American claims first as it launches social media for miles accrual

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American Airlines is laying claim to the distinction of being the first US airline to have social media channels dedicated to earning frequent-flyer miles, after launching Facebook and Twitter channels for its 'AAdvantage' loyalty programme.

Customers who "like" AAdvantage on Facebook and follow it on Twitter will find regular updates on ways to earn miles and have opportunities to share their mileage-earning strategies, says American. The channels will also share mileage promotions and special offers.

"American's broader Facebook and Twitter channels have been successful in communicating a variety of meaningful messages to American's loyal customers," says AAdvantage loyalty programme president Maya Leibman.

"We've built on that by creating these new AAdvantage-specific channels that focus on offering tips and tricks to earning as many miles as possible. We believe these new channels will be educational and a lot of fun for our members - especially those who are crazy for miles."

American is among a growing list of carriers using social media to reach customers in new ways. Delta Air Lines, for example, sells tickets to US customers via its FaceBook page.