American Airlines is switching its frequent-flier program over to a revenue-based award system in August.
This means that instead of rewarding passengers for each mile flown, the airline will base miles on the amount of money spent on a ticket.
AAdvantage members will earn five miles for every dollar spent. But members with status will earn more, all the way up to 11 miles per dollar for Executive Platinum members.
It’s a move that will surely annoy many of the airline’s economy passengers but that will reward American’s coveted premium-cabin customers.
“American Airlines is evolving AAdvantage to continue our tradition of having the best loyalty program in the world by rewarding our most loyal customers with the benefits they value the most,” American Airlines chief marketing officer Andrew Nocella said in a statement.
Both Delta and United switched their loyalty programs over to the revenue-based model in early 2015, with American a holdout.
Since the revenue-based model doles out miles and status based on how often a passenger flies and how much money he or she spends with the airline, corporate clients paying full price for tickets will benefit from the new scheme. People who have been buying bargain tickets, on the other hand, lose out.
The revenue-based model also prevents savvy value-minded customers from gaming the reward system through elaborately constructed long-distance, low-priced routes called mileage runs.
Later this month, the airline will post the estimated frequent-flier miles the new model will generate for each itinerary on its website.
American also announced plans to introduce a new elite status category called Platinum Pro. It will slot between Platinum and Executive Platinum while awarding nine miles per dollar spent.