Category Archive for 'AA'

American Continues To Lead The Major Airlines’ Race To The Bottom With Even Less Room Throughout Coach

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

Once upon a time, low cost airlines like Southwest offered no-frills service for less money.

My how times have changed.

Not only did the major network carriers (like American, Delta, and United that offer worldwide service via their hubs) get rid of hot meals, pillows, and other amenities, but they continue to find ways to make flying them as bad of an experience as ultra-low-cost carriers Frontier and Spirit provide.

After United launched Economy Plus seating in front of their exit rows, American countered and heavily advertised “More Room Throughout Coach.” Eventually they removed the extra legroom throughout coach.

Brian Znotins, former VP of United’s network strategy, shared with me that when Continental merged with United they shocked the industry by announcing they would launch Economy Plus throughout the combined fleet. Until that point United’s competitors didn’t realize that the extra legroom offering was actually profitable. American and Delta announced copycats of Economy Plus shortly after that.

However American will be the first US network carrier to shrink coach seats to a seat pitch (the space from the rear of one row to the rear of the next row) less than 30 inches. Do you think they’ll advertise “Even Less Room Throughout Coach?” American will even shrink the size of their bathrooms, as if they weren’t small enough to begin with.

Only Frontier and Spirit are stingier than American, at a pretzel twisting 28 inches of seat pitch.

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American and United are in middle of implementing a more customer unfreiendly version of basic economy fares that Delta originally launched. They attempt to mimic what airlines like Frontier and Spirit offer. Granted there are still advantages to the network carriers, such as earning miles, getting free drinks, onboard entertainment, more frequent flights in case of irregular operations, and the ability to get free carry-on and checked bags with a credit card. But there are other options available.

As American implements slimline seats with less legroom than ever, and starts charging to reserve most window and aisle seats, once again I have to wonder what their advantage is?

JetBlue offers generous legroom, free fast WiFi, free TV, and delicious free snacks. Plus you can credit your JetBlue flight to Singapore if you want traditional airline miles that don’t have a set value per mile. JetBlue is also the most generous airline when it comes to waiving their change and cancellation fees and they’ll offer a credit if your fare drops within 2 weeks of purchase.

Southwest offers 2 free checked bags and has no flight change fees. That means you can always cancel and rebook your flight if the price drops.

Somewhere along the line these low-cost carriers became the best value carriers.

-Delta runs an opaque mileage program that keeps customers in the dark (though their saver award space is better than American’s now). Delta runs the best airline operation (except when they melt down and get bailed out by the Chicago Aviation Police Force) and that’s a good enough reason to fly them.

United has MileagePlus in its corner, which despite devaluations, is by far and away the best mileage program with the best award availability.

Alaska has a fantastic mileage program and a well-run airline operationally speaking. They have a small footprint, but that will be growing with their acquisition of Virgin America. They also give credit if their fares drop.

Frontier and Spirit are cheap. You pay for drinks and for an assigned seat. You will be cramped. You won’t get free carry-ons or checked luggage. You may wait around for days if your flight is cancelled as they’re too cheap to put you on another airline and they don’t have frequent flights. They won’t even honor the 11:29pm next day cancellation policy if you book on Priceline. You may even wind up along the side of a highway on a broken down bus. But you’ll fly on the cheap and you can fly even cheaper on Spirit by buying tickets at the airport.

But American?

It was a great airline. Then the guys that ran America West and ruined USAirways proceeded to ruin American.

The WSJ ranked them as the worst airline for 2 years running. They cancelled the most flights, lost the most bags, and had the most extreme tarmac delays. That’s made worse by their inability to rebook passengers on Delta.

-They massively devalued their mileage program last year and followed that up by wiping out saver award availability on most routes. They charge massive fuel surcharges to travel on their primary Transatlantic partner, British Airways. They have draconian routing rules (Just try to book an award from the US to Australia via Asia or from the US to Southern South America via Central or Northern South America), they limit the total amount of miles you can fly on an award, and they don’t offer any kind of free stopover option on awards, making it even more difficult to use their miles. If you don’t know how to search for hidden partner awards, you probably can’t use your miles at all. Even when you do, it can take many HUCAs before an agent can find it.

-They made their gutting of saver award space worse by increasing their AAnytime award levels by massive amounts. United still maintains one rate that makes the higher award level far more reasonable than American and they give their cardholders expanded saver award space and last-seat availability at the standard level. For example a United flight from Newark to Los Angeles in business class is capped at 50K miles one-way while an American business class flight from JFK to Los Angeles can cost 97.5K miles one-way.

American couldn’t even be bothered to match Delta and United’s promises to offer up to $9,500 or $10,000 respectively to passengers in order to make sure that someone will always volunteer their seat in an oversell situation. Southwest even announced they would match JetBlue’s policy in ending the overselling of their flights.

-Their elite tiers are completely non-competitive with Delta and United. Lower tiers don’t get free upgrades, they get less free baggage, and they have more fees than elites at Delta and United. AA’s new 75K elite tier is stupidly named “Platinum Pro” and is a joke compared to United’s 75K Platinum offering. While United gives their Platinum members 3x 70 pound checked bags, free same day confirmed changes, free upgrades on awards for cardholders, expanded coach and business saver and standard awards, and free award redeposits outside of 60 days and $50 redeposits within 60 days, American only gives their Platinum Pros 2 free 50 pound bags, $75-$150 same day confirmed changes, no upgrades on awards, a $150 award redeposit fee, and no expanded award availability. Even AA top-tier elites got their confirmed upgrades slashed in half!

-Delta and United waive the airline spend requirements for elite status if you live abroad or if you spend $25K on their credit card, while American does not.

-There are zero weekly nonstop flights from North America to Tel Aviv on OneWorld compared to 7 on SkyTeam and 30 on Star Alliance.

-American won’t check bags onto another airline, even partner airlines, if you’re booked on separate tickets. That’s incredibly annoying when you need 2 award tickets to fly somewhere.

-American won’t allow 20 pound+ strollers or double strollers to be gate checked. And this is what will happen if you try to bring it onboard when you’re told you can’t gate check it…

-American’s flight status on their website and app are very primitive. It’s updated very late and often displays incorrect information in delay situations. United’s app is so far superior to American’s in every way.

-If you do want to redeem for an American flight, you’ll always do better by using miles from partner airlines like Alaska, BA, or Etihad, so there’s no longer much of a point of collecting miles from American. If you do fly on American you should credit your flights to a partner like Alaska.

Delta and United are much better than American these days, but they too continue to degrade their service standards as they get stuck in the middle between no-frills Frontier and Spirit and better value JetBlue and Southwest.

Really the main advantage of the network carriers (aside from their network of course) is their mileage programs. American and Delta don’t seem to get that, but at least Delta runs a decent airline operation.

It’s no surprise that American had to write down expected “other revenues” last month by some $220M less than expectations “primarily due to lower than expected AAdvantage credit card acquisitions as first quarter promotions were not as effective as planned.”

Maybe their customers aren’t as stupid as they think they are?

Customer unfriendly moves like Basic Economy and ridiculously narrow legroom will just continue to chase people away to better value airlines that don’t nickel and dime you to death, like JetBlue and Southwest.

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25% Bonus For Transferring Hotel Points To American; Get Up To A 100% Bonus When You Transfer Starpoints/Marriott Points!

Friday, April 28th, 2017

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser. Earn Starpoints with the Starwood Consumer AMEXthe Starwood Business AMEX, or the Chase Marriott Visa.


American is offering a 25% bonus for converting hotel points into miles through 6/15.

Back in 2010 when these SPG-AA bonuses started you were able to rack up hundreds of thousands of Starpoints thanks to the US Mint, miles transferred to AA counted for million miler status, and AA had an awesome round-the-world award chart. I took advantage of all of those, but they no longer exist.

During 2015’s bonus I cautioned that American’s award chart was “so much better than their competition’s award charts that you can’t help but wonder when the devaluation will come…”

The devaluation came and it made their award chart downright terrible. Then the other shoe fell when American made their saver awards far more difficult to find than on any other airline. I wrote last July that their lack of award space could even be construed as a scAAm and even some of the biggest AA AApologist bloggers are now starting to call them out on it as well.

Doug Parker has gone from America West to ruin USAirways and now American. Even Jeff Smisek would blush at his actions.

So why would you transfer valuable Starpoints to American?

Despite the dearth and American award space and the fuel surcharges to redeem miles for travel on British Airways there are still some good uses. You’ll have to hunt for them as many partner awards are only bookable over the phone, such as Air Tahiti Nui, Cathay Pacific, Etihad, JAL, Qatar, and more.

For example I used 105K American miles to fly last month in an apartment on Etihad Shower Class from the Maldives to Cleveland via Abu Dhabi and JFK.

Though because of the #ElectronicsBan, I was stuck having to take pictures with my GoPro:

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And my phone:

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Sample transfer options:

-With this promotion 20K Starpoints will convert into 31,250 American miles with the 25% bonus. That 1.5625 AA miles per Starpoint transferred.

-You are able to do a Starwood Nights and Flights redemption for 60K Starpoints in exchange for 60K AA miles and 5 nights in a category 3 property (normally 40K+28K Starpoints), or 70K Starpoints in exchange for 60K AA miles and 5 nights in a category 4 property (normally 40K+40K Starpoints).

