The Points Guy has two good overviews of all the changes to American Airlines/US Airways announced today:
The biggest change is that AAnytime awards will be split into 3 categories- Level 1, 2 and 3 and you’ll likely need to redeem more miles for that last seat on the plane. Luckily the SAAver program still remains largely untouched with the off-peak program still in tact, which is great since partners price out at the SAAver level and I’m glad AA is not starting to penalize for partner award travel like United.
The second details a follow up he had with AAdvantage President Suzanne Rubin. It’s worth a read for the other (non-award redemption) negatives in today’s announcement.
Overall it’s pretty bad news, but it’s not nearly as terrible as Delta’s changes to how you earn miles or United’s devaluation of its miles on its Star Alliance partners. My take is that the American/US Air mashup is still probably the best value (especially since those cheap British Airways redemptions haven’t been touched…yet), but it’ll probably depend on which of the airlines fly from your home airport.
This devaluation was bound to happen sooner, rather than later, so at least we now know what it is.