I just received an email from American promoting up to 125,000 bonus miles for Europe flights.
Earn American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles every time you fly round-trip between the U.S., Canada or Mexico and Europe on First Class or Business Class fares on American Airlines, US Airways, British Airways, Finnair, Iberia or OpenSkies.
Registration is required. Tickets already purchased will count for the American promotion as long as they fall within the eligible travel dates of September 23 through January 10. The promo code is USF14.
It turns out that British Airways is offering essentially the same promotion as well except that tickets already purchased before the promotion was announced do not qualify.
Here’s what the British Airways promotion says in their terms:
Existing bookings made prior to the promotional period do not qualify and this offer cannot be applied retroactively.
The American offer contains no such terms. Here’s their full language:
AAdvantage bonus mile offer is valid on American Airlines, US Airways, British Airways, Finnair, Iberia or OpenSkies operated and/or marketed nonstop flights for round-trip travel between the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Europe, September 23, 2014, through January 10, 2015. Offer applies only to AAdvantage members who are U.S., Canada or Mexico residents and who purchase and fly on eligible published-fare tickets. Flights operated by other codeshare partners are not eligible for this promotion. Bonus miles will be awarded based on the booking class purchased and can only be earned for a maximum of three round trips. Bonus miles do not count toward elite status qualification or AAdvantage Million Miler status. Registration prior to travel is required.
There’s no reference to having to register prior to ticket purchase, or disqualifying tickets purchased prior to September 23. I’m surprised to see this difference in terms.
I think it’s a pretty dreadful thing to tell a customer that has purchased premium cabin transatlantic flights that you’re giving out tons of bonus miles to other customers, that those who know about and register for the bonus and who have paid significant dollars for their tickets are ineligible because they were already your loyal customers. It saves the airline money by not giving out miles to people who were already buying their tickets, but it burns good will and potentially risks future purchases.
Lucky says that the two promotions have the same terms, including the exclusion of previously purchased tickets but that is not my read at all.
For completeness, there are also terms related to eligible fare classes but these are not really restrictive. Here are American’s terms for that, and they too make no mention of having had to make the ticket purchase after the start of the promotion.
Includes First Class and Business Class fares booked in F, A, P, J, R, D or I on American Airlines operated flights; Business Class fares booked in C, D or Z on US Airways operated flights; First Class or Club World (Business Class) fares booked in F, A, J, R, C, D or I on British Airways operated flights; Business Class fares booked in C, D, I or J on Finnair operated flights; Business Class fares booked in J, C, D, R or I on Iberia operated flights; Biz Bed (Business Class) fares booked in J, R, D or I on OpenSkies operating as British Airways flights.
You have a choice of programs you can credit to and earn the bonus — though I value American miles far more than BA ones, BA is better for short haul economy redemptions and American better for long haul premium cabin redemptions.
Of course, most of us aren’t buying paid premium cabin travel to Europe. But there are definitely some great sales during the promotion period, so it’s conceivable that some of you will.
- You can join the 40,000+ people who see these deals and analysis every day — sign up to receive posts by email (just one e-mail per day) or subscribe to the RSS feed. It’s free. You can also follow me on Twitter for the latest deals. Don’t miss out!