-90K Starpoints will convert into 270K Marriott points which will convert into 150,000 American miles with the 25% bonus plus 7 nights at a Marriott category 1-5 hotel. That 1.67 AA miles per Starpoint transferred plus you’ll get a free 7 night hotel stay. You must call Marriott at 800-321-7396 if you want to book a miles+nights package.

Some agents will refund 45K Marriott points (15K Starpoints) if you return the 7 night stay certificate, but not all agents will do that. If you get it refunded you’ll have used an effective 75K Starpoints for 150K AA miles or a whopping 2 AA miles per Starpoint.

-The 7 night electronic hotel certificate expires in 1 year, though Marriott currently will extend them for 1 additional year if you contact them.
-You don’t need to choose the hotel at the time of a nights+miles redemption.
-The certificate must be used at one property for 7 consecutive nights.
-You can have the certificate issued in anyone’s name.
-You can use more Marriott points to get a higher hotel category certificate.
-You can upgrade your hotel certificate by paying the difference in points later on.

Here is the miles+nights award chart from Marriott to American before the 25% bonus miles that American will award:

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Just be sure to compare American’s requirements with other airlines before transferring.

In this post I compared how many miles are required to fly on every OneWorld route from JFK.

Just for example, I flew last August from JFK to Vancouver in Cathay Pacific First Class for 35K Alaska miles. That same flight would have cost 55K AA miles. Non-elites would also have paid American a $75 last-minute fee which Alaska doesn’t charge, so be sure to do your research before you transfer.

-The names on the Starwood account and the AA account must match or the transfer will be rejected. You are able to transfer Starpoints for free between people living at the same address, though if you are changing the address on one of the accounts you’ll have to wait 30 days before transferring Starpoints to someone else’s Starwood account.

-The 25% bonus miles fulfilled by American will be posted within 7 business days after the initial conversion activity has been posted by Starwood Preferred Guest. The initial transfer usually takes a couple of days. You can hold an AA award for 5 days which is enough time for the transfer to process.

HT: Moishebatchy, via DDF

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Roundup Of Citi Limited Time And Expiring 50K-75K Credit Card Offers

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

You can view credit card offers by clicking on the “Credit Card Offers” tab on top of the DansDeals banner to view links for card offers. You can click on the link that says “View all card offers by issuing bank” and scroll down to view all card offers from the bank of your choice.

Here’s How To View Credit Card Offers On This Site

-Until the offer is pulled today or tomorrow, the Citi AAdvantage Consumer Mastercard and Citi AAdvantage Business Mastercard are each offering 50,000 AA miles for spending $3,000 in 3 months.

Both cards have their $95 annual fee waived for the first year.

-They both offer priority boarding and a free checked bag for you and 4 companions.

-The consumer card also offers a 10% rebate of miles spent on award tickets, up to 10K miles rebated per year.

Both cards qualify for 7.5K off discounted awards to rotating destinations. For example a round-trip flight from NYC to Palm Springs would be 17.5K miles after the discount. Short-haul flights are discounted by 2K miles, so a round-trip flight from NYC to Montreal would be 13K miles after the discount.

-Both cards have no foreign transaction fees.

You can get a Citi American consumer signup bonus as long as you haven’t opened or closed an American consumer card in the past 24 months. You can still get a bonus if you have an open American consumer card.

You can get a Citi American business signup bonus as long as you haven’t opened or closed an American business card in the past 24 months. You can still get a bonus if you have an open American consumer card.

American’s award availability got significantly worse last year, but as of late it’s been on the upswing, especially close-in:

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-The Citi Hilton HHonors card is offering 75K Hilton points for spending $2K in 3 months for a limited time only.  There’s no annual fee. You’ll also get Silver elite status for as long as you’re a cardholder, which allows access to 5th night free awards and other benefits. If you spend $20K/year you’ll get Gold status. This card has no annual fee.

You can get a Citi Hilton consumer signup bonus as long as you haven’t opened or closed an Hilton consumer card in the past 24 months. You can still get a bonus if you have an open Hilton consumer card.

There’s no limited time offer for the Citi Hilton Reserve card, but it’s a great card as it which gives 2 free nights (officially for use on Fridays, Saturdays, or Sundays) at any Hilton in the world (including the excellent Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem, the Conrad Maldives, the Grand Wailea Maui, or the Conrad  Bora Bora Nui.). It also gives Gold elite status for as long as you’re a cardholder, which gets you free breakfast.

At the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem we were treated to a fantastic daily breakfast, which is free for Hilton Gold and Diamond members. There is a mind-boggling quantity of awesome kosher food there, from dozens of daily hot dishes to hard cheeses, fresh fruits and pastries to fresh squeezed juices, as well as on-demand dishes like french toast, pancakes, waffles, and eggs. Unlimited wine, hot or cold chocolate drinks, and espresso drinks are included as well!

Gold and Diamond members get upgrades, food and drink amenities, late checkout, and other great benefits. Their Friday night Shabbos meals are pricey, but are well worth the expense (DDFers agree with that take as well), and the in-house restaurants are excellent as well.

With a breakfast like this, you may not even be hungry for dinner…

 

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If you spend $10K/year on the Hilton Reserve card you’ll get a free anniversary night (officially for use on Fridays, Saturdays, or Sundays) at any Hilton and if you spend $40K/year you’ll get top-tier Diamond status, which confirmed room upgrades and space available suite upgrade at hotels like the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem. This card has a $95 annual fee.

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American Matches Basic Economy; Now Ranked As The WSJ’s Worst US Airline For The 2nd Year Running

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

Delta currently sells basic economy fares. They award full redeemable miles and elite qualifying miles on those fares. But they aren’t eligible for seat assignments, economy comfort, flight upgrades, changes, cancellations, or standby. If you need to make a voluntary change you have to throw away your ticket and start again.

In November, United announced that they will start selling Basic Economy fares in Q1 2017. United added more restrictions to the ones above. Their fares won’t earn elite qualifying miles or lifetime miles. United also won’t allow large carry-ons unless you have elite status, a United credit card, or are traveling with a United elite member or cardholder.

American has announced that they will start selling basic economy fares on 2/10/17. It will be nearly identical to United’s version except that American will award 1/2 of the normal elite qualifying miles and will allow you to pay to choose a seat, but only within 48 hours of your flight.

These fares are intended to allow the network carriers to compete with Allegiant, Frontier, and Spirit. People that want no-frills will be able to fly on a network carrier and still be able to earn miles, have access to roomier seats, free drinks, and more frequent flights in case of irregular operations.

The real question is will they just drive more people to fly on Alaska, JetBlue, Southwest, and Virgin America?


In other news, American took the crown for the worst US airline in the WSJs annual ranking for the 2nd year running:

 

 

That’s not much of a surprise. American is notoriously bad at cancelled flights and mishandling luggage, hence our London fiasco. My longest tarmac delays have also all been on American.

Delta runs a very good airline with a subpar mileage program

United runs a mediocre, but improving, airline with a good mileage program.

American runs a subpar airline with a mileage program that could be called a ScAAm these days.

Last year I compiled 23 bullet points asking “What exactly is American’s AAdvantage?” I don’t think the USAirways folks running American could answer that even if they tried.

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American/JetBlue: Fly Nonstop From JFK To Cancun For $74-$82 Or 3.7K Hybrid Points Each Way!

Monday, December 26th, 2016

Update: JetBlue has matched this sale!


Originally posted on 12/24:

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.
-Earn 5 points per dollar on the AMEX Platinum Card or 3 points per dollar on airfare with the AMEX Premier Rewards Gold Card or the AMEX Business Gold Rewards Card.
-Earn 3 points per dollar and get $300 in airfare automatically refunded every calendar year with Chase Sapphire Reserve.


Bookable on Priceline. Tickets purchased from Priceline today are refundable until 11:29pm EST tomorrow. Please see this post for directions on how to cancel these tickets.

Note that there is Zika in Mexico, so talk to your doctor if you or your spouse are pregnant or want to become pregnant in the next year before traveling there.

-Limited seats are available on each date. Always search one-way and then work your way up to the number of seats you need in order to book as many seats on sale as you can.

You can read my trip notes from Cancun from last year here.

-Did you know that there are at least 13 kosher restaurants in greater Cancun? There are 3 kosher restaurants in Cancun, 3 in Isla Mujeres, 3 in Cozumel, and 4 in Playa del Carmen! You can find out all about them on the Wiki in the Cancun Master Thread on DDF.

-Chabad of Cancun makes awesome food that they can deliver fresh to any hotel in the area!

JFK to Cancun $82 dates:
December 30, 31
January 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30, 31
February 5, 6, 7, 8, 13, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28
March 1, 5, 6, 7, 8, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29
April 1, 3, 4, 23, 24, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30
May 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 14, 15, 16, 19, 21, 22, 24, 28, 29, 31

Cancun to JFK $74 dates:
December 27, 28
January 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 21, 24, 25, 27, 28
February 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 22
March 2, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 21, 22, 23, 28, 29, 30
April 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 27, 28
May 4, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 24, 25
June 1, 6, 7, 8, 9, 20, 21, 22, 23, 27, 28, 29, 30
July 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27
August 1, 2, 3, 9, 10, 16, 17


Using AMEX points:

These fares are not on sale with AA miles, but you can pay for the ticket with “hybrid points” if you have AMEX or Chase points and a Business Platinum or Sapphire Reserve card.

