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Memo from Suzanne Rubin, president of American’s AAdvantage program:
Our recent operating performance was not up to our standards. More importantly, it was not up to those of our customers. We know you face difficult delays and cancellations which affected important events in your life. And for that, we are deeply sorry. But beyond simple apologizing, we also want to thank you for your support and patience.
The missive continues with a description bonus-mile promotions being offered to make up for the airline’s past service lapses, and ends with this: “After all, actions speak louder than words and you deserve our best.”
So, how loud do American’s actions, in the form of bonus miles, speak?
Between November 1 and December 31, non-elite AAdvantage members will earn double elite-qualifying miles (EQMs) and points for every American, American Eagle, and American Connection flight. These are elite-qualifying miles only — they cannot be redeemed for awards. Elite-level AAdvantage members earn both double EQMs and double redeemable miles through the end of the year.
And between November 16 and November 26, AAdvantage members can earn double redeemable miles for all American, American Eagle, and American Connection flights.
Registration is required, and applies to both promotions.
Deal or No Deal
I find myself fighting the urge to quibble with this promotion-in-the-guise-of-an-apology.
No doubt many thousands of customers were inconvenienced by American’s recent operational meltdowns. How do these bonus miles help them?
But perhaps that’s looking the proverbial gift horse in the mouth.
Double EQMs systemwide for two months is a strong offer. But it’s a meaningful offer only to those travelers who already have elite status or who have a realistic chance of achieving status, which means logging at least 25,000 EQMs by year end.
For infrequent flyers, EQMs are moot. Double redeemable miles for current elites is nice. But it’s limited to those with elite status. And the double-award-mile offer for non-elites is of potential value to many more flyers. But it’s only in effect for 11 days.
The offers, in other words, are highly limited in their applicability.
But don’t look these gift horses in their mouths. By all means take advantage of either or both of the bonuses if you can.
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