Hal Brierley, loyalty pioneer, got us hooked on miles and travel awards while taking AAdvantage for $10 million+ in flights

Hal Brierly is a name totally unfamiliar to me before I read this article in the Dallas Morning News today. Brierly is the man behind the formation of American AAdvantage, United Mileage Plus, Hilton HHonors and Hertz #1 Gold.

So why does Brierly make this statement?

“I fear that 20 years from now, programs like AAdvantage will be viewed as the stupidest thing done by businesses in the 20th century,” he says. “ ‘Why did they spend all this money?’ ‘Why did they give trips to Hawaii?’”

Brierly thinks loyalty programs are too generous. The article states he is currently working with six programs on the new breed of loyalty program – loyalty 3.0.

“Programs need to evolve toward a sustainable, profitable structure that’s still desirable for the customer. Getting some sanity back into the program makes sense.”

Perhaps the best part of the story is how Brierly purchased Air Pass for $352,000 in 1983, a lifetime pass for two to fly American Airlines. Brierly flies about 150,000 miles per year and has benefited with over $10 million dollars in flights while earning 22 million AAdvantage miles on his Air Pass travel. 

Dallas Morning News – AAdvantage pioneer says loyalty programs need retooling – Cheryl Hall (April 18, 2015)

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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  1. He is the godfather of gamers. And the primary reason AA tried to shut down that lifetime AAirpass program, which ironically was over generous due to a program he created.

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