American Airlines just announced a ton of changes to their AAdvantage program, effective immediately and pretty much all awful. Notable for the fun points world being a little less fun:
- I recently wrote about some of the travel tricks that could be done on United to get extra stops/trips out of a points ticket – American used to have something similar; a North American (not just US) gateway city stopover could be used when both leaving and entering the country. However, no longer! Nothing over 24 hours.
- No more oneworld explorer awards – basically the coolest tickets around. A trip could be designed to basically fly all around the world; 16 stopovers were allowed. At least two partners had to be used so one could experience different birds and service. It was distance based and the cost in points was very reasonable and quite a deal if multiple trips were constructed rather than constructing them as separate itineraries with points normally. The itinerary could be spread out over a year – the most clever usage was to fly across the US to hit a stopover to pause the trip, fly home, do some work, then fly back out to that city to continue the trip later in the year. Such an awesome award redemption. No longer! Sample itinerary from ordtoanywhere:
- The award chart has been updated with more tiers and increased cost in points.
All in all a poorly communicated (no warning at all, effective immediate) and overwhelmingly negative set of changes.