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Sat, Aug 09, 2008

Here's One Less AAdvantage To Flying American Airlines

Carrier To Start Charging For Redeemed Miles

There's another new fee to tell you about, if you're traveling on American Airlines. Effective October 1, anyone hoping to redeem AAdvantage frequent-flier miles for upgrades or free trips will need to spend $50 for the privilege.

That's not all. The Associated Press reports an upgrade from an economy coach seat to a First Class throne (a relative term) on a domestic flight will also cost $50, plus the 15,000 miles that were already needed. International flights will cost even more.

And speaking for those miles... the airline has also implemented a new, "three-tier" program, that in most cases will require fliers to spend more of their accumulated miles for a "free" trip. Nevermind the added $50 fee to redeem those miles... or, for that matter, the 15 bucks to check a single piece of luggage.

As if we needed to tell you, American says the latest changes are needed to combat high fuel prices (which have actually fallen about 20 percent in the past two weeks... in related news, pay no attention to the man behind the curtain -- Ed.)

The Fort Worth-based airline's move comes one week before Delta will enact similar fees for its frequent fliers.

While there's little the airlines could do at this point that could surprise us, American's move to charge its most loyal fliers seems particularly egregious. After all... it was American that invented the concept of frequent flier mileage programs 25 years ago.

FMI: www.aa.com

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