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A new clue on whether AAdvantage® will look more like US Airways miles

by on Mon July 22, 2013 • No Comment

American US Airways mergerWith American Airlines and US Airways merging a big question is what will happen to the frequent flyer programs when they are combined into a new AAdvantage® program

The fear is the new program will look a lot more like US Airways Dividend Miles® than we like. Why is that a fear? US Airways Dividend Miles has a few glaring drawbacks:

  • 3 levels of award prices. Instead of the 2 levels of American, for example 25,000 mile Saver, 50,000 mile AAnytime awards in coach within the U.S, US Airways has 3 – by including a Mid level at 40,000 miles. The result of this is US Airways has a lot less availability at the lower 25,000 mile level than American, which has flyers worried, especially on premium international routes.
  • A terrible online award tool. US Airways shows absolutely no partner award availability on its website. This we think is meant to discourage booking of miles tickets on their many partners, and leads many people to believe there is no use for their miles, when many good options are available with a phone call. American on the other hand has aggressively added partners to its award search engine. We hope they don’t go the opaque route of US Airways.
  • Higher fees. No airline has more and more restrictive award fees than US Airways. While American is among the most friendly, with no fees for date changes made over 21 days before departure.

But a piece of very good news just came out.

Suzanne Rubin, the current head of American AAdvantage® will remain in place after the merger, managing the combined program. She has a good reputation among frequent flyers and knows exactly the levers that drive high satisfaction with American Airlines miles. We hope that means the new program will not radically change from the current AAdvantage® program.

Her new boss though, will be from the US Airways side, but we hope her stature means a high level of influence from the AAdvantage® side of the house.

® You can earn:

These offers are subject to change at anytime. Thanks to AAdvantage Geek for pointing out the management update.

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

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