In March 2016, American Airlines decreased the number of frequent flier points earned by loyalty members by implementing a new system that offers points based on airfare costs instead of distance traveled. Their award chart prices, on the other hand, increased, forcing loyalty members to earn more points to be eligible for free flights. For example, a first class seat on a New York to Los Angeles flight formerly cost members 32,500 points: today, it costs 50,000. In other words, flight award costs are increasing while the number of points earned by members is decreasing, making awards substantially more difficult to redeem.
On top of making awards harder to redeem, American Airlines has added an extra $75 booking fee for AAdvantage preferred tickets that are booked within three weeks of flight departure. This is just one example of a pattern of American Airlines overcharging consumers, such as the five-year span where customers who were entitled to free baggage were incorrectly charged fees.
Baron, Herskowitz, and Cohen is investigating this practice. If you or someone you know has been unable to use their rewards and assessed a booking fee, I urge you to contact the office of Baron, Herskowitz, and Cohen to discuss.
Consultations can be requested through an online contact form or, for a more immediate response, by calling the office directly at (305) 670-0101.