My big issue with American Airlines is their miles program, AAdvantage. I’ve spent 12+ hours trying to research flights for my trip to Europe this summer! Why? In summary, American Airlines is partnered with British Airways. If you try to redeem your miles for any flights in their MileSAAver categories, you’re going to get stuck on a British Airways flight. Now that wouldn’t be so bad, except British Airways has such large surcharge fees that your miles don’t cover this cost of the ticket! In the end you still end up paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars for your airline ticket! It’s absolutely absurd!
Now get this. If you choose American Airlines AAnytime category, you can EASILY get an AA flight overseas without ever having to step foot on a British Airways flight. The cost of your ticket will drop anywhere from $5 to $115. American Airlines totally is rigging the system so customers will pick the AAnytime category to use more miles so they can’t redeem as many free flights. From a business standpoint, I get it. However, you’re totally sticking it to your customers and it feels like a big “F U” in my face.
For instance, when you search for AAdvantage flights and you choose the Mile SAAver category, you’re pretty much ALWAYS going to be stuck on a British Airways flight overseas! I searched all major airports in the U.S. and I could not find 1 flight without being stuck on a BA flight. Here is a picture below:
After I get done selecting my flights and I am forced onto a British Airways flight, look how much my total is for my flight:
Now don’t get me wrong. $907 is still extremely cheap for a first class ticket overseas! However, I shouldn’t be forced onto an AA flight just because I chose the Mile SAAver category.
And now if I choose the AAnytime category to fly non-British Airways. Look at the drastic increase in miles required, but the major decrease in total cost:
I don’t care much for having miles with a specific airline. Simply because I’m forced to fly with that airline and I’m stuck playing by their rules. If they want to decrease their value at anytime, they can easily do it overnight without notice just like American Airlines did recently.
I’ll take my discount ticket over to Europe this summer, use my remaining miles next year, and then go back to using my double miles credit cards so I can pick my airline and then wipe the charge off my statement!