Agents may have their phones ringing off the hook this morning from clients worried about losing their frequent flyer miles in the wake of AMR Corporation's announcement that the parent company of American Airlines has filed for Chapter 11 Reorganization.
And Michael Holtz, owner of SmartFlyer, a Virtuoso member agency based in New York, knows exactly what agents should tell them.
“The long and short of it is that this means basically nothing,” Holtz told Travel Agent. “People don’t need to get alarmed. There has never been a situation like this where clients have lost their frequent flyer miles. You need to remember that this is basically just a restructuring of funds.”
In an e-mail sent out to his 50 agents this morning, Holtz says, “The short answer is to expect business as usual. In the past many major airlines have been there, and no major carrier has ever had a scenario where clients lost frequent flyer miles, tix, etc. AA will come out (in some form) a stronger and better carrier.”
“The American public is used to this by now,” Holt told us. “We’ve seen just about every major carrier go through something similar. At this stage, the airline is basically looking to sell off units and raise capital.”
Holz told Travel Agent to keep an eye on American Eagle, which has “been on the block for a while,” while also paying attention to American’s growing relationship with JetBlue Airways. The two carriers, in fact, debuted a reciprocal frequent flyer program last November.
Keep visiting www.travelagentcentral.com for updates on this story.