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Until recently, Cathay Pacific was the only carrier that American Airlines frequent flyers could use to travel into China with frequent flyer benefits. A new partnership with China Southern will extend that reach significantly.

Series: Business of Loyalty

Travel Loyalty News

The Skift Business of Loyalty covers the world of hotel, airline, and other consumer loyalty programs in the travel industry. Read more coverage of loyalty here.

Members of America’s largest airline have a new carrier on which they can earn frequent flyer benefits. Last week, American Airlines partnered up with China Southern, the largest carrier in Asia by fleet size and revenue, to offer reciprocal frequent flyer benefits to loyalty program members.

Moving forward, AAdvantage members are now able to earn and spend miles on China Southern while Sky Pearl Club members can expect the same treatment on American.

Notably, frequent flyers will also be able to earn miles when booking direct through the other carrier — not just on codeshare flights or when connecting through from one to the other. That’s great news for customers who want deeper reach into China with all of their frequent flyer benefits. But it also resurfaces the question: Why doesn’t China Southern flat-out join the Oneworld alliance?

— Grant Martin, Business of Loyalty Editor

Skift Stories and More Expert Insight

Millennium Hotels Relaunches a Simplified Loyalty Program: London-based Millennium Hotels & Resorts has a new loyalty program. Called My Millennium, the new program takes a simplified approach to loyalty by offering only a single tier of membership and a limited spectrum of perks and partnerships.

American Airlines and China Southern Launch Frequent Flyer Partnership: Despite repeated claims from all sides that China Southern has no interest in joining the Oneworld alliance, American Airlines and Asia’s largest carrier are moving forward with a frequent flyer partnership. The new arrangement announced Wednesday will allow American’s AAdvantage and China Southern’s Sky Pearl Club members the ability to earn and redeem miles on each other’s flights.

How Marriott Plans to Supercharge Growth Starting With 1,700 New Hotels in 3 Years: Marriott International is already considered, by and large, to be the world’s largest hotel company, with more than 6,900 hotels worldwide spread out over 30 brands, but the 90-year-old company isn’t done growing.

Cathay Pacific Mines Passenger Data to Deliver Premium Service: Cathay Pacific is mining the data of its business class customers so they’ll keep spending with the airline.

What Marriott’s CEO Had to Say About Airbnb, Amazon and Google: Marriott International isn’t content to “stand still.” That was the overarching theme of Marriott President and CEO Arne Sorenson’s opening presentation at the company’s biannual investor day in New York.

British Airways Updates Its Business Class Seat and Adds a Privacy Door: British Airways unveiled the business class seat it’s counting on to fend off Virgin Atlantic and other rivals in markets including London-New York, the world’s most lucrative route for corporate travel.

JetBlue Commits to Fleet-Wide Seatback Entertainment: Seatback entertainment is expensive, it’s heavy, and, when it doesn’t work, it’s been known to drive passengers and crew members nuts. But, for JetBlue, at the very least, it’s here to stay.

Tim Hortons Launches Rewards Program — Here’s How It Compares to the Competition: Tim Hortons kicked off its Tims Rewards program Wednesday, adding one more coffee loyalty program to several others already offered.

Starbucks Revamps Its Rewards to Keep Customers Coming Back: Starting on April 16, the Starbucks Rewards loyalty program is getting a makeover, allowing members to earn Stars — aka rewards points — sooner, and use those points to buy more items than before.

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Skift Business of Loyalty Editor Grant Martin [[email protected]] curates the Skift Business of Loyalty newsletter. Skift emails the newsletter every Monday.


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Tags: aadvantage, american airlines, china southern, loyalty

Photo credit: American Airlines at Norfolk International Airport on July 15, 2018. Tomas Del Coro / Flickr

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