Business is Business...

which is the problem with most customer communications. The bigger problem is that customers don't want to be treated like businesses. They want to be treated like people. Or, better yet, like people that matter. I just received this note from American Airlines. At first glance, it doesn't look kind or something even worth reading. Correct...not only not worth reading, it made me feel like I don't matter. It made me feel more like I do when I receive that envelope from the IRS or how I feel just before jumping in line at the post office or DMV. If you're sending out letters like this, especially when taking something away...stop! Find a better, softer, nicer way to get your point across. Make a phone call, hold a special appreciation the case of my letter, give me a mileage boost, perhaps 500 miles for every year I've been part of the club to show that you value my patronage. A letter like this one destroys everything you and all of your employees have worked so hard to turn me from stranger into friend and to keep me as a customer.

Upcoming Policy Change On Shorter Flights

Dear Michael Chaffin,

Effective January 1, 2009, we are discontinuing the minimum mileage guarantee for non-elite status members for flights on American Airlines, American Eagle®, AmericanConnection®, oneworld® member airlines, AAdvantage® participating airlines as well as rail service and codeshare service booked under an AA flight number.

With this change, customers will earn AAdvantage miles equal to the actual distance flown or the applicable percentage* of the miles flown, and any associated bonuses will be calculated accordingly. Similarly, elite status qualifying miles and points earned for travel on eligible flights will also be based on the actual miles earned. AAdvantage Executive Platinum®, AAdvantage Platinum® and AAdvantage Gold® members are exempt from this change.

The new policy will apply to non-elite status members traveling on or after January 1, 2009, regardless of when the ticket was booked or purchased. Flights flown on or before December 31, 2008, will continue to accrue AAdvantage miles under the current policy. For more information, visit

Thank you for your business. We look forward to seeing you onboard soon.


Rob Friedman
AAdvantage Marketing Programs