American AAdvantage Unveils Positive Changes For 2024

American AAdvantage Unveils Positive Changes For 2024

38

American Airlines has just announced a variety of changes to its AAdvantage program for 2024, and they’re… mostly positive?! These changes deliver value to all levels of AAdvantage members, and there’s nothing substantive here that’s negative, as I see it. This sure is a pleasant surprise…

Let’s go over the details, in no particular order, and I’ll share my take on the changes in each section.

I apologize for getting to this a bit late. American seems to no longer be proactively sharing details of any changes with me (that’s of course the carrier’s prerogative, I’m just not exactly sure who I pissed off, especially given the people the airline is choosing to share information with…).

American makes awesome upgrade benefit changes

In the near future, American is rolling out three new features for upgrades, which I’m sure members will appreciate:

  • When you pay cash for an upgrade, you’ll be able to earn miles and Loyalty Points for those purchases, which isn’t currently possible
  • It will be possible to request systemwide upgrades online, rather than having to call AAdvantage to request that
  • American will allow AAdvantage members to redeem miles for upgrades on more partner airlines

All three of those changes are awesome. With American so aggressively selling upgrades (including to elite members on the upgrade list), many of us have been hoping American would finally award miles for those purchases. It’s my understanding that this has been a technology limitation up until now.

Furthermore, the ability to request systemwide upgrades online is long overdue, so I’m sure many AAdvantage members will appreciate that change.

While it’s always nice to have flexibility to upgrade on more airlines, I’d recommend managing your expectations when it comes to the value of that. It will likely require a very high minimum booking class, and/or a lot of miles.

It’ll be possible to earn miles for upgrades

American limits certain features to AAdvantage members

American is clearly trying to get more people to sign-up for the AAdvantage program, so the airline is making certain perks available exclusively to AAdvantage members. Specifically, the airline will be restricting the following perks to AAdvantage members (while they’re currently available to everyone):

This shouldn’t be a big deal at all, given that signing up for AAdvantage is free and easy. But it’s a smart change on American’s part, since this will definitely cause more people to register for the program. It’s similar to American’s initiative of offering Group 6 boarding to all AAdvantage members.

American is limiting certain benefits to AAdvantage members

American adjusts Trip Credit expiry

Nowadays most American fares come with quite a bit of flexibility, as you can cancel most fare types and receive a Trip Credit, which you can use toward a future ticket on American within 12 months of the original date of issue.

With an upcoming change, Trip Credits will only be valid for AAdvantage members for 12 months, while non-AAdvantage members will only get six months of validity for Trip Credits. Obviously this creates a huge incentive to join AAdvantage, since you’ll have more flexibility with the credits that you earn. I don’t mind this change, since there’s not a big barrier to joining the AAdvantage program.

American Trip Credits will have new expiration policies

American adds flexibility to basic economy tickets

Starting later in January 2024, you’ll be able to cancel non-refundable basic economy tickets on aa.com and receive a partial Trip Credit in exchange for a $99 fee. This will be possible only for domestic trips, if your travel hasn’t yet started, and if you booked directly through American (third party bookings won’t qualify).

This is an awesome change, and is clearly intended to incentivize people to book direct. While the fee is significant, that’s better than the previous policy of basic economy tickets not having any residual value.

American basic economy tickets will be more flexible

American adds new Loyalty Point Rewards

American’s Loyalty Point Rewards program lets you select perks for passing a variety of thresholds. Starting with the new qualification year (as of March 1, 2024), you’ll be able to choose Loyalty Points toward AAdvantage status as a rewards choice. Specifically, you’ll be able to select Loyalty Point Rewards at the following levels:

  • At 15,000 Loyalty Points, you’ll be able to select 1,000 Loyalty Points as a reward
  • At 175,000 Loyalty Points, you’ll be able to select 5,000 Loyalty Points as a reward
  • At 250,000 Loyalty Points, you’ll be able to select 15,000 Loyalty Points as a reward (and you can do this up to twice, since you can make two selections at that level)

More choices are always a good thing, and given the limited value many members currently receive at the 15,000-point threshold, I think many people will select 1,000 bonus Loyalty Points there.

American is adding new Loyalty Point Rewards perks

American adds Flagship First Dining option

American offers Flagship First Dining, which are special facilities located inside Flagship Lounges with a restaurant style dining experience (at DFW and MIA). In the near future, it’ll be possible for AAdvantage Platinum Pro members and above to redeem AAdvantage miles for this experience.

American hasn’t yet announced how many AAdvantage miles this will cost, and I wouldn’t expect it to be a great deal. However, it’s not surprising to see American trying to find new ways to use these facilities, given the carrier’s plan to eliminate international first class as of this year.

You’ll be able to redeem miles for Flagship First Dining

Bottom line

American is making several changes to the AAdvantage program as of 2024. The only slightly negative change is that you’ll have to sign-up for AAdvantage to use certain perks. Everything else is good news, from being able to redeem systemwide upgrades online, to earning miles on paid upgrades.

