Thursday, March 20, 2008

Online booking bonus goes into the history books

By Mike Grasso

American Airlines announced it will discontinue a promotion in which passengers earned up to 500 miles for booking flights directly from the American Airlines website. According to the AA website, the final day to earn the bonus is March 31st.

But we shall not point thumbs down to our fine feathered friends at American. A time, not so long ago, most of the big carriers offered online booking bonuses. American, United, Delta, US Air, Continental and Northwest all offered up to 1000 miles per reservation just for booking tickets on their website. That bonus lessened over the years, and eventually most carriers phased it out all together. American is simply the last of the big carriers offering the bonus.

Because most airlines charge fees for booking on the phone with a representative, and some booking sites charge a service fee for airline tickets, the airlines figure you will book directly on their website anyway- why bother enticing folks with a few hundred miles.

So, write it into the books - it was good while in lasted.