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AirPass Prepaid Travel (ne AAirpass, not Lifetime Airpass) Master Thread

Old Dec 1, 2015, 8:52 am
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Last edit by: Shawn02139
American Airlines AirPass PrePaid Travel

NOTE: The program is Airpass; no longer named "AAirpass"
Link to AirPass front page

Link to aa.com AirPass contact and links page.

Prepaid, Unrestricted Air Travel at a Fixed Rate

As an AirPass member, you wont have to search for fares or pay extra for last-minute trips. Your airfare is pre-paid at a fixed rate and your account is ready when you need to travel to any of the more than 350 destinations in the combined American Airlines and US Airways network.
AirPass offers significant savings on fares (as well as guaranteed last seat availability) for flyers who know they will fly a lot but find themselves buying expensive last minute walk-up level fares.

AirPass, depending on level of purchase, includes status and may include up to Executive Platinum status and Admirals Club membership, or even Concierge Key, which includes both.

AirPass members get a courtesy drink and a snack if they're traveling in Coach, much as Executive Platinums do; unlike Executive Platinums, their traveling companion does also.

14 Jan 2016 jmappleby said: "...they take credit via wire transfer at $10k (Gold), $20k (Platinum), $30k (EP). Concierge Key is available for $50k individual spend or $75k team spend."
AirPass can be for different classes of service, and except for "PlanAAhead Economy", book into Y, J or F classes (and in 2016 will earn AA Elite Qualifying Miles at Y, J or F levels) and for Economy AirPass flyers offers "instant upgrade" fares that book into A for First or D for Business. These may not be available on all routes, however, and the legal routes may change during your contract.

Contact AirPass

AirPass Customer Service
800-433-6355
817-931-9029 - Fax

Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 5 p.m. (CT)

Send us a letter
FedEX / UPS / Overnight mail
American Airlines
AirPass Customer Service
4255 Amon Carter Blvd.
MD 4106
Fort Worth, TX 76155

U.S mail
American Airlines, Inc.
AirPass Customer Service
P.O. Box 619616
MD 4106
DFW Airport, TX 75261-9616
You can get indicative pricing here: https://airpass.aa.com/vt-customer/c...ervations.html
The best deal seems to be the -UP fares, where you pay the standard economy, but book a confirmed seat into business
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AirPass Prepaid Travel (ne AAirpass, not Lifetime Airpass) Master Thread

Old Nov 27, 2020, 9:56 am
  #691  
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This is all very interesting, but I feel like AirPass must be gaining importance within the company since it's the Admirals Club password of the moment. Clearly, they are trying to promote it.
As an aside, AirPass FAQs page says it is only valid on AA flights, but the AirPass website says Finnair, Japan Airlines, and Iberia are also included. Does anyone know which is correct?
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Old Nov 27, 2020, 11:56 am
  #692  
 
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Originally Posted by FleyeSkyHigh
Ive been involved and an observer to negotiations between AA and some larger corporate customers regarding the Airpass program. AA has drawn a line in the sand in that they absolutely will not and cannot extend Airpass contacts past their original end date (inclusive of the standard one-year extension option). In essence the only thing they are offering is to waive the nominal cost/fee of the extension option that exists in the contracts already (which normally was a maximum of a onetime $600 fee). That does nothing to help companies that already were into the extension period of their contract and little to help those that were approaching the 1-year mark. AA is also standing firm that per the contract language only a single extension will be allowed per contract so for those negotiating with AA dont take a three, six, or nine-month extension without demanding a 12 month extension as now all extensions will be at equal cost (zero).

In addition, AA is also offering to allow AAirpass customers to roll existing funds in an expiring contract (which they already allowed) to a new contact BUT is now also offering to count those rolled funds towards the minimum threshold for a particular threshold (which they did not do before). For example, if a contract had $8,000 remaining, a company would only need to cough up an additional $2,000 to meet the $10,000 minimum contract threshold. Further, AAirpass previously offered unpublished discounts to the standard $0.40 base mileage multiplier rate for larger commitments and they are now also allowing rolled funds to count towards that threshold (so for example, if a larger corporation had $6.5MM left in a contract then would only have to wire over an additional $3.5MM) to lock in whatever base multiplier that applied to their $10MM annual commitment contact (which is meaningfully less than $0.40/mile). AA also has indicated that they have their hands tied at least for the next 18 months with regards to changing any of the new higher rate bands which took affect in early 2020.

