This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

A couple of weeks ago, we found out that American Airlines flight attendants will soon be able to give passengers in-flight compensation. FAs will be able to use an app on their tablets called iSolve to offer on-the-spot mileage compensation to passengers who are experiencing issues.

This raised obvious questions: How much would they be able to give? What situations would be eligible for miles? Will AA flight attendants now be continuously hassled for free miles?

Now, we’ve got some of the answers to this. First, The Forward Cabin has the scoop on what situations will score free miles. There will be “four service categories (IFE, Seat Issues, Catering and Cabin Comfort)” for which AA flight attendants will be able to provide miles “with specific reasons within each category.”

These reasons are listed in the internal memo as:

  • IFE: IFE inoperable (Note: this does not include connectivity issues)
  • Seat Issues: Broken tray table; Inoperable seats; Seat swaps
  • Catering: Meal shortage; Missing special meals (Note: this does not include food for sale shortages)
  • Cabin Comfort: Broken reading light; Dry cleaning

Some of these are obvious: A broken seat, tray table or IFE system are going to get you mileage compensation. Hopefully all you’ll need to do is bring it to the attention of the flight attendant to get the miles.

Just make sure you check for a tray table release button before complaining about a "broken" tray table.
Just make sure you check for a tray table release button before complaining about a “broken” tray table.

Some are less obvious: Does “dry cleaning” mean a flight attendant can offer miles as compensation if they spill a drink on a passenger? Is the “seat swap” compensation option available as a reward for when you voluntarily swap seats to allow a family to sit together, or just if someone has taken your seat?

AA won’t let its flight attendants grant free miles through this system for “connectivity issues” — which likely refers to inoperative Wi-Fi. This makes some sense, as the connectivity issues are usually out of the hands of the airline.

The Forward Cabin was also able to determine that the compensation amount will vary based on the elite status of the traveler. For example, a first class passenger on a two-hour flight will get the following for a broken in-flight entertainment screen:

  • Non Status Passenger / Gold – 5,000 miles compensation.
  • Platinum / Platinum Pro – between 5,000-10,000 miles compensation.
  • Executive Platinum  – 10,000 miles compensation.
  • Concierge Key – 15,000 miles compensation.

We also learned that you’d be wise to not complain too much — the airline admitted in a podcast designed for employees that it tracks how much each individual customer complains. Jill Surdek, AA’s Vice President of Flight Service, explained:

The great part about this system is it feeds into a central database that is what’s used by reservations, by social media and by the customer relations team, so if we ultimately have a customer who seems to be taking advantage of this, we’re going to know.

Featured image by Robert Alexander/Getty Images.

The best beginner points and miles card out there.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

With great travel benefits, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game. Here are the top 5 reasons it should be in your wallet, or read our definitive review for more details.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® named a 'Best Travel Credit Card' by MONEY® Magazine, 2016-2017
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel.
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
17.74% - 24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$0 Intro for the First Year, then $95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.