If you have The Enhanced Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN you can get a 50% rebate on the airline of your choice

The 50% rebate will go back into your account the day after redeeming points.

You can login to your account and redeem AMEX points for travel here.

A $74.05 ticket would cost 7,405 points and you would get a 50% rebate making the effective cost just 3,702 points, a value of 2 cents per point. That includes all taxes and you still earn miles for flying!

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Using Chase points:

If you have a Chase Sapphire Reserve card you can redeem points for 1.5 cents each towards travel. The card comes with 100,000 signup points and $600 in travel spending in your first cardmembership year!

A $74.05 ticket would cost 4,936 Chase points. That includes all taxes and you still earn miles for flying!

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HT: Elikip, via DDF


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American: NYC To/From Boston For $33, Orlando For $39, Miami For $53 Each Way

Thursday, September 29th, 2016

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.
-Earn 3 points per dollar on airfare with the AMEX Premier Rewards Gold Card or the AMEX Business Gold Rewards Cardwhich is offering a 50K signup bonus for a limited time only.
-Earn 3 points per dollar and get $300 in airfare automatically refunded every calendar year with Chase Sapphire Reserve, which is offering a 100K signup bonus for a limited time only.


Bookable on Priceline. Tickets purchased from Priceline today are refundable until 11:29pm tomorrow. Please see this post for directions on how to cancel these tickets.

Note that there is a Zika outbreak in Miami Beach so talk to your doctor if you or your spouse are pregnant or want to become pregnant in the next year before traveling to those destinations.

-Limited seats are available on each date and dates listed below will sell out quickly! Please post a comment with exactly which dates and route didn’t work for you and I will update the post.

Always search one-way for 1 seat and then work your way up to the number of seats you need in order to book as many seats on sale as you can. Searching round-trip may result in higher prices.

-All flight dates listed below are nonstop.

-Search NYC to include JFK and LGA.

NYC to Miami $53 dates in bold, $63-$68 dates in plain font:
October 11, 17, 18, 19, 25, 31
November 1, 2, 15,
December 5

Miami to NYC $53-$58 dates in bold, $63-$68 dates in plain font:
October 15, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 25, 27, 29
November 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 30
December 1, 3, 7, 8, 14


NYC to Orlando $39 dates:
October 19, 25
November 16

Orlando to NYC $39 dates:
October 6, 19
November 2, 9


NYC to Boston $34 dates:
October 11, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 31
November 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 9, 11, 12, 15

Boston to NYC $34 dates:
October 6, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27, 30, 31
November 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13, 14, 15, 16


Join the 74.9K+ people who follow @DansDeals on Twitter and you’ll get a tweet when a deal is posted on DansDeals.com!
You can even have Twitter send you a text message whenever a new deal is posted.

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American Opens Up Business Class Saver Award Space To London And Paris

Friday, August 5th, 2016

American’s saver award availability has been far stingier than Delta’s and United’s award space of late.

American is especially stingy in business and first class, so it’s newsworthy when things open up.

Last year they opened up business class space to Tel Aviv and I flew with my extended family to Israel on miles. Unfortunately American no longer flies to Israel.

Currently there’s excellent availability to London and Paris for travel from January-May.

American now charges 115K miles round-trip for these awards, but there are better ways to book.

This post details the cost in miles for every Oneworld destination from NYC and whether the airline tacks on a fuel surcharge.

View other ways to book and sample routes with business class saver award space after the jump:

(more…)

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Transfer 20K Starwood Starpoints Into 30K American AAdvantage Miles

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser. Earn Starpoints with the Starwood Consumer AMEX or the Starwood Business AMEX

Starwood-American Transfer Bonus Details Linky

Starwood Airline Miles Transfer Linky

From today through 9/14 you can get 30K AA miles (instead of the standard 25K miles) for every 20K Starpoints that you transfer.

Back in 2010 when these SPG-AA bonuses started you were able to rack up hundreds of thousands of Starpoints thanks to the US Mint, miles transferred to AA counted for million miler status, and AA had an awesome round-the-world award chart. I took advantage of all of those, but they no longer exist.

During last year’s bonus I cautioned that American’s award chart was “so much better than their competition’s award charts that you can’t help but wonder when the devaluation will come…”

The devaluation came and it made their award chart downright terrible. Then the other shoe fell when American made their saver awards far more difficult to find than on any other airline.

Doug Parker has gone from America West to ruin USAirways and now American. Even Jeff Smisek would blush at his actions.

Regardless, with a 50% bonus it might be worth looking into transferring if you have a specific need and if there is decent saver award availability on the route that you want. Just be sure to compare American’s requirements with other airlines.

In this post I compared how many miles are required to fly on every OneWorld route from JFK.

Just for example, I flew last night from JFK to Vancouver in Cathay Pacific First Class for 35K Alaska miles. That same flight would have cost 55K AA miles. Non-elites would also have paid American a $75 last-minute fee which Alaska doesn’t charge. Even with a 50% bonus to American you would still be much better off transferring Starpoints to Alaska with the standard 25% bonus, so be sure to do your research before you transfer.

There’s no minimum or maximum on this offer, but it’s always wise to transfer Starpoints in increments of 20K and the most you can transfer in one day to maximize that is 60K Starpoints, which would net 90K AA miles. You can make 1 transfer per day.

-The names on the Starwood account and the AA account must match or the transfer will be rejected. You are able to transfer Starpoints for free between people living at the same address, though if you are changing the address on one of the accounts you’ll have to wait 30 days before transferring Starpoints to someone else’s Starwood account.

-The 20% bonus miles fulfilled by American will be posted within 7 business days after the initial conversion activity has been posted by Starwood Preferred Guest. The initial transfer usually takes a couple of days.  You can hold an AA award for 5 days which is enough time for the transfer to process.

-You are able to do a Starwood Nights and Flights redemption for 60K Starpoints in exchange for 60K AA miles and 5 nights in a category 3 property (normally 40K+28K Starpoints), or 70K Starpoints in exchange for 60K AA miles and 5 nights in a category 4 property (normally 40K+40K Starpoints).

HT: Mikey

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What Exactly Is American’s AAdvantage?

Monday, August 1st, 2016

Update: American’s revenue based mileage program goes into effect today, regardless of when you purchased your tickets. On its surface it’s a match of Delta and United’s programs, but as this article and the related articles below show, it’s actually significantly worse than the other network carrier’s loyalty programs.

Related posts:
-American Joins Delta And United In Revenue Based Mileage Earning
-A Comparison Of AA, Delta, And United Saver Award Space: Is AAdvantage The New SkyPesos?
-Is AAdvantage A ScAAm? See For Yourself And Let The DoT Know


Originally posted on 6/14:

American’s AAdvantage program has been undergoing death by a thousand cuts.

Clearly the mergers of the last decade have decimated airline loyalty programs. The loss of AirTran, America West, Continental, Northwest, and USAirways have meant that the remaining oligopoly of airlines no longer need to compete on the same level that they used to. Hubs have been eliminated and will continue to disappear. Miles have become harder to earn when flying and become less valuable when cashed in.

In the meantime Delta has put all of their focus into their airline operations and they no longer even publish award charts.
United devalued their program in 2014 in one fell swoop. But after American’s changes, the United mileage program is far superior and the airline’s operations have been rapidly improving since they fired Smisek.

American’s trickle style roll out of bad news since the merger coupled with poor airline operations and abysmal award availability has been nothing short of a horror film.

1. They removed the ability to get a free stopover on award tickets without warning. Their own partner Alaska allows a stopover on one-way tickets even when redeeming for American flights. Competition like United still allows for a stopover and open jaw on awards that make using miles very valuable when utilized properly.

2. They removed their lucrative round-the-world award chart without warning. We got great use out of it on a trip around the world in 2010 and would have liked to have known before it was removed. United and ANA still have good round-the-world options.

3. They increased their AAnytime award flight options to have multiple levels of expensive awards, making it cost prohibitive to redeem for flights on peak dates. United still maintains one rate that makes the higher award level far more reasonable than American.

4. They still don’t provide free upgrades for lower and mid-tier elites as Delta and United do.

5. The new Platinum Pro level is the most unimaginatively named level ever and is the 3rd type of Platinum in American’s program. Worse than its unfortunate name, it won’t have the fee-waiver benefits provided by Delta and United like free award cancellations and free confirmed standby and it only gives 2 free 50 pound checked bags compared to 3 free 70 pound bags with Delta or United Platinum.

6. They’re finally rolling out domestic upgrades on award tickets, but only for top-tier Executive Platinums (though that comes after cutting their international upgrade certificates in half). Delta offers this for Gold and higher while United offers this to all elites who have a United credit card.

7. They’re devaluing their Gold and Platinum lifetime status levels by introducing higher levels and upgrades that are prioritized by the amount of money you’ve spent on flights in the past 12 months, something that no other airline does. So much for long-term loyalty.

8. They’re now requiring $3K in spending on top of flying to earn Gold, $6K for Platinum, $9K for Platinum Pro, and $12K for Executive Platinum. That’s copying Delta and United’s requirements. However Delta and United waive the spend requirement for foreign members while American will not.

9. Delta and United also waive the elite spend requirement if you spend $25K in a calendar year on their co-brand credit cards (excluding the ability to earn 1K status on United), while American did not announce any such waiver.

