Two big things have happened in the past two days that need to be written about.
First, American Airlines has updated their loyalty program with major changes that go into effect in March 2016. The major bloggers have reported the details already here and here so I won’t go in depth about it but there are two big things for me as a domestic and international traveller:
- The award chart is getting more generous for short flights (less than 500 miles) wherein you can book roundtrip travel for 15,000 miles (instead of 25,000). While that matches using BA Avios for the same trip, it may still be worthwhile to use Avios if you have them because they do not have any cancellation fees.
- For long-haul award flights, all mileage requirements increases, including their highest tier for flights like the one I want to take from Bali this summer on Cathay Pacific (increasing from 67,500 miles one-way to 110,000 one-way). While this matches other airlines like United and Delta, it is still a shame.
Second, there is are major strikes brewing from two subcontractors that provide ramp workers and baggage handlers at airports in New York (JFK, Philadelphia, Newark, and more). Tonight at 10pm they will walk off the job and begin picketing in the morning – just un time for the holidays. We’ll see how long it lasts.