Yesterday (er, earlier today in the U.S.), American Airlines filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11, hoping to reorganize itself into profitability. A few hours after the news, the head of the frequent-flyer program sent out a reassurance to us members:
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.
(Emphasis in original.)
Of course, the X factor remains the attitudes of the pilots, flight attendants, gate agents, and other front-line employees who stand to lose the most (other than, obviously, bondholders) from the restructuring. I'll keep an eye out—and I'll keep flying American and it's oneworld partners.
In a related bit, private pilot and journalist James Fallows has a lively debate on his blog today about electronic devices on airliners, and how your Kindle most certainly will not crash the plane if you forget to turn it off.
I'm off on my penultimate day of exploring Tokyo. Yesterday I hit the photography museum; today, I think, the Tokyo National Museum.