10. Their saver award space availability has deteriorated to the point that I’m not even sure it’s better than Delta’s. Both of those airlines lag miles behind United, especially if you have a United credit card.

11. Their award chart was once a bright spot, but was mAAsacred earlier this year and no longer provides a competitive advantage.

12. They have draconian routing rules, such as not allowing a flight from the US to Australia to transit via Asia and not allowing a flight from the US to Southern South America to connect in Central or Northern South America. American also requires that there be a published fare for award flights that you take, that you take the most direct routing, and they limit the total distance you can fly to MPM+25%. These restrictions exacerbate award availability issues. United has none of these restrictions.

13. American charges a massive fuel surcharge to fly on British Airways and a small fuel surcharge to fly on Iberia, making it tough to fly to Europe without paying outrageous fees. United has far more partner airlines than American and doesn’t charge a fuel surcharge for travel on any of them.

14. Operationally speaking, American has the worst tarmac delays, cancellation, and mishandled bag rates among all domestic carriers. Delta is by far the best domestic airline from an operation standpoint, and United is better than American and has been improving.

15. American cancelled their interline agreement with Delta as it became too expensive to keep sending their delayed and cancelled passengers to Delta. United still has an interline agreement with American and Delta, meaning they have more options to accommodate passengers when issues arise. I experienced pain from this issue firsthand.

16. American ended their El Al mileage relationship in 2014 and ended their own flights to Tel Aviv this year, leaving them with zero partners that fly between North America and Tel Aviv compared to 7-11 weekly Delta flights to Israel and 28 weekly Star Alliance flights on United and their partner Air Canada.

17. The OneWorld alliance no longer requires airlines to interline bags to other carriers even within the  alliance if you purchase 2 separate tickets. American claims they will still do so, but in my experience it was very hard to get them to do that and will likely become impossible. Delta and United still interline within their alliance on 2 tickets and United will interline to other airlines if you have elite status or even if you just ask nicely.

18. Many of American’s award partners are still not available online, which means having to call and play call center roulette to book awards on airlines like Air Tahiti Nui, Cathay Pacific, Etihad, JAL, and others. Just today I had an American phone agent outright lie to me about award space that I knew was there. I HUCA’d and received it, but they have seemingly stopped making progress in getting more airlines on their website. Progress has even gone backwards as airlines like AirBerlin have shows more award space on Iberia’s site than on American’s.

19. American’s flight status on their website and app are very primitive. It’s updated very late and often displays incorrect information in delay situations. United’s flight status on their website and app provides far more useful and timely updates and information.

20. American’s customer service is horrendous. I’ve experience this firsthand on a few occasions, but every aspect of their airline from gate agents, club agents, luggage agents, Twitter agents, executive office agents, and DoT representative agents have dropped the ball on our cancelled flight to London and their failure to provide a refund or alternate flight afterward. Delta and United would have had this solved in no time, but nobody at American cares or has the power to fix anything.

21. If you do want to redeem for an American flight, you’ll always do better by using miles from partner airlines like Alaska, BA, or Etihad, so there’s no longer much of a point of collecting miles from American. If you do fly on American you should credit your flights to a partner like Alaska.

22. I’ve found American to be very inflexible to deal with for schedule changes on award tickets. Delta and United are typically quite accommodating when flight times change in my experience, while that can’t be said for American.

23. The bottom line is that if you want operational excellence then your default choice ought to be Delta. If you value your miles then your default choice ought to be United.

But unless you find a cheap fare or you’re stuck in an American captive hub like Dallas, what exactly is American’s AAdvantage and why do they deserve your loyalty?

Did I miss any other disAAdvantages? If you’re an American loyalist, are you planning on sticking around or are you jumping ship?

Hit the comments!

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American: NYC To/From Miami For $86 Each Way

Friday, July 15th, 2016

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.
Earn 3 points per dollar on airfare with the AMEX Premier Rewards Gold Card or the AMEX Business Gold Rewards Card.

Bookable on Priceline. Tickets purchased from Priceline today are refundable until 11:29pm on Monday, July 18. Please see this post for directions on how to cancel these tickets.

-Limited seats are available on each date and dates listed below will sell out quickly! Please post a comment with exactly which dates and route didn’t work for you and I will update the post.

Always search one-way for 1 seat and then work your way up to the number of seats you need in order to book as many seats on sale as you can. Searching round-trip may result in higher prices.

-All flight dates listed below are nonstop.

-Search NYC to include JFK and LGA for best results.

NYC-Miami $86 dates:
August 23, 24, 27, 28, 30
September 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28
October 1, 4, 9, 15, 22, 23, 25, 29, 30
November 1
January 7, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 21, 23, 24, 25, 28, 30, 31
February 1, 4, 5, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13, 25, 26, 27, 28
March 6, 8, 13, 14, 22, 28, 29
April 4, 19, 25, 26
June 3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Miami-NYC $86 dates:
September 11, 21
October 5, 8, 15, 20, 22, 23, 26, 27, 29, 30
November 9, 16
December 1, 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13, 14, 15, 16
January 8, 11, 12, 14, 15, 18, 19, 21, 22, 28, 29
February 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 22, 28
March 1, 2, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 22, 29, 20
April 5, 6, 26, 27
May 31
June 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8


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Is AAdvantage A ScAAm? See For Yourself And Let The DoT Know

Monday, July 11th, 2016

A month ago I wrote a post asking “What exactly is American’s AAdvantage?

Some commenters said I was too harsh. They said that flying NYC-LAX on AA for 11,250 miles as a cardholder was a bargain, even if it required a little flexibility in your travel dates.

So a few days later I researched and posted a comparison between the nonstop saver award space of American, Delta, and United that you can view here. While Delta and United performed quite well, American’s saver award space was abysmal.

I figured I’d take another look today at the nonstop saver award space on several routes for travel from 7/13 through 12/31.

Here are the results:

-From NYC to Los Angeles there were 99 available dates on United, 107 available dates on Delta, and only 3 available dates on American. All 3 of American’s dates were Saturdays.

-From NYC to San Francisco there were 107 available dates on United, 104 available dates on Delta, and only 2 available dates on American.

-From NYC to San Diego there were 133 available dates on United, 109 available dates on Delta, and only 2 available dates on American.

-From NYC to Las Vegas there were 75 available dates on United, 125 available dates on Delta, and only 2 available dates on American. Both of American’s dates were Saturdays.

This is simply #unAAcceptable

Shortly after USAirways took control of American, AAdvantage award space fell off a cliff. Even though American devalued their award chart earlier this year it didn’t improve their saver award space woes.

Banks like Citi pay American billions of dollars for their miles. American has no problem taking in those fees, it’s making saver award space available for reservations that seems to be the issue…as Jerry would say, these pretzels are making me thirsty.

It’s time to let the DoT know about the games that American AAdvantage is playing. Click here to file an official DoT complaint against American and let the DoT know that you accumulated miles (state if you earned the miles from credit cards, purchased miles, and/or from flying) to redeem for saver awards. Explain to the DoT just how scarce American’s nonstop saver award space on your preferred routes have become compared to their competitors and compared to what American’s saver award space was like before they merged with USAirways. Feel free to send your own research to the DoT or link to posts like the one you’re reading or to this post. You can attach screenshots like this to show how bad things have become:

aa10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tweet your displeasure and vote with your wallet. American is devaluing elite status, miles earned from flying, award space availability, and just about everything else to levels far worse than their competition. Let American know that that you’ll vote with your feet, Delta and United will be happy to match your status.

I’m not saying be a fool about it, I’ll still fly American next month thanks to a $42 ticket I got from Kansas City to Los Angeles (ironically even with fares that cheap on that route, they are still incredibly stingy with saver award space). But if you’re remaining loyal and spending extra to fly American based on the airline they were before USAirways took it over, just realize that they won’t reciprocate that loyalty.

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8 Months Later, A Conclusion To Our London Saga

Sunday, July 10th, 2016

Last October I booked 4 business class tickets to fly on American from JFK to London. I redeemed 120K BA Avios+$1,784 for all 4 tickets and had we flown would have also earned back 144K miles due to a premium class bonus promotion.

I also redeemed 36K Avios for the 4 of us to fly from Cleveland to JFK.

You can read a what happened next in this post. Everything that could go wrong went wrong, every agent that could have given us good info gave us bad info, American refused to move us to another airline, agents lied about the location of our checked baggage several times, and we wasted 25 hours never making it past JFK. Not a fun way to spend a day with a 2 and 4 year old, but they were actually quite good until we had to make our way to LGA to catch a flight home.

 

 

Read about the rest of the story, after the jump:

(more…)

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American: Chicago To/From New York, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Or Dallas For $35 Each Way

Friday, June 10th, 2016

Bookable on Priceline. Tickets purchased from Priceline today are refundable until 11:29pm on Monday, 6/13. Please see this post for directions on how to cancel these tickets.

Bookable on Orbitz. Orbitz tickets are refundable until 11pm ET on Monday, 6/13.

-Limited seats are available on each date and dates listed below will sell out quickly! Please post a comment with exactly which dates and route didn’t work for you and I will update the post.

Always search one-way for 1 seat and then work your way up to the number of seats you need in order to book as many seats on sale as you can. Searching round-trip may result in higher prices.

-All flight dates listed below are nonstop.

-Search for fares on both Priceline and Orbitz.