While Delta has made very negative changes to its SkyMiles program as of 2024, it’s interesting to see other airlines largely making neutral or positive changes. I think it reflects that airlines aren’t in quite the position they were in 12-18 months ago.

What do you make of these AAdvantage changes for 2024?

Conversations (38)
The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.
Type your response here.

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Anyone can comment, and your email address will not be published. Register to save your unique username and earn special OMAAT reputation perks!

  1. Andi Stebel Guest

    Can you please verify your first point of earning miles AND LPs for buying an upgrade. According to the email AA put out it states miles only. Not LPs

  2. Michael Guest

    Great news, and I’m sure we will let Ben back into the loop on announcements. This is my primary AA fan club after all :)

    Ok, I am a fan of a lot of things, but mostly the airline that moves my butt around. If you’re not a fan of the most reasonable form of travel for your need, why are you on it? I tried Delta this week for the first time in a decade, paid first for a domestic- it was okay except for the food and service.

  3. AaronP Guest

    Since I'm down from PP to P, the same day standby is very helpful...

  4. Sel, D. Guest

    Softening the blow. Mileage redemptions are about to go wayyyyy up. Just my prediction - gotta pay the pilots and likely the FAs soon.

  5. Miami305 Member

    @Lucky - I agree these are overall good perks for random AA AAdvantage members, however, it is dilutive to those that fly a lot. (Adding in loyalty points... more beneficial at a low level... As a FF flyer I don't need them, thus zero value.)

    It makes me consider my loyalty to AA. As I can get more and more benefits lower down, why not use my spend elsewhere?

  6. Mike lee Guest

    These benefits aren’t great at all. Not sure why some writers are making noise about them.

  7. iamhere Guest

    Can't say these changes are amazing. Seems more like some basic things they should allow.

  8. Bill n DC Diamond

    The 24 hour hold is the best feature for me

  9. Al Percolo Guest

    And still no changes to their woefully uncompetitive million miler program .

    1. jacobin777 New Member

      Is there any reason why you stated that AA's million miler program is "uncompetitive"?

    2. Jon Guest

      It essentially caps at Platinum and 2MM, while every competitive airline offers all the way up to invite-only status at this point

  10. DontPayForUpgrades Guest

    Lovely.. Another incentive for fools with status to pay for what they were once given for free...

  11. BenjaminGuttery Diamond

    As a "diehard AA loyalist" I am EXTREMELY happy with these changes/updates. ESPECIALLY the addition of possible earnings of paid upgrades AND the additional Loyalty Choice Reward options. As someone who is already a AAdvantage member, many of the options available to us on the first several levels reached were USELESS and disappointing. They should actually make these retroactive for this earning year actually. Thank You to AA for the bit of "good news" for...

    As a "diehard AA loyalist" I am EXTREMELY happy with these changes/updates. ESPECIALLY the addition of possible earnings of paid upgrades AND the additional Loyalty Choice Reward options. As someone who is already a AAdvantage member, many of the options available to us on the first several levels reached were USELESS and disappointing. They should actually make these retroactive for this earning year actually. Thank You to AA for the bit of "good news" for loyal customers.

  12. Jon Guest

    18 months isn't accurate. Trip credit will be 12 months, non-members are losing 6 months: "For Trip Credit issued on or after March 11, 2024, AAdvantage® members have 12 months to use their Trip Credit when canceling their trip on aa.com or the American app and their AAdvantage® number is included in their reservation. Non-AAdvantage® members have 6 months."

    1. Darin Member

      Yep, I saw that too. It's not 18 mos, but I THINK it's still an improvement and could get you validity for even for longer.

      Currently "Trip Credit" is defined as "compensation, refunds, and remaining value when exchanging Flight Credit", so that's not currently how you get credit when you cancel a trip. You currently get "Flight Credit", which expires 12 mos from original ticket date.

      But I'm interpreting the language to imply that as...

      Yep, I saw that too. It's not 18 mos, but I THINK it's still an improvement and could get you validity for even for longer.

      Currently "Trip Credit" is defined as "compensation, refunds, and remaining value when exchanging Flight Credit", so that's not currently how you get credit when you cancel a trip. You currently get "Flight Credit", which expires 12 mos from original ticket date.

      But I'm interpreting the language to imply that as of 3/11, AA will issue Trip Credit instead of Flight Credit when you do it directly with AA (web/app). That is still something of an improvement, as you will get 12 mos from the time you cancel instead of from the original ticket date. So really you could get close to 24 months of validity if that's accurate (book today, cancel just prior to 12 mos from now, receive TC for another 12 mos).

    2. Darin Member

      Oops, flaw in my logic above. You have to cancel before you travel, so the most validity you will get will be 12 mos + the time period between when you book and your original travel date.

  13. TProphet Guest

    FWIW American wouldn't even give me a list of the international routes they operate for a Seat31B article. They're outright hostile to deal with. Not sure who I pissed off over there either, I think they just hate bloggers.

  14. Randy Diamond

    Seems like Flagship Dining should be an Emerald benefit (without miles). Emeralds get into OneWorld F lounges, like QF, CX, BA, etc. for no fee or miles. Flagship Dining is really just the so called F section of the lounge.

