American Airlines AirPass Program Ending

American Airlines AirPass Program Ending

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American Airlines will be ending its AirPass program, which is a move I’m kind of surprised by…

American AirPass program ends November 30, 2022

The American Airlines AirPass program has been around for many years, and allows travelers to essentially pre-purchase travel at fixed costs. This has been available to both individuals and businesses, and is intended to help with managing travel costs.

You could book at the last minute, and easily change travel plans. It even offered extra perks, ranging from Admirals Club access, to premium seating. If you deposited enough money you could get instant elite status, ranging from AAdvantage Gold status for $10,000, to AAdvantage Executive Platinum status for $30,000. Heck, if you pre-purchased roughly $50,000 worth of travel, you could even get invitation-only Concierge Key status.

There’s an interesting update to the program, as reported by View from the Wing. As of November 30, 2022, American is no longer selling AirPass memberships. Existing memberships won’t be renewed either, and existing members can spend down their balances or request refunds.

Meanwhile those who had purchased a lifetime AirPass membership will continue to have that honored, since anything else wouldn’t be fair.

American Airlines is ending the AirPass program

I’m curious what American’s motivation here is?

I find American eliminating the AirPass program to be an interesting move. Purchasing travel through AirPass most definitely wasn’t cheap, but the intent was that it was a good way to manage travel costs by always knowing in advance what you’d pay.

With that in mind, I’m curious what American’s motivation is for eliminating AirPass?

  • Has interest in the program just dwindled over the years, and not many people were signing up anymore?
  • Does American just prefer to negotiate individual corporate contracts, and found that the program wasn’t profitable, even with fares through AirPass being pretty high?
  • With American having eliminated change fees on most ticket types, was the fundamental value proposition of the program (flexibility) not there like before?
I wonder why American is ending the AirPass program

Bottom line

American is eliminating the AirPass program, so no new memberships are being issued anymore, and those with existing memberships can either spend their existing balance or get a refund. AirPass was never cheap, but was intended to give people consistent pricing.

What do you make of American eliminating AirPass?

Conversations (20)
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  1. Tim Guest

    I have had an Airpass contract for 10 years. For me it was the best way to fly business and not get dinged with the really high rates for last minute travel. It seems to be part of the erosion of benefits to Executive Platinum level travellers, a major one was eliminating access to Flagship lounge on Latam flights, even if flying in Business. I am tired of it, and will look for other alternatives,...

    I have had an Airpass contract for 10 years. For me it was the best way to fly business and not get dinged with the really high rates for last minute travel. It seems to be part of the erosion of benefits to Executive Platinum level travellers, a major one was eliminating access to Flagship lounge on Latam flights, even if flying in Business. I am tired of it, and will look for other alternatives, even though I have 4MM miles on AA

    One other note, AA was having major accounting problems with the Airpass contracts, not sure what that was about but it was an issue for them.

  2. Stef G. Guest

    My husband and I have used Airpass for 3 years. He is a CK, and it has allowed us enormous flexibility to travel between our homes in different states, as well as internationally. We are very confused as to why AA is now eliminating the program that allowed for quick changes when necessary. Hopefully AA will institute another program to replace Airpass that will allow for a similar level of ease and flexibility. We would...

    My husband and I have used Airpass for 3 years. He is a CK, and it has allowed us enormous flexibility to travel between our homes in different states, as well as internationally. We are very confused as to why AA is now eliminating the program that allowed for quick changes when necessary. Hopefully AA will institute another program to replace Airpass that will allow for a similar level of ease and flexibility. We would like to remain loyal to AA, but we are not sure what this change will bring.

  3. M Hendry Guest

    I have participated in the Program for more than 10 years and the last six or seven I have funded to level of CK. Having to travel internationally, and having a companion benefit on the contract, has enabled a colleague to travel with me and for a small corporation, the plan saves travel Costa, very flexible, etc. Very sorry to see it end. Hope AA comes up with a replacement as I have 4.7 million miles lifetime and am loyal to AA.

  4. Sofia Martinez Guest

    This administration has no idea how to run a profitable and successful world class airline !

  5. chris Guest

    our company spent about 150K-200k+ per year on our airpass contracts. we had no warning. i can't understand the logic behind this move, given that *most* of the time american could clear a hefty profit on these bookings. moreover, our contract would still be considered a bit too small for more custom corporate contracting. unclear what, if any, solution AA would be offering for small and medium sized travel-heavy businesses like ours. seems an easy...

    our company spent about 150K-200k+ per year on our airpass contracts. we had no warning. i can't understand the logic behind this move, given that *most* of the time american could clear a hefty profit on these bookings. moreover, our contract would still be considered a bit too small for more custom corporate contracting. unclear what, if any, solution AA would be offering for small and medium sized travel-heavy businesses like ours. seems an easy way for them to throw away revenue.

  6. Shane Guest

    @Omar - If you refund it they remove your status.

