American, US Airways tweak fees, mileage rules


DALLAS (AP) — If you use miles to get a free ticket on American Airlines, you may have to pay to check
that suitcase.
American and US Airways announced changes Tuesday to their policies on checked-bag fees and redeeming
miles for free flights.
traveling on American on miles they earned or who paid full price for
an economy seat won’t get free checked bags anymore. Some elite-level
frequent fliers on both airlines will get one less free bag than before.
it comes to redeeming miles for free flights, US Airways is ending
blackout days. American will change the number of miles to get an
unrestricted free flight — more on popular travel days, fewer on
less-busy ones. And it’s making an array of changes to the miles needed
for international trips.
Suzanne Rubin, an American Airlines vice
president who oversees the AAdvantage loyalty program, said the changes
will increase revenue but she declined to give a figure.
The two
carriers merged in December and formed American Airlines Group Inc., and
Tuesday’s changes are designed to bring the policies of the two closer
together. Between them, they have 110 million loyalty-program members,
Rubin said.
Other changes:
— For U.S. travel on or after
June 1, American members can redeem miles for an unrestricted "AAnytime"
award at 20,000 miles, 30,000 miles or 50,000 each way instead of the
current 25,000-mile flat rate. The less-flexible "MileSAAver" awards
will continue to start at 12,500 miles.
— Mid-tier elite members
(platinum on American; gold and platinum on US Airways) will get two
free checked bags; a reduction of one for the US Airways’ Dividend Miles
— Lower-level elites (gold on American; silver on US
Airways) will get one free checked bag, a reduction from two for the
American customers.
— Removing a charge for second checked bags on trips to South America.
Rubin said the company was not considering charging a fee for carry-on bags, as Spirit Airlines does.
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