American is introducing new bonus miles earning on top of the current program for purchasing premium cabin tickets.
Already the AAdvantage program awards:
- Miles based on distance flown
- Bonus miles for elite frequent flyers
- Bonus miles for more expensive tickets
In 2015 they will layer on more bonus miles for premium cabin tickets — more bonus miles for longer flights, and bigger bonuses for higher tier elites… up to 12,000 miles per segment, built into the program for the coming year.
No registration is required, and these bonuses can be earned on American or US Airways flights or on codeshares operated by British Airways, Iberia, Finnair, Japan Airlines and Qantas.
Instead of going revenue-based like United and Delta are doing, Alaska Airlines is awarding elites and premium cabin fares with more bonus miles. Alaska sees the move by United and Delta to award miles based on ticket price as a strategic opportunity to win business from them.
We already know that American won’t be going revenue-based as they integrate programs with US Airways. But they’re now trumpeting this. Along with this new program to award more miles to premium cabin tickets, AAdvantage President Suzanne Rubin underscores the difference (bolding miine).
As the largest airline in the world, with a global network that spans 54 countries, our frequent flyer program must also be the best in the business. A mile flown continues to be a mile earned in AAdvantage, and now we’re going to reward customers even more when they purchase a First or Business Class ticket.
She’s very clear in this statement: Earning a mile from flying a mile is a key element of being the best frequent flyer program.
Now they’ll provide even more bonus miles for premium fares in 2015 — without immediate changes to the award chart. (And while more miles means higher award prices overall, since all flying only amounts to a third of miles awarded this should be just noise overall for the redemption chart.)
- More Details Revealed About the 2015 American AAdvantage Program
- Who Wins – and Who Loses – With the American-US Airways Mileage Program Integration?
And it’s worth noting in this context that next year American increases the mileage bonus for business class fares from 25% to 50%, and also that US Airways Gold and Platinum members will see their elite bonus increase to 100% (from 50% and 75%, respectively). So American is doling out more miles to premium customers and elite frequent flyers, even before this new bonus they’ve just announced.