I received a pretty cool "targeted promotion" from American Airlines last week, one which I'll have a tough time earning but is worth trying.  The promotion is simple: book four round-trip flights on aa.com between now and March 31, 2004, and receive a free Bose Quiet Comfort noise-cancelling headset (value: US$249).  Now that is a deal -- I don't own one of these, but I have had the chance to use them on international business/first class flights.  I don't like the bulkiness, but the noise-cancelling is very effective, and calming, so I'd certainly take 'em.  I know some of you have these and swear by 'em, and I'd be happy to join the club.
However, I'm not sure it will be that easy for me.  IBM travel policy prevents me from booking business travel directly with the carriers unless the ticket is less than US$200 total.  Thus, when I first opened the mailer, I scoffed at my chances.  Maybe that was premature.  The very first travel request I've had since then, to visit Detroit on December 8, is going to score my first of the four needed bookings -- a mere US$108 round-trip.   And gee, I can be reasonably certain that I'll be at Lotusphere 2004 in Orlando :), where some less-than-ideal departure times do yield a $186.50 fare; I wasn't quite ready to book that flight, but gee, maybe now is the time.  Now we're talking -- heck, it would be a deal for me to take two of those $108 round-trips to Detroit, even out of my own pocket, I'd still be ahead of the $249 for the headphones (I realize that's retail price, but it's close).  Or maybe it's finally time to find an excuse to visit St. Louis, even if there's only one guy there who knows me.
Here's the sad news, dear reader -- a "targeted promotion" means you have to have been selected to be eligible to earn the deal.  So even though there is a nice teaser of a web page dedicated to this promo, you can't earn it unless you've been chosen.  So wish me luck and live vicariously through my upcoming quieter flights ;)

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