American AAdvantage Data Disruptions – Two Weeks Later and We’re Not Yet Fully Back

Two weeks ago the American Airlines AAdvantage program began a systems transition that’s about 5 years overdue – a project code named Ventana that’s a major database upgrade.

Several pieces of the original project were implemented over the past few years, such as counting flight miles rather than total program miles for lifetime elite status and improved speed for posting of miles, even as the overall system upgrade was put on hold. Presumably the merger with US Airways and concomitant impending need for systems improvements led to the backend upgrade being prioritized. Traveling Better has some more historical context on this.

The system was taken down over a weekend, with AAdvantage account information largely unavailable, and it took a bit longer than anticipated to come fully back online — as major IT projects usually do. Registration for promotions was offline for a bit as well.

However, there are still lingering remnants of the systems upgrade affecting customers. For instance, AAdvantage account transaction detail for non-flight items is still largely missing. The miles are there, miles are posting, but detail behind what is posting isn’t coming online yet.

There’s no question that the coming integration with US Airways is going to be a challenge. There will be the need to link up US Airways and American accounts to transfer miles back and forth and for reciprocal elite status recognition, and ultimately there will be a major data import of US Airways frequent flyer accounts into the American AAdvantage system. It’s good that preparations for this are being made.

But I still want to know where my miles are coming from, so I can know what’s missing and follow up with vendors as needed!

That said, I’m just grateful it’s the AAdvantage systems we can expect the combined airline to go with rather than the Dividend Miles technology (regardless of whose award chart, partners, or upgrade processes you prefer, the technology is clearly better on the American side).

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. My recent non flight transactions have not posted at all. It is about 20k miles from shopping mall purchases. Shows on shopping site but not on AA. Activity is since second week of November.

  2. Actually, there are several additional issues being reported on FT, including:

    500 mile upgrades are not updating
    status changes are not taking place, especially those earned through promotions and challenges
    credit to partner programs is not happening
    long delays in flights posting, including AA operated

  3. Interesting.

    Still much better than the United/Continental fiascos, nor Delta’s many, many “hiccups,” though I’m sure that if I were impacted, I’d still be pissed.

    As someone who works in IT and develops on the side, I’m truly amazed at how smoothly this is going, if these are the only repercussions.

  4. Citi Aadvantage credit card miles aren’t posting. People call AA to complain, and AA blames Citi. AA is being dishonest about it as the miles are showing on Citi statements. This is obviously a fallout of whatever systems changes AA is making.

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