Got Klout? Now You Can Get Into The American Airlines First Class Lounge

American Airlines,startups,startup tips,Klout,Klout PerksThe “new” American Airlines has been doing a lot these days to come out of an airlines typical “business traveler” comfort zone. They are the only domestic airline that’s supporting startups at the ground level.  Through a variety of partnerships and a nationwide team devoted to small business, and specifically startups, American Airlines is promoting their BusinessExtrAA program to the business leaders of tomorrow.

Their efforts to help startups don’t just end with an extra layer of rewards, the American Airlines team that’s working with startups is routinely found at startup events, job fairs and even hackathons. At these events they’re telling people about American’s programs but also mentoring and providing sound business advice to entrepreneurs both young and old.

Paul Swartz, who heads the airline’s small business and startup outreach in the north east, is routinely found taking office hours at events. We saw him spend countless hours talking with startup founders and entrepreneurs at CES 2013, and at SXSWi. One founder at SXSW told us that during his office hours consultation they talked about marketing, and brand loyalty.

Now American Airlines has decided to beef up their social outreach. Sure they’ve had a Twitter account that tweets out business tips, blog posts and customer service tips, but now American Airlines wants to reach influencers.

ourkloutThrough a unique partnership with Klout, American Airlines is now offering 1 day access passes to their first class Admiral’s Club lounge for those with high Klout scores. The best part is, you can get the benefit and hang out in the lounge, even if you fly on a different airline that day (we’re not sure why you would want to).

From experience the Admiral’s club lounge typically has great wifi, comfortable workspace, workstations with printers and desk tops, a variety of snacks, soda, beer and wine and it’s all free. Many of the Admiral’s club lounges have favorable views of the tarmac, gates and runways and they make for a great escape while waiting on a layover. In some of the bigger airports, the Admiral’s lounge offers private call areas and lounge furniture so you can catch a quick nap.

There is no restriction on the Klout perk for more information you can visit and for info on American Airline’s BusinessExtrAA program click here.

We flew American to NY for TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2013, Here are over 30 startup stories from Disrupt.

StartupTechGuy’s Air Travel Tips!

Airport Tips,Startup Tips,American AirlinesOur good friends at American Airlines have teamed up with Inc to give out some of the best travel tips for road warriors. What makes this smorgasbord of travel tips better than other “travel” sites is that American along with Inc have found people who are die hard road warriors, people who travel all the time.  You can check that post out here.

I often get asked about my travel tips. Or if I host an interview in a hotel room on the road people ask me “how do you do it”. One of the cores of is our “sneaker strapped startup road trip” it’s being in the trenches with startups, like ourselves, chronicling them and telling their stories. Sure we could go out on the internet and sit in a spare bedroom and type all day but being on the road the better part of the last eighteen months has helped us connect in ways beyond our wildest dreams.

Having said that, I travel about 200-250 days a year. I’ve actually been traveling like this over the last 5 years, first with our previous media startup and now with nibletz. So here are some of the things that I do that may help.


When traveling by Air (we actually do a lot of travel by bus like Megabus and Boltbus, but we still travel by air as much as we can)

– Sign up for Startup America (it’s free) and then sign up for Business ExtrAA at American Airlines. American is one of the key sponsors and member benefits at Startup America. Check out the other benefits when you’re on their page, they will save the bootstrapping entrepreneur a lot of money that you can spend on more important things like development and iteration.

– Use American Airlines, use your Business ExtrAA account and book directly through one of the biggest quasi secret travel tips is that the airlines are now posting their best available online rates on their own websites. If you see a better price from a reputable website, a la Expedia, Hipmunk or Cheapoair then call American and tell them they can usually get you that same rate.

– Download the American Airlines app. Their App in it’s latest form, is a single mobile dashboard for your air travel including the ability to display your boarding pass on your phone.


– No matter what you do and how long you’re going to be there pack a carry-on approved suitcase. Whenever you can use a soft suitcase not a hard shell suitcase. The idea here is to actually be able to carry the suitcase on the plane and not have to “gate check” it, especially if you have a tight connection.  If you’re not connecting and you’re flying direct, there’s no real harm in gate checking.

– Make sure you have nothing in your carry on, purse, backpack or laptop bag that is not TSA approved. Unfortunately, even having that swiss army knife will get you delayed going through security.

– You have NO time for checked luggage. Carry on luggage doesn’t get lost, even when it’s gate checked. Gate checked luggage goes directly on and off the plane and skips the baggage handling process. (see above).


Check out these tips from the Inc Community of road warriors and American Airlines.

What to Pack.

– It all depends on where you’re going, what you’re traveling for and how long you are going to be there. Don’t overpack get everything in that carry on suitcase.

