American Airlines is changing how AAdvantage members earn miles and Loyalty Points on flights marketed and operated by British Airways and Iberia, as first pointed out by Olouie on Twitter and confirmed to TPG by American Airlines.
Starting from Oct. 18, 2023, AAdvantage members will earn miles based on the price of their tickets rather than the distance flown and their fare class. AAdvantage members will earn 5 miles and Loyalty Points per dollar spent, with additional elite bonuses for AAdvantage Gold, Platinum, Platinum Pro and Executive Platinum members, which aligns with how you earn on American-marketed flights.
Here’s what you need to know about the changes to what you’ll earn on BA and Iberia tickets.
Revenue-based accruals on British Airways and Iberia
When you fly American, you earn AAdvantage miles and Loyalty Points on the base fare of your ticket. But if you buy a ticket directly from one of American’s partners, these airlines use different ticketing systems, so American has historically credited partner tickets based on three factors: the operating airline, the fare class and the distance of the flight.
Each partner has a dedicated AAdvantage accrual page.
Since there’s not always a direct correlation between these three factors and your ticket price, AAdvantage members can sometimes earn far more miles and Loyalty Points on partner-marketed and issued tickets than they would on American. That’s why news reporter Caroline Tanner earned AAdvantage Platinum with Finnair last year.
And that’s what is changing — AAdvantage members will soon earn on the price of their British Airways and Iberia tickets rather than the fare class and distance of the flight.
This change is motivated by British Airways and Iberia also transitioning to revenue-based earning in their loyalty programs, which happens on Oct. 18.
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And this change is reciprocal — British Airways Executive Club and Iberia Plus members will also earn Avios on the price of their American Airlines tickets (rather than the distance and fare class).
For now, no changes have been announced to how AAdvantage members earn on Qatar Airways, the other Avios Oneworld carrier. Next year, Finnair will join the Avios currency, but as with Qatar Airways, no changes to Finnair accruals have been announced.
We reached out to American to find out if it’s planning to extend revenue-based accruals to other partner airlines.
An American spokesperson said, “Regarding other partners, we don’t have anything else to share at this time.”
Apart from British Airways and Iberia, for now, all other partner tickets will continue to earn miles and Loyalty Points on the three factors mentioned: the operating airline, the fare class and the flight distance.
This shift may not be favorable for British Airways and Iberia customers as revenue-based programs typically offer fewer opportunities for maximizing accruals on discounted airfare. But it’s consistent with airlines’ shift to award miles and status to high spenders instead of just frequent long-distance travelers.
It could take time for American to implement the technology to credit revenue-based accruals on other partner airlines. But for now, we know you’ll earn on British Airways and Iberia just like you earn on American-marketed flights.