October 28, 2008

American Airlines Cuts Mileage Program

U.S. carrier American Airlines said it would cut back on its frequent flier awards program in an effort to cut costs, a spokeswoman said.

The previous policy of granting a minimum of 500 miles to customers on short flights would be shifted to a system awarding only the amount of miles flown, the Fort Worth, Texas, Star-Telegram reported Tuesday.

"This was in response to market conditions," said Marcy Letourneau, a spokeswoman. "We're trying to implement some cost-cutting tools."

By awarding fliers only for actual miles flown, a standard round trip hop from Dallas/Fort Worth Airport to Austin would credit passengers with 366 miles, rather than the previous 1,000-mile credit they formerly received, the newspaper said.

"There is no question that the value of a frequent-flier mile is no longer what it was," said Tim Winship, the editor of FrequentFlier.com.

"That dream vacation may not come from your frequent-flier miles," he said.