Chicago to LGA $35 dates in bold, $53-$73 dates in plain font:
August 17, 24, 27, 30
September 2, 4, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28
October 1, 4, 5, 11, 12, 13, 15, 18, 19, 22, 23, 25, 26, 27, 29, 30
November 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16

LGA to Chicago $35 dates in bold, $53-$73 dates in plain font:
August 24, 27, 29, 30, 31
September 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 30
October 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 31
November 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14, 15, 16


Chicago to Los Angeles $35 dates in bold, $53-$73 dates in plain font:
September 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 30
October 14, 5, 7, 8, 11, 12, 14, 15, 28, 29, 31
November 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12

Los Angeles to Chicago $35 dates in bold, $53-$73 dates in plain font:
August 23, 30
September 3, 10, 13, 17, 19, 20, 24, 27, 28
October 1, 3, 4, 8, 11, 12, 15, 17, 18, 19, 22, 24, 25, 26, 29, 31
November 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 12, 14, 15, 16


Chicago to Baltimore $35 dates in bold, $53-$73 dates in plain font:
August 16, 17, 25, 26, 28, 31
September 2, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 20, 2223, 24, 25, 27, 29, 30
October 1, 2, 4, 5, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29
November 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16

Baltimore to Chicago $35 dates in bold, $53-$73 dates in plain font:
August 22, 23, 29, 31, 30
September 6, 7, 9, 12, 13, 14, 16, 20, 21, 23, 26, 27, 28
October 3, 4, 5, 11, 12, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 28, 29, 30, 31
November 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16


Chicago to Dallas $35 dates in bold, $53-$73 dates in plain font:
August 10, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 3031
September 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14, 1516, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30
October 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31
November 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16

Dallas to Chicago $35 dates in bold, $53-$73 dates in plain font:
June 21
July 12, 19, 29, 25, 26
August 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 3031
September 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 13, 14, 17, 20, 21, 24, 27, 28, 30
October 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 11, 121518, 19, 22, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31
November 1, 2, 3, 4, 58, 9, 10, 11, 12, 15, 16


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American Joins Delta And United In Revenue Based Mileage Earning

Monday, June 6th, 2016

American announced today that they will award miles based on the fare paid effective for flights taken on or after August 1st.

They will also copy United in adding a 75K elite tier in 2017 unimaginatively named “Platinum Pro.” American requires that Gold and Platinum members earn or purchase upgrades on flights longer than 500 miles, but Platinum Pros will receive complimentary upgrades as Executive Platinums do today.

Just as with United, base members will earn 5 miles per dollar, Golds earn 7, Platinums earn 8, Platinum Pros earn 9, and Executive Platinums earn 11.

For now, the best thing to do is to credit your flights to earn Alaska miles as they still award miles based on flight distance, though odds are that earning rates will drop there as well.

Effective in 2017 American will also require minimum spend requirements to earn elite status that will exactly mirror United’s policy. $3K for Gold, $6K for Platinum, $9K for Platinum Pro, and $12K for Executive Platinum. Delta and United have waivers of those requirements if you spend $25K on their co-brand credit card (though United won’t waive the spend requirement to earn 1K status), but American didn’t announce any waivers as of yet.

Delta and United also waive the spend requirements if you live abroad, but American didn’t announce any waivers for that either.

Million milers will be devalued as there is a new tier of elites on top of each of them that receive complimentary upgrades. Additionally next year upgrades will be prioritized by how much you have spent in the past 12 months on American flights, so million milers who don’t qualify based on spend will be pushed even further down the totem pole.

These changes, coupled with the massive devaluations that AAdvantage did earlier this year and 2 years ago when they eliminated free stopovers and their round-the-world award chart without notice takes most of the value out of the program.

I find that United has far better award availability (especially if you have their credit card), has far more generous routing rules, and still allows valuable free stopovers on awards, making them a better airline for accumulating miles. If you want to fly on American you’ll do better by focusing on partners like Alaska and British Airways for mileage accumulation and redemption.

American has managed to take the worst of USAirways and American to become a truly bumbling airline, worst overall, worst in cancelled flights, and worst in mishandled baggage:

Their mileage program was still lucrative until recently, so they’ve managed to devalue that from all sides as well.

Will American’s changes affect your preferred choice of airline to fly on or accumulate miles with? Hit the comments!

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American Has Opened Lots Of Business Class Award Space To Europe For You And Your Entire Family…Here’s How To Save 31% Off American’s Rates

Monday, May 30th, 2016

American’s saver award availability is much stingier than United’s, though it’s much more generous than Delta’s. American is especially stingy in business and first class, so it’s newsworthy when things open up.

Last year they opened up business class space to Tel Aviv and I flew with my extended family to Israel on miles. Unfortunately American no longer flies to Israel.

Currently there’s excellent availability to Europe for travel on limited dates in November/December and many more dates from January-March.

American now charges 115K miles round-trip for these awards, but there are better ways to book.

This post details the cost in miles for every Oneworld destination from NYC and whether the airline tacks on a fuel surcharge.

View other ways to book and sample routes with amazing business class saver award space after the jump:

(more…)

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Enter To Win 350K AAdvantage Miles And Get 700 Miles, Plus Extend The Life Of Your Existing Miles

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

Enter To Win 350K AAdvantage Miles And Get 700 Miles, Plus Extend The Life Of Your Existing Miles

The website is going very slowly right now, but fill in your information to win 350K AA miles and write what you’re saving up miles for and you’ll get 350 miles.

Then share what trip you’ve taken or plan to take via Email, Facebook, or Twitter and you’ll get another 350 miles. You can just click email and write where you want to go to AA and you’ll get the full 700 miles.

This promotion ends at 12pm CDT on 6/1.

The miles will post by 7/31.

35 people will also win 350K miles. However they’ll be hit with a 1099 of $6,965.

AA miles require activity every 18 months, so this will extend the life of your existing miles by 18 months.

HT: yoshapman, via DDF


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American Airlines AAdvantage MAAsacre Has AArrived: MAAsive 2016 Devaluations For Earning And Redeeming Miles

Monday, March 21st, 2016

Update, 3/21: Today is the final day to book awards under the old AA award chart. You can lock in awards under the current pricing now and change dates later for free for travel up to a year from today.

Originally posted on 11/17/15:

Related:
-AAdvantage Devaluation Hedging: How Will American’s Cancel Without Redeposit Option Work Compared To United’s?
-The American AAdvantage Devaluation Chart For Flights To/From The Middle East

————————————————————————————-

I made a number of predictions in February 2013 and in December 2013 regarding the AA-USAirways merger. They’ve almost all come true from worries about the future of Tel Aviv flights to today’s harsh devaluation that both posts predicted would occur within “a couple years.”

I warned about it again during the Starwood-American transfer bonus.

We all knew this day would come and now it’s here with all the gory details.

-Effective in the 2nd half of 2016 miles will be awarded based on revenue rather than distance. 5 miles/dollar for base members, 7 for Gold, 8 for Platinum, and 11 for Executive Platinum. This effectively copies what Delta and United have done.

-Effective 03/01/16, Gold and Platinum members will only earn 4 500 mile upgrade stickers for every 12.5K miles they fly instead of every 10K miles flown and the cost of additional stickers will increase to $40.

-Effective 01/01/16 Executive Platinum members will earn just 4 systemwide upgrades instead of 8 upon qualification/requalification.

And for the big one, the award chart mAAsacre:

Current Partner Award Chart.
New Partner Award Chart.
Current AA Award Chart.
New AA Award Chart.

At least they haven’t gone the pure evil route of Delta by deleting their award charts.

Aside from that, this is pretty ugly. Book everything you can for future travel no later than 03/21 under the current rates before these changes go into effect on 03/22.

American will replicate United’s approach to charging different rates for flying on their own metal and for flying on partner airlines. That makes things very complicated.
They’ll also add a short-haul award for nonstop flights in the US48/Canada that are under 500 miles at a cost of 7.5K miles. That’s still not as good as BA, even after BA devalues starts charging 7.5K for those awards. BA lets you fly up to 1,150 miles for that rate, BA doesn’t charge a close-in fee, and BA allows cancellations for just the taxes paid. And until 02/01 you can still fly up to 650 miles for just 4.5K BA Avios.

They’re also replicating United by massively increasing the miles needed for first class travel. Though at least United still allows for a free stopover and open jaw. AA got rid of free stopovers in their last mAAsacre.

In the chart below you’ll find all of the changes.
-Rates in the chart are for one-way travel.
-In the 2nd column are the rates that apply for all travel that is booked by 03/21/16.
-In the 3rd column are the new rates to fly on AA.
-In the 4th column are the new rates to fly on partner airlines or awards that include AA and a partner.
-Off-peak rates are included only where they exist. Only coach awards are offered at off-peak levels. You’ll note that partner off-peak rates have all been eliminated except for travel to Europe.
-Unlike British Airways, American only charges business class rates for domestic first class travel on 2 class cabins.
Business class rates marked after a “/” are what will be charged for the route if you fly in domestic business class on a plane that has 3 classes of service like those that fly between NYC and Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Vancouver and between Miami and Los Angeles. If there is no “/” then there won’t be a premium charged to fly on those flights as part of that award.
It’s worth noting that AA has a contradiction in their new partner award chart. From North America to Europe, Middle East, and Africa it says that there’s a 7.5K surcharge if you fly on a domestic 3 class plane in business class. However when you look at the charts from those regions it doesn’t mention that surcharge. As AA’s own chart doesn’t have the surcharge for Europe (it doesn’t have Middle East or Africa charts at all) I went with the assumption that there will not be a surcharge on those flights.

