Why American Airlines Flight Attendants Are Pushing Credit Card Applications So Much

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Have you flown American Airlines recently? Then you’ll know that they’re constantly hawking credit card applications inflight. It’s not uncommon to hear the offer upwards of four times during the flight, but you may wonder why.

Well, American Airlines Flight Attendants receive a $75 referral bonus until January 31, 2019 for anyone they can sign-up for the AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard during flight. We’re told that there is no limit to the amount you can earn with the new AAdvantage Cash program.

Additionally, there’s even a bonus tier for flight attendants as follows: 0-9 approvals: $0, 10-24 approvals: $20 each, 25+ approvals: $40 each

It’s an interesting philosophy to have flight attendants really pitching credit cards. After all, they’re supposedly there for the safety of the passengers, however now it’s turning into a sales role.

We recently shared how Frontier Airlines is adding tipping functionality for their flight attendants when it comes to their onboard sales, which received a lot of push back from fliers as they argued that they should be focused on safety rather than trying to get tips. The same can be said here when it comes to signing up for credit cards.

Have you flown American Airlines recently? Were you subjected to multiple credit card schpiels during flight? Feel free to share in the comments below. 

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or suggestions expressed on this site are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. For details on current offers visit the card issuer’s site.

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  1. I,m happy for any employee to make a few extra bucks, but on early flights when i’m Trying to catch a few winks, i highly resent these ads espicially since I already have the damn card,
    Stop it

  2. Yeah, I have been on the flight from LAX to LAS, its a short flight, no drinks service, but FA spent 20 mins to sale the credit card. this is out of control, they also give some misleading information.

    FA claimed United card and delta card has min spending requirement, AA has no spending requirement, so its a good time to get it. She gave the right info regarding to spending, but both delta and UA waived the annual fee for the 1st year, but AA does charge $95. My point is okay to up-sale AA credit card, but if you starting doing comparison to DL/UA, please give all honest benefits.

    felt weird to sit on the place to hear all credit sign up info!

  3. Had an acquaintance – an FA with AA – hit me up via WhatsApp recently to ask if I wanted an extra 60,000 (or some number like that) AAdvantage miles. I bit, and said, “Sure. What’s up?” And he sent me his referral link. He not normally that socially inept, so I can only imagine AA is REALLY pushing this bullshit behind the scenes. The race to the bottom continues.

  4. It’s absolutely not materially different than a blogger pushing credit-card(s) for referral bonuses/payments.

    Bloggers are only moderately less-annoying as there is no auditory component to the pitch.

  5. On my flight to HNL a few weeks ago, the spiel included the claim that the 50K bonus miles were enough for 2 RT tickets to HNL-would love to know on what airline because it certainly isn’t AA!

  6. @mojo — Folks who visit/read/post on these travel/credit card blogs do so voluntarily and because they (presumably) are interested. And there is a written disclaimer/disclosure at the top that says the blogger may/will earn referral fees. Plus, these bloggers can pitch multiple and even competing products, giving readers many more choices.

    Hearing a pitch for the airline’s own card from an FA who has exclusive use of the cabin mic is not voluntary. And do FAs disclose they will receive a commission for each card application they collect?

    So while similar to a degree, it’s much different (and worse, IMO) when FAs are required to pitch this stuff.

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