In the first couple months of the pandemic Airpass was throwing around CK and EP status extensions but that was all quickly shutdown by the AAdvantage business unit and will not be repeated. As I have previously suggested I believe AAs inability and inflexibility with regards to Airpass is that the programs have been used as collateral against various loan commitments or the modification of the program terms is covered by covenants of existing debt obligations.

In my opinion, the Airpass program, which use to be quite useful, will slowly die and is basically being killed off by a change in direction for the airline. Over the past several years the Airpass program was already falling out of favor with in the organization. It had been bounced around a bit within the company and finally was absorbed into the business unit that primary handles Business Extra and Meeting Services and based on my dealings with the company Airpass is definitely not a priority (despite the cash it has on the balance sheet but that of course is countered by the liability of the few remaining uncapped contract holders). The industry has experienced a paramount change in short order due to the pandemic and Airpass doesnt fit with the direction of the airline and where its leadership is taking the company. Private and charter travel is picking up the high dollar business traveler and the legacy carriers are more and more focusing on the commodity business and leisure markets. Business commercial air travel is no longer the cash cow that it once was a decade ago to the legacy carriers. Despite all the money AA spent on a new website for Airpass last year, I believe the program will sunset over the next several years once any collateralized obligations expire.
Interesting information... thanks for that perspective. AA has hounded me with Airpass snail mail flyers and email ads for a couple of years now, but I haven't found it worth it to pull the trigger so far.
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Old Nov 27, 2020, 12:35 pm
  #693  
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Originally Posted by FleyeSkyHigh
In my opinion, the Airpass program, which use to be quite useful, will slowly die and is basically being killed off by a change in direction for the airline. Over the past several years the Airpass program was already falling out of favor with in the organization. It had been bounced around a bit within the company and finally was absorbed into the business unit that primary handles Business Extra and Meeting Services and based on my dealings with the company Airpass is definitely not a priority (despite the cash it has on the balance sheet but that of course is countered by the liability of the few remaining uncapped contract holders). The industry has experienced a paramount change in short order due to the pandemic and Airpass doesnt fit with the direction of the airline and where its leadership is taking the company. Private and charter travel is picking up the high dollar business traveler and the legacy carriers are more and more focusing on the commodity business and leisure markets. Business commercial air travel is no longer the cash cow that it once was a decade ago to the legacy carriers. Despite all the money AA spent on a new website for Airpass last year, I believe the program will sunset over the next several years once any collateralized obligations expire.
The prepaid AirPass program fits an odd niche (business travelers booking last minute tickets) which is extremely small right now (due to airfare being generally cheap and the elimination of change fees). Additionally, the rates have to work for a business traveler based out of any city -- someone flying out of PHL which has the highest airfares in the country will find more use out of an AirPass than someone out of LAX. I think something closer to the GSA city pair system, where the government locks in fares with airlines based on city pairs, might be a better fit for flyers in cities with lower average fares.

My gut tells me that it will stay around, but maybe not in its current form and with its current costs.
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Old Jan 3, 2021, 9:50 am
  #694  
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Hello, all. I'm an Airpass CK signed 3/18/20. Membership extended to 9/15/21 (thank you). One thing I noticed is that my SWUs and FFD passes were only extended with the first extension to 6/17/21. Not to be a big complainer, but has anyone gotten these extended to the later date? With FFD still closed, I'd expect that would be an easy ask, but maybe not so much the SWUs.
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Old Jan 5, 2021, 1:09 am
  #695  
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Posts: 222
Originally Posted by BlooJoo
Hello, all. I'm an Airpass CK signed 3/18/20. Membership extended to 9/15/21 (thank you). One thing I noticed is that my SWUs and FFD passes were only extended with the first extension to 6/17/21. Not to be a big complainer, but has anyone gotten these extended to the later date? With FFD still closed, I'd expect that would be an easy ask, but maybe not so much the SWUs.
The AA policy right now for Airpass is that they will be extended contracts only one time, regardless of extension of time (but only up to a 12 month maximum extension). So if they extended a contract for six months that is the only extension they will grant which is pursuant to the Airpass contract and the contract supersedes and prevails over all other promises, communications, gestures, ect. That is the official line from Airpass thus far.

