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For my next post in the series on preparing for the US Airways Grand Slam I want to focus on if there is even a Grand Slam this year. I originally had another topic in mind for the next post in the preparation series, but it feels a little silly doing that when it is now August and there has not been a peep from US Airways officially hinting that there is a Grand Slam 2012. So instead of doing another true preparation task quite yet, let’s run through what we do know, so that we can make as informed a guess as possible as to whether or not we will all be “playing ball” this fall. To learn more about what the Grand Slam is, and to get some tips in case it does return this year, check out this series of posts:
We know that last year August is when the Grand Slam was officially announced. If memory serves me correctly, I first heard of it via Twitter in mid or late August last year. My first post on it was launched on August 24th, and then in early September they even awarded a free hit for the first 110 people who Tweeted a picture of themselves at a baseball game while holding a US Airways sign. Of course we participated by heading to a Little League field to take a picture showing our support for the Grand Slam!
Last year the actual US Airways Grand Slam promo launched in mid-September and ran until mid-November 2011. I know the Grand Slam has happened at least every year since 2008. If it happened before then, I just wasn’t aware of it. The maximum number of miles you can earn from the promo has increased from 40,000 miles in 2008 to 110,000 miles in 2011. The point being this isn’t just a promo that popped up once out of thin air, it is a promo that has been around for years, and seems to have grown each year.
However, we all know that just because something has happened in the past, doesn’t mean that it will happen in the future. I know that some folks in the miles and points community are starting to get a bit concerned that the Grand Slam may not be around this year. This concern is based on a few things. The first is that there have not been any official or leaked bits of info that suggest that there is a Grand Slam. Folks on Flyertalk and Milepoint are sometimes quite successful at uncovering websites that are not yet intended to be public. In the past, that has led to some clues that the Grand Slam is indeed on the way. However, so far there have been no publicly reported US Airways Grand Slam pages discovered. There have also been some rumors from at least one US Airways partner that they have been told there won’t be a Grand Slam in 2012.
I have contacted US Airways via the regular customer service email address, Facebook, and Twitter to both express my support of the Grand Slam and inquire as to whether it will return this year. Other Grand Slam fans have done the same and we have received some mixed responses. Those responses have ranged from US Airways tweeting that “they are looking forward to it as well” to “promos aren’t announced in advance” to “they have not yet been told if it will run this year” to “please stay tuned for new and exciting promotions within the Dividend Miles program”. Frankly, I don’t need anything “new”, I like the old Grand Slam promo just fine. Some of the rumors have even indicated that while a 2012 Grand Slam isn’t in the works, that one in 2013 might be.
I have no clue with the financials for this promo look like for US Airways, but I am sure that the dollars that it costs or earns must come into the equation when they make their decisions. Aside from any direct financial impact, there is no doubt that the Grand Slam promo is pretty big in terms of generating buzz (at least in the miles and points community) for US Airways. I know I had little to do with US Airways before the Grand Slam, but now pay a fair amount of attention to that airline, have purchased a few US Airways tickets, use the US Aiways credit card, and even have a US Airways Club membership (that I mostly use to get into United Clubs). I am willing to bet that there are many others who similarly have US Airways much more on their radar due to this awesome promotion.
Of course, the other side of that is there is a reason that so many of us want this promo to return. It is a great way to earn a ton of US Airways miles for a very reasonable out of pocket cost. Earning miles in the promo costs much less than if you buy them outright from US Airways, so I would wonder if it was a “too good to be true” situation. However, it has gone on for so many years that it must make sense for US Airways in some regard.
From my perspective, it isn’t looking fantastic right this second for a US Airways Grand Slam 2012, but I certainly have not given up hope of its return. My hope is that US Airways is keeping things a bit more under wraps than they have in the past, and that we will all be pleasantly surprised in the near future. However, it is also certainly possible that August will come and go without any Grand Slam announcement. It will be the deafening sound of silence. It’s certainly not the end of the world, yet Fall won’t be quite as exciting without the Grand Slam. It wasn’t just a great way to earn miles, but it was actually a really fun promotion to participate in as a community.
US Airways, I am rooting for a big Grand Slam announcement soon. I know that there are many other fans rooting with me!
Update: Today @USAirways responded to one of my tweets about the Grand Slam saying: “Please stay tuned to our website, promotions are always a great surprise.” Who knows what that means, but it isn’t a “no”. Fingers remain crossed.