Earlier this month, American Airlines rather abruptly changed its requirements for cashing in miles for frequent flyer tickets. There’s some good news, but, as you might guess, there are some downsides to the new rules, as well.
American stopped offering a stopover with an award ticket. You used to be able to get an award ticket for, say, New York to Paris and back. And then you could add another leg from your home base for travel on a future date to, say, Hawaii or Los Angeles.
American had a great award called a Oneworld Explorer Award that allowed you to go around the world on a leisurely schedule for not-too-many miles. That award disappeared overnight.
With the American/US Airways merger, the option of cashing in 90,000 miles on US Airways for a round-trip, business class ticket to North Asia disappeared, too; now it’ll take 110,000 miles—a 22% increase.
This change, however, might be considered a positive: Instead of two award levels for a ticket there are now three. So if you can’t get a ticket for the fewest number of miles—25,000 for a domestic ticket—you’ll have two more higher options rather than just that one, 50,000-mile option.
We’ll see how that goes.