With regards to extension of CK status and SWUs that is at the discretion of the AAdvantage business unit but the company has no policy to extend comp'd CK status and benefits. AAdvantage considers CK status from Airpass as compd. In other words, while they did do a blanket CK status/benefits extension to Jan of 2022 for members that 'earned' CK status they did not for Airpass granted CK. However, since AA has been handing out CK status on a much more aggressive basis now it's likely that the AA rating system is flagging many CK status Airpass holders (along with non Airpass flyers) that are flying in premium cabin full fares. EQDs in the teens are now even getting CK status so many Airpass comp'd accounts are earning CK status now anyways.

If you have a large enough Airpass contract that is managed by a dedicated sales rep then you may have some success in getting that rep to lobby for some consideration of extensions of CK status and benefits (SWUs and FFDs) by AAdvantage. I think the success of such efforts will largely be based on how well connected your Airpass sales rep is within the company coupled with how many hundreds of thousands the contract is with the company.

I think the extension of FFDs is a moot point as most now do not expect FFD to return ever especially as cross-country flagship first is likely going away this year. Some of the flagship first Airbus 321T aircraft have already been stored and they likely will be removing Flagship First cabin from the 321T this year as they Oasis the Airbus fleet. The Flagship First cabin on the Boeing 777-300ER is also on the cutting block in that those cabins will also most likely not be renewed in the future and removed in favor of a more dense configuration. The 77W could actually be retired sooner than one would expect with new 787-900 deliveries.

Simply put AA is well into the process of redefining itself as a higher density and lower cost carrier focused on more non-premium leisure/business travel as the industry has changed and they really have no choice but to conform. The higher spend business traveler is being picked up by private jet operators (esp for domestic and short haul) and niche carriers that focus solely on business class cabins (for longer haul and international). For example, business class only FBO type carriers/companies are already negotiating leases for almost new planes (787 and 350 varieties) and will start offering suite only business cabin (with all the bells and whistles in terms of hard and soft product, ie high end catering, large suites with sofas/doors, ect) when demand for premium long haul returns. Think of routes such as LAX-JFK, JFK-LHR, LHR-DXB, LAX-HKG operating out of the FBO/private airside terminals. Delta for example saw such a potential change coming to business air travel more than a decade ago and instead of investing in such a costly Flagship product and ground operations offering (the way AA did with the Flagship brand) they positioned themselves with Delta Private Jets whose popularity has surged in recent years especially with Delta doubling down on Wheels Up more recently.
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Old Jan 5, 2021, 4:41 am
  #696  
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Originally Posted by FleyeSkyHigh
The AA policy right now for Airpass is that they will be extended contracts only one time, regardless of extension of time (but only up to a 12 month maximum extension). So if they extended a contract for six months that is the only extension they will grant which is pursuant to the Airpass contract and the contract supersedes and prevails over all other promises, communications, gestures, ect. That is the official line from Airpass thus far.

With regards to extension of CK status and SWUs that is at the discretion of the AAdvantage business unit but the company has no policy to extend comp'd CK status and benefits. AAdvantage considers CK status from Airpass as compd. In other words, while they did do a blanket CK status/benefits extension to Jan of 2022 for members that 'earned' CK status they did not for Airpass granted CK. However, since AA has been handing out CK status on a much more aggressive basis now it's likely that the AA rating system is flagging many CK status Airpass holders (along with non Airpass flyers) that are flying in premium cabin full fares. EQDs in the teens are now even getting CK status so many Airpass comp'd accounts are earning CK status now anyways.

If you have a large enough Airpass contract that is managed by a dedicated sales rep then you may have some success in getting that rep to lobby for some consideration of extensions of CK status and benefits (SWUs and FFDs) by AAdvantage. I think the success of such efforts will largely be based on how well connected your Airpass sales rep is within the company coupled with how many hundreds of thousands the contract is with the company.

I think the extension of FFDs is a moot point as most now do not expect FFD to return ever especially as cross-country flagship first is likely going away this year. Some of the flagship first Airbus 321T aircraft have already been stored and they likely will be removing Flagship First cabin from the 321T this year as they Oasis the Airbus fleet. The Flagship First cabin on the Boeing 777-300ER is also on the cutting block in that those cabins will also most likely not be renewed in the future and removed in favor of a more dense configuration. The 77W could actually be retired sooner than one would expect with new 787-900 deliveries.

