In a quick review of the past few months' blog posts, one subject category was conspicuous by its scarcity: mileage bonuses for airline flights.
After all, the primary focus of this blog is travel loyalty programs; the airline schemes are the largest such programs; and their overriding goal is (or was) to promote their own services.
No doubt the dearth of flight bonuses is at least in part related to the airlines' recent operational performance. For all the hand-wringing about profitability, they're flying full planes. Year-to-date through April, United just reported the load factor for its domestic routes was 82.1 percent. American's domestic load factor for the period was 79.6 percent. Southwest's was 78.7 percent. Those are healthy numbers, and there probably isn't much to be gained by offering mileage bonuses.
There are always exceptions to the rule, and this one is attention-worthy.
Between May 6 and August 31, AAdvantage members can earn double flight and elite-qualifying miles (EQMs) on non-stop American flights between Chicago and either Los Angeles or San Francisco.
To qualify for the bonus, your AAdvantage membership profile must show an address in California or Illinois.
Registration is required.
Deal or No Deal
- Double award and EQMs—good
- Almost four months to earn them—good
- Bonus limited to two flights—less good
Bottom line: If you're flying between Chicago and either of California's most popular cities through the summer, this could be a difference-maker when choosing an airline, especially if elite status is a priority.
With the bonus, a round-trip to or from Los Angeles will net 6,890 EQMs, and a San Francisco trip is good for 7,384 EQMs.
Reader Reality Check
Remember when flight bonuses were plentiful and generous?
This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.