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Business Extra is the loyalty program from American Airlines that’s aimed at small and medium-sized businesses but, in practice, anyone can join (you don’t actually have to have a business).
Back a little over a year ago American Airlines began dragging the Business Extra program out of the dark ages by replacing paper upgrade certificates with e-certificates sent out by email.
Of course American Airlines couldn’t bring itself to fully commit to bringing Business Extra into the 21st century, so flyers may have been receiving upgrade certificates via email for the past 12 months but they’ve also had to continue calling up the American Airlines ‘Meeting Services’ team to actually get those upgrades applied (or waitlisted)….but not any more.
American has slowly been sending out emails letting Business Extra members know about a new booking tool (American Airlines for Business) which allows users to view award availability, book award flights and apply upgrade certificates all without having to interact with an American Airlines employee.
Right now there’s at least one limitation in the system (this was never going to be a smooth roll out) and that’s that the new site won’t allow bookings with more than one passenger to be upgraded.
Let’s hope American doesn’t take another year before it updates Business Extra again!
What Is Business Extra?
The terms and conditions of membership state that:
Subject to approval by American Airlines, Inc. (American), membership in Business Extra program (Program) is available to companies (Member): (1) with two or more employee travelers; and (2) that maintain their primary physical address in one of the following countries:
- United States, Canada, Antigua, Argentina, Aruba, Brazil, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Bolivia, Cayman Islands, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Lucia, Trinidad And Tobago, Turks And Caicos Islands, Uruguay, Venezuela
How you earn points:
Business Extra members earn the company (themselves) Business Extra points each time they:
- Book tickets through American Airlines, British Airways or Iberia for flights on American Airlines, British Airways or Iberia.
- Book tickets though American Airlines for flights on Finnair, JAL and Qantas.
Members that have a physical address in the United States and/or Canada will earn one (1) Point for every $5 of Flown Revenue during a calendar month. Members that have a physical address in other countries will earn two and a half (2 ½) Points for every $10 of Flown Revenue during a calendar month. Points shall be awarded based on the Member’s primary physical address, not where the majority of a Member’s travel originates.
Flown revenue is the base fare + any carrier imposed surcharges (so taxes do not count).
How you can redeem points:
Business Extra points can be redeemed for award flights, upgrades, Admirals Club memberships and more.
Details of all the ways you can redeem points are here, but here are a few highlights:
US Domestic Miles SAAver Awards (Plan Ahead Awards)
- Coach – 2,000 Business Extra Points (one way or roundrip)
- Business / First Class on 2 class cabin flights – 3,200 Business Extra Points (one way or roundrip)
- First Class on 3 class cabin flights – 4,800 Business Extra Points (one way or roundrip)
- From discount economy (Fare codes B, N, O, Q, S are excluded) to Business Class – 3,100 Business Extra Points
- From full fare economy to Business Class – 1,200 Business Extra Points
The Business Extra Program costs nothing to join and you still earn your normal AAdvantage Miles alongside Business Extra points for all your bookings….and now it had just got easier to book awards and to apply upgrades.
It’s an incredibly simple program, it takes no effort at all and it’s free points so if you haven’t already signed up you should do so asap.