American Rewards Now Redeemable Online for British Airways, Hawaiian Airlines

American Airlines may be mired in bankruptcy but that doesn’t mean it’s forgotten its most loyal customers – members of its miles program known as AAdvantage. The latest perk for these travelers: expanded options for redeeming awards flights.

American and US Airways: Merger Time?

Booking Online for Easier, Quicker Redemption

This includes the ability to book awards travel online with British Airways and Hawaiian Airlines, which American calls part of the airline’s “ongoing effort to simplify the process of redeeming miles for flight awards on participating airlines.”

Award travel can already be redeemed online for any American flight as well as on Alaska Airlines.

Changes in Southwest’s Miles Program, Too

American’s Miles Program: World’s Oldest

American’s AAdvantage has been called the world’s first so-called frequent flyer club. It was established 31 years ago, and remains among the world’s most popular miles programs. The airline currently claims a membership of about 69 million worldwide.

UPDATE 6-20-12: Some sources credit the long-defunct Texas International Airlines with starting the first frequent flyer program back in 1979, but the same sources also indicate the Texas program never really got off the ground; in any event, Texas International was soon taken over by Continental which itself has since merged with United. American’s frequent flyer program (launched in 1981), if not the first, is certainly one of the first and remains the oldest such program still in operation.

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Published: April 25, 2012