American Airlines Switching to Dollar-Based Award Miles in August

We all knew this was coming, and now it is official: Starting August 1st, 2016, AAdvantage members will earn award miles based on the amount they spent on their ticket (base fare + carrier fees). This follows Delta and United’s switch from miles-based award models, which occurred more than a year ago. While some have switched their loyalty programs to American to continue earning miles from flying, it is now a level playing field.

Princess Juliana International Airport


If you are an AAdvantage base member who don’t book expensive flights, you are almost certainly going to end up earning less miles than under the miles-based award model. On the other hand, for elite status fliers and those who fly out of or into smaller regional airports (which means higher ticket prices), that is good news. Here is a more detailed breakdown:


American will also be introducing a new Platinum Pro status and new spend requirements beginning in 2017, you can read everything here on AA’s site:



I believe this leaves Alaska Airlines as the last major US carrier with a mileage-based award model. However, don’t count on MileagePlan staying the same as one should anticipate Alaska to move their awards program to the dollar-based model somewhere down the road as well.