– I always pack a power strip and one of those extension cords with three outlets on it. Hotels are notorious for having just one outlet in a decent spot. When you can, put the power strip in your backpack or laptop bag, or at least the extension cord.

– Always pack an umbrella and a $2 poncho, just keep that stuff in your bag.

– Guys, a sport coat goes with everything these days and in the spring like this it can take the place of a bulkier jacket

– Go buy a Mophie juice pack or other battery charging device. I personally carry multiple things for battery charging.

At the airport
– wear slip on shoes if y ou can
– empty your pockets before you get to security except for your wallet and your phone (for your boarding pass)
– As you approach the security buckets start getting your stuff in place. You can always spot a rookie traveler based on how long getting ready for security goes.
– If the TSA agents have serious faces on, don’t crack jokes, but some are actually pleasant, I’ve done the Macarena a few times in the full body scan machine.
– Breathe, cooperate, repeat, remember everybody’s trip in their eyes is just as important as your trip. If you’re a heart surgeon with an open patient on the table then you really shouldnt even have time to read this blog post.
– Find your gate via the app but confirm your gate by the overhead screen
– Find the gate before grabbing a snack if you’re so inclined, and hungry.
– Sit as closely to the gate desk as you can and walk as briskly as you can when it’s your turn to board, the quicker you can get on the plane the better chance you have at getting that valuable overhead bin real estate.

On The plane
– Find your overhead bin and load it quickly
– get in your seat, put your iPad in the seat back pocket in front of you
– fasten your seatbelt
– You can use your phone until the plane leaves the gate
– Enjoy your flight
– If you didn’t check a bag you can turn your phone on when they touch the ground (and the crew says you can)
– Find your transportation app whether it be the rental car app, a taxi app or an uber app. Most rental car apps allow you to signal the rental car desk that you have arrived.

On Site tips
A lot of this comes from being a journalist but on site at startup conferences and events I pack as light as I can and recommend you do the same. When you can, leave the laptop in the hotel room, it’s a nice little way to have your main tool sitting ready to use after a long day. I’ve been amazed out how productive an iPad can be. To better understand it, 90% of the stories we posted from OneSpark and SXSW were totally produced and uploaded via iPad.

If your wireless plan dictates it, pick up a mifi device. We use Verizon and my mifi is on our shared plan. At big events and conferences, even when you can get onto an events wifi there are so many people on it that the connection is slow.

Try not to pick up too much swag. If you go to CES or SXSW you’ll have the opportunity to pick up hundreds of t-shirts, refrain if you can, t-shirts and other swag take up a lot of valuable space in your suitcase. Politely tell the swag peddler you don’t have room for it in your luggage.

My day back pack, when space permits, is a PowerBag sling bag, this bag has a 9,000 mah battery built in for charging my iPad and iPhone. On long events, battery drain is my single most frustration.

Perhaps this helped!



American Airlines And Their Partnership With Startups [video][AAMRQ]

American Airlines, startups,startup newsWhen startup people talk about airlines and airplanes they are typically talking about some new startup to order up a jet plane or to help you find the cheapest fares. Well lately we see more and more American Airlines signage, and people at startup events.

Are they scoping startups for their next talent? Are they trying to find the next innova

tion? Are they looking for their next customers?

Quite frankly the answer is all three. American Airlines has been partnering with startups to get the conversation going about entrepreneurship and innovation.

They found that many people taking American Airlines these days are entrepreneurs, startup founders and small business owners. While every airline has a program for huge enterprise corporations, no other airline has started working on partnerships to fuel the next w

ave of American business, startups and small business.

Now, Amer

ican Airlines has a team set up across the country to talk with startups, entrepreneurs and small businesses everywhere about the benefits of American Airlines.

Through their Business ExtAA program, American Airlines offers similar benefits to entrepreneurs and startup founders that Fortune 500 corporate officers get. Their Business ExtrAA rewards program offers increased mileage earnings, discounts and amenities that are second to none.

They’ve also partnered with several startup organizations like Startup America, Startup Weekend

, Tech Wildcatters, Tech Cocktail, Launch Tennessee, and even Nibletz and They know the importance of making that connection and developing brand loyalty early on.

While programs like the Founder’s Card are great, many entrepreneurs have found out the hard way that most of the benefits to programs like those require at least a series A round or even a series D. American Airlines has made their programs accesible to even bootstrapping founders.

Their team across the country isn’t just a bunch of sales people hawing American Airlines, all of the team members are engaging and they’re connectors. While they are very up

front about their goal, to get more small businesses and startups in the habit of booking American, they are eager to connect startups with other startups and other resources in their network. For instance the everywhere else conference in 2014 will offer a special rate from American Airlines and a special rate from their partner Avis.

