American to Sunset AirPass | Business Travel News

American to Sunset AirPass | Business Travel News

American Airlines as of Nov. 30 no longer is accepting new or renewed AirPass memberships, the carrier confirmed to BTN. The program was an all-inclusive, prepaid membership starting at $10,000 that offered flexibility, VIP privileges and elite status.

Current AirPass holders can use it normally through March 2024, American SVP and chief customer officer Alison Taylor told BTN. Lifetime AirPass members can continue to use it past that date but “under the auspices of a UATP card,” she added. 

“The reason we are sunsetting AirPass is it doesn’t work very effectively with our partner airlines, and that has been a frustration,” Taylor said. “We are simplifying everything we do, and AirPass sometimes was just too manual. It wasn’t in our new modern world of retailing.”

AirPass holders with expiring contracts can request refunds, according to American.

The Company Dime on Wednesday reported American would end AirPass. Taylor, though, would not confirm a Company Dime report that the carrier was placing limits on its invitation-only ConciergeKey elite status for corporate accounts.

“That isn’t really accurate,” Taylor said. “We haven’t made any decisions on reducing CKs for corporates.”

Taylor denied that the discontinuation of AirPass reflected a growing emphasis on leisure travel at the expense of the corporate segment, which has been slower to recover. She said that hasn’t been part of the company’s discussions “at all.”

“Corporate is very important for us, whether a larger global complex company or a [small or midsize business],” she said. “We saw during the pandemic the rise of the SMB customer and in leisure as well. But our large corporates have returned to over 75 percent compared with 2019, so we will continue to be focused on them. The AirPass decision was really about simplicity, and everything has to be about self-service and digital, and we are already able to provide the same services because of [New Distribution Capability].”

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