Edited by: Stella Shon
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Change is coming to the AAdvantage program. But no need to panic: American Airlines isn’t making any modifications to reach elite status for the upcoming qualification year (unlike other carriers).
After completely revamping its AAdvantage elite status program in 2022 and introducing Loyalty Point Rewards in 2023, American is unveiling more incremental changes for the 2024 status qualification year, which begins on March 1, 2024, and runs through February 28, 2025.
That includes a host of new ways to engage with the program, according to Chris Isaac, director of AAdvantage.
“Built on the foundation of Loyalty Points, which has been a game changer for us, we’re making AAdvantage membership more meaningful,” Isaac said in an interview with Upgraded Points.
Here’s what you need to know about upcoming AAdvantage changes — and how even travelers without status can benefit.
New AAdvantage Member-Only Benefits for 2024
For 2024 and beyond, American is looking to reward all AAdvantage members, even those without status. Here’s what we can expect this upcoming year. (Isaac said his team is “setting the foundation” for exclusive perks with more to come in the future.)
- Same-Day standby: Standby for an earlier domestic flight free of charge. Previously, only AAdvantage Gold elites or higher were offered this without the $50 fee. During the height of the pandemic, American also offered standby free of charge.
- Extended Trip Credit: AAdvantage members get 6 more months to use Trip Credit compared to non-members when canceling travel online
- Admirals Club One-Day Passes: Only AAdvantage members will be able to buy a one-day pass to visit Admirals Club lounges
- Flagship Lounge Single Visit Passes: Only AAdvantage members will be able to buy a one-day pass to visit Flagship Lounges
- 24-Hour Trip Hold: Only AAdvantage members will be able to use the trip hold feature on AA.com
Starting later this month, AAdvantage members can also cancel non-refundable basic economy tickets and receive a partial trip credit for a fee. This is a huge change considering that basic economy fares on other airlines mean you’re subject to a cancellation fee.
More Ways To Earn Loyalty Points, Redeem Miles for Upgrades
American says that members will soon be able to earn Loyalty Points and miles when they pay with cash to upgrade to a premium cabin. Currently, paid upgrades in the AA app, AA.com, or through Reservations aren’t mileage-earning eligible.
Customers will also be able to redeem miles for upgrades with soon-to-be-announced new airline partners in 2024. Currently, members can upgrade on select British Airways and Iberia flights and an AA spokesperson said the process will be “similar.” Keep in mind there are extensive restrictions; typically, only full-fare economy tickets are eligible.
Finally, AAdvantage Platinum Pro status members (and higher) will have the opportunity to redeem miles for Flagship First Dining passes, with currently open locations in Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW) and Miami (MIA). It’s unclear how many miles this will cost at the moment.
New Loyalty Point Reward Choice
Finally, American is adding a new Loyalty Point Reward choice: Get additional Loyalty Points toward AAdvantage status, starting at the 15,000 Loyalty Point Reward level.
With Loyalty Points as the only metric to qualify for elite status, this can help you requalify for the following year.Hot Tip:
With Loyalty Point Rewards, AAdvantage members can start earning perks as soon as they earn 15,000 Loyalty Points. Perks and elite status are earned at different levels, all the way up to 5 million Loyalty Points.
For the 2024 AAdvantage qualification year, American is only making incremental changes to its status program. Most of the updates are actually good for its flyers, too.
This is in stark contrast to Delta Air Lines, as the Atlanta-based carrier made waves after announcing massive adjustments to elite qualification and Sky Club access policies last year.
Isaac says that travelers “won’t have to wait the whole year,” but there is still some tech implementation needed before it all rolls out.
Featured Image Credit: Stella Shon
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About Chris Dong
Chris is a freelance writer and editor with a focus on timely travel trends, points and miles, hot new hotels, and all things that go (he’s a proud aviation geek and transit nerd). Formerly full-time at The Points Guy, his work can now be found at AFAR, Travel + Leisure, Condé Nast Traveler, The Washington Post, and Lonely Planet, among others
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