Steps You Can Take to Help the Major Airlines Survive Coronavirus in 2020
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Steps You Can Take to Help the Major Airlines Survive Coronavirus in 2020

Anyone who lived through 9-11 and the financial collapse in 2008 and 2009 remembers how extraordinarily painful were those periods for the airline industry and their employees. And, even the industry’s staunchest critics (hard core environmentalists, etc.) certainly recognize that a return to those difficult times is not in anyone’s interest. Yet, as a country, we are going to get through the Coronavirus and we are going to get through Trump, but somehow it is starting to seem that the three major airlines might not all get through 2020.

Without flying yourself, you can take steps to help the airlines out, and the easiest step is to accumulate frequent flier miles on those airlines that you will be inclined to fly in the future. This is a form of extending credit to the airlines, and it is a form of credit that has proven time and time again to survive bankruptcy.

If American Airlines is an airline that you fly, the easiest step you can take is to open a Bask Bank savings account. I’ve written about Bask Bank here. I believed in January that the prospect of getting AAdvantage® miles was very attractive in the low rate environment in January. I’ve noticed that many readers were engaging in a valuation exercise, valuing the miles they would receive against alternatives in the savings and CD market as if they were purchasing the miles (see the comments in this article). If that is your approach, the Fed’s most recent move makes the opportunity even more interesting.

Learn More About Bask Bank here.

If United is an airline that you fly, the easiest step you can take is to move your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to your United Mileage Plus account. Every time you convert your points, Chase is making a purchase of the miles from United.

And, if Delta is an airline that you fly, you can move your American Express Membership Rewards points to Delta Skymiles. Again, this action prompts a purchase of miles and a payment to Delta.

If you are not altruistic, you can even consider all of this to be completely in your self-interest. If history is any guide, when everything settles and people begin traveling again, you will find fantastic redemption values for your airline miles at all three of these airlines, especially for business class seats on long haul and international flights.

Ari Socolow
Ari Socolow: Ari Socolow is the Chief Economist and Editor-in-Chief at BestCashCow. He is particularly interested in issues relating to bank transparency and the climate crisis. Since co-founding BestCashCow in 2005, Ari has been frequently cited in the media as an expert on local and national savings accounts, CD products, mortgage and loan products and credit card rewards products.

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  • JP Reminger

    March 17, 2020

    I might agree with the altruistic idea here, but I am betting that Amex and Chase are going to offer bonuses for large transfers to Delta and United before long.

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