Down at South By Southwest Aleda Schaefer and Paul Swartz, two of the people on American Airlines’ startup team, were frantically running around introducing people, meeting people and even engaging in startup pitch contests and other events. Their attitude and likeness to startups couldn’t be more genuine.

American Airlines was one of the key sponsors for the Launch Your City trip to Silicon Valley. This trip allowed several startups and ecosystem partners from Memphis Tennessee to spend a week in Silicon Valley touring VC firms, accelerators, incubators, co-working spaces and networking. The American Airlines team also set up meetings for the group including a tour of RocketSpace and they took some of the group to a startup job fair Thursday morning to meet other startup founders, who were at the stage where they were hiring employees.

American Airlines has strategically placed one of their “startup liasons” in Boston, New York, Dallas and San Francisco, adding their Silicon Valley rep last, because they realize the importance of startups everywhere.

Check out the video below where Schaffer offers a little more insight into American Airline’s involvement with startups:

American Airlines Takes Notice Of Tennessee’s 9 Accelerator Regions

American Airlines, Launch Tennessee, LaunchTN, Startup Tennessee,Startup AmericaAmerican Airlines is truly committed to startups and innovation. They are a corporate sponsor of Startup America and offer a huge benefit to Startup America members who sign up for their free Business ExtrAA rewards plan.

American has relationships with several startup organizations and entrepreneurs across the country have noticed there efforts. In 2012 American entered into a partnership with startup and technology blog and events company TechCocktail. They’ve provided sponsored transportation for several startup related events across the country including flights to DEMO in Santa Clara and last year’s SXSW. They know what it’s like for boot strapped entrepreneurs and startups.

Over the summer American Airlines partnered with Startup America for a huge contest. The video contest asked that startups and entrepreneurs tell a story about how travel connection has helped their business. They gave over half a million Business ExtrAA points away with the grand prize winner getting 100,000 points which was good for 50 round trip tickets. That’s a lot of conferences and investor meetings.

American Airlines has now taken notice of Tennessee’s nine startup accelerator regions and Startup Tennessee, the second Startup America Region. Launch Tennessee the public/private partnership that oversees the 9 accelerator region has entered into a relationship with American Airlines.

The company has also entered into a relationship with LaunchYourCity (LaunchMemphis), and The Startup Conference. American is helping an initiative for LaunchMemphis that will see local Memphis entrepreneurs venture out to Silicon Valley for a four day outreach trip.

Through and The Startup Conference American will be sponsoring the 2014 conference including offering a considerable discount to those traveling on American to the conference (February 17-19th 2014 in Memphis). To take full advantage of the discount attendees should sign up for the free Business ExtrAA program.  The discount will be announced in the coming days (and it’s a good one).

While every traveller doesn’t always have the experience they want no matter what airline they travel on, we are always hearing stories about how American Airlines has come through for our fellow entrepreneurs. On stage at The Startup Conference, Lean Entrepreneur co-author Brant Cooper talked about a string of delays in getting to the conference. Rather than waiting for Cooper to complain, he reported on stage that American Airlines went proactive and gave him a number of extra Business ExtrAA points for the trouble.

For more information on the benefits American Airlines offers Startup America members sign up for Startup America at and look under the member benefit section.

Humanity.TV Named Finalist In Startup America Contest INTERVIEW


Startup America teamed up with American Airlines for a huge contest. The grand prize in Flights, Camera, Action is a prize package which includes 80 round trip flights. Of course for any startup or entrepreneur this would be a great prize. Most startups need flights to get to important conferences or investor meetings. Humanity.TV, a New York startup, has something else in mind.

Humanity.TV is a technology startup that’s using technology, specifically video, to travel around the country and around the world and show the human side of life in the 21st century. They take a brief look into the lives of fascinating people. Obviously that seems like a daunting task.

“Our messaging and overarching goal is authenticity. We try to find people that have intriguing lifestyles and live passionately, regardless of their popularity or fame. Ultimately, we want to inspire people to visit countries around the world and get off the beaten tourist path to encounter unique experiences with people that will have long-lasting impacts on them.” co-founder Gaston Blanchet told in an interview. strives to capture the lives of fascinating people in obtrusive ways, for a more natural look at the world we live in today.

Of course with a startup like this the lack of capital to travel is definitely a hardship (we know about that first hand). They’re hoping that if they win the Startup America/American Airlines Flights, Camera, Action contest, they can use the flights to continue working on their story telling video platform.

The contest kicked off in July with a video from Startup America CEO Scott Case. The contesting period went through August 20th and the finalists were announced earlier this week.

