Uber and American Airlines Teaming Up (Starting with an Uber Credit!)

American Airlines announced that it has partnered with Uber to “create a door-to-door streamlined service” to get you to and from the airport. It’s not perfect, but there are some nice benefits for AA’s top flyers.

The Partnership

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Airlines love to use the word “seamless.” Whether it’s in regard to international code shares (and we all know that alliances are as “seamless” as the companies would make them out to be) or the airport “experience,” a stress-free trip is the holy grail of travel. That’s why I was excited to see that AA and Uber are teaming up for one of the more bothersome aspects of your trip, the ride to and from the airport.

We’ll call today’s announcement AA-Uber 1.0, since we’ve got a big overture, but only a little show. It starts with the “ride reminder,” which allows passengers to click on a button in their confirmation to set up a calendar reminder to book an Uber ride to the airport. Useful? Not really, since forgetting to actually go to the airport before your flight is rarely an issue.

More helpful is the guide to the nearest pick up location upon arrival. It’s only functional for 11 airports currently, but AA’s hubs are all included and, if you’re in an unfamiliar airport, the navigation tool should help you find where your driver will pick you up. Airports haven’t quite caught up with technology and many do a poor job with signage (and the cab drivers aren’t exactly pushing them to fix that problem). The functionality will be built into the AA app. Those 11 airports are:

Chicago O’Hare
Dallas (DFW)
Los Angeles
New York: LaGuardia and JFK
San Francisco and San Jose
Washington Reagan

American has released a handy video to tell you a little more about the service (although it seems to be having technical issues; not exactly a good omen)

The Bonuses

You’ll have two opportunities to pick up some freebies:

First, there are credits for new and old customers alike. If you’ve never used uber, simply register at the site and use promo code RIDEAA. You’ll receive a credit for up to $20 off your next ride. If you hold Executive Platinum status with American as of March 1 (meaning that you qualified in 2015 for the 2016 year), you’ll also receive a code for $25 off your next Uber ride, even if you have previously used Uber. According to the press release, the code will arrive in March.

The second opportunity is for those who who hold the AAdvantage Aviator MasterCard (generally former US Airways credit card holders). They will receive an additional two bonus points for every dollar spent, from February 7 through July 31. Note that there is nothing in the press release offering a bonus to those who hold the Citibank version. Sorry about that.

The Bottom Line

This deal is what I call a “gimme.” It offers you a nice benefit if you do use it and costs you nothing if you don’t. Regardless, Uber is looking to capture every aspect of a traveler’s journey, whether it’s through a points partnership with Starwood, the bonus points that it offers at American Express or a 20% discount on Uber rides for those who pay with their Capital One Quicksilver card (through April 30). In other words, there’s no reason not to get additional benefits for your transportation.


Cover Photo Credit Creative Commons


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