American Airlines AAdvantage Program Changes for 2017

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Earlier this year, American Airlines announced some major changes to their AAdvantage program, with the introduction of Elite Qualifying Dollars was the airline goes to a revenue based system. Well, more changes to their 2017 program have been announced and below is a rundown.

American Airlines

In 2017, start earning toward a new level, Platinum Pro, with all the benefits of Platinum, and more, which earned after 75,000 EQM’s or 90 flight segments:

  • Unlimited complimentary upgrades in 500-mile upgrade markets
  • 9 award miles/U.S. dollar (80% bonus)
  • 72-hour upgrade window
  • 2 free checked bags
  • oneworld® Sapphire status

New Elite Qualifying Dollars Requirement:


How Credit Cards Help You Earn Elite Status

AAdvantage Aviator Red, Aviator Blue and Aviator Business MasterCard accounts can earn up to $3,000 EQDs by spending $25,000 on qualifying net purchases during the calendar year.

AAdvantage Aviator Silver MasterCard accounts can earn up to $6,000 EQDs by spending $50,000 on qualifying net purchases each calendar year. They’ll earn $3,000 EQDs after spending $25,000 on qualifying purchases and another $3,000 EQDs after $50,000 on qualifying purchases.

Later in 2017

Upgrade prioritization You’ll be listed according to elite status level, followed by the number of EQDs earned in the last 12 months.

Upgrades on Award tickets Executive Platinum members will be able to use their complimentary 500-mile upgrade benefits on AAdvantage® award tickets for travel on American from Main Cabin to the next class.

Bottom Line

With the merger of US Airways and American being old news, the new airline can really focus on their new loyalty program which is what their doing.

When it comes to new tiers being added Platinum Pro sounds sort of like a gimmick to me, however I’m sure there are some American flyers who don’t fly enough to make Executive Platinum, who will find this new tier as a nice addition. American is also making their current invite only ConciergeKey status now a published tier.

Lastly, the introduction of Elite Qualifying Dollars comes as no surprise, as American follows in Delta and United’s footsteps on this one.

What are your thoughts on the new 2017 American AAdvantage program? Feel free to share your thoughts below or ask any questions!

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or suggestions expressed on this site are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. For details on current offers visit the card issuer’s site.

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  1. Just another reason to fly the most direct routing and ignore loyalty programs all together. AAdvantage is a manipulated currency that is borderline fraud. 4m points in the bank – award charts never show saver availability.

  2. I’m based in Detroit and always flew American because of their *superior* award program. As they have simply copied the competition, and there’s really nothing special about their program anymore, next year I’ll be flying Delta (despite being an AA Exec Plat) because they have an overall better on-time performance and more direct routings available to me.

  3. I switched to AA this year and earned platinum status because it was different. Come to find their program is far worse and now has gotten even more worse. At least with Delta if there was an open seat then it’s awarded to the highest rank. The chances of being on a 500 mile or less flight with a first class seat is rare and typically will be on an American Eagle flight. It is pointless to fly American since the low fare represents a loss in actual miles.

  4. Agree with everyone else. Nothing special about American anymore. Now I’ll just fly whatever is convenient for me or the cheapest. …and I’m American Advantage Exec Platinum. Sorry American. You actually suck compared to your competitors. I only flew American because of the rewards program. Now ANY airline is better than you. Just the way it is. At least I don’t have to put up with cancellations and lost bags anymore. Good riddance I suppose.

  5. I have been Platinum or Exec Platinum with American for the last 7 years only because it was indeed the best US airline run program hands down! After the changes it really makes no difference who you earn points with and considering that American ticket pricing is plain stupid for last minute travelers like me it has become a program just like the rest. I actually just status matched to Alaska airlines because I can at least earn better mileage bonuses and no EQD requirement with them yet. The EQD screws up anyone who travels long distances on economy tickets.

  6. I’m AA Plat and fly frequently between DCA-TPA, a route served by AA and JetBlue. AA used to get 90% or more of my business. Within the past few months I’ve switched more of my business to JetBlue and there is no looking back. In fact, I’m even willing to pay a slight premium over AA fares: newer planes, better wifi, more spacious seating, better snacks, free entertainment, and generally happier flight attendants.

    My wife and I have well over 1.4 million AA miles between us and essentially no way to use them unless we want to fly somewhere via an inconvenient connection leaving at 5:00 a.m.

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