How can you make the loyalty program more relevant for the travelers slowly returning to the skies over North America? Points and travel are not a compelling as they were last year, but American Airlines is hoping that its AAdvantage members will consider spending some of their account balance to gain a bit of extra comfort and privacy during their travel day through the Five Star Services program.
The cost is not cheap: Rates start at $350/passenger and go up from there. For the new points redemptions the price is fixed at a penny per point, which is better than most cash redemption options. Not spectacular and definitely not discounted to induce usage, but the option is available.
The services available through the program are limited. Only the following lounges are reopened:
- Charlotte (CLT) – Concourses B and C
- Chicago O’Hare (ORD) – Concourse H/K
- Dallas / Fort Worth (DFW) – Terminals A, B, C and D
- Los Angeles (LAX) – Terminal 4
- Miami (MIA) – Gate D30
- New York Kennedy (JFK) – Terminal 8 (in the Flagship® Lounge)**
- New York LaGuardia (LGA) – Concourse D**
- Philadelphia (PHL) – Terminals B/C and F
- Phoenix (PHX) – Gate A7
- Washington Reagan (DCA) – Terminal B
And even among the lounges that are open the amenities on offer might be limited, particularly with food & beverage services on offer.
Also, priority boarding is a challenge given that the airline has mostly shifted away from offering that benefit.
But the lounges do offer a bit more private space while waiting and maybe a little extra comfort. Or, as with many things these days, a sense of making passengers feel safer in their travels, even if the real change isn’t much.
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