Beginning May 1, the number of miles required for certain AAdvantage awards will increase, in some cases by 25 percent.
The PlanAAhead First/Business-class award for travel within the continental U.S. and Canada will jump from 40,000 to 45,000 miles. For travel between North America and Hawaii, the First/Business-class PlanAAhead award jumps to 75,000 miles (the PlanAAhead “Premium” award goes to 95,000 miles). The AAnytime Economy award for travel within the continental U.S. and Canada, currently 40,000 miles, will jump to 50,000 miles. The AAnytime First/Business-class award to Hawaii jumps to 150,000 miles; and the AAnytime Premium award to 190,000 miles.
Laura Mayo, a spokeswoman for American, told the New York Times that the company decided to raise the required mileage totals because American wanted to match the higher mileage requirements of competitors.
Let’s see how that shapes up. The first of the changes is the restricted PlanAAhead First/Business-class domestic award at 45,000 miles. Delta’s similar SkyChoice award is 40,000 miles, and United’s Saver award is 40,000-60,000 miles, depending on whether the plane has two or three classes of service.
The First/Business-class PlanAAhead award to Hawaii is now 75,000. Delta’s is 60,000 and United’s is 60-80K. As for the standard domestic AAnytime economy award, which now jumps to 50,000 miles: Delta has it for 50,000 and United for 40,000.
While we applaud American for staying out of bankruptcy (so far), and certainly can’t begrudge a few tightened belts here and there, let’s get the truth, at least. There’s precious little “matching” going on here.