Region definitions can be found here and there are a few countries that are changing regions.

The dates that off-peak travel apply to will also change.

Current off-peak dates:
Hawaii: January 12 – March 8, August 22 – December 15
South America 2: March 1 – May 31, August 16 – November 30
Europe: October – May 15
Asia 1: October – April 30

New off-peak dates:
To Hawaii: December 29 – March 12, August 11 – November 18, November 24 – December 10
From Hawaii: January 7 – March 19, August 18 – November 27, December 3 – December 25
Caribbean, Mexico and Central America: September 7 – November 14, April 27 – May 20
Europe: January 10 – March 14, November 1 – December 14
To Asia 1/Japan: January 1 – April 30, July 1 – November 30
From Asia 1/Japan: January 16 – April 19, May 2 – 31, September 1 – December 31
To Asia 1/Korea: January 1 – April 30, July 1 – November 30
From Asia 1/Korea: January 16 – May 31, September 1 – December 31
To Asia 2/China/Hong Kong: January 1 – April 30, July 1 – September 30, October 11 – November 30
From Asia 2/China/Hong Kong: February 1 – May 31, September 1 – 19, October 2 – December 31
South America 1: January 16 – June 14, September 7 – November 14

And here are all the gory details, with miles required going up as much as 63% for sweet spots in the award chart like flying Cathay Pacific First Class to Hong Kong and 54% for Cathay Pacific First Class from JFK-Vancouver or AA First Class from JFK-LAX/SFO:

Between the US48 and: Class of ServiceCurrent RateNew AA Rate
New Partner Rate
US48/Canada ShorthaulCoach
Business
12.5K
25K
7.5K
15K
12.5K
25K
US48 Coach
Business
First
12.5K
25K
32.5K
12.5K
25K/32.5K
50K
Same as AA
Canada & AlaskaCoach
Business
First
12.5K
25K
32.5K
15K
30K/37.5K
55K
Same as AA
HawaiiOff-Peak
Coach
Business
First
17.5K
22.5K
37.5K
47.5K
20K
22.5K
40K/47.5K
65K
N/A
22.5K
40K/47.5K
65K
Caribbean/MexicoOff-Peak
Coach
Business
First
12.5K
17.5K
30K
40K
12.5K
15K
25K/32.5K
50K
N/A
17.5K
27.5K/35K
52.5K
Central America Off-Peak
Coach
Business
First
15K
17.5K
30K
40K
12.5K
15K
25K/32.5K
50K
N/A
17.5K
27.5K/35K
52.5K
South America 1Off-Peak
Coach
Business
First
15K
17.5K
30K
40K
17.5K
20K
30K/37.5K
55K
N/A
20K
30K/37.5K
55K
South America 2Off-Peak
Coach
Business
First
20K
30K
50K
62.5K
N/A
30K
57.5K
85K
Same as AA
EuropeOff-Peak
Coach
Business
First
20K
30K
50K
62.5K
22.5K
30K
57.5K
85K
Same as AA
Middle East Coach
Business
First
45K
67.5K
90K
N/A
N/A
N/A
40K
70K
115K
AfricaCoach
Business
First
37.5K
75K
100K
N/A
N/A
N/A
40K
75K
120K
Asia 1Off-Peak
Coach
Business
First
25K
32.5K
50K
62.5K
32.5K
35K
60K
80K
N/A
35K
60K
80K
Asia 2Off-Peak
Coach
Business
First
N/A
35K
55K
67.5K
32.5K
35K
70K
110K
N/A
37.5K
70K
110K
South Pacific Coach
Business
First
37.5K
62.5K
72.5K
40K
80K
110K
Same as AA

 

Where will you book travel to before these rates go into effect? Hit the comments!

HT: D93, via DDF

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AAdvantage Devaluation Hedging: How Will American’s Cancel Without Redeposit Option Work Compared To United’s?

Monday, January 11th, 2016

In December 2013 I wrote a post advising people to use United’s “cancel without redeposit” feature to lock in awards under their old award chart.

United would only say that date changes would be allowed and wouldn’t comment further.

Other bloggers wrote that I would be proven dead wrong.

But I booked a half dozen awards and it worked better than I imagined. Having such a ticket allowed full access to the old chart, even if you changed the origin and destination!

American’s devaluation that is coming on 03/22 does a lot to copy United, but the truth is that it’s much worse. United has very generous routing, and stopover, and open-jaw rules that cushioned the blow. American has very strict routing rules and they don’t allow any stopovers or open-jaws. At least they didn’t copy Delta in deleting their award charts, but it’s not pretty.

American too says that they will allow date changes without being forced into the new award chart. And best of all AA doesn’t charge for date changes on awards.

Changing the origin or destination will likely result in having to use the new chart, but what about a change to the connecting city?

What will happen if you’re booked on Etihad business class from JFK to the Maldives and a first class apartment opens up? Business class is only going up from 67.5K to 70K, but first class goes up from 90K to 115K.

Or what will happen if you’re booked on Cathay Pacific business class from JFK to Hong Kong and a first class seat opens up? Business class will “only” be going up from 55K to 70K, but first class goes up from 67.5K to 110K.

Will you be able to upgrade that seat under the old award chart or will you have to use the new award chart?

It’s impossible to say at this point.

But if you know you want to fly somewhere in business or first class that’s getting significantly more expensive I’d risk it and use the same cancel without redeposit method. Find the availability on your preferred route for any date and book it. Then after it’s ticketed just use the cancel button on AA.com. That puts the itinerary in an inactive state. When you find dates that work for you just call AA and give them your existing record locator and they should be able to put in those dates without any charge.

Of course it can be tough finding business and first availability months before a flight. Typically the best award space is released as the flight date gets closer.

AA hits their non-elites with a $75 close-in booking fee, but that’s nothing compared to the cost increase to fly in first class after the devaluation.

Of course AA.com doesn’t show most partner awards. You can call AA to search for awards or you can use partner sites like Etihad to search for Etihad awards (AA can book awards labeled “Guest”). Or you can use a site like BA.com to search for Cathay awards before calling AA to book.

While you’ll never find many first class seats for JFK-Vancouver in advance, the entire 6 seat first class cabin is wide open for tonight! (You can read my 2012 trip report here) Currently those are 32.5K awards, come 03/22 and they’ll be 50K awards. My proposal would be to book a close-in award like this, cancel it right after it’s ticketed (there’s no charge to cancel without redepositing the miles), and then call AA back at a later date when space opens up on a flight that works for you. Note that tickets are only valid for a year, so if you don’t use it within a year of ticketing you’ll have to pay to redeposit those miles. Currently AA charges $150 redeposit fee for the first passengers and $25 for each additional passenger.

 

cx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Same story for JFK-Hong Kong. Currently 67.5K in first class, soon to be 110K. Beat the increase for travel after 03/22 by locking in current rates on dates with available space:

 

cx1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s worth repeating that word of caution: Nobody can tell you with 100% certainty what exactly will happen with changes made on 03/22 to tickets booked under the old award chart and nothing is foolproof. But based on past experience I’d feel very safe using this method myself. Of course you’ll have to assess your own risk tolerance level to decide whether the upside (savings tens of thousands of miles per passenger) outweighs the potential redeposit fees if this method doesn’t work out after 03/22.

Will you be using this method to lock in awards under the current award chart? Or are you not the gambling type? Hit the comments!

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HURRY! American Releases Premium Cabin Award Space Between Los Angeles And Sydney

Tuesday, December 29th, 2015

American recently started flying to Australia but until now they haven’t released any premium cabin award space.

They’re finally gotten less stingy and now is a great time to catch summer rays down under.

Business class seats are 62.5K AA miles each way while first class seats are 72.5K miles each way.

American flies brand new 777-300ERs on this route with WiFi and lie-flat beds that have direct aisle access from all business and first class seats. Both business and first class get pajamas on this route, so the main difference is that the first class seat is a bit more roomy than business, but both options are excellent.

Back in 2010 I got to fly around the world on AA’s defunct round-the-world award and for Australia we stopped off in Melbourne, Sydney, Tasmania, and the Whitsunday Islands. Truly an awesome country!

You can hold an AA award for 1 or 5 days on AA.com depending on how soon the flight is.

These sample dates won’t last long (though you can check again in 1 or 5 days when the holds expire 😉 )

Los Angeles-Sydney dates with 2+ business class seats:
December 30, 31
January 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13, 29, 31
February 2, 9, 16, 23, 27

Los Angeles-Sydney dates with 2+ first class seats:
January 2, 5, 6

Sydney-Los Angeles dates with 2+ business class seats:
December 30, 31
January 8, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 22, 24 25, 26, 27, 28, 29
February 9

Sydney-Los Angeles dates with 2+ first class seats:
January 11, 17, 21

HT: FT

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The American AAdvantage Devaluation Chart For Flights To/From The Middle East

Tuesday, November 17th, 2015

Related post (Read this first!): American Airlines AAdvantage MAAsacre Has AArrived: MAAsive 2016 Devaluations For Earning And Redeeming Miles
————————————————————————

Several people asked if I could make a chart for flights to/from the Middle East to show the price increases that will occur there for awards booked as of 03/22/16.

