American Airlines has pledged up to one million Business Extra points for future travel. These points will go to small businesses and nonprofit organizations in need of travel support. Some of the points will come from matching based on member gifts, which will run through July 31st.
Gifting Business Extra points
The total gift of one million points will come from two different pools. First, American will award 500,000 points to groups in need of travel assistance. The other 500,000 will come from the airline’s matching program of member gifts through the end of July. This comes less than a month after the airline donated 10 million miles to St. Jude Children’s Hospital and just under two months after the airline announced it would partner with Hyatt to give front line healthcare workers vacations.
For the 500,000-mile gift, it will be divided in half. One half will go to minority-owned small businesses. The other half will go to American Airlines‘ “Our Social Good” program that supports organizations seeking to improve stability, health, and care for global citizens in need.
Alison Taylor, American’s Chief Customer Officer, stated the following in a release viewed by Simple Flying:
“Our conversations with customers and research throughout the coronavirus pandemic reveal a notable concern for the viability of small businesses. In light of the challenges facing so many, it’s only right that we leverage our platforms to help others. We’ve been developing the ability to gift Business Extra points for some time and are thankful to have one more way to serve as a conduit of care to those in need.”
Leading up to this announcement, the carrier turned to thousands of its AAdvantage members to gather information via a survey. These surveys showed an overwhelming concern for small and local businesses in addition to worries about the general economy and the health of friends and family members.
Members can give points
Business Extra members can also give their own points to three different funds. Alongside pools for the Our Social Good program and minority-owned businesses, members can also select to gift to small businesses, with particular consideration being given to women-owned, LGBTQ-owned, and veteran-owned businesses. The final distribution of points, however, will be in American’s hands, and their team will award them based on organizations’ needs.
What if my business needs travel assistance?
If you are a current Business Extra member with up to 999 employees, you can apply to receive points by July 31st at the main Business Extra website. American will award points based on the amount requested, the importance of travel to the business, and the company’s plan for using the points received.
About the Business Extra program
Simple Flying recently went in-depth on the program. This included an exclusive conversation with Julie Harner, Director of B2B Product Development. Essentially, the program works almost like a frequent flier program for businesses. Travelers continue to earn their own AAdvantage miles while companies will earn Business Extra points. Through the end of June, the carrier is offering a special “Fly One Get One” promotion for first-time enrollees that join and fly before June 30th. If a company does this, they can receive 2,000 Business Extra points– enough for a domestic US roundtrip in coach.
Are you going to apply for these Business Extra points? Will you gift your Business Extra points to support local businesses? Let us know in the comments!