If You Got a Year-End Email From American Airlines I Hope You Didn’t Share It to Social Media

In an era of Facebook data breaches, and the huge Marriott breach, cybersecurity is top of mind.

We’re constantly being reminded not to click on links sent to us over email. Scammers now even make fake websites that look like the real thing, with URLs that look real too. It’s becoming increasingly important to call out bad security practices, like IHG Rewards Club using a four digit PIN for member passwords or United sending out unsolicited password reset emails telling members to click the links.

Yesterday American Airlines sent end of year review emails. I wrote about how few miles I earned from flying 100,000 miles and how scarce complimentary upgrades have become for someone like me flying the ‘consultant schedule’ peak business travel days and times and flying between American’s hubs.

The airline encouraged members to share their activity via social media, embedding links to do so.

Members who took them up on this right when their email went out also posted their frequent flyer number and e-mail address. Oops. American is now telling members they need to delete those posts and monitor their accounts in case all their miles are stolen.

On December 20, 2018, we sent you an email containing your 2018 year in review detailing your AAdvantage® program activity. The email contained hyperlinks for you to share this information with friends and family on Facebook and Twitter. At the time the email was sent, those links inadvertently included your AAdvantage number and email address associated with your AAdvantage account. If you shared the link on Facebook or Twitter, that information was made visible to those with access to your social media post. We quickly corrected the issue, however, our records show you may have posted the link before we caught the error thereby exposing your AAdvantage number and email address.

If you do not want this information posted on social media, we recommend that you remove the post. We also recommend you actively monitor your account and let us know if you observe any suspicious activity…

That was part of the year end that American didn’t exactly intend.

(HT: Anthony H.)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. […] I’m guessing this is supposed to conjure some excitement about your travels, and some genius marketing executive decided that it was a clever marketing technique. Don’t share yours to social media, or something like this could happen: If You Got a Year-End Email From American Airlines I Hope You Didn’t Share It to Social Media […]


  1. Going for greater pettiness. Why would you want to share your personal info on social media for the enhancement of AA?

  2. The Onion, April 1, Ripleys Believe It or Not. How to categorize this article?
    As for stealing miles, AA stole 50,000 of mine when they merged with USAir, and didn’t combine the accounts. I guess the brightside was that my Flyer number wasn’t compromised?
    And Gary, you must stop attacking AA every chance you get. Come on!

  3. With family and friends that often travel and compete for elite statuses, sharing on social media is a fun way to share accomplishments and elite status achievements. With over 4 times travel around the globe, why not share and promote AA.

  4. I suppose I channel Larry David on this issue: Curb Your Enthusiasm. I actually thought this e-mail of American’s was the smartest marketing e-mail I have seen from, ever. Unfortunately, someone in said department decided it was a great idea to have us share it on social media without paying too much attention to *exactly* what was in the e-mail. Oh well….
    As to why share this? Like so many responses to Gary’s posts it depends on what type of traveler you are. My customers around the World, with whom I interact personally know I fly *a lot* (top 1% of CK’s on mileage according to AA but I’m not sure I believe them) and there were some fun numbers to share, that is, if you consider ten standard work weeks on an aircraft fun….

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