Why revisit the subject of loyalty now? Because I believe it is more important than maybe ever. Hence, a call back to a post from four years ago, which is linked HERE.
Upon receiving notification that American Airlines is making a number of changes, I learned that one is increasing their checked bag fees. One of the perks of my longtime loyalty to the program is exemption from baggage fees. While the amount might not make a difference in the scheme of things, it is nonetheless a nice perk to not have to think about that added cost. Likewise, there is access to premium seating in certain sections at no additional cost; free upgrades, etc.
And this, from the Wall Street Journal Feb 21: “The rising fees can help steer travelers into airline-loyalty programs or toward pricier premium tickets that include baggage fees. At American, customers with the airline’s co-branded credit card or who have status will still receive complimentary bag-checking, as will those who buy seats in premium cabins.”
At this point, my travel is less domestic and more international. Those “big” trips almost always rely on securing mileage seats for the longest flights. One exception is travel to South America. While there are flights to some major cities there, the miles required are astronomical! Plus virtually none are nonstop, and many fly through Miami — an airport I go to great lengths to avoid.
The end result for this year’s Antarctica trip? Paying outright for seats on Delta (operated by LATAM). At least there will be miles gained from the credit card used (Citi/AAdvantage Platinum). As I begin to map out our spring travel for next year — back to South America plus the Caribbean for countries not previously visited — I am researching how best to incorporate AA/One World partners wherever possible. It’s “work” yes, but for me both fun and challenging.
Next post will cover the coming changes to earning miles and loyalty points, as soon as I understand them! Stay tuned.