Today, American Airlines and JetBlue have taken another step towards cementing their alliance (despite the fact that the DoJ is actively trying to break the alliance up) by announcing further reciprocal status benefits for their elite flyers and by confirming that customers flying with JetBlue will finally be allowed to use their Admirals Club memberships to access American's lounges.
For a little over 8 years, Award Wallet has had an agreement in place with American Airlines which has allowed it to access flyer data via an API that, in turn, allowed it to keep members informed of any changes to their flights and AAdvantage account balances. As of today, that access has been revoked and Award Wallet members can no longer use the application to track their American Airlines flights or AAdvantage accounts.
Earning or retaining American Airlines Advantage elite status has never been easier than it has been for most of this year but for business travelers who have somehow missed out on the promotions, deals, and extensions, the airline has just rolled out yet another way to lock in AAdvantage status in double-quick time - a fast-track offer has been launched.
It was a nice surprise when back in July, Citi suddenly announced that its ThankYou Points would be transferable to the American Airlines AAdvantage program for a limited time and as no other bank's transferable currency has a partnership with AAdvantage, this has been a very useful transfer option to have for the past few months. Sadly, with no signs that Citi will extend this offer, ThankYou cardholders have just three days left to make the most of this opportunity.
Citi issues three American Airlines AAdvantage co-branded consumer cards and as tools to maximize earnings when you fly, they're not very good. They do, however, have their uses for those who like to fly with American Airlines and all three cards suddenly got a lot more interesting when American confirmed that base earnings from these credit cards will count towards the elite status targets in the revamped AAdvantage program.
American Airlines recently ripped up the rules surrounding elite status qualification for the AAdvantage program and introduced a whole new system through which its flyers can earn elite status. For some, the fact that the new system will probably create more low-level elites means that Lifetime Gold and Lifetime Platinum status has just been devalued (more competition for benefits). For others, however, Lifetime AAdvantage Elite status will have just become more useful.
On Monday afternoon, I wrote that I was looking at different ways in which I could spend the 170,000 AAdvantage miles that were sitting in my account and I mentioned a number of options that I had been considering. At the time, I had no idea which option (or options) I most wanted to go for and I was prepared to keep thinking things through for a few more weeks. A tweet that I saw on Monday evening quickly changed all of that.
Yesterday, the big talking point for American Airlines flyers was undoubtedly the news that American has completely reinvented how elite status is earned in the AAdvantage program. There were, however, a couple of other pieces of news that were put out at the same time that cover the current elite qualification period and the start of the next, and those pieces of news are covered here.
Today looks like it's a day for surprises. I didn't expect Marriott to announce the huge Bonvoy devaluation that we've seen, while the cataclysmic changes that I was expecting American Airlines to make to its awards charts never materialized. Instead, what American Airlines announced today was a wholesale change to how AAdvantage elite status is earned.
A few weeks back I picked up 150,000 AAdvantage miles at a nicely reduced rate and by doing so, I immediately broke a cardinal rule of the miles & points world because I had no real plan for what I was going to do with the miles. I had a few ideas, but the truth is that chance to buy miles at 1.36 cents each was too big a temptation and I was happy to risk an AAdvantage devaluation before I got a chance to burn the miles in return for such a good deal.