American Airlines Planning to Drop Award Chart
American Airlines told AAdvantage members in 2020 that award charts are not going anywhere when hired Rick Elieson as the new chief for the program. But things have quickly turned around and now he has hinted the airline is looking to do just that. The information comes from an interview with TPG.
Delta and United have already ditched award charts, so American Airlines is the only one left out of the big three. “What the team is actively working on is what can I give you that would be most useful to you,” he said in the interview. “Increasingly, I want you to redeem miles for more and more things, not just awards,” he added.
But while American Airlines might get rid of award charts, Elieson insists that there is no devaluation coming. That’s hard to believe from what we have seen in the past with other airline and hotel rewards programs. Even though often see them spin it as a positive change that will provide ore value and flexibility, it usually ends up just being a devaluation.
Elieson explained it by saying that “if fares continue to be lower than historical norms, then so will awards.” But, as fares rise, then awards will also go up in price under the new model. But there’s nothing to worry about apparently because, Elieson thinks that fares, and mileage pricing, are going to rise that fast.
Award charts are a great tool for loyalty program members to assign a value to their hard earned points or miles. With no chart, the value of your American Airlines miles in this case will fluctuate and most likely there will be a devaluation. That’s often been the case when we see a program get rid of award charts, and I don’t thing it will be any different this rime around.