American offering elites 500 free miles per departure from Boston

American Airlines has announced a new promotion targeting their AAdvantage elite members who are flying out of Boston. For each departure where passengers check a bag via the self-service kiosks passengers will earn 500 miles. The bonus is per trip, not per bag, so no need to check multiple bags. No registration is required and the promotion runs through November 22, 2011.


Even better, there doesn’t really seem to be a need to care about what you’re checking. I figure just grab a FedEx box, put a bag tag on it and collect your 500 miles. No need to even collect the box at the other end.

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Seth Miller

I'm Seth, also known as the Wandering Aramean. I was bit by the travel bug 30 years ago and there's no sign of a cure. I fly ~200,000 miles annually; these are my stories. You can connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.


  1. “No need to even collect the box at the other end.”

    How lame and what a waste of resources. Wish I could put a :rolleyes: emoticon in here.

    1. Well, I’m not suggesting checking several 50-70# boxes that actually consume vast resources to handle. A couple extra empty boxes aren’t going to make or break the resources loads here.

  2. So just a little bit of waste is ok then for a whopping 500 miles? Also, what about dude working the baggage claim desk that is going to have to try to track you down when your box goes uncollected?

    1. Scott, there is plenty of waste in the system. If you think that shipping a few empty boxes is where the problems lie I’d say that’s a pretty tough argument to make. Yes, it is wasteful. So are mileage runs, buying random crap that we don’t need (that is also shipped) to get points when a deal comes up on a mileage mall or many other things. Yet we all do them all the time. This isn’t a situation where the “waste” actions are really going to cause troubles.

      As for the employee at baggage claim trying to track you down, I’ve sat in baggage claim a few times with a friend working there. If you don’t call them they are not going to put much energy into finding you or returning it to you. I wouldn’t worry too much about that at all.

  3. Hmm, I’m a PLT flying out tomorrow and I didn’t get the memo, nor do I see this linked on AA’s site. Let’s see if non-targeted elites can get the miles.

    1. @Ted: The promo is rather explicit that registration is not required and it is open to anyone, so long as you are elite. You can read the fine print yourself if you click the picture above.

      @Lark: Do you have any idea how many different bags and other things are left behind at baggage claim on a regular basis. An empty box that is appropriately checked isn’t going to cause an evac. People leave car seats and strollers behind. Presumably they do not forget the small child, but they leave the stroller. It happens rather more than you’d think.

      Feel free to check a bag if you want, but I don’t check my bags in general because I’d rather they not get lost. Plus the bonus only works ex-BOS but you’d have to check the bag on the return to keep it.

  4. ‘No need to even collect the box at the other end.’

    I share others concerns with this half baked idea…

    Have you ever been in an airpot when it was evacuated due to a ‘suspicious package’?

    Just take a suitcase with you!

  5. Seth, don’t be a dumbass and try to compare wasted resources on ordering shit. When people order shit to get miles, there is actually tangible value. Money is given for goods.

    Your idea on checking an empty box is stupid. I’m done reading this blog.

    1. Yes, there is definitely “tangible value” in paying $6 to order a couple AA batteries to get a US Airways Grand Slam Hit or whatever. And it is equally wasteful.

      My point is that the resources consumed by checking an empty (ie no additional weight so no added fuel burn) box are essentially nil. If you’d feel better about checking your actual bag then go for it. I’m sure the baggage handlers would love tossing around an extra 30 pounds instead of an empty box.

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