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Today American AAdvantage announced it would add bonus miles to many First / Business Class fares.
Basically, if you are an elite member of AAdvantage you’ll earn more miles whenever you buy any First or Business Class fare.
While if you’re not an elite member you’ll earn more miles if you buy ‘full fare’ First or Business Class tickets.
It’s not the most straightforward system, but it’s designed to counter United and Delta’s new 2015 earning which is based entirely on the dollars you pay for a ticket rather than miles flown. With United and Delta base members earn 5x miles on each dollar of airfare (not including taxes), while top tier elites earn 11x miles on each dollar.
With American, miles in 2015 will be earned earned by
It all gets complicated very quickly. So to help you understand where you shake out we’ve put the tables below together. They show how many miles you’ll earn for First / Business Class fares in 2015 with American AAdvantage. The far right column shows the airfare you’d need on Delta or United to earn as many or more miles than AAdvantage for that trip.
What stands out…
But airfares and the fare codes they are assigned are constantly changing, so if you are a heavy spending flier there is plenty of math to do next year.
You’ll still generally earn less on the big fares with American, but not nearly as much less as before this change.
And if you almost always fly the lowest coach fare, and only occasionally fly Business or First Class for international trips, American AAdvantage will probably be the program that’s most lucrative for you.
Unfortunately we think this higher earning for First / Business Class fares is testing the waters of earning miles based on the fare you pay on American sometime in 2016 or beyond.
But we are hopeful they can find a program that is more commercially viable than Delta or United’s without going that direction, and keeping earning for cheaper fares intact.
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