“Daily News” Photo credit: Seth Anderson on Flickr
It’s been a while since I posted a news update but there are some recent developements that may be of interest to you.
First, and probably of interest to everyone, is today’s Advantage 30th Anniversary Deal of the Day: A chance to win 300,000 AAdvantage Miles from AAdvantage eShopping.
Win 300,000 Miles With the AAdvantage eShopping Mall
Looking for more ways to celebrate? How about celebrating with 300,000 AAdvantage miles? From May 3rd, 2011 to May 31st, 2011 enter for your chance to win 300,000 miles with the AAdvantage eShopping mall. Only one lucky AAdvantage eShopping member will win, so enter today!
When you enter you’ll be given a chance to earn multiple entries by visiting the AAdvantage eShopping 30th Anniversary Sweepstakes page or by downloading and installing the AAdvantage eShopping Toolbar.
Don’t forget, when you go to the AAdvantage 30th website to register for this offer, don’t forget to enter the daily drawing for 30,000 AAdvantage Miles.
Now for some other news items. Last week the 2011 Frequent Traveler Awards were handed out and the American Airlines AAdvantage program won the Loyalty Leadership Award. Among some of the other awards winners, United won the Best Elite-Level Program in the North American Airlines category and Delta won Best Promotion for Redemption – North America.
I very seldom fly on United because the don’t have much of footprint in my home market (DFW) so it may very well be that they do the best elite level program but Delta winning for Best Promotion for Redemption was a little surprising to me.
Last year, Delta eliminated the redemption fees that they charge when you used your miles for an award ticket, but given that fact that so few tickets are actually available at the lower redemption levels, it seems a little lame to give them credit.
I do fly Delta from time to time and also have some experience redeeming SkyMiles, so I think I can say that eliminating redemption fees was more a gesture than an actual improvement to their program. While I’m a fan of Delta’s service, I’m no fan of SkyMiles. I thought American allowing AAdvantage members to redeem their miles for hotel stays and car rentals was a much more meaningful and innovative improvement.
AAdvantage President Maya Leibman was on hand in New York City to accept the award and to participate in the First Annual Randy Petersen Travel Executive Summit which was held earlier that day. If you’re not familiar with Randy Peterson, he’s the founder of FlyerTalk frequent travelers forum, which he sold to Interent Brands a couple of years ago. The summit gave attendees the opportunity to hear from and pose questions to the executives that run the frequent flyer programs at the big major U.S. airlines. Gary Leff does a really great job covering the summit at his View from the Wing blog.
During summit Maya Leibman was asked about a story about a possible change to the way American Airlines counts the miles for their AAdvantage Million Miler status wich awards lifetime Gold or Platinum status to members that break the million mile mark. The story started a couple of weeks back in the FlyerTalk forums when one of the members noticed that this language started appearing in the AAdvantage account summary on the mobile version of AA.com:
AAdvantage miles earned through select mileage activity count toward Million Miler status.
This became a really big topic on the forums and then took on added momentum when Reuters picked the story up from Brian Cohen at his The Gate blog.
Maya Leibman reported that there was an office pool on whether what they’re planning to do with lifetime elite status was going to be the first question, or the third question. It was the first question. Asked by me.
She confirmed that there are changes coming to the program but said that nothing has been finalized and that whatever and when they do decide to make the changes, they’ll be providing advance notice to members. Again, go here to read Gary’s post.
Last weeks’ Randy Petersen summit wasn’t the last chance to pose a question to Maya Leibman, as she’s going to be taking questions in a live online chat over a the new milepoint forums tomorrow (milepoint is a new site created by Randy Peterson that competes now with FlyerTalk). This is from her open letter to milepoint members:
At AAdvantage we’re delighted to have started this whole airline loyalty business 30 years ago. We believe we have a compelling, rich, and engaging program, and I know many of you agree. That’s not to say we’re perfect – we know we’re not. We can always count on folks like you to tell us what you think and I’m sure the chat on Wednesday will be no exception. I’ll be there along with a few key team members ready to answer as many of your questions as we can. We can’t wait to begin the dialogue.
If you’d like to ask a participate, go to milepoint and sign up to join. Go here to find out more info about the live Q&A or to submit your own question. The session starts Wednesday May 4, 2011 at 9 PM Eastern.