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AAdvantage Celebrates 40 Years of Loyalty Innovation

  • Over the past 40 years, American Airlines has built a loyalty program that makes it easy to earn and redeem miles.
  • AAdvantage® offers a choice of rewards, providing members with a more personalized program.
  • Members can join the 40th celebration with chances to instantly win prizes and special partner offers as part of a month-long online game that inspires travel.

FORT WORTH, Texas — When American Airlines launched the AAdvantage® loyalty program in 1981, it was one of the airline industry’s first frequent flyer programs to reward members for their travel. Forty years later, AAdvantage continues to lead the way with innovative new partnerships, providing members with more personalized choices in a program that’s never been easier for members to use.

“AAdvantage continues to be the easiest airline loyalty program for customers to engage with,” said Rick Elieson, President of the AAdvantage program. “Throughout our first 40 years, it’s been our privilege rewarding members for their continued loyalty to American with innovative benefits, unique partnerships and an evolving program that’s built for every customer.”

The program provided members additional flexibility last year by eliminating award ticket change fees and automatically extended elite status through Jan. 31, 2022. AAdvantage also offered members a three-month head-start on earning elite status as well as an additional path to earn elite benefits by using AAdvantage co-branded credit cards.

For the rest of 2021, AAdvantage members can look forward to enhanced reciprocal benefits with our new alliances with JetBlue Airways and Alaska Airlines. Members can also expect new ways to earn miles with new home, auto and business partnerships.

A celebration four decades in the making

Starting April 5, members are invited to visit, an interactive, mobile-friendly experience that guides members through the AAdvantage program, offers fun facts, globe spins and chances to instantly win along the way. Prizes include AAdvantage miles, an Admirals Club membership and prizes and special offers from select AAdvantage partners.

In addition to the instant-win prizes and offers, members can also earn daily entries into a sweepstakes:

  • 40 grand prize winners will win 1 million AAdvantage miles
  • One second place winner will win a two-night travel package for four people to Arnold Palmer's Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando, Florida

Customers who aren’t yet AAdvantage members can enroll today and start playing right away.

When the AAdvantage program began on May 1, 1981, membership was by invitation-only and rewards included a first-class ticket to any destination American flew. Today, the award-winning AAdvantage program boasts an impressive roster of 115 million members, with 144,000 of those members active since the first year. While members still reap rewards for their loyalty to flying American, membership is open to everyone and members can earn and redeem miles both on the ground and in the air.

Groove to 1981 chart toppers on Apple Music

To celebrate AAdvantage’s 40th anniversary, step back in time with our specially curated playlist on Apple Music of the top tracks of 1981. Apple Music subscribers traveling on American’s domestic routes can stream the playlist along with over 70 million songs ad-free, curated playlists, music videos, and exclusive live artist-hosted radio shows on any domestic flight for free.**

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Open only to members of the American Airlines AAdvantage program who are legal residents of the 50 United States (D.C.) 18 years and older. End May 3, 2021. To play and for Official Rules, including odds, and prize descriptions visit Void where prohibited.

** Currently only available on flights with Viasat Wi-Fi. No internet purchase required.

About American Airlines Group
American’s purpose is to care for people on life’s journey. Shares of American Airlines Group Inc. trade on Nasdaq under the ticker symbol AAL and the company’s stock is included in the S&P 500. Learn more about what’s happening at American by visiting and connect with American on Twitter @AmericanAir and at

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