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What about my TWA miles?

Dear Tim,

I was wondering if you could help me and probably thousands of others similarly situated with some advice. TWA
apparently plans to file for bankruptcy this week and the
assets will eventually be bought out by American Airlines. I have over 50,000 frequent flyer miles. What, if anything, do you think I should do?


Dear Robert,

Here’s the executive summary, specifically as it relates
to your TWA miles…

First, the good news: Last week, American publicly and
definitively committed to honor Aviators miles, promising to transfer them automatically into American’s AAdvantage program, if and when American’s bid to acquire TWA is approved.

What should have caught your eye is the “if and when”
qualifier. Because, while American’s plan to buy TWA is the
odds-on favorite to succeed, there are several other possible scenarios.

We must consider, for example, Carl Icahn’s apparent intention to challenge American’s bid. Along similar lines, we might see competing bids from other airlines, interested in bulking up themselves, or simply preempting American’s plans. And then there’s the uncertainty associated with the approvals required from the Bankruptcy Court and federal regulators.

So yes, American’s bid is both the most likely to prevail and the best deal for travelers. And if you’re comfortable assuming some risk, you will probably be best served by waiting for your 50,000 Aviators miles to auto-convert to AAdvantage miles. But we may see other contenders come, go, and possibly prevail before TWA’s fate (and the fate of your miles) is decided once and for all.

Tim Winship
Contributing Editor

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