Is it just me or is this American Airlines email really smug?

American Airlines changed their mileage-earning scheme for redeemable miles (the ones you use for award travel) this summer.  Under the old scheme you earned miles based on the distance of your flight, subject to bonuses for certain status levels.  The new scheme that they copied word-for-word from Delta and United “innovated” earns miles based on how much your ticket cost.

DFW Founders Plaza

American Airlines 777-200

The new scheme received varied responses from frequent flyers.  Those who, due to corporate or personal reasons, can swing the more expensive tickets were pretty excited about the new scheme since they would earn miles.  The VAST majority of us, however, will earn far fewer miles under the new scheme.

I’ve had to do some business travel to Toronto recently and, due to the last minute nature of the trips, the airfare was pretty expensive.  So, yes, I earned more miles under the new scheme than I would have under the old scheme.

But then I got this email.



Maybe it’s just me but emails like this seem incredibly insulting.  Sure, on this one-off scenario when we were forced to spend an absurd amount of money for an economy class ticket we earned more miles, but guess what?  Almost every other flight has awarded me a fraction of the miles I otherwise would’ve earned under the old scheme.

Dear American, I get it.  You get to decide what the new program will be, but it almost feels like you’re rubbing it in my face.  The email just seems smug to me and it’s like you’re spiking the football for me when you’ve determined it’s a touchdown when an enormous amount of your frequent flyers are still extremely angry about the recent changes.


I dunno, am I overreacting?  Tell me in the comments below.


  1. You’re not the only one. For those of us that understand the changes, and don’t benefit from them, it is insulting to get these emails. I’ve met car salesmen that are more nuanced.

  2. What good are the miles anyway? Try to book a trip with miles and you’ll have to fly to Timbuktu on BA to get to London. The miles are useless. Thanks, Doug Parker.

  3. C’mon. They don’t have to give us anything. And we can be certain that the cost of the overall AAdvantage program is and always has been included in the airfares we pay. So, either way, nothing’s really free. As far as the email goes – yeah, they probably should’ve just stuck with the bonus you earn as Executive Platinum.


Leave a Reply



Get the latest updates daily!

You have Successfully Subscribed!

%d bloggers like this: