Pathetic reporting about American’s award changes

As I posted about yesterday, American is making some changes to their award ticket structure. These changes are at best a wash. Yes, one way awards are now possible, but they’ve essentially gotten rid of the international stopover, which is a huge benefit of award tickets in my mind.

Of course based on media reports of the change, you’d think this was an entirely positive change. Look at this MSNBC report, which talks about the positive changes, but conveniently leaves out the negative changes. I guess I kind of expect that from the mainstream media, though. The same goes for the “Today in the Sky” article in USA Today.

C’mon guys, this is disgusting. Did you have American write the article for you?

Filed Under: American, Awards
  1. They probably just repeated what they read in the press release, which I’m sure had a positive spin. Otherwise, I doubt many in the media are unaware of the impacts of losing international stopovers on award tickets. They probably just read it and thought, “Ok, I don’t really know what that is, so big deal.”

  2. the story was on our local morning tv news. Does anyone think they do anything but rehash press releases?

  3. This is what I found really interesting in all this. From the USA Today story:

    “Analysts say they expect competitors to move quickly to match American.

    But it may not be easy. Rob Friedman, president of American’s AAdvantage marketing programs division, says it took American more than a year to change software and data management systems to make it happen.”

    That’s why our airlines are in such pathetic state (okay, one reason). This change should be trivial to implement, yet their ancient IT systems are so inflexible that it costs a fortune in time and money to do anything.

  4. You’re old enough to remember the buildup to the war in Iraq. You’re really disgusted by this poor reporting? I’ve lost much of my respect for journalism, and as you get older you realize that there are only a few skilled reporter. Remember, it’s cheaper to just copy and paste than to collect background information and some investigation.

  5. United will most likely match, can’t wait to see that “enhancement” email. Since this is already a 1K benefit, are they going to add something else for 1Ks?

  6. Lucky –

    Seems to me like they’re emphasizing the part that most travelers will actually use – the one way redemptions – and de-emphasizing the part that only REALLY savvy travelers even knew about – the stopovers.

    You’re talking about mass media, and they cater to what the masses care about.

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