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AAdvantage DevAAluation

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The other shoe has dropped at American Airlines with today's sudden devaluation of the AAdvantage frequent flyer program -

- New multi-tier "AAnytime" awards with drastically increased mileage requirements (distinct from "sAAver" awards, the capacity-controlled ones);

- Instant elimination of the "Explorer" award - the unique mileage-based award that was one of the best features of the program;

- Reduced benefits for Gold status holders;

- Instant elimination of the free "gateway stopover" provision on international awards.

AA gave no advance warning of these changes, so people with Explorer awards on hold or planned for the immediate future are SOL.

US Airways, the blushing bride, also changed (by increasing mileage requirements) its redemption tables today. The two FF plans are likely to be merged by year's end.

I say the "other shoe" but I'm not sure that AA, in these Days of Doug, isn't an octopus, so stay tuned.

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