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American Offers Deals To Lure Passengers Back

Associated Press

With a pilots strike averted, American Airlines quickly switched gears to keep its planes in the air and tried to lure back passengers with hefty discounts and double frequent-flier miles.

The pilots’ strike was blocked by a presidential order only minutes after it was called early Saturday, and American said fewer than 100 of 2,200 departures had been canceled.

“If it hurt us at all, it was less than a bad storm at one of our hubs,” airline spokesman Al Comeaux said.

The canceled flights involved Europe, Japan and South America, and had been announced in advance of the midnight Friday strike deadline because the company did not want to have planes stranded at foreign airports, spokesman Tim Smith said. All flights should be running regularly by today, he said.

But for those caught in the strike preparations, hard feelings lingered.

“When I’m finished, American Airlines will know my feelings,” said Dr. Conrad Castellino of Mariposa, Calif., who almost got stuck in Bermuda. “They should have let me know that my flight was canceled.”

To woo back passengers, American offered discounts on walk-up airfares through March 3 and double frequent-flier points through March 14. Continental said it would offer promotions similar to American’s. United and Delta said no immediate decision had been made.

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