American Airlines
Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.

American Business Extra Requirements to Emulate Delta SkyBonus…Somewhat

The small business program will exclude some...well...small businesses.

The American Airlines Business Extra program is a complimentary business travel rewards and incentive program that is completely separate from the American Airlines AAdvantage frequent flier loyalty program, as it is designed to help small-sized companies and medium-sized companies to reduce their travel costs by earning points, which could be used towards round-trip flights, access to Admirals Clubs, and upgrades…

American Business Extra Requirements to Emulate Delta SkyBonus…Somewhat

Admirals Club Lounge Atlanta
Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

…but some small businesses will find themselves not qualified to participate in this program, as some changes to Business Extra were announced earlier today via e-mail message to members.

Effective as of yesterday, Monday, October 4, 2021, new members who join Business Extra will be required to have at least three unique travelers and maintain a minimum of $5,000.00 in qualifying Business Extra flight activity during the previous period of twelve months in order to redeem points.

You can track the travel spend progress on your company profile here.

The new policy does not go into effect for current members of Business Extra until Sunday, January 1, 2023.

The good news is that in addition to round-trip flights, access to Admirals Clubs, and upgrades, you can use your Business Extra points to:

  • Convert them into AAdvantage miles, which can be transferred to your travelers
  • Energize employees with Gold elite status or Platinum elite status in the AAdvantage frequent flier loyalty program
  • Offset the carbon emissions of your business travel with Cool Effect

Final Boarding Call

American Airlines Eagle
Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

American Airlines may be “delighted to share even more ways you can redeem Business Extra points to reward your road warriors, maximize your travel budget and reduce the environmental impact of your flights” — but despite the good news, some small businesses will find themselves too small to participate because they either cannot maintain a minimum spend of $5,000.00 per period of twelve months; do not have at least three employees; or both.

I suppose nothing can stop someone from just inviting a couple of friends or family members to meet the required minimum of travelers, as I did not initially see anything which precludes anyone from doing that — but that could invite more trouble that doing so is worth if differences in opinions form between the three or more listed travelers.

The e-mail message claims that American Airlines is “continuing to evaluate the Business Extra program to provide members with more options, value and flexibility for their business travel” — but in reality, it is emulating the SkyBonus business travel rewards and incentive program from Delta Air Lines in terms of its restrictions, which became effective back in July of 2013…

…and SkyBonus accounts became inactive as soon as January of 2014 for some small businesses because similar criteria was not met: maintaining a minimum of $5,000.00 in qualifying SkyBonus flight activity during the previous period of twelve months in order to redeem points; and adding a minimum number of travelers to a SkyBonus account.

All photographs ©2015, ©2018, and ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

BoardingArea

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