    1. OCTinPHL Diamond

      IF AA did that, I would except the quality would go down significantly.

  15. Natenate Guest

    If I had a wishlist for AA changes, #1 would be to allow for AA award flights to be changed, and not just canceled. Delta has this feature, and with dynamic mileage pricing, I end up making lots of changes as flights get cheaper closer to departure. For AA award flights, I end up booking and canceling multiple times to get the cheapest award price.

    Surprised AA didn't take this opportunity to add Oman Air as a partner, considering it is joining OW this year.

    1. niji248 Guest

      Actually, the Delta system is essentially the same as cancel, redeposit, and book a new award ticket, it's just the interface is displayed differently. With AA partner only award bookings, actually you can make a change, so for example you're flying LAX-Doha-JNB, and down the road you see availability to Capetown, you can call AA and swap out the last segment to CPT and pay for the tax difference. With Delta you can't, you'd lose the whole award.

  16. George Romey Guest

    I purchase a lot of upgrades because even an EXP upgrades are becoming tougher and tougher. Or you sit at the gate on a nail biter as number one on the list, zero seats, and therefore hoping for the no show/misconnect. Nice those dollars will count towards LPs.

    Anything that makes ACs have more crowds is a big downer. Some of the ACs are already way overcrowded and dirty (ATL, CLT, PHX, MIA D30, TPA, MCO).

  17. Maxell Azaria Guest

    The Hyatt/American airlines partnership is becoming more and more valuable and I'm glad i chose those programs as opposed to United/Marriot partnership. Hyatt earlier this year made real beneficial changes to their programs and now American follows. Looking forward to Hyatt's Mr Mrs Smith Integration and flying premium with AA partners (qatar, qantas, etihad, Gulf air) at the lowest redemption rates . Plus im especially looking forward to the new premium AA cabins. It's a...

    The Hyatt/American airlines partnership is becoming more and more valuable and I'm glad i chose those programs as opposed to United/Marriot partnership. Hyatt earlier this year made real beneficial changes to their programs and now American follows. Looking forward to Hyatt's Mr Mrs Smith Integration and flying premium with AA partners (qatar, qantas, etihad, Gulf air) at the lowest redemption rates . Plus im especially looking forward to the new premium AA cabins. It's a win/win in my Book.

  18. Elijah Guest

    What does certain things being available only to AAdvantage members mean for people who are loyal to other oneworld airlines? Do they also extend those benefits to members (or elites) in partner programs?

    1. eaci Guest

      This. Does someone booking as a Mileage Plan elite lose the AAdvantage-only stuff?

    2. iHK Guest

      What I came here to ask, also!

    3. Andrew Guest

      I’m also wondering what this means for those with Oneworld (but not AA) status who currently get free standby.

  19. Lee Guest

    For FF Dining, figure 25k points minimum.

    Upgrades are partners, fine. What about opening up AA's own inventory to partners? E.g., transcon premium cabins.

    1. GH Guest

      25k points? Insanity. Should be more like 7.5k pts (~$120 cash value)

    2. Sel, D. Guest

      @GH That’s not how AA values their miles for non-flight redemptions.

    3. Eric Guest

      Just to but a day pass on the flagship lounge is 15k miles ….
      25k( at least) is what is going to be.

  20. D3kingg Guest

    Sounds like March 1 2024 ? I spent about $2000 on upgrades this year so LPs are great ; maybe I’ll have EXP in sight. It doesn’t affect Concierge Key because they are already purchasing full fare F or J.

  21. ASH Guest

    Yeah, that’s the question… so these features r active now?

  22. R B Guest

    "Coming soon" please keep us updated when those changes are implemented.

  23. A.Man Guest

    Doing away with the 15% award rebate for the 175k LP level in the 2024-2025 loyalty year. This was very valuable for some, say on a two pax R/T in J to the South Pacific, a 48k miles rebate.

    1. BenjaminGuttery Diamond

      Where are you seeing this? I couldn't find it buried in all the announcements. If true, this is HIGHLY disappointing. Hopefully they will consider adding it or something like this valuable rebate to one of the AA Credit Cards? Barclay's needs a refresh of their products, something like this being added to one of their cards could be interesting...

    2. A.Man Guest

      @BenjaminGuttery Hidden in a footnote here: https://www.aa.com/i18n/aadvantage-program/aadvantage-status/loyalty-point-rewards.jsp .

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Al Percolo Guest

And still no changes to their woefully uncompetitive million miler program .

1
D3kingg Guest

Well said.

1
BenjaminGuttery Diamond

As a "diehard AA loyalist" I am EXTREMELY happy with these changes/updates. ESPECIALLY the addition of possible earnings of paid upgrades AND the additional Loyalty Choice Reward options. As someone who is already a AAdvantage member, many of the options available to us on the first several levels reached were USELESS and disappointing. They should actually make these retroactive for this earning year actually. Thank You to AA for the bit of "good news" for loyal customers.

1
Meet Ben Schlappig, OMAAT Founder
5,163,247 Miles Traveled

32,614,600 Words Written

35,045 Posts Published