Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
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Several years ago, American shifted how you earn miles on most American Airlines-marketed flights to be based on the cost of the ticket, not how many miles you flew (similar to Delta and United). For clarity, a “marketed” flight is the airline code (i.e. AA for American Airlines) that is recorded on the ticket.
However, for partner programs, mileage earning is still primarily awarded based on the percentage of a flight’s distance. Now, American is changing that.
As first reported by One Mile at a Time (and flagged by this tweet), American is going a step further by transitioning to a revenue-based earning formula for select AAdvantage partner tickets. Here’s what you should know.
Changes to British Airways and Iberia Mileage Earning
Starting on October 18, 2023, American AAdvantage members traveling on British Airways– or Iberia-marketed tickets will earn redeemable miles (as well as elite status qualifying Loyalty Points) based on the cost of the flight.
Previously, each AAdvantage airline partner earned miles differently, based on the fare class and percentage of distance flown. Now, American is adding British Airways and Iberia into its revenue-based loyalty scheme.
Here’s how that breaks down for British Airways- and Iberia-marketed flights, sans government-imposed taxes and fees.
- No Status Member: 5 miles per dollar spent
- Gold Member: 7 miles per dollar spent
- Platinum Member: 8 miles per dollar spent
- Platinum Pro Member: 9 miles per dollar spent
- Executive Platinum Member: 11 miles per dollar spent
You’ll notice that this aligns with flights marketed by American itself, so in that respect, this streamlines how AAdvantage members earn miles. In some cases, though, this is a negative change as there were arbitrage opportunities with lower-cost premium cabin tickets (especially with premium economy flights).
For example, let’s say a one-way premium economy flight from New York (JFK) to London (LHR) that’s a “W” fare costs $800 before taxes and government-imposed fees. The distance for that flight clocks in at 3,451 miles one-way.
Based on the current earning chart for British Airways — valid through October 17, 2023 — you’d earn 5,176 AAdvantage miles (as well as 5,176 elite-qualifying Loyalty Points). The math looks like this: 3,451 miles flown * 100% base miles * 50% cabin bonus miles = 5,176 miles.
On October 18, 2023, that calculation will completely change. With a fare of $800 (before taxes and government-imposed fees), a general AAdvantage member will now earn 4,000 AAdvantage miles (as well as 4,000 elite-qualifying Loyalty Points). The math looks like this: $800 ticket * 5 miles per dollar for a non-status member = 4,000 miles.
In this same example, a top-tier Executive Platinum member who would have earned 9,317 miles with their 120% elite bonus will soon earn 8,800 miles (as well as 8,800 elite-qualifying Loyalty Points). The math: $800 ticket * 11 miles per dollar for Executive Platinums = 8,800 miles.Hot Tip:
For more information, check out this in-depth guide to help you know where to credit your airline miles.
American is transitioning its closest joint venture partners, British Airways and Iberia, to earn miles based on the cost of the ticket, not on the percentage of distance flown and fare class. This not only aligns with how you earn miles on American Airlines flights currently but also will occur at the same time British Airways will shift how it awards Avios with its own Executive Club program.
The future of earning airline miles is revenue-based, whether you like it or not.
Featured Image Credit: Daniel Ross
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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, Washington Post, and Lonely Planet, among others
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