This airline has a top secret system for ranking its passengers

And we had no idea…

(Image credit: Rex)

And we had no idea…

With January coming to a close, the novelty of going back to work has officially worn off and most of us are already busy planning our next holiday.

But before you book your flights and start packing your bags, you need to be aware of a top secret system supposedly used by some airlines to determine who gets special treatment.

Yes, really.

Much like Uber, one airline uses a ranking system to determine how valuable you are as a customer, but unlike Uber, finding out your score is near impossible.

The Helix System sees American Airlines passengers scored out of five, with passengers with a number five rating deemed the most valuable.

plane food


‘American Airlines scores its passengers and uses this score to determine compensation and when to bend the rules,’ a frequent flier, JT Gentler, wrote for The Points Guy.

‘While there isn’t necessarily much you can do to bump up your score, this rating system might explain what happened if you found out that another traveler got the rules waived for them and you couldn’t get the same.’

But if you want to find out your score, apparently you should think again, with JT explaining that it’s virtually impossible.

‘There's no way of finding out your Helix Score - agents will have this score in front of them when you call, interact on social media or file a complaint,’ JT wrote. ‘However, agents seem to be instructed to “play dumb” if you ask about your score. While the rare customer has been able to get their score by asking, I’ve never had an agent even acknowledge the system exists.’

Well this is scary.

Jenny Proudfoot
Features Editor

Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.