With this morning’s announcement of the new AAdvantage program, I wanted to take a look back at my predictions a few days ago and see how they stack up to what’s really coming. Overall, I had several things right and others wrong. Not too bad, though.
I’ve rated each topic on a scale from 1-10, with 1 being totally wrong and 10 being 100% right.
Here’s what I thought about Tier Levels – I think the new program will have 4 tier levels (perhaps a Silver, Gold, Platinum and Executive Platinum), with some sort of incentive for flyers who go above and beyond Executive Platinum. I think this will also include more recognition for Concierge Key members.
I was wrong. The program kept the original 3 tiers, which, in all honesty, I prefer. Simplicity is always best.
Here’s what I thought about Upgrades – Complimentary upgrades will stay for Executive Platinum members, and all others will accumulate and use “stickers.” I do think the amount of earned upgrades will be adjusted per tier (so, a Gold may earn 4 for every 10,000 miles flown, while a Platinum will earn 6, etc.), and perhaps the amount of miles an upgrade can be used for will be adjusted (so, a 500 mile upgrade will turn into a 750 mile upgrade, etc.).
I was partially right. American retained the complimentary upgrades for Executive Platinums and sticker upgrades for lower tier elites. Currently, they’ll still award 4 sticker upgrades for every 10,000 miles flown.
Here’s What I thought about Tier Levels – From what I’ve heard requirements for tier levels will remain the same, with the exception of earning segments. It’s being speculated that the requirements to earn a particular status based upon segments will increase.
I was right. The segments needed to qualify for Executive Platinum increased from 100 to 120.
Here’s what I thought about the Devaluation of Miles – I think a devaluation of miles is imminent, perhaps int the 1st quarter of 2015.
Nothing was said on this, so I’m neither right, nor wrong. However, I’ve heard continuous rumors that a devaluation is coming in the first quarter of 2015.
Here’s what I thought about the future: An Emphasis on Points – I think American’s program will begin to shift focus towards the points model (which is one of the ways you can already qualify for status). While I don’t think this will happen for the 2015 program, I think it will play some role in future years. I’m confident, however, that American will not go fully revenue based.
Nothing was said on this, though it was noted by several bloggers that conversations with AAdvantage’s President yielded comments related to how they’ll monitor the other airlines actions and adjust American’s actions accordingly – neither for or against.
Here’s what I thought about services and extras – I think the same high level service will be provided to Executive Platinums including complimentary food/drink in the Main Cabin, mileage redeposit waivers, and others. With the integration of a 4th tier, I expect some increased and decreased service levels to be adjusted amongst the ranks, but overall, the program as whole will remain the same (so, the benefits as a whole will remain within the 4 tiers, and things won’t be removed).
I was right. It looks like Executive Platinum members will receive increased service, while US Airway’s Platinum’s and Gold’s will combine to form AAdvantage Platinum – whereby some may received a decreased level of service other than what they had at US Airways.
So, how did I do? 24 out of 40…so, about half right. I only judged the categories that had an actual determined answer at this time, so excluded things like mileage redemption increases and points being used as the sole determinator for elite status.
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