Customer Q&A on Mileage Plan earn rates change for American Airlines flights

Beginning Aug. 1, 2016, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan members will accrue miles at a new rate when they fly on American Airlines flights. As the AAdvantage program shifts to a revenue-based loyalty program, accruals on American for Alaska frequent fliers will change to better match American’s new program. The miles a flier accrues will be calculated using a combination of the percentage of distance flown and fare class. This means some fares will earn more or fewer miles than before.

As many other airline loyalty programs move toward revenue-based earnings, Alaska Mileage Plan remains committed to a miles-based program structure. Learn more about Alaska’s award-winning Mileage Plan.

What’s changing?

For travel beginning Aug. 1, 2016, the structure of earning Mileage Plan miles when flying on American Airlines-operated flights will change. The chart below has the specific details.

Why is Mileage Plan making this change?

American Airlines announced late last year that their AAdvantage program will shift how customers earn miles from distance flown to a mix of ticket price and elite status. For consistency, Mileage Plan will adjust member earn on American marketed flights, and members will now earn miles on American Airlines flights based on a combination of a percentage of distance flown and fare class.

How will I earn miles on American Airlines in the future?

The new structure will continue to use distance as the basis for the earn rate, however, discounted economy fares will earn miles at a lower rate. The range of earning miles will start at 25 percent of distance flown for discounted economy tickets and range up to 200 percent of distance flown for first class tickets.

Which rate will I earn at if I purchased a ticket before Aug. 1, but the flight travel date is after Aug. 1?

Regardless of the purchase date, American Airlines tickets with travel dates on or after Aug. 1 will earn miles using the new structure.

Will this change impact the amount of Mileage Plan miles earned on Alaska flights?

The changes being made affect earn rates on American Airlines flights only and will not affect how Mileage Plan members earn miles on Alaska Airlines flights. Additionally, Alaska does not currently have any plans to change how miles are earned on Alaska flights.

What if I purchase a codeshare flight?

For flights marketed by American, but operated by Alaska, you will earn miles at the new rate. For flights marketed by Alaska, but operated by American, you will earn miles based on the distance you fly, as well as any class of service bonuses. See our Earn on Alaska page for details.

Class of Service Purchased Fare Classes Eligible for Accrual New Total Accrual Miles Credit (For flights taken on or after Aug. 1) Current Total Accrual Miles Credit (For flights taken prior to Aug. 1)
First F 200 percent 150 percent
A 150 percent 150 percent
P 150 percent 150 percent
Business J 200 percent 125 percent
D 150 percent 125 percent
I 150 percent 125 percent
R 150 percent 100 percent
Main Cabin Y 100 percent 100 percent
H 100 percent 100 percent
K 100 percent 100 percent
L 100 percent 100 percent
M 100 percent 100 percent
W 100 percent 100 percent
V 75 percent 100 percent
G 75 percent 100 percent
N 50 percent 100 percent
S 50 percent 100 percent
Q 25 percent 100 percent
O 25 percent 100 percent

Sample flights

Mileage Plan member flying American Airlines marketed/American Airlines-operated Seattle to Dallas-Fort Worth (1,660 flown miles) segment flown in ‘F’ class:

  • Starting Aug. 1: 3,320 Mileage Plan miles
  • Before Aug 1: 2,490 Mileage Plan miles

Mileage Plan member flying American Airlines marketed/American Airlines-operated Seattle to Dallas-Fort Worth (1,660 flown miles) segment flown in ‘O’ class:

  • Starting Aug. 1: 415 Mileage Plan miles, however, this flight will actually earn 500 miles under Alaska’s 500 minimum mile guarantee
  • Before Aug 1: 1,660 Mileage Plan miles