Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Free 1,000 Miles from American: AA trolls Delta in the Process

I'll admit it... I like it when big companies interact with each other through social media and promotions. I love it when they end up trolling one another, intentionally or not.

Bonus points for when both companies are Alaska Airlines (AS) partners.

Photo: VNAFlyer/ASFlyer
Gary Leff, author of the blog View from the Wing, shared his insight from a panel discussion at loyalty conference today regarding communication with members and engagement.  He spoke of  "Worldperks University" where frequent flyers of now-defunct Northwest Airlines (NW, which merged with Delta Airlines [DL]) could earn 100 miles by reading about an aspect of the program and answering a simple question about it.

Apparently a panelist from DL stated that they were not going to bring back Worldperks U.

And today, American Airlines (AA) just happened to introduce a new engagement campaign named "AAdvantage University" where AAdvantage members could earn up to 1,000 miles by going through 6 videos about the program and answering a simple multiple-choice question after each one.

Image: American Airlines/
There is also a drawing available for 2 first class tickets to anywhere in the world AA flies.

For those who are already familiar with the AAdvantage program, you will be able to answer all the questions easily. Even if you select the wrong answer, you'll still be given the full miles.  There's a progress counter showing how many miles you've earned towards your dream trip (kudos to AA for throwing in some Psych 101).

As I have Million Miler status with AA, I like to think that I'm pretty familiar with the program, so I just skipped to the end of the videos (which are powered by YouTube and you can just click on the progress bar to skip to the end) to get to the questions.  My one "wrong answer" was from when I fat-fingered my mousepad and accientally selected the wrong answer.

I went through AAdvantage U. in pretty short order. After inputting my "dream destination" and taking all 6 quizzes, I was asked for my name, email address, and AAdvantage number, and the confirmation page stated that 1,000 miles would post 6-8 weeks after the promotion ended.

Why should you go through this?
  • It's a quick, easy, free 1,000 miles.  Do it right, and you could be done in less than 3 minutes.  Or, you just let the videos play while doing some other errands.
  • If you have expiring miles, this is a good way to reset the clock (as long as your expiration date isn't in the next few months, since these miles won't post until at least that long).
  • I personally like AAdvantage miles. While they've tightened up the rules a bit, AAdvantage is still one of the better (and easier) programs to redeem for award travel.

And remember to tell your family and friends that they can do it too!

Did you go through AAdvantage U. to get your 1,000 miles? Share your experience in the comments below!

(H/T: Gary Leff/View from the Wing)

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Alaska Airlines to join Oneworld Alliance

An Alaska Airlines 737-800 in a special Oneworld livery.
Photo: Alaska Airlines
In a press conference today at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Alaska Airlines announced that it will be joining the Oneworld Alliance in mid-2016.

Oneworld extended an invitation to Alaska, based on a nomination from American Airlines, to start the process of joining the airline alliance.

"Today is a great day for the employees and customers of Alaska Air Group," said Alaska CEO Brad Tilden. "With our membership into Oneworld, we can enhance our great service and offerings, expand our ability to compete in the Northwest, and seamlessly connect our passengers to the rest of the world."

"On behalf of American and the rest of the Oneworld Alliance, I welcome Alaska Airlines with open arms." declared American CEO Doug Parker. "Alaska's network out of Pacific Northwest and State of Alaska will strengthen Oneworld's presence in North America."

Representatives from all the member airlines were on hand for the press conference, which included a special flyover of an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-800 painted in a combination of a special Oneworld livery and Alaska's updated livery scheme.

Alaska already has partnership agreements in place with current Oneworld members American, British Airways, Cathay Pacific Airways, LAN, and Qantas.

However, because of the entry into Oneworld, Alaska will have to end its partnerships with airlines from the competing Skyteam alliance, including Delta Air Lines, AeroMexico, Air France, KLM, and Korean Air.

The target date for completing the process of joining is May 30, 2016. Before then, Alaska will have to coordinate with new alliance partners on integrating reservation and frequent flyer systems, among others.

Regional subsidiary Horizon Air will also be joining Oneworld as an affiliate member.

Alaska Air Group serves 104 destinations with 880 daily departures in the United States, Mexico and Canada.  Forty-three of these destinations are not yet served by any Oneworld airline.

Together with Alaska, Oneworld will have 16 member airlines and serve 1,053 destinations in 155 countries with 15,176 daily departures.