At the time of this writing in 2020, it doesn’t look like American Airlines has an affiliate program.
While Knoji says that there is an American Airlines affiliate program inside VigLink, I can confirm that there isn’t one.
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American Airlines Affiliate Program Alternatives
First, some background about American Airlines: “American Airlines, Inc. is a major American airline headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, within the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex. It is the world’s largest airline when measured by fleet size, revenue, scheduled passengers carried, scheduled passenger-kilometers flown, and number of destinations served.” (Source)
Regarding alternatives, check out my Expedia affiliate program review– that’s a solid alternative.
If you’re passionate about travel, check out my Airbnb affiliate program review.
Affilorama has a good list of airline affiliate programs, which include:
- British Airways
- Qatar Airways
- Singapore Airlines
- Etihad Airways
- KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
While American Airlines doesn’t currently have an active affiliate program, it’s always informative and interesting to see the keywords that they rank for. Below, I examined their domain and filtered keywords that were below 15 on Ahrefs’ Keyword Difficulty scale.
This provides a pretty long list of low competition keywords that you can target on your website, even using them on social media platforms as topic ideas.
For example, one of the keywords is “main cabin extra“, which apparently refers to a higher-quality American Airlines travel experience including early boarding, extra legroom, free carry-on and more. This could easily become a fun blog post and YouTube video – YouTube is inundated with people sharing their air travel experiences.
In terms of monetizing the content, if you’re running ads on your website, you all cash in on travel display ads. However, you could pretty easily insert affiliate links to other airlines, perhaps analyzing comparable travel experiences between two different airline companies.
Another interesting keyword is “admirals club”. According to the American Airlines website, it’s “Complimentary amenities and services are available to make your travel more productive and relaxing.”
Similar to the last keyword, this could be another interesting piece of content for a website or social media account, describing the travel experience using Admirals Club and indulging in the various amenities.
The American Airlines website also ranks for a lot of different location queries including “indianapolis airport“.
This is a whole other category of content. You can see that this keyword has a difficulty of 5, but rest assured they ran them WordPress site isn’t going to overnight rank on the first page of Google for this query.
That said, if I was targeting American Airlines’ keywords, I would experiment with ranking ‘airline location’ content.
You could create a long-form article that comprehensively evaluates the Indianapolis Airport (like this one), providing directions, contact information, parking facilities, location of nearby hotels and restaurants, the list is almost endless.
Doubtless, a lot of websites are already trying to do this, but I would try my hand at producing a lot of long-form content targeting this type of keyword. And it’s quite easy to insert some affiliate links into content like this – maybe even using something like thirsty Affiliates or ad inserter to dynamically insert affiliate content across all of your different posts.
Getting Started With Niche SitesUse the strategies on this page in conjunction with my niche site process. Here it is in a nutshell:
- AuthorityHacker's Authority Site System (my review): a complete, step-by-step system to start growing your own highly profitable affiliate & authority niche site.
- A cloud-based on-page optimization tool: Surfer SEO makes your on-page SEO easier, faster, and more effective than ever using data-driven, real-time signals to rank in search engines.
- A reliable and fast hosting solution like SiteGround (my review)
- A brandable domain name from GoDaddy (my guide)
- A premium theme- I use GeneratePress but there are some cool niche themes on ThemeForest
- SEO Friendly Article Writing ($8-$12 / 1,000 words) from HireWriters (read: my HireWriters review)
- Powerful Backlinks from Authority.Builders (read: my Authority.Builders review)
- An automated social media drip campaign from MissingLettr
- An auto-responder to build your email list– ConvertKit is what I'm using (read: my ConvertKit review)
- Finally- you can always refer to my free step-by-step niche selection guide and all of my free niche reports for inspiration
All of that said, travel is a pretty competitive space to be in. If I were going to attempt it, I would try to niche down into something that’s low competition. In addition, I would really want to have some social media influence the push traffic. A lot of people presume that the travel affiliate payouts are going to be generous- but a lot of the flight affiliate programs don’t pay that much.