American Airlines Tightens Mileage Earning Policies to Encourage NDC and Direct Bookings

Americans Airlines is revising its Advantage frequent flier mile earning policies, prioritizing direct bookings on its website and through agencies with NDC connections. Effective May 1, basic economy tickets will solely accrue miles when booked directly with Americans or select partner airlines. Other fare classes may still accumulate miles if reserved through preferred travel agencies or under corporate contracts with Americans or enrollment in the Advantage Business program.

 As per American’s website, the preferred travel agency status is determined partly by meeting specified thresholds regarding the percentage of bookings made through USA NDC connection. The initial requirement, effective April, mandates agencies to have 30% of their USA bookings through NDC, escalating to 50% by October 31 and 70% by April 30, 2025.

 Additionally, preferred agencies must comply with display criteria beginning July 1. To qualify as preferred, agencies must demonstrate their ability to clearly communicate to customers about Advantage miles earned during the online booking process before finalizing a purchase, as outlined on America’s website rummyculture

 These updates reflect the carrier’s continuous efforts to enhance its online distribution, aiming to drive customers to its direct channels and incentivize retail partners to exclusively utilize its NDC connections. In its recent earnings call in late January, the company disclosed that 80% of bookings presently originate from internet-based channels, with a target of achieving 100%.

 In a LinkedIn post discussing American’s announcement, Amtrav co-founder and CEO Jeff Klee emphasized the airline’s clear message that intermediaries intending to sell American tickets must utilize modern technology. This allows Americans to offer products at desired prices without constraints imposed by outdated communication protocols. Klee noted that American has provided intermediaries with ample time and warnings, indicating that eventually, all intermediaries, regardless of size, will either adapt or cease operations.

 America’s recent announcement regarding basic economy tickets, which only earn award points and miles when booked directly with the airline or its partner airlines, is particularly noteworthy, according to Klee pnb hrms 2.0 login

 While basic economy tickets are typically not prevalent in the corporate market, Klee perceives this development as a precursor to further changes. In conjunction with other measures taken by American, such as limiting the accrual of Advantage for Business points and terminating full content agreements with GDSs (even for NDC via GDS), Klee believes that American’s strategy is still evolving.

 Klee suggests that Americans may be pushing too aggressively with this aspect of its strategy. Despite the positive impact on industry modernization, Klee predicts that the potential loss from share shift may outweigh the benefits of channel shift for corporates who prefer using their preferred booking channels.

“The ongoing NDC vs. EDIFACT debate has become tiresome, with its outcome now seeming inevitable. The real intrigue lies in how airlines will empower TMCs utilizing modern connection options to better serve mutual customers. There’s potential for a win-win scenario where airlines, TMCs, companies, and travelers all benefit. However, this requires TMCs to reassess their partnership approach, buyers to voice preferences against fragmented apps, and airlines to balance distribution preferences with customer interests.”


American Airlines is enhancing its mileage earning policies to promote NDC and direct bookings, incentivizing customers to utilize these channels. The changes, effective May 1, particularly impact basic economy tickets, which will only accrue miles when booked directly with American or select partner airlines.

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