American Airlines Goes Social Media With Mileage Program

American Airlines has added Facebook and Twitter to the way it communicates with its AAdvantage frequent flyer program members.

American says it's the first airline company in the U.S. to create dedicated social media channels for mileage benefits, and sees them as a way to build the AAdvantage membership as well as communicate special mileage offers and promotions.

The channels also encourage followers to share their own strategies for racking up mileage reward points.

"The beautiful thing about social media is followers can get tips from other people and there is a huge pool of experts out there who know every trick in the book willing to share their secrets on maximizing reward points," says Charlie Sultan, vice president of partner marketing for AAdvantage.

"Other airlines have their own airline-specific places on those social media channels, but not dedicated to mileage benefits. We are giving a very specific channel here for people who want to learn how to earn miles," Sultan adds.

Those who "like" the AAdvantage program on Facebook or follow the program on Twitter will have access to spot promotions, contests and giveaways, many of which won't be available elsewhere, the carrier says.

American was the first airline to introduce a frequent flyer plan, when out it rolled out the AAdvantage program in 1981. Since that time such program have become a staple of the airline industry, allowing members to earn reward points for miles flown as well as products and services purchased with partner companies -- such as hotel chains and credit card companies.

The AAdvantage program now has more than 66 million members, and partnerships with more than 1,000 companies.

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