This morning, American Airlines announced that it filed for a chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Soon afterwards, American Airlines send out emails stating that the BK wouldn’t impact customers, and that your American AAdvantage miles were safe. By the afternoon, they explicitly stated that gift cards would be unaffected, much to everyone’s relief (especially those who were regularly purchasing American Airlines gifts cards at Costco at a 10% discount).
I’m currently holding $400 worth of gift certificates compliments of American Express, and look forward to burning through them next year, so I appreciated the clarification.
So for the short term, nothing really changes for customers, at least not for now.
Speculation is still moving fast on FlyerTalk about the ramifications and possible future of American Airlines (so far 488 posts so far today). It seems as if many believe that there will be flight specials, and EQMs a plenty, raining down from the heavens on loyal frequent flyers.
I’m not so sure. I’m willing to bet that there will be changes in the future. This week, the AAdvantage program will no longer allow miles accrued from just any source to count towards your lifetime gold or platinum status. BA’s frequent flyer program dramatically changed last week, and some speculate that the AAdvantage program will ultimately look like the Avios (or Adios as it has been derisively called) program.
When the TSA started confiscating my nail clippers and groping children, I started to rethink air travel. When the airlines started charging for checked bags, unbundling fees, and adding fuel charges, I let my elite status lapse and I became price sensitive. It felt like suddenly buying a plane ticket was like walking onto a used car lot.
When I did fly, I always tried to book my tickets on American. Unfortunately, the tickets were always more expensive that the competition. I would reluctantly book a cheaper non-stop flight on Delta or U.S. Airways rather than pay more to route though ORD or DFW.
Regardless, I’m now taking a wait in see approach.
My plans for 2012 was to take a few international trips and pursue elite status. I was planning a Platinum challenge followed by a round the world trip on American. Now, I’m reevaluating my travel strategy.