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AAdvantage celebrates 40 years of loyalty innovation

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Over the past 40 years, American Airlines has built a loyalty program that makes it easy to earn and redeem miles. AAdvantage offers a choice of rewards, providing members with a more personalized program.

FORT WORTH, TEXAS - When American Airlines launched the AAdvantage loyalty program in 1981, it was one of the airline industry’s first frequent flyer programs to reward members for their travel. Forty years later, AAdvantage continues to lead the way with innovative new partnerships, providing members with more personalized choices in a program that’s never been easier for members to use.

“AAdvantage continues to be the easiest airline loyalty program for customers to engage with,” said Rick Elieson, President of the AAdvantage program. “Throughout our first 40 years, it’s been our privilege rewarding members for their continued loyalty to American with innovative benefits, unique partnerships and an evolving program that’s built for every customer.”

The program provided members additional flexibility last year by eliminating award ticket change fees and automatically extended elite status through Jan. 31, 2022. AAdvantage also offered members a three-month head-start on earning elite status as well as an additional path to earn elite benefits by using AAdvantage co-branded credit cards.

For the rest of 2021, AAdvantage members can look forward to enhanced reciprocal benefits with our new alliances with JetBlue Airways and Alaska Airlines. Members can also expect new ways to earn miles with new home, auto and business partnerships.

A celebration four decades in the making
Starting April 5, members are invited to visit AAdvantage40th.com, an interactive, mobile-friendly experience that guides members through the AAdvantage program, offers fun facts, globe spins and chances to instantly win along the way. Prizes include AAdvantage miles, an Admirals Club membership and prizes and special offers from select AAdvantage partners.

In addition to the instant-win prizes and offers, members can also earn daily entries into a sweepstakes:

  • 40 grand prize winners will win 1 million AAdvantage miles
  • One second place winner will win a two-night travel package for four people to Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando, Florida.

Customers who aren’t yet AAdvantage members can enroll today and start playing right away.

When the AAdvantage program began on May 1, 1981, membership was by invitation-only and rewards included a first-class ticket to any destination American flew. Today, the award-winning AAdvantage program boasts an impressive roster of 115 million members, with 144,000 of those members active since the first year. While members still reap rewards for their loyalty to flying American, membership is open to everyone and members can earn and redeem miles both on the ground and in the air.

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