There’s lot of pain in this chart as well. Without a doubt the Etihad partnership is responsible for some of the jumps in business and first class award rates. Sweet spots like business and first class to Australia have jumped as much as 77% under the new chart. Etihad First Class from the US to the Maldives climbs from 90K to 115K. Etihad has good availability in their A380 First Class Apartments from London to Abu Dhabi and that award climbs 56% from 40K to 62.5K. Still a relative bargain, but a big increase over the current chart.

There are a couple bright spots, namely coach awards to the Western Hemisphere. But overall, this is pretty ugly as well.

Between the Middle East and: Class of ServiceCurrent RateNew Rate
US48 Coach
Business
First
45K
67.5K
90K
40K
70K
115K
Canada & AlaskaCoach
Business
First
45K
67.5K
90K
42.5K
75K
120K
HawaiiCoach
Business
First
45K
67.5K
90K
47.5K
82.5K
140K
Caribbean/MexicoCoach
Business
First
45K
67.5K
90K
45K
80K
130K
Central America Coach
Business
First
60K
82.5K
102.5K
45K
80K
130K
South America 1Coach
Business
First
60K
82.5K
102.5K
60K
87.5K
130K
South America 2Coach
Business
First
67.5K
90K
110K
60K
90K
135K
EuropeCoach
Business
First
20K
30K
40K
20K
42.5K
62.5K
Middle East Coach
Business
First
17.5K
25K
35K
17.5K
30K
40K
AfricaCoach
Business
First
30K
45K
60K
30K
55K
80K
Asia 1Coach
Business
First
22.5K
30K
45K
22.5K
40K
50K
Asia 2Coach
Business
First
22.5K
30K
45K
25K
40K
50K
South Pacific Coach
Business
First
30K
45K
60K
42.5K
80K
100K
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American Is Pulling Out Of Tel Aviv 01/04/16, Grab Award Seats Now For Reaccommodation…

Friday, October 30th, 2015

Update, 10/30: It appears that today may be the last day to change cancelled American flights to Tel Aviv to El Al, British Airways, or Iberia. The re-ticketing period may be further extended, or the only option after today may be to get a refund, or perhaps just the El Al option will be eliminated after today.

It’s worth noting that since this article was written Delta has announced that they are moving from 7 to 11 weekly flights to Tel Aviv and United has announced that they are launching 3 weekly San Francisco-Tel Aviv flights on their new 787-900s, as was predicted 3 years ago.

—————————————————————————————————–

Update, 08/30: American has reached a protect agreement with El Al, in addition to previously available options to be reaccomodated on British Airways and Iberia. And you can request a refund as well if no options work for you.

A commenter has already been rebooked on El Al.

There are fare class requirements to be moved to El Al:

ly1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So if you are booked in an inexpensive O or Q fare class on American you might get lucky and be put on El Al, but officially they will only put you on BA, Iberia, or offer a refund. It appears that the commenter was on an O class fare and got lucky, so it’s worth using HUCA if you get shot down at first.

If you are booked in N class for example, you will officially only be rebooked on El Al if El Al has U class availability for the flight you are requesting. You can fly El Al out of Boston, JFK, Newark, or Toronto, and dates may be slightly flexible, so it is worth asking about all of those options to try to find a flight with inventory that matches what they can provide you.

HT: Chaikel

———————————————————————————————————

Update, 08/20 at 5:30pm: The flights have now been pulled from AA.com. The final flight from Philadelphia-Tel Aviv will be on 01/04 and the final flight from Tel Aviv-Philadelphia will depart on 01/05.

———————————————————————————————————

Originally posted on 08/20 at 1:30pm:

American Airlines will end service to Tel Aviv after 01/04/16.

USAirways has been serving the Philadelphia-Tel Aviv route since 2009 and now just as their merger is finalized the route is going away, proving once again that airline mergers are never good for consumers.

I flew the route to Tel Aviv with my family earlier this year due to the business class award availablity glitch, and it’s definitely one of the best business class seats that fly between North America and Tel Aviv, so it’s a real shame to lose the route.

On 11/19/13 I made a number predictions about the American-USAirways merger. Several have already come true. The American OneWorld round-the-world award chart was killed. USAirways started collecting fuel surcharges on British Airways and killed their lucrative off-peak awards. American and El Al ended their relationship.

And in that same post I wrote that the unresolved TWA pensions may well doom the Philadelphia-Tel Aviv route for American.

American still owes Israeli ex-TWA employees over $15 million.

However American is saying that the reason for the cancellation is that the route has always been a money-loser.

That’s rather curious as USAirways’ president Scott Kirby has called the route among the most lucrative in their system. Newark-Tel Aviv was also publicly called the most profitable in Continental’s system in the past.

Of course profit is a funny thing. United CEO Jeff Smisek lied about Cleveland’s hub not being profitable when the real reason for the cuts was a severe regional jet pilot shortage. But that couldn’t be the stated public reason because that would make United liable to pay millions of dollars to Cleveland and Ohio for pulling out against their promise to keep the Cleveland hub alive as long as it remained profitable. United is even adding flights back to Cleveland , including several nonstops to Florida and more routes will be returned as well according to sources.

Profit can easily be manipulated by attributing various costs to the flight. And no doubt the cost of paying back the ex-TWA workers is a factor here.

Or perhaps American doesn’t want to pay off TWAs debts to avoid setting a precedent of paying off TWAs debts when they only purchased TWAs assets in the first place?

I’m sure some people will say the BDS movement was a factor here. I find that difficult to believe as OneWorld airlines like Royal Jordanian, Air Berlin, British Airways, Finnair, and Iberia continue to serve Tel Aviv. That makes about as much sense as the ZoA boycotting Lufthansa.

At any rate, American is stating that they will not be serving Tel Aviv from other hubs. Both their JFK and Miami routes are natural fits for service to Tel Aviv, so if American’s issues are ever resolved I’d expect routes from those hubs rather than Philadelphia.

American will be contacting customers booked to fly the Philadelphia-Tel Aviv route next year with options for alternate arrangements or a refund.

For now the route is still bookable, so you can still grab an award seat or cheap ticket and you’ll be reaccommodated on another airline or you’ll get a refund if you don’t agree with the reaccommodation offer.

American has a whopping 9 hubs now. I have to wonder if hubs like Phoenix or Philadelphia, that are so close to Los Angeles and JFK respectively, will be around in 5 years from now?

I do think that other airlines will pick up the slack here.

This should be a golden opportunity for United to add Chicago or San Francisco to Tel Aviv service on a 787-900. Perhaps El Al will use their upcoming 787s to serve Miami?

Will American restart their relationship with El Al? That would indeed be a nice consolation prize for losing this route.

HT: aussiebochur, via DDF

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Ending Today: Citi AAdvantage Executive Mastercard 75K Limited Time Offer

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

At some point today the Citi AAdvantage Executive Mastercard 75K limited time offer is slated to end.

You can find credit card offers by bank in the “other credit cards” tab at the top of this site. You’ll need to be on a non-mobile device to view this offer.

The card has a hefty $450 annual fee and a hefty $7,500 spend threshold. But after meeting the spend requirement you’ll have at least 82.5K miles which is more than enough for 2 round-trip awards to Europe or a round-trip award to Israel.

You’ll get a full Admirals Club membership that you can use regardless of what airline you’re flying for free access for you and your spouse and kids or you and 2 guests. Membership alone is normally $500/year and this is the only card that gives a full Admirals Club membership that works for access even when you’re not flying on American (The Citi Prestige card doesn’t give access if you’re not flying American).

The card also offers free Global Entry or Pre-Check membership, which are amazing time savers for even infrequent flyers.
You’ll also save time thanks to priority check-in, security, boarding that Executive cardholders can take advantage of.

American has an excellent award chart with awesome one-way values from the US48/Canada like:
-12.5K to Alaska (versus 17.5K on United)
-12.5K to the Caribbean and Mexico during off-peak times (17.5K on United)
-17.5K to Hawaii during off-peak times (22.5K on United)
-20K to South America during off-peak times (30K on United)
-20K to Europe between October-May (30K on United)
-25K to Japan/Korea during off-peak times (35K on United)
-55K business class to Hong Kong (70K-80K on United)
-67.5K first class to China (80K-120K on United)

-A business class flight on Cathay Pacific from JFK to Vancouver or on AA from JFK to LAX or SFO is 25K with no fuel surcharges (versus 37.5K BA Avios plus fuel surcharges.)
-A first class flight on Cathay Pacific from JFK to Vancouver or on AA from JFK to LAX or SFO is just 32.5K with no fuel surcharges (versus 50K BA Avios plus fuel surcharges.)

-A first class flight on Etihad from JFK to the Maldives in your own first class apartment with a shower onboard is 90K miles.

While a flight from the US to Israel via Philadelphia is 45K miles each way you can fly to Israel via Europe for just 40K miles each way between October-May and you can stopover in Europe for as long as you want in each direction.

From Israel there are many bargains as well, a few examples include:
-25K to the Maldives in business (35K on United)
-30K to Thailand in business (60K on United)
-45K to Australia in business (60K on United)

The card also offers up to 7.5K off round-trip awards to rotating destinations.

Fuel surcharges only apply for flights on British Airways. It’s worth noting that many AAdvantage partner awards (such as on like Air Tahiti Nui, Cathay Pacific, Etihad, JAL, LAN, and TAM) can only be booked by calling American to hold or book them.

