American Airlines has been the last of the major US airlines that is moving to award miles based on the $$$ spend + requiring certain dollar amount in addition to flown miles to get elite status (read more here).
The airline released late Friday (best time traditionally to dump the bad news – the least coverage) the new earning chart for partner airlines effective August 1, 2016, and how Elite Qualifying Dollars (EQDs) are calculated starting on January 1, 2017, on partner flights.
You can access American Airlines web page for the changes here.
Here are some examples:
American Airlines has given 100% mileage credit even on lowest Finnair fare classes. This will change to just 25% on August 1st.
Those that buy business (not I class) and first class fares (Finnair marketed) will see an increase on award miles earned. The cabin bonus on F fare class is 200%.
American has made the LAN earning chart easier to understand with this change. Those that have flown internationally on LAN’s economy class outside of South America have earned 100% mileage credit on economy fares. Soon the deeply discounted ones only earn 25%.
Quite drastic changes for those that have credited Alaska flights to AAdvantage. Doesn’t look good for those buying economy fares.
Finally those that fly on the Residence can credit the flight to AAdvantage and earn 400% in the distance flown in award miles. The economy fliers that credit to AAdvantage will see their award miles cut by up to 75%.
Only the full economy continues to earn 100%. All others earn at 50% or 25% rate.
Don’t see changes here.
Calculating Elite Qualifying Dollars:
I have ten segment trip coming later in the year (2K euros) from Warsaw to Auckland. Seven out of ten flights are actually on Emirates but on Qantas code. These credit and earn just like any other Qantas flight.
WAW-LHR-WAW on BA would earn 916*2*.25 = $458
LHR-DXB-SIN-MEL-AKL-SYD-BKK-DXB-LHR would earn on QF code (3421+3633+3744+1643+1345+4662+3050+3421)*.25 = $6229
The trip would earn if credited to AA next year $6,688 EQD and 40,123 EQM (Elite Qualifying Miles). The trip would earn 60K+ award miles assuming that Platinum bonus stays at 100% that is applicable to both BA and QF.
These changes really hit hard those that fly on discounted economy fares. These AAdvantage members will see the number of award miles earned cut by 75% in most cases.
It is not that difficult to earn EQDs on partner business class itineraries next year considering the business class sales that the airlines continuously have.
You can easily earn double or triple the EQDs compared to what you have actually paid for the ticket. You still have to, however, fulfill the EQM requirement
and minimum of four flights on AA codes numbers requirements.