American Airlines has decided to follow other airlines and start to reward their fliers based on how much money they spend on tickets rather than how many miles they have flown. Recently, airlines have not only provided their passengers travel to and from their destination but also turned fliers miles into a competition between who has traveled the most miles and been rewarded the most money.
American Airlines confirmed on June 6 that the industry’s oldest and largest rewards program, AAdvantage, will change their perks to match those such as United Airlines and Delta Airlines on August 1.
The AAdvantage program, with around 100 million members, was originally based on the idea of awarding one program-mile for each mile flown fly one mile and earn one mile. However, frequent flier programs have deemed themselves unfair since wealthy and business travelers are more inclined to use flying as a means of traveling.
After American switches, most fliers will earn five miles for every dollar spent. Gold, platinum and executive-platinum program members will see multiple jumps to seven, eight and even 11 miles per dollar.
According to the Associated Press, a spokesperson for American rejected that the move was prompted by high-paying customers taking their business to rivals such as United and Delta. Southwest Airlines, Virgin America and JetBlue Airways also have spending-based reward programs.
Lauren Spiler is a freelance journalist based in Athens, Georgia, but most call her Spiler.