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One of the things I love most about air travel is the chance it gives me to appreciate both the similarities and the differences among people of different cultures and backgrounds. At American Airlines, part of what makes our job so interesting and challenging is the fact that people fl y for a multitude of reasons. And while there are certain basics that every customer expects and deserves -- safety, dependability, and courtesy among them -- our mission is to deliver what each individual customer truly values within the incredibly diverse and constantly changing spectrum of tastes and preferences.

Take, for example, the AAdvantage program, the world’s first, and still the leading, frequent-flier program. Established in 1981, the program has more than 62 million members worldwide today. You might say that as a group, AAdvantage members are united by their love of travel or, at the least, by their desire for travel awards. Yet each individual’s approach to earning miles is unique. That’s because today, members can earn miles by using the Citi/AAdvantage card as well as through more than 1,000 participating companies (including American Airlines, of course!).

We want to give AAdvantage members just as much flexibility in redeeming award travel as they have in earning miles. One way we do that is by offering AAdvantage members traveling round-trip the ability to combine different types of awards on a single ticket with our new One-Way Flex Awards. For example, you may now combine MileSAAver awards (which have limited availability) with AAnytime awards (which are good for any available seat on any flight). You can also combine cabin types on a single award ticket. For example, you may wish to fl y from Miami to Chicago in first class and then return to Miami in the coach cabin. In this scenario, you would be charged only half the miles of a round-trip first-class ticket and half the miles of a round-trip coach ticket -- a significant savings. We also give members the ability to use their miles on a one-way basis at half the round-trip mileage requirement. This contrasts with many other carriers, which require round-trip miles to book one-way awards.

The point of all of this is that our 62 million AAdvantage members have 62 million sets of preferences, so it makes sense for us to give them as much flexibility as possible in redeeming the travel awards they have earned. We think, and I hope you agree, that our tailored approach delivers more value than a one-size-must-fit-all policy.

There’s a big world out there to discover, and wherever you want to go, we want to help you get there in the way that works best for you. If you would like to learn more about the AAdvantage program -- and if you’re not yet a member, what are you waiting for? -- please visit www.aa.com/aadvantage. Thanks for choosing American Airlines.

Have a great trip!
of Gerard Arpey

Gerard J. Arpey
Chairman & CEO
American Airlines