American Airlines’crews have a new incentive to lure passengers tocredit cards.
Gary Leff at the age of 11. March 2021.
American Airlines has not scheduled full meals in first class or full beverage service on the bus due to the virus. And the flight attendants are resisting returning to duty. Nevertheless, in the early stages of the pandemic, the airline reminded cabin crew to encourage check-in and handed out destination code forms, despite fears of social exclusion.
In 2020 – during the pandemic – the airline earned nearly $3 billion from its non-airline partners, primarily Citibank and Barclays.
- Barclays sells its AAdvantage cards on flights and at the airport, but not within 100 feet of the American Airlines club.
- Citibank sells its credit cards everywhere, including American Airlines clubs.
Flights are one of the most effective places to ask for tickets, but during the pandemic there were fewer people flying and fewer flights. This represents a huge restriction on Barclays’ ability to acquire customers.
With the rut giving way to travel optimism and people thinking more about going out in the not too distant future, the boarding pass campaign is back in full swing in March and April, with incentives in the form of extra cash and donations.
What’s more interesting, however, is the statistic they report that only 14% of passengers on a given flight have an AAdvantage credit card. This is an excellent opportunity for portfolio growth. And since American has two card issuers and customers can have both, the pool of potential candidates on board is even larger than American’s (flight attendants routinely point out that Citi AAdvantage customers can also get a Barclay card).
You can’t submit tickets for the flight before 8am or for return flights, but otherwise it makes sense. The people most likely to take a co-branded credit card with an airline are those who fly, and once on board, you’ll be the center of attention.
By the way, one of the good reasons for using back seat entertainment on airplanes is that the conversation can be interrupted during an announcement by the flight attendant. If people use their own devices, they can ignore map feeds. American Airlines is to partner with Barclays to sponsor the return of the screens.
I’ve seen flight attendants set up makeshift tables and displays in the kitchen to promote the cards and tell customers what to show the app to pay for utilities. This is an excellent source of additional income for the crew.