American Stiffens Frequent-Flier Rules

Fees see an increase in a move to cut costs
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 7, 2008 4:50 PM CDT
In this June 14, 2008 file photo, two American Airlines jets sit at gates at Reagan National Airport in Arlington, Va.   (AP Photo/Brian McDermott, file)
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(Newser) – American Airlines has added stiffer fees and higher mileage requirements to its frequent-flier program as the airline struggles to cope with fuel costs, the New York Times reports. American, which posted a $1.16 billion loss for the second quarter, is following the lead of Delta, which tightened the purse strings for its frequent-flier program last week.

American has added a $50 fee (each way) to the 15,000 miles required to upgrade a domestic discounted coach seat, and it added $50 to the fees for international upgrades. The airline has raised the mileage requirement for free business class tickets: domestic flights now require 50,000 miles (up from 45,000) or 100,000 if booked at the last minute (up from 90,000).