UPDATE: AA ‘reining in’ flight attendants on inflight credit card pitches

Dec 12, 2019

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Editor’s note: This post was updated with new information from American Airlines. 

Credit card pitches have become an increasingly common feature of American Airlines flights, with what can be very aggressive announcements by flight attendants.

American Airlines has credit card deals with both Barclays and with Citi. Citi has the rights to pitch in Admirals Clubs, while Barclays gets all inflight pitching rights. That means you see ads for the Barclaycard AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard on inflight entertainment systems and in the airline magazines. It also means a hard sell from flight attendants.

The information for the Barclaycard AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

In case you wonder why the FAs are so pushy, it’s because they get a bonus for every successful credit card sign-up. One American Airlines purser told me they generally get $60 per approved application, but it can be as high as $75 during special promotions. That can add up quickly for flight attendants.

Unfortunately the information they pitch is sometimes exaggerated or even incorrect, as we’ve reported before.

Barclaycard AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard
Barclaycard AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard


The card has many great benefits, but two free first class tickets “anywhere we fly” is not one of them. Neither is “group 2 boarding” or “check in at the first class counters.” You get the point.

The Chicago Business Journal reported earlier that American Airlines is “reining in flight attendants,” and issuing an internal memo setting out some guidelines for the pitches going forward. But an American Airlines spokeswoman told TPG the guidelines were a reminder as part of an annual, voluntary training presentation.

  • Pitches can only come at cruising altitude before descent.
  • Pitches should be made only between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.
  • Pitches must be accurate and stick to the approved script.
  • Flight attendants should only make one trip down the aisle with applications.

There are other rules as well.

If you do want the credit card in question, you don’t need to wait for your next AA flight. The Barclaycard AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard is now offering 60,000 bonus miles after you make a purchase within the first 90 days of card opening and pay the card’s $99 annual fee. Plus you can earn an introductory companion certificate for $99 (plus taxes and fees) after making your first purchase and paying the card’s annual fee in the first 90 days. But if you apply through a flight attendant, you get an extra 500 bonus miles.

Featured photo from The Points Guy archives.


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