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American Airlines Revamping their Frequent Flier Program

First Posted: Apr 09, 2014 05:17 PM EDT
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Following what seems to be a trend in the airline industry American Airlines will be revamping its frequent flier program.

American Airlines, which is in the merger process with US Airways, is creating new award levels to its frequent flier program.

The airline is adding two levels for the "SAAver" tickets and adding three levels for the "AAnytime" tickets. This could confuse passengers hoping to cash in on a free flight.

For the level 3 "AAnytime" tickets, American Airlines' passengers can expect to spend the most amount of miles because these tickets will often fall on very busy travel days when seats are at a premium. Because of this, passengers will need 50,000 miles each way for a level 3 "AAnytime" ticket.

Following American Airlines, US Airways is also adding multiple tiers to its program. For flights within the U.S., the airline will have four tiers for reward travel. Internationally, it will have five.

Frequent fliers have recently displayed their anger and confusion on social media and travel blogs. Many believe it will be harder to redeem their hard-earned miles for free flights.

Milecards.com, a website that talks about frequent flier programs, and airline credit cards thinks American Airlines passengers who are used to spending 25,000 miles for a roundtrip flight, could soon be required to spend 40,000 miles.

"This is straight out of the US Airways playbook -- its 40,000 mile 'Mid' level award is the most common for its flights," Milecards.com explains. "Now AAdvantage has the same flexibility to charge that in between price, which is bad for fliers."

Milecards.com adds that US Airways' Dividend Miles program ranks the lowest for customer satisfaction in a survey done by the website.

In all, it's becoming much harder to get free flights and value travelers are being punished the most by these changes.

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