And now a message from the President (of AAdvantage)

http://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zhy6GbA1K_A
A Message From Maya Leibman, President of the AAdvantage Loyalty Program

Here’s a funny little video updating AAdvantage Gold, Platinum and Executive Platinum members about some recent news items like the new Citi Executive AAdvantage credit card, Dynamic Air awards for those with elite status, Elite Rewards, Preferred Plus seats, and the Million Miler program.

No surprises in the video, but I have to confess that I’m officially a fan of Maya Leibman.

Last year she was named President of the AAdvantage Program, and since then she and the AAdvantage team have been really busy trying to connect with AAdvantage members with innovative efforts such as:

Creating an AAdvantage Facebook page
Using Twitter to communication with AAdvantage members
Creating a presence on the milepoint frequent flyer forum
Participating in a live, online chat with milepoint members
Introducing promotions such as the 30 Days of AAdvantage anniversary

I tried to remain skeptical and to maintain some of the cynicism that’s been forged by time spent standing in airport security lines and in the frequent flyer forums, but I have to give her and the AAdvantage team credit for increasing the level of engagement with AAdvantage members, even when it’s been to communicate with members about possible changes that might not be well received.

For example, back in the summer when speculation was at a peak about possible upcoming changes to the (then undocumented) Million Miler program, she addressed the issue head-on in her online chat with milepoint members, acknowledging that changes were being considered, gently reminding everyone that American had to weigh program benefits with the overall need to meet profit goals, and promising that if there was to be a change to the Million Miler program, they would fully explain any changes well in advance of them taking effect.  And she was true to her word.

And it’s not just the better communication, it’s the improvements to the program: in this last year the AAdvantage team has introduced some new benefits like Dynamic Air for elite status member, offering all members the option to redeem their miles for hotels and car rentals, and giving members a chance to earn some free miles just for “Liking” the AAdvantage Facebook page or watching an American Airlines commercial. 

Not to malign the previous AAdvantage presidents, but I don’t recall any of their names nor do I recall them doing much in the way of trying to connect with AAdvantage members, and none of them were as likable a spokesperson as Maya.  

I didn’t want to become just a Maya fAAnboy.  In the finest Oklahoma political tradition, I had hoped to hold out for a secret, under the table, million AAdvantage Mile payoff, or an envelope stuffed with system wide upgrades;-)  But, I’m afraid I’ve been won over by a funny video, some creative promotions, and real efforts to add improvement to the AAdvantage program;-)

In other AAdvantage/American Airlines/oneworld News:

The Wondering Aramean has an interesting post about the merger between South American airlines LAN and TAM how it may benefit the oneworld alliance.

I Missed the Memo – Admirals Club Rolling Out Free Wi-Fi for All (?) from Marshall Jackson: I noticed the free wifi the other day at the Washington D.C. Admirals Club but didn’t realize that soon all of the clubs will offer free wifi. Nice!

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