Several years ago I went on a work-related trip on American Airlines (side note: holy cow! they have RSS feeds!). I don’t travel much, but on a whim, I signed up for their AAdvantage program. I got some quantity of bonus miles for signing up. Enough to keep me interested, but not enough to really do anything with. Then I signed up for some partnership deal that they had with MCI where I earned miles based on my long-distance usage. That got me a chunk of bonus miles, plus a trickle of miles over time (until MCI imploded). Since then, I’ve added miles here and there by supplying my membership ID when I stayed at a hotel, or bought my wife flowers through FTD. All this has added up to not-quite-enough miles to get two round trip tickets to somewhere (continental US, mainly).
So, I’ve got these miles sitting around that I’m not likely to use unless I can add enough more to get a second ticket, so that maybe Susan and I can take our long-overdue honeymoon. And thus is born my Air Miles Experiment. I figure there must be lots of other people out there who travel at least occassionally, but who don’t actively participate in some sort of air miles program. Or people who purchase various things on the net from time to time. If you are one of those people, I’d like to enlist you.
What do you have to do? Just use my AAdvantage number (391H8E0) if you have an opportunity. Staying at a hotel for the weekend? Ask at the front desk if they participate in the American Airlines AAdvantage program. Other participating businesses include Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, Circuit City, Sharper Image, iTunes, Shutterfly, LEGO Shop at Home, Target, Land’s End, and Old Navy (among many others). There’s a full list at the AAdvantage eShopping Mall.
What do you get out of this? Well, nothing — except the joy of giving. Maybe this could be a cheap (free!) way for you to reward me for some software I’ve written, or knowledge that you found on this blog. Maybe it’s just a way for you to “stick it to the man” by getting an airline to give up something for nothing. Maybe you need to atone for that time that you snuck forbidden liquids onto a flight. Maybe you’re just sick and tired of all those mofo snakes on that mofo plane!
So there it is: my plea for something free. The next time you’re getting ready to buy something online, maybe you’ll remember to check the list of merchants. And if you’re buying from a participating vendor, punch in AAdvantage number 391H8E0.
And can I ask one more favor? Even if you aren’t going to do this yourself, if you think this experiment is interesting, spread the word with a link back to this post. If I start to see any significant participation, I’ll update here with some details.