isn’t Cutting Mileage Earnings Rates (For Now)

Filed Under: American, British Airways

Yesterday I wrote a post entitled “American Cutting Mileage Earnings Rates On British Airways.”

Basically many of American’s non-English language websites showed reduced mileage earning rates for travel on British Airways and Iberia as of October 1, 2015. However, this wasn’t reflected on American Airlines’ English language websites.

For example, here’s what it showed for AAdvantage earnings rates for travel on British Airways as of October 1, 2015:


The changes didn’t surprise me much, given that they very closely reflected British Airways’ award chart devaluation from earlier in the year, whereby select economy fare classes earned just 25-50% of flown miles.


Alaska Mileage Plan followed shortly thereafter for earnings rates on British Airways, so I figured it was just a matter of time until American matched.

I can see both sides of this:

  • On one hand, American and British Airways have a transatlantic joint venture, so it’s silly to award significantly more miles for flying one carrier over another
  • On the other hand, it also doesn’t make sense that you earn 100% mileage through American AAdvantage, while you earn just 25-50% mileage through British Airways Executive Club


Anyway, View from the Wing notes that this was apparently a false alarm, and that American wasn’t intending to slash British Airways and Iberia mileage earnings rates as of October 1, 2015.

Here’s a quote he has from an AAdvantage representative:

This was a mistake. If it hasn’t been fixed on the sites already, the team is working to fix it shortly. Thank you for pointing this out to us!

Now let’s be clear, the fact that the charts were published was a mistake. However, there’s no way the charts existing as such was a mistake. There are only two logical conclusions I could potentially come up with:

  • American was seriously considering adjusting award charts in such a way, but changed their mind and decided to delay it or reconsider it altogether (perhaps it’s higher priority for them to have revenue based earnings like Delta and United… we’ll see)
  • American was actually planning on implementing this as of October 1, 2015, but wasn’t ready to “announce” it just yet

I’d lean more towards the former than the latter, since I doubt they’ll announce they were “just kidding” in a few days.


Bottom line

It does seem like American won’t be implementing these changes in earnings rates as of October 1, 2015. Whether or not they’ll be implemented at some point in the near future remains to be seen.

I think it’s safe to assume mileage earnings rates will be changed soon enough, given that it’s not sustainable long term for American to award 100% miles for the same flights that British Airways awards 25-50% miles for… but we’ll see.

In the meantime, this is good news for those who were booked on discounted British Airways tickets.

What do you make of this “mistake?”

  1. Funny exactly what I said yesterday, that it was probably accidentally published, something that they hand considered, but decided not to implement and someone pushed it to the public html.

  2. The existence of those tables was no mistake. Publishing them was the only mistake here. The only question that remains to be asked is when will these tables reappear for real? Because they will. I’m guessing we’ll see them when DP is satisfied that the rest of the IT work has been finished.

  3. “perhaps it’s higher priority for them to have revenue based earnings like Delta and United… we’ll see”

    Whenever I read a suggestion of this sort, it makes me feel sick, even though I know it is the most likely outcome. At least it is more likely for 2017 than 2016 at this point, so we can hope to enjoy AAdvantage as it stands for another year.

  4. So, your assumption was wrong & you published an alarmist-article based on false conclusion. Could have led with that as lead sentence in your apology to your readers & AA.


  5. Calm down everyone. We are all rational enough to assess any information logically. Ben published the information yesterday in good faith.

    Why is everyone so hung up about Aadvantage changing to a revenue based system? Let’s just deal with it when/if it comes. No point getting all huffed up about it now. Best thing you can do is prepare a Plan B.

  6. @Maureen why should there be an apology to anybody? Lucky wrote a blog based on evidence that he shared in the blog. Everyone could see what he was basing his comments/arguments on so they could decide for themselves if they thought he was correct or not. Based on what we saw on official American Airlines websites was the conclusion that a change in earning rates was coming really that far fetched? Of course it wasn’t. I posted exactly the same thing and I stand by it.

    If you’re looking for apologies where’s the apology from American for posting misleading information on multiple American Airlines websites? Where’s the American Airlines clarification on Social Media? American knows that this rumour got out into the open and they’ve done very little to quash it….shouldn’t they be apologising for that?

    So Maureen, why exactly aren’t you crying out for an apology from American? If what Lucky posted was “alarmist” what on earth should we call the earning tables that American posted to their websites? Were they not alarmist???!!!

  7. @ Maureen…getting a heads-up could be useful, we are all savvy enough to take the information provided and chew on it. There is no need for a vitriolic, acerbic (google it) and condescending post such as yours. If you are not happy with the content here, go sling your hook elsewhere.

  8. @Ralphy: “go sling your hook elsewhere”

    Nice! I knew acerbic but had to look this one up — neat nautical expression! Thanks…

  9. @Ziggy You’re exactly right. It was a mistake for them to make it public. Those rates on that chart seem accurate to me. If you look at other oneworld airlines earn rates for BA on CX and QR FFPs as examples, they each display changes at the end of April, which was the time BA had their devaluation. It’s very similar to what AA accidentally pushed out by mistake. QF modified theirs on 1st August and it’s even worse… 25% on everything below, Y, B, and H for BA flights.

  10. Hi ,

    If I for example book a BA flight today (oct 6th) that will take place in Feb ’16. And let’s say they do change the mileage rewards for discount economy somewhere in Januari. Will I get rewarded the miles as advertised in October , or will I get less miles because the flight dates are after the conditions were changed ?

    Thanks in advance !

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