Airline announces plans to attract more “high-yield customers” in coming years.
American Airlines wants to add more value for their most loyal flyers in order to attract more “high-yield customers” in 2018 and 2019. Seeking Alpha reports the carrier announced the coming changes during their third quarter earnings call.
When responding to a question about managing passenger yields across the network from Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., airline senior vice president of revenue management Don Casey responded with the change. Looking across cabin spaces, the executive said more revenue-focused changes would be coming specifically to the AAdvantage loyalty program.
“We have a host of initiatives coming in the AAdvantage program later in 2018 and 2019, which are going to attract more high-yield customers which is going to increase yields,” Casey said in the call. “So I think we got a big portfolio of initiatives that are all designed around increasing yields.”
Elaborating further, chief executive Doug Parker went on to include the “work that we’re doing with the ancillary products” in the group. The comment may have been alluding to the credit card relationships American holds with both Barclaycard and Citi.
Although the announcement was not very specific, the carrier could be looking at offering more to their higher spending customers. Much like their legacy competitors, American offers four elite levels based on the number of miles flown and amount spent on airfare. At the highest level, AAdvantage Executive Platinum earn 120 percent bonus miles on top of their base award miles, as well as unlimited auto-requested upgrades and upgrade rights for companions.
New benefits could include additional upgrade offers, more award miles or other benefits. Additionally, American could choose to follow the path of Delta Air Lines, which allows top-level elites to choose their benefits.
More separation could be coming between the front and back of the aircraft as well. Casey announced that 1.5 percent of the airline’s revenue came from basic economy fares and half of those flyers were not apt to spend more money on their flying experience.