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American Express Enhances its International Airline Program

June 2, 2009 By: George Dooley


American Express has introduced four new world-class airline partners— Aer Lingus, Etihad Airways, Jet Airways and Mexicana— to its International Airline Program (IAP), a benefit available exclusively to its Platinum and Centurion Card members.

In addition, American Express reports it has expanded existing partnerships within the program by adding new nonstop flights and increased service to international destinations. The IAP offers a complimentary companion ticket (subject to airline fuel surcharges and all government fees, taxes and charges) when purchasing a qualifying international first or business class ticket on any partner airline. Platinum and Centurion Card members can take advantage of this benefit as often as they choose.

The new partners, Aer Lingus, Etihad Airways, Jet Airways and Mexicana, have expanded the program’s reach to cities including Dublin, Cancun, Abu Dhabi and Mumbai. These partners provide customers more choice when flying to destinations already served through the program. The four new partners bring the total number of IAP partners to 21, American Express says.

Airlines that were already partners in the IAP have increased service to international destinations, offering American Express Platinum and Centurion Card members more flexibility and choice with international travel. In all, these enhancements bring a total of 39 new nonstop routes available to Platinum and Centurion Card members through the IAP, constituting a 15 percent increase. Increased service from existing partners includes:

*    Delta Air Lines, which offers flights to 44 destinations through the International Airline Program, has introduced service to 28 new cities including Moscow, Capetown, Venice, Barcelona, Sao Paulo and Shanghai.
*    LAN Airlines has added a new route, from New York JFK to Toronto.
*    Cathay Pacific has added a new route between New York’s JFK and Vancouver
*    Cathay Pacific’s subsidiary airline, Dragonair, now allows travelers the opportunity to explore China with 18 routes from Hong Kong.
*    Air New Zealand offers a first or business class companion ticket for travelers from 175 origin cities, en route to one of Air New Zealand’s U.S. gateways, through either U.S. Airways or United Airlines.
*    When traveling to 10 key destinations beyond LAN Airlines hub destinations in South America, the International Airline Program now offers travelers Premium Economy class service on routes that do not offer business class.

American Express says the IAP it offers significant global coverage with over 260 non-stop routes. Visit www.americanexpress.com.


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