Simply put AA is well into the process of redefining itself as a higher density and lower cost carrier focused on more non-premium leisure/business travel as the industry has changed and they really have no choice but to conform. The higher spend business traveler is being picked up by private jet operators (esp for domestic and short haul) and niche carriers that focus solely on business class cabins (for longer haul and international). For example, business class only FBO type carriers/companies are already negotiating leases for almost new planes (787 and 350 varieties) and will start offering suite only business cabin (with all the bells and whistles in terms of hard and soft product, ie high end catering, large suites with sofas/doors, ect) when demand for premium long haul returns. Think of routes such as LAX-JFK, JFK-LHR, LHR-DXB, LAX-HKG operating out of the FBO/private airside terminals. Delta for example saw such a potential change coming to business air travel more than a decade ago and instead of investing in such a costly Flagship product and ground operations offering (the way AA did with the Flagship brand) they positioned themselves with Delta Private Jets whose popularity has surged in recent years especially with Delta doubling down on Wheels Up more recently.
Interesting and comprehensive analysis, thank you. Agree FFD passes extension likely moot. It would be nice to get the SWUs extended, but I think Ill likely end up gifting them, since I never buy Coach.

Question on Airpass comped CKs: Do you think the flying Im doing now, in premium cabins, using my Airpass dollars, counts towards requalification? I mostly use the Airpass Y option that books into D, R or I (the upgrades at booking option, which seems like a slight misnomer). If I burn through $60K of those before September when my contract and CK expires, does that count at $60K premium cabin spend? And if Im renewed to CK in September 2021, is that until September 2022 or December 2022, or...?
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Old Jan 7, 2021, 9:25 am
  #697  
 
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Originally Posted by BlooJoo
Interesting and comprehensive analysis, thank you. Agree FFD passes extension likely moot. It would be nice to get the SWUs extended, but I think Ill likely end up gifting them, since I never buy Coach.

Question on Airpass comped CKs: Do you think the flying Im doing now, in premium cabins, using my Airpass dollars, counts towards requalification? I mostly use the Airpass Y option that books into D, R or I (the upgrades at booking option, which seems like a slight misnomer). If I burn through $60K of those before September when my contract and CK expires, does that count at $60K premium cabin spend? And if Im renewed to CK in September 2021, is that until September 2022 or December 2022, or...?
I would absolutely expect your flying and the EQDs that you are accumulating (regardless that they are coming from Airpass dollars) will count toward CK qualification. I will say that it is widely believed that the algorithm looks at rolling last 12 month spend and seeks out who gets CK by giving heavier weight to full F and full J fares but we don't really know how much preference (which presumably is dynamic and changing based on a multitude of factors such as route profitability, maybe even time of year). That said airpass Y-up journeys definitely could get you CK albeit maybe requiring more spend (maybe 50% to 2x more if I had to guess). One thing that you might try to get slightly heavier weighting is to book your airpass up fares in the following preference: 'R' then 'D' then 'I' as technically speaking "R" is the more 'expensive' whereas "I" is the least expensive. That said, if you book online the AA Airpass web interface will always book the least 'expensive' available Y-UP (so in other words the website books in 'I' then 'D' then 'R'). So it's impossible to this do via the website but you can book a full Y (non-up fare) using the website then call the Airpass reservation desk (same as EP) and ask for them to change the booking code from Y to R (or D if R is zero).

