American Airlines: Frequent Flyers Can Soon Book Award Travel Online for Qantas

Even as American Airlines struggles with bankruptcy issues, the carrier is seeking to reassure its 60+ million AAdvantage members that they are not only not forgotten, but that the airline continues to strengthen ties with these influential frequent flyers by seeking out new perks for them.

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Live Chat: Qantas Online Rewards Bookings ‘Soon’

The latest such perk, announced Tuesday night in a live chat hosted by Suzanne Rubin – president of AAdvantage Loyalty Program – is the addition of Australia-based Qantas to American’s line-up of airlines that flyers can book rewards travel with online.

As FareCompare previously reported, other airlines available for online awards redemption include Alaska, British Airways and Hawaiian.

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American Flyers Vote for Cathay Pacific

Before the Qantas announcement, chat participants – many of whom identified themselves as elite AAdvantage members – were asked to choose a carrier from Cathay Pacific, Iberia, Japan Airlines and Qantas as their pick for American’s next online miles redemption/booking partner, and the overwhelming favorite was Cathay Pacific. Qantas and Iberia tied for a distant second.

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American Welcomes New Oneworld Alliance Airlines

American is a member of the Oneworld airline alliance, as are British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Iberia, Japan and Qantas, and American’s Rubin welcomed a new member – Sri Lankan Airlines. She also noted Malaysia Airlines would be joining the alliance later this year.

American Merger Question Left Unaddressed

Most of the chat questions focused on miles program minutiae but one participant touched on rumors about a possible merger or take-over of American by US Airways – and how this would affect the AAdvantage program. Rubin, not surprisingly, kept her answer upbeat while glossing over the issue. “American’s primary focus is on navigating through the restructuring process,” she said and added, “As we restructure the airline, we are more committed than ever to ensuring we offer you the most compelling and rewarding program.” The live chat lasted a little over an hour and its host said it will be eventually be accessible on American’s website.


Published: June 20, 2012