We got a chance to interview Blanchet their startup as well as the contest and the Startup America partnership. Check out the interview below:

Read More…

Huge Startup America, American Airlines Contest Ends Friday

The Startup America Partnership is working with American Airlines to bring startups across the country one of the biggest contests to date: “Flights. Camera. Action.” The grand prizewinner is announced at (and hooked up with tickets to) Inc. 500/5000, and receives 80 round trip flights, print and film features in the in-flight magazine and video, and more. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity ending this Friday!

Are you a Startup America member? If not you can join here for free and regardless if you win the contest or not American Airlines is always offering Startup America some unheard of great discounts because they know how hard it can be to grow a startup and small business.

The contest, which ends August 10, 2012 has opportunities for you to win several prize packs with multiple flights. All you have to do to enter is submit a 60 second video here telling how a travel connection has helped your business. You wanted to be animated, fun, happy and tell a great story all in 60 seconds or less. The first 400 people who submit a video will receive 300 American Airlines Business ExtrAA bonus points. You can use these points for accumulation but its the equivalent of a one day pass for the Admirals Club which can come in handy on a layover.

This contest is perfect for startups: the quick and creative submission process allows entrepreneurs to tell a compelling story, and the prizes are enough to kick any business into high gear.

The contest is easy. In just 60-seconds, tell American Airlines how air travel helped you make literal or figurative connections.

What’s your travel connection story? Tell American Airlines and win big!

“The American economy is driven by startups – young, high-growth companies that are the number one job creators,” Scott Case, CEO, Startup America Partnership told “Travel is a critical component to these companies. American Airlines’ “Flights.Camera.Action.” contest highlights the amazing startups around the country and provides them with a unique opportunity to grow faster.”

Click here for all the details.


Don’t let this amazing opportunity pass you by. The contest ends this Friday, August 10, so submit your video today!


Join the Startup America Partnership here, it’s FREE!

Here’s the contest page

Nibletz is the voice of startups “everywhere else” here are more startup stories from “everywhere else”

Hey there, we need your help click here


Startup America & American Airlines Announce Huge Contest

Let’s face it, traveling is an integral part of the startup process. Whether you’re a startup in Silicon Valley or a startup “everywhere else” you need to travel to get to pitch events, conferences, industry events, sxsw and of course the almighty fund raising. The problem is when you’re on a sneaker-strapped budget, like we are on our “sneaker strapped nationwide startup road trip”, flying coach on Spirit airlines is a luxury that we often can’t afford.

Never fear the great folks at the Startup America partnership alongside American Airlines have announced the second annual Flights, Camera Action contest.

Are you a Startup America member? If not you can join here for free and regardless if you win the contest or not American Airlines is always offering Startup America some unheard of great discounts because they know how hard it can be to grow a startup and small business.

The contest, which started today and runs through August 10, 2012 has opportunities for you to win several prize packs with multiple flights. All you have to do to enter is submit a 60 second video here telling how a travel connection has helped your business. You wanted to be animated, fun, happy and tell a great story all in 60 seconds or less. The first 400 people who submit a video will receive 300 American Airlines Business ExtrAA bonus points. You can use these points for accumulation but its the equivalent of a one day pass for the Admirals Club which can come in handy on a layover.

The top 9 videos from each of three contest categories will be put up on a contest page for public voting from August 28- September 14th. Every one of these 27 entries will receive 10,000 American Airlines Business ExtrAA bonus points, which are good for up to 5 round trip Plan Ahead economy class tickets. (Heck we’ll take that).

The top three videos from each category, after the public vote, will earn 20,000 Business ExtrAA bonus points for up to 10 domestic round-trip Plan AAhead® award Economy Class tickets, and two complimentary admission tickets to the Inc. 500|5000 Conference & Awards Ceremony in Phoenix, where the Grand Prize Winner will be announced.

The First Place Winners from each category, as selected by a panel of judges – for a total of three winners – will receive an additional 30,000 Business ExtrAA points for a total of 60,000 Business ExtrAA points (the equivalent of 30 domestic round-trip Plan AAhead® award Economy Class tickets). They will also receive an all-expenses paid trip to the Inc. 500|5000 Conference & Awards Ceremony, including exclusive networking opportunities with iconic startup leaders and various entrepreneurs, and an Admirals Club annual membership for up to two employees.

The Grand Prize winner will receive an additional 100,000 Business ExtrAA points – equivalent to 50 round-trip Economy Class tickets, AAdvantage® Gold status for up to two employees for one year and exposure in a variety of American Airlines media channels including an inflight video and a feature in the American Way magazine.

What are you still reading for, go sign up for Startup America and enter the contest.


Join Startup America here

Here’s the contest page

Hey, we’re on a sneaker-strapped nationwide startup road trip and NEED YOUR HELP, please click here