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AAdvantage changes 2016
I’m a native of Los Angeles and have been living in Copenhagen since 2010. I often fly back to Los Angeles, randomly for work and pleasure within Europe, and sometimes to other various parts of the world for vacation. After many long haul round trips, my preferred choice alliance has become OneWorld via Aadvantage based on its current mileage scheme (mile for mile generally when flying on BA/AA). This has done me well with my repeated round trips from CPH-LAX via LHR.
Now I see this – I’ll still get elite qualifying miles per mile flown, and can therefore keep my status easily based on miles flown. BUT, the miles accrued for award miles will kill me as a leisure traveller paying as low as 600 USD RT to get from CPH to LAX.
Is it even worth trying to keep flying American/British in my case, given that yes I’ll get mile per mile for elite qualifying, but will earn barely any miles for awards use? Honestly, this change will negatively affect me as a leisure traveller, and my opinion now is that attaining status and a decent amount of award miles can ONLY happen if you’re a business traveler flying on expensive tickets.
Lastly, I can’t even apply for the credit card since I live in Europe and don’t have US income at the moment. How do I continue to stay passionate in my desire to attain status and award miles if my last airline hope has finally made this dreaded change?
@Archer–You’re quite accurate in your analysis that most airlines are going after high value travelers with value being fairly narrowly defined as dollars spent. Unfortunately this seems to be the trend and you won’t be able to escape by switching to DL or UA. Most European programs seem to have their own complications with surcharges.
I’m curious about your thoughts on credit cards though. To my knowledge you only need a US SSN to apply for a credit card. Your income should count the same no matter where it comes from. Have you tried and been declined?
Before AAdvantage, I joined UA mileage plus and got a credit card through them. I still have that credit card (even though I rarely fly Star Alliance anymore). The problem I’ve noticed with having an American credit card is that I don’t have an American bank account. To pay for the charges to the Chase mileage plus card, I can’t transfer from my Danish bank account and therefore have my dad make the payments and then I reimburse him. This is definitely not preferred, and I’d need to read the fine print for the AA credit card to see if it’s possible to make payments from a foreign account. Getting approved is another story. I have a US SSN and a permanent address, so I guess I’d just have to apply and see…
Side note – I just used 50k miles and 47USD to fly from Copenhagen to Muscat via Doha on Qatar Airways. Business there and economy on the way back. The experience was simply amazing. Hence – I’m not willing to give up on this miles game quite yet.
Paying credit card bills from outside the US has been discussed here. I’m a little pressed for time but try the search function and you might turn up a couple of threads.