American Airlines News

Kevin Berry, Elina GellerAugust 27, 2020
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On a similar note...

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Oct. 14 - American Airlines Increases Flexibility and Benefits for 2021

American Airlines announced today its AAdvantage program changes for 2021. These changes reflect the times and how airlines are adapting to woo flyers back to the skies while the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

The thresholds for earning elite status in 2021 are being reduced from the standard levels, and flyers will have 15 months (instead of the normal 12) to reach these elite status requirements. In addition, members can earn a waiver of the already reduced Elite Qualifying Dollar (EQD) requirements through credit card spending.

AAdvantage elite benefits will also be more flexible in 2021: Instead of earning predetermined stated benefits, top elites will be able to choose from a menu of options that are best for their situation.

You can dive into the details of the AAdvantage program changes for 2021 in this article.

Aug. 31 - Delta, American follow United's lead, eliminate various change fees

Shortly following United's announcement of the elimination of most change fees, Delta Air Lines and American Airlines have followed suit with similar policies.

American's policy (effective immediately) will apply to all domestic and short-haul international flights for first class, business class, premium economy and main cabin tickets. American's policy covers domestic flights (including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands) plus international flights to Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.

We will have further analysis on all these changes later today.

July 16 - JetBlue and American Airlines Announce New Partnership

American Airlines and JetBlue issued a surprise announcement today laying out a new strategic partnership that will provide more route options, especially for travelers in the Northeast. Benefits to flyers include a proposed code-share on around 200 routes currently operated by the individual airlines, which would allow travelers to combine these within a single itinerary for simpler ticketing, check-in and connections. American also announced it would resume international service from New York (JFK) to Rio de Janeiro this winter, as well as add service to Athens, Greece, and Tel Aviv, Israel. JetBlue will be adding to its presence in the New York City area with new flights at LaGuardia and Newark, as well as more flights at JFK.

April 15 - American Airlines Announces Extended Elite Status and Other Changes

American Airlines has announced its own customer-friendly updates that include extending elite status and other perks for its flyers.

Although the changes are mostly positive, American has included one negative change. Previously, if you wanted to change the date on your award ticket, as long as the origin/destination airports and cabin class remained unchanged, you were able to make the change without a fee. Starting June 1, 2020, any changes to award tickets within 60 days of travel will be subject to a fee. Executive Platinum elites are exempt from the fee. All the other changes are great for American loyalists, as we will detail below.

Given the lack of travel due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, airlines have been stepping in to give their customers more leeway when it comes to maintaining loyalty. Here is an overview of the changes:

  • Extending elite status for AAdvantage members.

  • Lowering elite status qualification requirements.

  • Extending expiration of systemwide upgrades for Executive Platinum.

  • Reducing qualifications for Executive Platinum rewards.

  • Extending Admirals Club memberships by six months.

  • Offering an opportunity to spend toward Million Miler status.

  • Offering an American Airlines Vacations credit up to $400 for elites.

  • Modifying award reinstatement and change fees.

Photo courtesy of American Airlines.

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