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American Airlines Will Stop Awarding Frequent Flyer Miles and Loyalty Points to Passengers Who Don’t Book Direct

American Airlines Will Stop Awarding Frequent Flyer Miles and Loyalty Points to Passengers Who Don’t Book Direct

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American Airlines said on Tuesday that it will soon stop awarding frequent flyer miles and status Loyalty Points through its AAdvantage program to passengers who don’t book direct with AA or a small number of partner airlines and ‘preferred’ travel agents.

The change will come into effect on May 1, 2024, but tickets issued before that date, regardless of the date of travel, will earn miles and Loyalty Points no matter where the ticket was bought from.

American Airlines wasn’t able to immediately reveal which travel agents it would allow passengers to still earn AAdvantage miles and Loyalty Points through, and the list won’t be published until late April.

Even with a list of preferred travel agents, American Airlines will only award miles and Loyalty Points for Basic Economy fares booked direct through AA, as well as eligible partner airlines.

Vasu Raja, American’s Chief Commercial Officer, offered a rather opaque explanation for the seismic shift in how the carrier will award AAdvantage miles, but he did suggest that this was one way to push bargain hunters who use fare aggregation sites to book direct with AA.

“We want to make it more convenient for customers to enjoy the value and magic of travel,” cryptically explained on Tuesday.

“Not only does booking directly with American provide the best possible experience, it’s also where we offer the best fares and it’s most rewarding for our AAdvantage members.”

The only exception to this new rule will be for AAdvantage Business members and contracted corporate travelers, who will continue to earn miles and Loyalty Points no matter where they book.

Booking direct with AA means through its website or app, as well as over the phone or at an airport counter. Eligible partner airlines include member carriers of the Oneworld alliance.

View Comments (2)
  • Time for me to retire–44 years a GDS/Corporate travel agent. Customers LOSE. Foreign leadership at AA don’t care. AWFUL.

    • It the early 90’s when travel agents could have proven their worth – ASTA did nothing and bowed to the airlines. They see us as a detriment because we can protect and truly take care of our clients. That is not in their business scope. People need to wake up!

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