American AAdvantage And US Air Dividend Miles: Hint of Devaluation?

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I’m currently staying at an all-inclusive Dominican Republic resort till next Monday. To those of you, travelers, who are proud of not being tourists, here is what it means: it means overdrinking, overeating, and underworking. So, my posts are going to be kinda sporadic for the next few days. However, when the revolutionary news breaks out, I will put away my beer goggles (for about 15 minutes) and report, report, report…

Did I say “revolutionary”? Just kidding!

Here is the gist of the integration timeline between American Airlines and US Air.


Preparing to integrate

In early 2015, we’ll launch functionality to enable you to match your Dividend Miles® account with your AAdvantage® account (if you have both).

Am I the only one who finds this language exceptionally vague? Match how? One Dividend Mile to one AA mile? 1×2? 1×3? Still, any kind of added flexibility is welcome, so no, I’m not going to rain on their parade.

Elite membership year begins

On March 1, 2015, your elite status will be determined based on your elite-qualifying activity in each program individually.

Don’t care about elite benefits, but those of you guys who do–here you go!

The next snippet is the most important and the most confusing, too.

Frequent flyer programs combine

In the second quarter of 2015, we’ll integrate our Dividend Miles program into the AAdvantage program with three elite levels.

So, provided that there are no further delays, sometime between April 1st and June 30th, they will move our Dividend Miles accounts into AAdvantage. And yet, we will only be able to book a US Airways award flights at AAnytime rates (that you shouldn’t use unless you are absolutely desperate).  Am I the only one who doesn’t think it makes any sense? Even right now we can use MileSaver awards to fly on the US Airways metal. So they are going to remove that availability as they integrate both programs?

Be confused. Be very confused. Is it a poorly worded statement or a hint of the coming devaluation?

Actually, the confusion doesn’t end there. On the main page Combining our loyalty programs in 2015 they say the same thing slightly differently.

When we combine our programs in second quarter of 2015, you’ll be able to redeem miles for AAnytime®awards and upgrades on American and US Airways.

Now, not only there is no mentioning of Saver awards, but now they are specifically mentioning both American Airlines and US Air. Call me crazy, but I am not happy with the omission of Saver fares. Let’s hope it’s just my paranoia and I’m reading too much into this.

Mighty Travel who had also written a piece on this announcement came to this conclusions that I, quite honestly, don’t share.

– The AAdvantage award chart will not be changed until at least the second quarter 2015 (based on this announcement)

However, I have been wrong about it before, so we’ll see.

And finally, the most tragic announcement!
One airline, everything on aa.com

Once our reservation systems are combined, you can use aa.com as your one-stop-shop. It will take a few years for us to paint all of our planes, but all our flights will be operated by American.

A few years to paint the planes? Oh, no!

UPDATE!

I didn’t see the new AA chart when I was writing this piece. It appears that there are practically no changes in the award chart, although I can’t for the life of me understand the need for two Saver levels (like I said before, I couldn’t care less about Anytime awards). And the fact that they didn’t say anything about Saver awards is still weird, to say the least. But the lack of changes in the award redemption chard makes me cautiously optimistic.

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2 Responses to American AAdvantage And US Air Dividend Miles: Hint of Devaluation?

  1. Kenny says:

    They’re not saying we won’t be able to continue to book Saver seats with US miles, rather that we will be able to book any seat (at Anytime rates) with US miles before they actually become AA miles.

    • Andy Shuman says:

      Thanks for your comment Kenny. I know they are not saying that. What concerns me is that they are saying two different things.

      On one page that in the second quarter, we will be able to book AAnytime awards on US Air. On another page–that we will be able to book AAnytime awards on US Air and American. Then they’ve introduced the second tier for Saver awards in the new chart. I’m probably reading too much into this, but since we know that the devaluation is inevitable, I just don’t get the widespread optimism.

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