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American will discount short-haul awards

There’s been precious little good news for the traveling public lately, so it comes as a welcome relief to report a positive development at the world’s largest airline.

American is reprising its AAdvantage Short-Hop awards, allowing members of its loyalty program to book round-trip awards on routes under 750 miles each way for 15,000 miles—a savings of 10,000 miles over the normal 25,000-mile price.

The discounted prices are being offered as a promotion, on a limited-time basis, for award travel between September 1, 2007, and February 29, 2008, on nonstop flights operated by American, American Eagle or AmericanConnection carriers.

In its news release, American lists the routes which would qualify for the discount: Dallas/Fort Worth to Denver, Chicago to Atlanta, Chicago to New York, Miami to New Orleans, Los Angeles to San Francisco, and Boston to Raleigh/Durham. That’s not meant to be a complete list, but it makes the point that some popular routes are eligible.

Not to quibble with a good thing, but it could be better. Why not, for example, apply a similar short-haul discount for first-class awards, or for unrestricted awards?

Still, anything that adds to the program’s overall value—especially improvements on the program’s award side—is a step in the right direction.

Visit American’s site for details.

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