American Airlines, in cooperation with British Airways and Iberia, runs a second loyalty program parallel to American AAdvantage for small businesses. This Business Extra program enables you to credit points for travel on all three airlines and for multiple travelers. However, points are earned strictly on the basis of spend, with 1 point for every $5. (Click on that link to learn more about similar business programs offered by other airlines.)
This week American launched several new routes from its hub in Los Angeles, including a couple routes to destinations on the West Coast. This is unusual since the airline has typically handed off this job to Alaska Airlines through codeshare agreements. However, you can now fly on American Airlines-operated planes between Los Angeles and the following destinations:
- Seattle (5X daily)
- Portland (3X daily)
- Anchorage (1X daily)
- Minneapolis (2X daily)
- New Orleans (1X daily)
- Omaha (1X daily)
- Kansas City (1X daily)
- Hartford (1X daily)
- Auckland, New Zealand (1X daily)
To celebrate the new routes, you can earn double Business Extra points between May 17 and August 31 when you register with promotion code LAXNR16. Why they’re just announcing this now is mystifying.
It isn’t terribly difficult to create a Business Extra account. I have one for my LLC, and I’ve been able to successfully earn and redeem points for travel that I take on American Airlines, including flights taken by my wife when she travels with me and flights that aren’t business related at all. You can also claim credit for past flights, or add your Business Extra number to existing reservations.
The redemption process lets you redeem the points for things like free travel, lounge access, and even elite status. In many cases, you still have up to a year to actually use that award (since the theory is you provide them to employees as incentive benefit). I have a first class round-trip domestic ticket that I need to book sometime this year. It cost 3,200 points — about $16,000 in travel, though I also earned lots of points from various promotions like this one.