BA confirms only Business Tier Points on AA 2 class services from 11 January


In an expected, but disappointing change American Airlines reclassified its US domestic service as Business, rather than First recently. It did this by changing the class of service code for flights after 11 January (mostly from A to D0. If you have any trips booked after that date you should be getting new confirmations pretty soon.

No big deal for most travellers – it’s the same plane, same seat and same service.


BA Tier Points are based on Fare Basis – Tier point earnings decide on what status you have with BA, and so are pretty important. As you can see BA has now confirmed that not only will you earn less Avios following the changes, but the number of Tier Points will go down too. Effectively a flight greater than 2,000 in First Class used to earn 210 BA Tier Points,  from 11 January it will only be 140. Shorter flights see earnings cut from 60 to 40 Tier Points. I estimate it’s cost me about 400 Tier Points for just one booking.

All a bit unfair when nothing about the experience has changed.


  1. I’ve got an email from GGL saying they will honour the first class tier point value as that is the class I originally booked.

  2. Yeah but this also means less miles required to book tickets so who cares. status of British airways sucks anyway

  3. Hardly “unfair”. US two-cabin F has never been a true F experience (akin to overseas three-cabin F) and was a great big loop-hole a lot of BA elites have used to bulk up on their tier points with Mileage Runs on particularly cheap AA domestic F fares. This may be rationalized by the pathetic regional J offering of European airlines with no added pitch and a drop down middle seat table that makes US airline domestic F (now J) light years ahead of similar European “cabins”. Over the years I’ve run into dozens of BA Golds flying cheap convoluted domestic US routes in F just to bulk up their tier points. (That glitch Expedia New Zealand F fare a few years ago was full of such BA flyers zipping between San Juan and Kona!)

  4. Ba already confirmed J earnings post 11 January 2017 a few weeks ago when they updated the AA earning table on

    “AA operated flights flown with two-cabin aircraft within the United States (including Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands) may be branded as First Class, but will earn miles based on Business Class (J,D,I,R) booking codes.”

  5. DavidB, what’s your point?

    The opportunity to maximise TP, as is rational in a free market, should not be confused with the underhanded action of technical manipulation by one party and the conniving acquiescence by another to reduce the value of service.

  6. An unfortunate change, but not “unfair” considering a £5K+ flight in BA First Class would earn the same number of TPs as a £400 AA domestic flight that is First Class only in name.

  7. @Craig,

    Some might argue First Class on BA is “First Class only in name” when compared to First Class by QR or CX for example; or outside the OW family, First Class offered by SQ or EK.

    So given that First Class varies from airline to airline and from sectors to sectors, how logical is it to suggest it is fair that AA domestic first class service is somehow less deserving of the full the TP/Avios accrual?

    Consequently if the argument that there is no universal single standard for First class is discredited, on what other basis can we suggest the move by AA and BA is anything other than unfair?

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