Expedited security clearance and better seats are among the perks being dangled by American Airlines to attract and retain international business travellers, CNBC reports.

Travellers who book economy class flights under corporate contracts on American Airlines can get seated toward the front of the aircraft cabin in seats normally available only for an added fee. Business travellers also receive priority status when clearing security, at check-in, and during boarding, as well as during weather delays or other operational slowdowns. 

Preferential treatment is being extended to travellers flying on American Airlines partners British Airlines, Iberia, and Finnair, so long as the flights are booked through American.

The perks are being extended as American Airlines struggles to adjust to the grounding of its Boeing 737 Max jets and what the airline characterises as an illegal work slowdown by its mechanics union.

The airline has cancelled some flights and consolidated operations in order to maintain service for valuable business travellers, and “there hasn’t been a very material change in the completion factor for corporate customers,” says American’s head of revenue management, Don Casey.