Airlines

American Airlines 2018 Year in Review

American Airlines at Beijing Airport (PEK)

Happy New Year!

Like many American Airlines frequent fliers, I received an email from the airline containing high-level stats of my travel during 2018. I don’t recall receiving a customized statement like it in the past; I think this is a first for AA, and I like it.

The statement contained fun facts such as:

American Airlines 2018 Year in Review
  • 187 hours in the sky – This is almost eight full days of my life spent in AA planes. I wonder what my total time spent in travel would be if I added commute times to/from airports, going through security and waiting in airports for flights. I bet it would exceed 500 hours, which I think is a conservative estimate.
  • 3 times flown around the world – While this is interesting and somewhat wild, I wonder how it is really calculated? It must be by actual miles flown.

Woohoo! American Airlines took me to 17 destinations

To be honest, this was a surprise. Apparently, in 2018, AA took me to 16 destinations in the US in addition to Beijing and the direct flight from Los Angeles (LAX) to Beijing (PEK) was the farthest.

American Airlines 2018 Year in Review
I did not major in English, however would you say furthest or farthest? I have always believed the latter is more appropriate in this context. American Airlines, if you are reading this, do I get anything for catching it?
American Airlines 2018 Year in Review
I found it humorous that Phoenix is listed among the most visited destinations. C’mon, American Airlines, Phoenix is my hometown, where I always hope to return whenever I travel.

The value of my loyalty

American Airlines 2018 Year in Review

Because Phoenix, my hometown, is a hub for American Airlines I have been loyal to the airline. Actually, I have been since the old days of America West and US Airways. For those who may not know, America West and US Airways merged in 2005 and retained the name US Airways, then in 2013, US Airways merged with American Airlines and retained the AA branding.

The 2018 year in review email from AA indicates that I have received 49K bonus miles because of my elite status, which is a reflection of my loyalty. At first, the number looked okay. However, compared to the 85K miles I flew on AA, it represents a bonus of about 58 percent. This is a lower percentage than what I received in 2017. This leads me to ask: Is the reward for my loyalty declining?

On the other hand, I was pleasantly surprised that as a Platinum Pro member I received 25 complimentary upgrades which is higher than what I was able to score in 2017.

The email from AA opens with this statement:

“It’s been said that so much of who we are is where we have been. We hope you’ve enjoyed where we’ve taken you this year and are grateful you’ve chosen to spend so much of your time with us in the skies.”


Is American Airlines sincere about this message? I really hope they are. I question their commitment to the message, because in reality their customer service doesn’t reflect being grateful for my business, as their email puts it. While I will continue to fly American Airlines because of the convenience of flying direct to most domestic destinations from Phoenix, I strongly believe their customer service needs a revolution.

On a final note, I appreciated receiving the email and it was fun reading the stats. I hope American Airlines continues to issue it every year. In addition, it would also be useful to add a live version on the American Airlines mobile app. I say this considering that it is one of my apps that I can’t travel without.

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