  7. JANICE BYAM Guest

    This move is unfortunate and I suspect more changes are coming. I was turned away from admiral club with a day pass I had pushed for my travel before Thanksgiving- A.A reason for refusal was nonsensical and to get a refund one has to go through even more foolishness! If these are costs cutting decisions AA has to revisit the cost of their tickets. They can't just take perks from the traveling public and keep their ticket prices this high.

  8. Mike Markarian Guest

    I have been a $10K AAirpass for the past 5 years. I loved the Admirals Club membership that came with it and the ability to book last minute for my small business travel. I was just about to renew to take it as a business expense this year. How disappointing but after flying first on Delta this past month, I realize Americans food/service is not competitive albeit I like the AA seats better. Oh well, will try to find another option for my future travel.

  9. iamhere Guest

    Depends when you would have to spend the $50k by but especially for a company it would be cheap considering all the benefits. No surprise it will be stopped.

  10. Stephen Rue Guest

    American should do anything they can to please customer as they are the worst airline I have ever flown on and would NEVER do it again can’t say one good thing about them So negative customer service is not surprising

  11. Guri S Guest

    Business travel is slow if not dead.

    Airlines have to now focus on other things

  12. larry Guest

    If the stop selling AirPass, businesses will have to buy regular fare tix - why give the tix without change fees - didn't ever seem to make sense fir non-discretionary travel.

  13. Robert Guest

    I have been a member of the Airpass program for 3 years as an individual small business owner. I was a massive fan and based out of DFW one of the big advantages was changing flights quickly and getting automatically upgraded to first class or business class at booking. For the vast majority of the readers here they are astute and savvy enough to do this cheaper. However, for me it was so simplistic it...

    I have been a member of the Airpass program for 3 years as an individual small business owner. I was a massive fan and based out of DFW one of the big advantages was changing flights quickly and getting automatically upgraded to first class or business class at booking. For the vast majority of the readers here they are astute and savvy enough to do this cheaper. However, for me it was so simplistic it will be greatly missed. I was given no warning which I did not anticipate.

  14. Hey you Guest

    A dime is a dime and airlines know all the scams to get them. I went from lovig to despising them.

  15. Omar Guest

    It would have been amazing to buy a $60k Airpass last week to get CK and now eligible for a full refund.

  16. Stefan Guest

    "Those who had purchased a lifetime AirPass membership will continue to have that honored, since anything else wouldn’t be fair."

    I doubt AA is concerned about fairness here. It would be a breach of contract and cost them A LOT of money.

  17. Jake Guest

    Strange move but perhaps another nail in the coffin for AA being considered a premium business travel airline (next to eliminating first class, getting rid of first on trascon, removing onboard tv screens). AAirpass has been an incredibly convenient way of traveling for work - last minute changes and cancellations have been possible with no fees, and there are massive discounts on businesses and first class fares, especially for transcon and international travel. This is...

    Strange move but perhaps another nail in the coffin for AA being considered a premium business travel airline (next to eliminating first class, getting rid of first on trascon, removing onboard tv screens). AAirpass has been an incredibly convenient way of traveling for work - last minute changes and cancellations have been possible with no fees, and there are massive discounts on businesses and first class fares, especially for transcon and international travel. This is something you really do not see or can have an appreciation of unless your employer is a member of the program.
    Many corporates might drop AA unless there is an alternative solution (having said that - just imagine managing this on contract by contract basis). Sad to see the continued decline of AA.

  18. Greg Guest

    Lucky, it's AAirpass, not Airpass

    1. Greg Guest

      I stand corrected, they changed it to Airpass

      Maybe that was what did it in. Losing the brAAnding

  19. Jim F. Guest

    Interesting day for AA program changes.... AA never really promoted/marketed Airpass aggressively, which I always found confounding. You'd think there would/could have been a lot of breakage on already high fares had there been a better marketing/sales proposition for it (connecting it to the Business Extra program, for example).

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Omar Guest

It would have been amazing to buy a $60k Airpass last week to get CK and now eligible for a full refund.

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Jake Guest

Strange move but perhaps another nail in the coffin for AA being considered a premium business travel airline (next to eliminating first class, getting rid of first on trascon, removing onboard tv screens). AAirpass has been an incredibly convenient way of traveling for work - last minute changes and cancellations have been possible with no fees, and there are massive discounts on businesses and first class fares, especially for transcon and international travel. This is something you really do not see or can have an appreciation of unless your employer is a member of the program. Many corporates might drop AA unless there is an alternative solution (having said that - just imagine managing this on contract by contract basis). Sad to see the continued decline of AA.

1
Jim F. Guest

Interesting day for AA program changes.... AA never really promoted/marketed Airpass aggressively, which I always found confounding. You'd think there would/could have been a lot of breakage on already high fares had there been a better marketing/sales proposition for it (connecting it to the Business Extra program, for example).

1
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