American Airlines, AMR take the bankruptcy protection route

Posted on: November 29th, 2011 by: planensimple

After being the only major airline in the US history to not have filed one, American Airlines and its parent company AMR Corp filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection today.

There had been speculation going around ever since AMR shares suffered a hug 40% drop in October that airline may file for bankruptcy sooner or later to cut costs specially its labor costs which are currently the highest in the industry but the timing of this announcement seems to have caught everyone by surprise. While the bankruptcy protection gives AMR some elbow room in its ongoing discussions with the pilots and other work groups, it also renders the airline a ripe target for takeovers in an industry that is currently in a very fluid state due to high operational costs specially fuel and labor.

As per its Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in a New York court, the company listed assets of $24.72 billion and liabilities of $29.55 billion and around $4.1 billion in cash.  During the 18 months of bankruptcy protection that the airline is seeking both American Airlines and its regional carrier American Eagle were expected to fly normal schedules. The airline has also stated that it would be business as usual all during this time so the transatlantic venture with IAG members British Airways and Iberia is expected to be operating smoothly all during this time.

With this all focus now comes down to American Airlines frequent flier program AAdvantage, which is a cash cow for the company and may prove to be a decisive tool in this whole process just like the Delta FFP proved to be for its parent Delta during its bankruptcy protection when American Express brought loads of miles from them which provided a very valuable lifeline. A similar kind of step maybe expected from Citi but as of now that’s to early to say whether such things materialize or not. As for now the best advice would be burn the accumulated miles with the AAdvantage program as the program seems to be not going anywhere for some time to come but in the long run no one really knows how things turn up.

SAS Eurobonus points available at 40% discount

Posted on: September 20th, 2011 by: planensimple

Star Alliance member SAS is offering Eurobonus points at 40% discount. These points do not count towards upgrade to the higher membership level in the Eurobonus program. There is no limit as to how many you can Buy and Gift. The catch here is that to be able to buy or receive points, there need to be at least one registered activity on the EuroBonus account. For the exact details you check out this link.

The offer runs from September 3 to October 5,2011 and any valid MasterCard, Visa or AMEX credit card is acceptable. The buying chart looks something like this:

In my opinion the US Airways Grand Slam is a better offer when it comes to getting miles for Star Alliance but for people outside the United States and specially Europe this offer maybe worth considering.

The link to buy the points is here.

American Express adds Virgin America to Membership Rewards program

Posted on: September 12th, 2011 by: planensimple

American Express just announced that it will be adding Virgin America to it’s Membership Rewards program.

Beginning October 5, 2011 AMEX card members who are registered for the Membership Rewards program will be able to redeem their Membership Reward points for Virgin America Elevate points. The exact details of the tie-up are awaited.

This is a welcome addition to the program after they lost Continental which ceases to be a partner of the Membership Rewards program from October 1, 2011 onwards.

I will blog about further details as and when they become available.

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