Well today is the day.  The amount of redeemable miles you earn on a flight no longer has any correlation to the distance of the flight or the class in which you fly.  It’s now all about the money.  I’ve made my thoughts on the matter pretty clear in a previous post and won’t rehash the gory details here.  You will earn redeemable miles per the following chart:

AA 737

AA 737

Now, bear in mind this calculation is not based on the total amount of your ticket, rather the total amount of the ticket less government taxes.  American provides the following example on their site yet surprisingly leaves out government taxes, the total fare below is likely around $2200-2300 after government taxes:

Elite status Base fare (USD) Carrier-imposed fees (USD) Award miles/USD Award miles earned
AAdvantage® member $1,436 $458 5 9,470
Gold $1,436 $458 7 13,258
Platinum $1,436 $458 8 15,152
Executive Platinum $1,436 $458 11 20,834

Wait, so why should they stop calling them “miles”?

Simple: there’s now nothing related to a unit of measurement when you earn or redeem miles.  Calling them “AAdvantage miles” implies that there’s some relation to distance, and it’s just not the case anymore.  It seems like something so small and insignificant, but American needs to acknowledge that there’s now no correlation between how far you fly and the redeemable miles you earn.  It’s a change of soul for a once-great loyalty program that makes them exactly like the other airlines.

What should they call their points?  How about just points?  Instead of getting needlessly creative and calling them Eagles or Freedoms or Muahahahahas, just call them AAdvantage Points.  A mile is a consistent measure of distance, and time and time again American has made clear to us there is nothing consistent about their AAdvantage program.  I guess that’s the saddest part.



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