American Airlines changes Million Mile rules

Not that we did not know this was coming but the rules have finally changed (well not actually changed yet, but we know what the rules will be and how they will change).

From Milepoint:

Starting December 1, 2011, AAdvantage base miles earned by flying on American Airlines, American Eagle® or the AmericanConnection® carrier or any AAdvantage program participating airline will count towards Million Miler status. Before you get nervous about just BIS miles counting, for those of you who have the new Citi Executive(SM) / AAdvantage® World Elite(TM) MasterCard® credit card, as a limited time offer, one AAdvantage mile for every dollar spent on eligible purchases using this card will count toward Million Miler status. Bonus miles and additional miles earned through special offers will not count. The Citi Executive(SM) / AAdvantage® World Elite(TM) MasterCard® credit card account must be open and in good standing by December 1, 2011, and miles must post to billing statements through December 2012. Realize that this makes American Airlines the only major US airline to provide a significant non-flight way to achieve Million Miler status. And one of the few to allow Million Miler miles accrual on participating airlines.
Here are the benefits at each Million Miler threshold:

  • At 1,000,000 Million Miler miles, AAdvantage members will receive lifetime AAdvantage Gold® status and 35,000 AAdvantage bonus miles (which, as you know, can be exchanged for eight 500-mile upgrades if that’s what you prefer)
  • At 2,000,000 Million Miler miles, AAdvantage members will receive lifetime AAdvantage Platinum status and four one-way systemwide upgrades
  • At each additional Million Miler mile mark, AAdvantage members will receive four additional one-way systemwide upgrades

You might be wondering about the AAdvantage miles you’ve earned so far. The good news is that when the Million Miler program launches on December 1, your starting Million Miler balance will include every AAdvantage mile you’ve ever earned since joining the program. And any Million Miler status or benefits you’ve earned so far remain as well.
When you log into your AAdvantage account on AA.com on and after December 1, you’ll see your Million Miler balance separate from your award miles, so you can easily track your progress toward these mileage milestones.
For more information you can visit http://bit.ly/aadvmillion or ask any questions you may have right here.
Thank you for your continued loyalty, and we look forward to seeing you on board soon.

Maya Leibman
President – AAdvantage Loyalty Program

Now before we all get into the complaining about how it isn’t as easy as it used to be and how the million mile rewards have not really changed much and how United offers Premier Executive to 1 million mile holders, etc…, we do need to remember a few things.

First, airlines don’t have to have any lifetime anything.  Second, it is called ELITE for a reason.  Also it is a frequent FLYER programme not a frequent point collector programme.  It is not supposed to be easy.  If it was easy, there would be no value in it.  Randy Petersen made a good point on this when he said that elites don’t like competition.  Think about it, if you earned platinum every year would you really like it if someone with a ton of Mastercard bonuses got the same perks you did even though he only flew twice every six years?  Of course you wouldn’t.  Randy also made a good point about how the relative ease of achieving the lifetime gold and lifetime platinum devalued the elite programme.  I think he has a good point on this.  While in my case, I did specifically pick American because of this million mile perk, and I am sad that it is gone; I am not going to abandon them because of it.  They are my primary airline and I see no reason to change that.

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