American Airlines Applause! Coupons

Every year when I get my new American Airlines Platinum Card – a nifty perk that makes a lot of difference when traveling, I get a little sheet of eight of these Applause! coupons:

The idea, I think, is to have them in my pocket, and when somebody with the airline does an outstanding job, I am supposed to think about these coupons, find one, write the employee name, employee number and location on the coupon, along with my flight number and date, as well as a special remark.

The last few years, bewildered, I tossed these coupons into the trash with the envelope. This time I thought they’d make a great “bad product” blog entry.

First, airline employees are doing THEIR JOBS when they take care of me while I am traveling with them. Giving them Applause! coupons like giving school children golden stars on their papers seems puerile to me. Do the flight attendants save these and get toaster ovens when they collect a dozen?

And is the airline really thinking that I’ll find a place where I stash these with all the stuff I lug with me when I travel, and then, when somebody gives me an extra friendly smile, I say: Wait, let me find my coupon so I can write down your name and employee number?

It must be some kind of sweepstakes, since you can go to and click on Applause!

So I tried this:

It is not a surprise that it does not know who I am.

In general, I like traveling with American Airlines. They do a good job taking me where I want to go. And I spend a lot of money with them.

However, I don’t think anyone would notice if the Applause! program disappeared. I can’t believe it’s working.

7 thoughts on “American Airlines Applause! Coupons

  1. Bob

    I don’t know what AA flight attendants get, but on US Airways they get entered into a quarterly drawing for $10K. The used to be able to redeem them for positive space tickets, but that changed a while ago.

  2. Stacy

    You actually give these coupons to an airline worker to let them know they are doing a good job. It can be anyone from the ticketing, at the gate, or an attendant. We enter them under our employee number and can earn travel miles. Please don’t throw them away, we really appreciate getting them! 🙂

  3. Smiley

    I have received around 16 of these since I started with AA some months ago and have entered them into the drawer every month and haven’t received one travel mile. I work with around 36 people in a customer contact department and over the hundreds that have been entered into the monthly drawer, I only know of two people that have won 25,000 travel miles. So they are not really worth much to us in terms of monetary reward, but when you try super-hard to please someone and they give you this slip of paper, it gives you a very good feeling and you feel appreciated. I work hard and try my very best in what is considered a ‘superior’ customer facing role (I have to wear a business suit) and am just above minimum wage, we are strictly not allowed to accept gratuties, so please, please remember this when you feel someone has gone that ‘extra mile’ to help you have a good journey….

    1. Thank you for this comment. I am sure it makes a difference to you – very much. The problem is that when I am traveling – and I just did today on AA – I don’t for the life of me know where those coupons are. And if the service is excellent, I am still in a hurry to go elsewhere. I thank the flight crew, I am nice to the attendants, but I am moving, moving, not filling out coupons that I have lost.

      It needs a better system or process to work – for us grateful travelers.

      1. Smiley

        Just one tip – you don’t need to fill them out at all, just tear them at the perforation and give them out. I don’t know how long they have been around, but it looks like they have been designed to be a in travel wallet as they have kept them as small as possible (US Airways’ design are similar) It might be even more difficult now that you know they are worth virtually nothing to the recipient but they make us feel good, which is hard to put a value on. I will continue to give my best and who knows? Maybe one day you might even give me one! All the best in your travels…

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