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Last week, American Airlines released a barrage of changes – or as one blogger had it; they put the hammer down – to the AAdvantage loyalty program.

American Airlines airplanes on runway at DCA and at gate in DFW

American Airlines airplanes in DCA and DFW

I’m not going to go into specifics; you can read Lucky’s blog, Johnny Jet’s blog, Andy’s Blog post and other opinions about all of that. What I will do is relate how this news is very disappointing to me.

I’ve only been a serious business traveler for the last two years and both of my clients were in AA hub cities.  Nonetheless, I also live near an AA (former US Airways) hub and so have almost 300,000 ‘butt in seat’ miles.

US Airways had sub-par airplanes but a really good loyalty program.

With the AA merger in 2014 came promises of improvement and innovation.  I held my breath…

Innovation: loyalty program will continue its award-winning ways.

I finally reached enough miles to boak two-round trip tickets overseas only to be trounced by a major award devaluation.

I finally reached Platinum status only to have a new status (Platinum Pro) to stop me from getting priority upgrades on already packed commutes.

Going revenue – which we all knew was coming – puts all major US airlines on the same playing field. Nothing innovative to be found here.

Improvement: new airplanes with TVs in every seat-back.

I ride roundtrip to DFW (Dallas-Fort Worth) every month – before that Phoenix – and only once have I experienced the new airplane configuration. In fact, it was last week.

Whatever I gained in half-way there entertainment on a 737, I lost under the seat.

Metal box under updated American Airlines seats

Metal box under updated American Airlines Main Cabin Extra seats leaves no space for feet

Today, I was on an old crappy 737. No entertainment but more width. No improvement here but at least my legs had room to move around.

Seems you can’t have it all.

Sure seems that way with American Airlines.  I understand that it takes time to do all things promised but it sure didn’t take much time to pillage a good loyalty program.

I don’t want much and I am utterly disappointed with what I’ve received.

However now AA, you won’t get all my business or leisure travel. I will no longer choose you over other airlines. I will base my travel strictly on price, quality and comfort.


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Dani Lew

DaniLew is a podcaster and a retired nomad who loves to slow travel around the world and share her travel stories and personal photography.The Slow Traveling Soul Sister podcast is all about me and my travels around the world for the last 40 years as a solo black woman, My motto: travel nourishes the soul and broadens the mind, but solo travel frees our imagination and builds our Confidence. #slowtravelingsoulsister #GoSeeDoBe

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