American Airlines is switching how customers in its AAdvantage program earn miles. The switch? It’s not through miles anymore. AA might want to start calling the program Dollars instead. Because the new unit of measurement is just that — you get rewarded on what you pay, not how far you travel. So while customers still receive miles, they receive them based on how much the ticket costs.
Beginning in August, regular AAdvantage customers will get 5 miles in rewards for every dollar they spend. Know what that means? Yup, just like everywhere else: The rich guy in the front of the plane drinking champagne with his legs stretched out gets 10x the rewards miles you do with your knees scrunched up in front of you. American Airlines is just following the flight patterns of Delta and United (and, really, Citizens United) which already made a similar change. There are other changes, too, like an all new elite level — but you probably guessed that.