American Airlines’ AAdvantage loyalty program, once considered amongst the best of its kind, was originally designed to attract frequent fliers by offering awards based on the number of miles they travel. Today, this is not the case. In fact, multiple recent changes make it clear that American Airlines is primarily concerned with maximizing their profit, even at the expense of reducing loyalty members’ deserved benefits.
A mere 6.3% of American Airline passenger miles are reserved for loyalty members, which is lower than both Delta and United Airlines. Between April and December 2017, only 22 days offered a saver’s award on flights from Austin to New York’s JFK airport. This is not due to a lack of space: even on flights with available seats, first and business class seats are rarely offered to awards members, and often given to flight attendants instead. For flights booked within three weeks of departure, American Airlines tacks on an additional $75 booking fee for AAdvantage preferred tickets. It appears American Airlines is lowering the reward seats available in order to assess this booking fee each way.
Baron & Herskowitz 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 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.