My guess on the term of newly earned CK status is probably as good as yours. If I had to wager, if you are awarded CK status by the AA for 'flying spend' (using Airpass dollars or other revenue sources) I think that it would be valid for a year from when you get notification from AA that they are giving it to you. So if you got the welcome to CK e-mail on July 15th, 2021 I would expect if would run through to approximately July 15th of 2022 and the reason is that historically CK is based on last rolling 12 months spend/flying where as typical AAdvantage status is based on calendar year. However, with the new precedence that was set by CK earned extensions all to the end of Jan of 2022 perhaps CK status term will mimic the rules that regular AAdvantage status follows in that if you earn it anytime in 2021 then you good to end of Jan of 2023. I think they will stick with rolling 12 months as they have done in the past but that's purely speculation.
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Old Jan 7, 2021, 9:44 am
  #698  
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Originally Posted by FleyeSkyHigh
I would absolutely expect your flying and the EQDs that you are accumulating (regardless that they are coming from Airpass dollars) will count toward CK qualification. I will say that it is widely believed that the algorithm looks at rolling last 12 month spend and seeks out who gets CK by giving heavier weight to full F and full J fares but we don't really know how much preference (which presumably is dynamic and changing based on a multitude of factors such as route profitability, maybe even time of year). That said airpass Y-up journeys definitely could get you CK albeit maybe requiring more spend (maybe 50% to 2x more if I had to guess). One thing that you might try to get slightly heavier weighting is to book your airpass up fares in the following preference: 'R' then 'D' then 'I' as technically speaking "R" is the more 'expensive' whereas "I" is the least expensive. That said, if you book online the AA Airpass web interface will always book the least 'expensive' available Y-UP (so in other words the website books in 'I' then 'D' then 'R'). So it's impossible to this do via the website but you can book a full Y (non-up fare) using the website then call the Airpass reservation desk (same as EP) and ask for them to change the booking code from Y to R (or D if R is zero).

My guess on the term of newly earned CK status is probably as good as yours. If I had to wager, if you are awarded CK status by the AA for 'flying spend' (using Airpass dollars or other revenue sources) I think that it would be valid for a year from when you get notification from AA that they are giving it to you. So if you got the welcome to CK e-mail on July 15th, 2021 I would expect if would run through to approximately July 15th of 2022 and the reason is that historically CK is based on last rolling 12 months spend/flying where as typical AAdvantage status is based on calendar year. However, with the new precedence that was set by CK earned extensions all to the end of Jan of 2022 perhaps CK status term will mimic the rules that regular AAdvantage status follows in that if you earn it anytime in 2021 then you good to end of Jan of 2023. I think they will stick with rolling 12 months as they have done in the past but that's purely speculation.
Thanks. I have CK through Airpass purchase through 9/15/21 due to extensions. I wonder how the timing will work out for me for requalifying since my CK year ends in Q3!

Appreciate all the other insight. Not sure if buying Y and asking them to change to R, D or I works, since it's based on booking class flown I thought. R also makes me nervous because it's also for sticker upgrades! Isn't D>R?
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Old Mar 23, 2021, 1:37 pm
  #699  
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 12
Hello,
I am interested in purchasing AA Airpass. anyone know if it 5x points when using Amex Platinum?
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Old Mar 23, 2021, 1:41 pm
  #700  
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Originally Posted by codeontheboat
Hello,
I am interested in purchasing AA Airpass. anyone know if it 5x points when using Amex Platinum?
I did in March 2020.
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Old Mar 23, 2021, 2:20 pm
  #701  
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
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Originally Posted by BlooJoo
I did in March 2020.
Just to be clear, were you able to get 5x points? 25,000 points?
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Old Mar 23, 2021, 2:21 pm
  #702  
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Originally Posted by codeontheboat
Just to be clear, were you able to get 5x points? 25,000 points?
I got 5X $60,000, so 300,000 points.
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Old Mar 23, 2021, 3:13 pm
  #703  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
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Posts: 1,990
Originally Posted by BlooJoo
I got 5X $60,000, so 300,000 points.
Interesting... I wonder whether the AmEx PLT travel insurance covers tickets subsequently purchased with the AmEx-purchased Airpass funds.

That's always a hang-up I've had about Airpass is whether credit card insurance could ever really apply since you're not booking the flights directly with the card, but with your AA-issued "UATP card" instead.
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Old Mar 23, 2021, 4:02 pm
  #704  
 
Join Date: Mar 2020
Posts: 12
Originally Posted by BlooJoo
I got 5X $60,000, so 300,000 points.
$$$60,000!!

Thank you for the reply
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Old Mar 31, 2021, 2:44 pm
  #705  
 
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Location: Isle of Man/East Palo Alto
Programs: AA - CK/Airpass
Posts: 1,046
FWIW, any of you looking to buy CK through Airpass for $65k should wait until April 5th; I was informed today by someone in the know that a decent discount will be made available and known on that date for this particular tier of AAdvantage benefits.

Sadly I dont have specifics but it was made clear to me that it would be definitely worth the wait over the standard offer.
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