“Right now we’re focused on integrating the two programs and providing the most benefit we can to our loyal customers.” “It‘s integrate first, and then we’ll innovate. This is something we wanted to do to reward our customers.” That was the quote given by Casey Norton, an American spokesman, for a CNN piece that just aired this morning on AA’s 2015 mileage earning updates.
I have to say, I’m pretty excited that I completed my mileage run in the middle of the Nor’easter to earn AA Platinum status. In 2015, I’ll be going from Lifetime Gold to Platinum status with American, while my Delta status will drop from Platinum to general (my first non Medallion year since 2001…should make for some interesting posts). I’m ready to fly with an airline that rewards my loyalty all the time (and on all their partners), not only when I’m flying up front or on a high last minute fare for work (I travel for work, but I also have a significant amount of leisure travel and make mileage runs).
As was widely reported several weeks ago, American will be awarding both types of loyalty in a “best of both worlds” type of scheme. Beginning in 2015, AAdvantage and Dividend Miles members in First or Business will earn rewards based on the fare purchased, in addition to normal awards for distance flown and the member’s elite status level.
Am I scared for a time when American is ready to “innovate”… definitely (especially with DP in charge)! However, in the meantime, I’m going to take advantage of the “best of both worlds” and earn as many bonus miles as possible throughout 2015.
On the Delta side, will I dread calling into the SkyMiles desk with no status…ABSOLUTELY. Am I bummed about not being able to change SkyMiles awards fee free? 100%. Do I think Delta offers superior customer service both in-flight, on the ground, and over the phone? Yes, but that’s something I’ll take into account when the earning schemes for all the loyalty programs equalize. In the meantime, I’ll deal with it. As someone who lives in NYC (and works for a company with contracts with all 3 major carriers), I luckily have the flexibility to walk away from Delta for a year and earn with AA’s bonus offering.