American Airlines came out with a special promotion aimed at reviving sagging business travel this spring, and immediatly within 24 hours it was matched by United, followed by Continental. Nothing yet from Delta/Northwest or US Airways, but they are sure to follow suit.
All three carriers are offering their frequent flyer members the chance to earn double elite-qualifying miles on newly booked flights for travel through June 15.
- American said its AAdvantage members must register before they travel at www.aa.com/offers, using promotion code DBEQM. The offer is good for all flights on American, American Eagle and AmericanConnection, but not for travel on American’s code-share partners or other airline members of the Oneworld alliance.
- United’s Mileage Plus members can register at www.united.com/offer/mpw029 or they can see details of the promotion at www.united.com/eqoffer. United said the double elite qualifying deal applies for mainline and United Express flights, but not code-shares or flights operated by Star Alliance partners. Its elite qualifying miles also count toward the airline’s Elite Choice program, in which customers can choose from awards like restaurant gift certificates and bonus miles when they reach specific flying thresholds. Information on that program is at www.united.com/2009choice. As an example of the benefits, United noted that a Chicago-Tokyo roundtrip, which normally earns 12,458 elite qualifying miles, would earn just over 25,000 with this promotion – enough for Premier status in Mileage Plus.
- Continental OnePass members (www.continental.com) can go to the OnePass area on the web site, click on “OnePass News & Offers” and register with the “Double EQMs” promotion. The offer is for flights on Continental, Continental Express, Continental Connection or Continental Micronesia.
The double elite-qualifying miles don’t count toward award travel, but they will help members in either program accelerate their membership into the next level of either carrier’s elite status categories.