Interesting facts about AAdvantage as it turns 25

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on May 5, 2006

Interesting facts about AAdvantage as it turns 25

The American Airlines AAdvantage frequent flyer programme has announced a month-long celebration of its 25th anniversary in which the airline will give away some 42 million AAdvantage miles on selected flights. And, entering into the spirit of the event, The Wise Marketer brings together some other interesting facts about the programme.

Throughout the month of May 2006, a total of 1,700 passengers on nine American Airlines flights and one American Eagle flight will receive 25,000 AAdvantage miles each (enough for an Economy Class, round-trip award ticket within the continental US, Alaska or Canada). The lucky passengers will be notified through a surprise announcement at the boarding gate before departure.

In addition, for the first 25 days of May, the airline is running a '25 Deals in 25 Days' promotion through which AAdvantage members can benefit from bonus mile offers and sweepstakes. For example, the opening offer was a 25% reduction in the number of miles required to redeem for selected MileSAAver awards.

Interesting AAdvantages Since its launch in 1981 the AAdvantage programme has been popular with the airline's regular users, becoming the most successful marketing effort in the airline's 80-year history.

  • Favourite rewards... According to American Airlines, the top five AAdvantage awards redeemed in 2005 were:
    1. Domestic Economy Class award (25,000 miles);
    2. Magazines for Miles;
    3. Domestic First/Business Class award;
    4. Caribbean Economy Class award;
    5. Domestic one-way upgrade from Discount Economy fare;
  • Member growth... There are 50 million AAdvantage members, which is the same as: 88.7 times the population of Washington DC; 83.3 times the population of Boston; 67.9 times the population of San Francisco; and 6.25 times the population of New York City.

    The programme began in 1981 with fewer than 300,000 members in, and has grown more than 16,000% since then.  

  • Scale of awards... American Airlines awarded 145 billion miles to AAdvantage programme members in 2005 alone - which the airline says is enough miles for 788 round trips to the Sun and back (a mere 92 million miles).

    The number of Admirals Club members who have used miles to purchase memberships is 20 times the world population's growth rate.

    AAdvantage members view their account activity via the airline's web site a cumulative average of 4.5 million times per month.  

  • Stretching a point... AAdvantage members donated more than 100 million miles to the Disaster Relief Fund - which is enough miles to send 4,000 people around the Earth at the equator. We're still not sure why you'd want to do that, though.

    Finally, an enterprising soul at American Airlines has also calculated the programme's use of plastic: If all the AAdvantage membership cards issued were lined up end-to-end, they would stretch from New Delhi, India, to Manhattan, USA an amazing 1,847 times. Now, with the card weighing in at 0.2oz, the 50 million cards is circulation competes on the scale with nearly 200 average cars.

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