American Airlines

Is a scam being spread via American Airlines ticket confirmations?

Phishing bait:   American Airlines ticket confirmation.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, November 2011]

Sent: Thursday, November 17, 2011 5:17 PM
To: JSmith
Subject: Re: Your Flight Order N590-5507130

Dear Customer,

DATE & TIME / NOVEMBER 28, 2011, 11:17 PM

Please download and print out your ticket here:

Please find your ticket attached.
To use your ticket you should print it.

Thank you for using our airline company services.

American Airlines


Origins:   In November 2011, Internet users began receiving messages like the one reproduced above that purported to be confirmations of recently purchased tickets for flights on American Airlines. Such messages included instructions for the recipients to follow a hyperlink or open an attachment containing what appeared to be a document (in text, PDF, or Microsoft Word format) in order to download and print their tickets. These messages were intended to lure recipients, concerned about receiving confirmations for airline ticket purchases they didn’t remember making, into attempting to view the referenced ticket information — a process which would lead them not to viewing a document but into launching an executable file.

American Airlines has posted a warning about this scheme on its site, advising that:

If you received an email like the example [above] asking you to perform security-related changes to your account or attempting to collect your user name, password, email address or other personal information, you have received a fraudulent email. American Airlines will never send executable files as attachments, nor ask our customers for this type of personal information in email communications.

DO NOT click on any links, open any attachments, call phone numbers listed, or follow any instructions in these fraudulent emails including opening any type of attachments. Instead, delete all emails and attachments.

If you have clicked on any of the links in this fraudulent email, please take these steps:

  • Login to by entering manually

  • Verify your mileage balance, email address, and physical address

  • Immediately change your password to help protect your account information If you see any discrepancies over the next day or two, please contact our AAdvantage Services Department at 1-800-882-8880. In most cases, attempts to obtain personal information begins with an unauthorized change of the victim’s password, preventing the true account owner from logging in.
  • We deeply regret this inconvenience to you as an American Airlines customer. Your privacy and security is extremely important to us.

    Additional information:  


    Last updated:   5 December 2011
    Since 1994
    A Word to Our Loyal Readers

    Support Snopes and make a difference for readers everywhere.

    • David Mikkelson
    • Doreen Marchionni
    • David Emery
    • Bond Huberman
    • Jordan Liles
    • Alex Kasprak
    • Dan Evon
    • Dan MacGuill
    • Bethania Palma
    • Liz Donaldson
    • Vinny Green
    • Ryan Miller
    • Chris Reilly
    • Chad Ort
    • Elyssa Young

    Most Snopes assignments begin when readers ask us, “Is this true?” Those tips launch our fact-checkers on sprints across a vast range of political, scientific, legal, historical, and visual information. We investigate as thoroughly and quickly as possible and relay what we learn. Then another question arrives, and the race starts again.

    We do this work every day at no cost to you, but it is far from free to produce, and we cannot afford to slow down. To ensure Snopes endures — and grows to serve more readers — we need a different kind of tip: We need your financial support.

    Support Snopes so we continue to pursue the facts — for you and anyone searching for answers.

    Team Snopes