American Airlines CFO, Tom Horton, was recently quoted in a Dallas Morning News business blog talking about American’s thoughts on selling off its AAdvantage program to a third party to help with the airlines’ bottom line. He said that it’s not “unthinkable” but would involve a lot of study. He said, for example, the best AAdvantage customer for the airline may not be the best AAdvantage customer for a stand-alone AAdvantage owner.
The airline wants the AAdvantage customer who flies the most; an independent owner may get the most value from a customer who uses his branded credit card the most. American would have to know how to continue to maintain its close relationship with AAdvantage members, its best customers, if the loyalty program and its 60 million members were spun off, he said.