American Airlines Files for Bankruptcy

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This is probably not new to you – its been all over twitter, the news, and other travel blogs… American Airlines has filed for Chapter 11. However, if this is new to you – DO NOT PANIC! Currently, operations over at AA are running like normal and there is no reason to freak out. Yours miles are still in tack, your status has not gone anywhere, and lounge access is still available. All of the major large airlines, except AA, have filed for bankruptcy at one point or another, so now it is American’s turns. With most of the other airline bankruptcies good things actually came out of it (yes, there were a few that ultimately went under). AA has been around since 1934 so I do not see it going anywhere too quick. Below is an email that was sent out by Maya Lieberman, President of the AAdvantage Loyalty Program:

Dear AAdvantage® Member,

As you may know, on Tuesday, November 29, American Airlines filed for reorganization under Chapter 11. We took this action as part of our efforts to secure our long-term success in delivering the highest standards in air travel. We are committed to meeting your travel needs with outstanding customer service and safety, and it will be business as usual at American throughout our reorganization process. More than 80,000 people at American appreciate your loyalty and look forward to continuing to serve you.

We want to assure you that your AAdvantage® miles are secure. The AAdvantage miles that you’ve earned are yours and will stay yours, subject to usual policies, until you choose to redeem them for a great award with us. Likewise, your elite qualifying miles and your elite status, including lifetime status granted under the Million MilerSM program is secure and remains intact. You will continue to earn miles through all our existing AAdvantage participating companies and you will be able to redeem those miles for the same great awards — flights, upgrades, car rentals and hotels just to name a few. And, throughout the coming year, we will be adding even more opportunities to earn miles, as well as new ways to redeem those miles.

American is honoring all tickets and reservations as usual, and making normal refunds and exchanges. And, we intend to maintain a strong presence in domestic and international markets. As we and all airlines routinely do, we will continue to evaluate our operations and service, assuring that our network is as efficient and productive as possible. Additionally, relationships with our oneworld Alliance and other codeshare partners are continuing to provide you with opportunities to earn and redeem miles for travel to hundreds of destinations worldwide, and we are honoring all tickets and reservations for travel on our partner airlines as usual. For information about American’s reorganization process, please visit

Even more importantly, we remain committed to providing a superior customer experience with a focus on delivering what our customers value most — the newest fleet with our upcoming aircraft deliveries, network strength in the important cities of the world and world-class products, service and technology.

American Airlines has a proud history, and we will have a successful future. All of us on the American team thank you for your loyalty and we look forward to welcoming you aboard soon.


Maya Leibman
Maya Leibman
President — AAdvantage Loyalty Program

My advice:

  • Do not be overly concerned
  • Use your AA miles first over another airlines program
  • If you are debating on whether or not it is worth it to use your AA miles – might as well use them
  • I probably would not apply for another AA branded credit card that gives you miles – look elsewhere (for right now at least)
  • If you just recently received an AA credit card, still go forward with hitting the minimum spend to get your bonus miles
  • Keep an eye out for more AA promotions (yes… there will most likely be more than usual)

Bottom line… DO NOT PANIC! Chances are they will figure a way to get bailed out (with close to 1 million miles in the bank, I sure hope so)!

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