Gotta love an airline who introduces a new award chart without warning in the middle of the night, right? Thanks, American Airlines & US Airways! New charts are now in effect for travel commencing on or after 1 June 2014.
The good news is that the MileSAAver level of awards is not affected from what I’m seeing. For those with flexibility and who can search for the cheap award seats that should be comforting. For those who use the AAnytime awards on occasion, however, the news is mixed. AAnytime awards are now split into three tiers and only two of the tiers are published. The third tier is represented on the chart simply as a star with the fine print:
*AAnytime Level 3 awards are offered on a few select dates and will require higher number of miles to redeem.
The other two levels might benefit some customers. The Level 1 AAnytime awards are comparable or less expensive in much of the Americas. For premium fares to South America, Europe and Asia the Level 1 AAnytime awards are higher. And then there are Level 2 AAnytime awards, where the rates are higher almost universally (I see three where it doesn’t go up).
I haven’t looked at partner awards yet; hopefully nothing shocking there.
The company has promised more details later today:
The US Airways changes are similar, with multiple different levels in play and generally dramatically higher rates for the rule buster awards. Dividend miles members will not have to deal with the mystical “Level 3″ awards for now, though there are now two levels of “High” awards (I suppose “Astronomical” doesn’t really market so well) which is going to be a bit confusing. US has also upped the price on the much beloved North America – North Asia partner award from 90k to 110k return. Oops.
Not so great for customers, especially the part where there was zero notice provided.