The highly competitive market in New York continues to just get hotter. Today, American launched a new promotion offering New Yorkers double AAdvantage frequent flyer miles for the rest of the year. On all routes, all fares, worldwide.
This is clearly a response to a similar offer that Delta made a few weeks ago for which was broader in some respects (you don't have to live in NY) but also more targeted because you need to be a Delta American Express card holder.
What is interesting is that American felt the only place they needed to match the offer was the NYC market. The New York area has increasingly become a battle ground between Delta, Continental and American. AA and DL (especially DL) have added extensive new flights from JFK, AA has opened a new terminal at JFK. Continental continues to operate the largest operation of any of the carriers, albeit over at Newark - NY's third airport even though it is in New Jersey. (Which simply allows Delta to claim more flights from New York meaning the state rather than the metropolitan area - funny, they dont make the same claim in Cincinnati where the airport (CVG) is actually in Kentucky!) But we digress.
Complicating the story is Continental's impending move from the Skyteam Alliance (of which Delta is part of) to the Star Alliance which has not had a strong New York presence. Many NY travelers split their loyalty between Delta and Continental and credit their miles on both into one program. This is about to change as consumers will no longer be able to credit CO flights to DL and vice-versa. This change, set to happen this fall, raises the stakes for both carriers to hold on to the other's travelers.
Oh, and if you want those double miles on AA, go here and register....