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).