Please note this site has financial relationships with American Express and this post may contain affiliate links. Read my Advertiser Disclosure policy here to learn more about my partners.
Like many others, I went on the OneWorld MegaDO and left with a pretty favorable opinion of American Airlines (well, other than their seemingly common mechanical delays). However, their worsening position with Award Wallet is without a doubt a very non-family friendly decision. To catch you up, Award Wallet is a website that allows a person to track miles and points balances in one central place. It saves so much time over logging into each account individually. You get a great overview of all of your rewards programs at once. You also get alerts if some miles or points are going to be expiring soon.
What makes Award Wallet virtually essential for families is that you can track all family members’ miles and points accounts in one central Award Wallet account. So, instead of logging into the US Airways Dividend Miles accounts separately for my husband, my daughter, and myself to see if various miles have posted, I can just look at Award Wallet and see all of that information at once. The larger your family is, the more essential a tool like Award Wallet becomes.
However, a few months ago American Airlines made the decision to not allow Award Wallet to display AAdvantage account information for their users. I’ve heard many theories about why this is (account security, AA wants the miles to expire, they want more traffic to AA.com, etc…), but frankly I don’t care what the reason is. I don’t care, because all of those concerns could potentially have a solution. Heck, Award Wallet had been running with a potential solution that worked via a browser extension. Your AAdvantage password was simply stored on your local computer, and then when you checked your miles and points balances with Award Wallet it would open your AAdvantage account for you via AA’s website. I actually never used this feature, but at least it was a sensible sounding solution.
Today a reader forwarded me an email they received from Award Wallet that says:
We regret to inform you that we will be discontinuing support for the AwardWallet browser extension on February 25, 2012. This means that you will no longer be able to track your American Airlines related information (balance, status, etc.) on AwardWallet.com. We have been forced to take this action by American Airlines’ stance toward AwardWallet. We created the browser extension in order to address American Airlines’ concern that AwardWallet was collecting customers’ mileage data. We believe the extension addressed this concern because it simply collected your mileage data and stored it locally on your computer. American Airlines, however, objects to the extension. It’s position appears to be that AwardWallet is prohibited from providing any software tool that facilitates the ability to track the customer’s American Airlines’ mileage information. We think this is unfortunate.
If you have any questions about this matter please do not reply to this email, instead lets have a discussion in the forum:
Please make a note of your AAdvantage number and password as you will not be able to see it on AwardWallet.com after we make this change.
Thank you for your continued support of Awardwallet.com!
So, here is a letter of my own.
American AAdvantage program,
Now is not the time to be making enemies. Don’t make keeping track of AAdvantage miles any harder for families than it needs to be. Families are inherently very busy, and need all the tools they can get to keep track of every family members’ miles. It doesn’t take very many instances of losing track of miles, or having them expire, to sour a family on earning miles in the first place. Make families trust and believe that AAdvantage miles are valuable, easy to track, and easy to use. There is no reason to make this harder than it needs to be. Please reconsider your stance with Award Wallet.
A Very Busy Miles Loving Mommy
If you are unhappy with this decision from American, I recommend that you Tweet them at @AmericanAir. You will find me tweeting them as well.
If you are not a Twitter user, you can send them a message them directly on their website.