American Airlines clarifies policy on mileage aggregator sites


Want to track account balances for multiple award programs from a single interface? Aggregator sites such as GoMiles.com or AwardWallet make it possible, at least for most programs. American Airlines has forced those sites and others to exclude the AAdvantage program from their collections. As part of the online chat hosted on milepoint.com a few weeks back a number of questions were  asked but not answered during the chat. Those answers are now available and this topic was one which was addressed.

Mileage Aggregators
Q: (Sam) I am a fan of tracking my loyalty programs on AwardWallet.com and was disappointed with AA’s decision to not allow tracking of AA miles on Award Wallet. What is the reason for this and is there any possibility AA will change its mind?
These sites are accessing American’s data and websites without our authorization. Our preference is to enter into commercial agreements with these sites that recognize American’s rights and control the unauthorized dissemination of American’s customer data. Short of such an agreement, we intend to protect our rights in our data and the operational integrity of our websites.

Previous comments from American have suggested that the issue was consumer privacy or protection. Now it seems they’ve cleared up the issue: it is about the money. A shame, really. Given the opportunity to make their program easier to use for their members they’ve chosen not to, focusing on the revenue potential instead. And especially surprising when these sites actually drive increased loyalty to the programs as customers more readily see their account balances and track their earnings, striving to hit targets.

At least they’re being open and honest about it now. Even if it is a bad policy.

Never miss another post: Sign up for email alerts and get only the content you want direct to your inbox.


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, LinkedIn and .

11 Comments

  1. Another example of bad management that got them bankrupt, they don’t care about passengers.

  2. But the workaround AwardWallet implemented – a browser extension – was ultimately not any different than a user using a web browser to access their account (perhaps storing credentials in a password manager) and then copy/pasting the account balance into a google docs spreadsheet (ie store the data on a 3rd party site).

  3. Why AwardWallet won’t allow us to enter the AA info manually? I know it is a pain but at least I can see how many miles I have there and if I know I flew AA since I last updated I can check on AA.com and add the new number there. It would be great to have all my miles and points all in one place.

  4. I don’t even think they are being *that* open about it. Now they are saying we will only do it with an agreement in place. We all know that they will never agree to an agreement that any sensible aggregator could use. If they were being “open and honest” about it they would say “American Airlines is looking to control the user experience and we want to ensure that we maximize the chances that when our frequent flyers access their accounts we get to advertize directly to them. We also want to ensure that everyone only ever books flights directly through aa.com, so we will continue to do everything within our power including restricting access by aggregation sites and fighting with other online travel agencies to ensure the only way you can use our airline is through our website”. But they are never going to be “open and honest”

  5. > Why AwardWallet won’t allow us to enter the AA info manually?

    Because AA told them that users were not allowed to enter the information manually into the AwardWallet site. There’s a simple workaround. Just use another name, such as “UnAmerican Airlines” which is easy to remember and very appropriate.

  6. I manually added “UnAmerican Airlines” to awardwallet as soon as AA stopped allowing tracking and finally convinced AW to add manual miles to the total miles.

  7. Could this be why sites like ExpertFlyer is also unable to view their Award seats. It’s amazing because AA’s own systems is not able to process certain award routes, i.e. to Asia; a call needs to be placed into reservations!

Comments are closed.

BoardingArea