Yes, the card carries a whopping $450 annual fee, though it’s refundable if you close it within 37 days of that being billed.  Sometimes the fee is billed on the first statement, sometimes on the second statement.   Sometimes the first statement comes right away, sometimes it takes a month. YMMV.

There are no foreign transaction fees with the card. You and 8 companions get a free bag when flying on American or USAirways as well as priority checkin, security, and boarding. You’ll also get 25% off in-flight food, beverages, and headsets.

If you spend $40K on the card in a calendar year you’ll get 10,000 bonus elite qualifying miles.

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2 Months Left To Use American Miles To Book Hawaiian Airlines Awards Between The Continental US And Hawaii

Sunday, August 30th, 2015

Update: Tomorrow is the last day to use AA miles to book travel on Hawaiian between the US48  and Hawaii.

Originally posted on 06/22:

Related posts:
-The Ultimate Hawaii Mileage Award Chart And Everything You Need To Know About The Hawaiian Islands

-20%-25% Off United Awards To Hawaii
—————————————————————————————————–
American announced over the weekend that 08/31 will be the last day to use American miles to book award on Hawaiian Airlines between the US mainland and Hawaii.

That was always USAirways’ policy and it brings the new USAirways’ run AA into their old policy. Other airlines like Delta and United have the same policy of allowing redemptions for Hawaiian intra-island flights, but not for flights between the US mainland and Hawaii.

You’ll still be able to fly on American or Alaska between the US mainland and Hawaii.

And you’ll still be able to use 5K AA miles for intra-Hawaii flights on Hawaiian (though those don’t come with free checked baggage as a DansDeals corporate booking would. For a Hawaiian ticket with 2 free checked bags per person and free standby on earlier flights you can email jj@dansdeals.com with the exact flights, dates, and time that you want, passengers names and dates of birth, and the price you found on hawaiianair.com to make a booking. A $6 per person per leg fee applies on intra-island flights.)

But it hurts as Hawaiian has good award availability to Hawaii and they have nonstop flights from JFK to Honolulu.

Nonstop award availability on Hawaiian nonstop from JFK to Honolulu:

hnl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And on the return as well:

hnl5

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

American charges 17.5K miles to fly in coach to Hawaii during off-peak travel dates (01/12-03/08 and 08/22-12/15) and 22.5K during peak season.

2 ironic things about that.

1. JFK to Honolulu is a longer flight than Philadelphia to Tel Aviv.  Yet it costs 61% less than it in miles:

45K miles for PHL-TLV on a 10:55 flight:

tlv2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

17.5K miles for JFK-HNL off-peak on a 11:15 flight:

hnl1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Hawaii off-peak isn’t aligned with the off peak dates for other regions (South America Region 2: March 1 – May 31, August 16 – November 30. Europe: October – May 15. Asia Region 1: October – April 30) and other regions overrule the peak Hawaii dates.

Which leads to situations where Honolulu-JFK costs 22.5K:

hnl3

 

 

 

 

 

But Honolulu-Paris (via JFK…) costs just 20K:

hnl4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Same goes for travel to South American and Asia.  That was far more useful before American stealthily eliminated stopovers on awards, but there are still some uses for that.

Luckily for those looking to travel on Hawaiian there’s another way.  Korean charges just 30K miles in coach or 60K miles in first class to fly round-trip on Hawaiian Airlines between the US mainland and Hawaii.

Korean charges the same rate to fly on Alaska Airlines to Hawaii and they charge even less to fly on Delta to Hawaii, just 25K in coach or 45K in first round-trip, though Delta availability is tough to come by.

You can transfer Chase points instantly to Korean at a 1:1 ratio or Starwood Starpoints to Korean at a 20K:25K ratio.

If you’re based on the west coast, the best value to Hawaii is with BA Avios at just 12.5K Avios each way on American or Alaska, though you need to call BA to book travel on Alaska to Hawaii.

Perhaps the biggest loss here is that we’ll lose AA.com’s excellent calendar award search to find Hawaiian award flights, which corresponded to what Korean phone agents are able to book.

At any rate, if you are wanting to use AA miles on Hawaiian you’ll have until 08/31/15 to book travel through 07/26/16.

HT: Emkay, via DDF

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American: LaGuardia To/From Miami Nonstop For $53 Each Way!

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.
Earn 3 points per dollar on airfare with the AMEX Premier Rewards Gold Card or the AMEX Business Gold Rewards Card.

Bookable on Priceline.

American Airlines tickets purchased today from Priceline are refundable until 11:29pm ET tomorrow.  Please see this post for directions on how to cancel these tickets.

-Limited seats are available on each date. Always search one-way for 1 seat and then work your way up to the number of seats you need in order to book as many seats on sale as you can.

American LGA-MIA $53.10 dates:
September 15, 16, 22, 23, 29, 30
October 6, 14, 20, 21, 27, 28
November 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18

American MIA-LGA $53.10 dates:
September 16, 22, 23, 29, 30
October 6, 7, 14, 20, 21, 27, 28
November 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18

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A Rare Sight: 2 Qantas First Class Saver Award Seats Nonstop From Los Angeles To Sydney Tonight

Monday, August 24th, 2015

Qantas first class awards are notoriously tough to find. Finding 2 less than 11 months in advance is exceedingly rare and booking more than 11 months out with AA miles requires a workaround. But if you can travel on a whim there are 2 seats above their A380 at 11:55PM nonstop from Los Angeles to Sydney.

They’ll set you back 72.5K AA miles each (less than the miles you can get from opening an AA Executive card), but they’re considered among the best first class seats in the sky. I flew Qantas First Class from Hong Kong to Melbourne and back as part of my 2010 round-the-world award, but hope to be able to try direct on their A380 one day. Alas I’m currently onboard a flight to Miami, so tonight’s not the night for me…

Post a comment if you grab them!

HT: mmm74, via DDF

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American: LaGuardia To/From Detroit Nonstop For $38.10 Each Way

Thursday, August 13th, 2015

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.
Earn 3 points per dollar on airfare with the AMEX Premier Rewards Gold Card or the AMEX Business Gold Rewards Card.

Bookable on Priceline. Priceline tickets purchased today are refundable until 11:29pm ET tomorrow.  Please see this post for directions on how to cancel these tickets.

-Limited seats are available on each date. Always search one-way for 1 seat and then work your way up to the number of seats you need in order to book as many seats on sale as you can.

Valid LaGuardia-Detroit dates:
August 31
September 1, 8, 9, 10, 12, 15, 16, 17, 21, 22, 23, 24, 29, 30
October 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 24, 26, 27, 28, 29, 31
November 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10, 11

Valid Detroit-LaGuardia dates:
September 1, 2, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14, 15, 17, 19, 21, 22, 23, 28, 29, 30
October 1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 24, 26, 27, 28, 29, 31
November 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9, 10, 11

HT: high end hobo, via DDF

—————————————————————————————————-

Join the 59,900+ people who follow @DansDeals on twitter and you’ll get a tweet when a deal is posted on DansDeals.com!
You can even have Twitter send you a text message whenever a new deal is posted.

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American: LaGuardia To/From Chicago Or Dallas Nonstop For $40.10 Each Way

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.
Earn 3 points per dollar on airfare with the AMEX Premier Rewards Gold Card or the AMEX Business Gold Rewards Card.

Bookable on Priceline. Priceline tickets purchased today are refundable until 11:29pm ET tomorrow.  Please see this post for directions on how to cancel these tickets.

-Limited seats are available on each date. Always search one-way for 1 seat and then work your way up to the number of seats you need in order to book as many seats on sale as you can.

LaGuardia-Chicago $40.10 dates:
August: 25
September: 1, 2, 8, 9, 12, 15, 16, 19, 22, 23, 26, 29, 30.
October: 3, 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 24, 27, 28, 31
November: 3, 4, 7, 10, 11, 14, 17, 18.

Chicago-LaGuardia $40.10 dates:
August: 19
September: 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 19, 22, 23, 26, 29, 30.
October: 3, 6, 7, 10, 14, 17, 20, 21, 24, 27, 28, 31.
November: 3, 4, 7, 10, 11, 14, 17, 18

LaGuardia-Dallas $40.10 dates:
August: 29
September: 1, 2, 9, 15, 16, 19, 22, 23, 29, 30.
October: 3, 6, 20, 21, 27, 28.
November: 3, 4, 7, 10, 11, 17, 18.

Dallas-LaGuardia $40.10 dates:
September: 9, 16, 22, 23, 29, 30.
October: 3, 6, 14, 20, 21, 27, 28, 31.
November: 3, 4, 10, 11, 14, 17, 18

HT: TFD

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Baltimore, Boston, Miami, Or Philadelphia To/From Los Angeles From $74.60 Each Way

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

Related: LaGuardia To/From Los Angeles For $74.60 Each Way
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American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.
Earn 3 points per dollar on airfare with the AMEX Premier Rewards Gold Card or the AMEX Business Gold Rewards Card.

Bookable on Priceline. Priceline tickets purchased today are refundable until 11:29pm ET tomorrow.  Please see this post for directions on how to cancel these tickets.

-Limited seats are available on each date. Always search one-way for 1 seat and then work your way up to the number of seats you need in order to book as many seats on sale as you can.

-Valid only on flights that connect in Chicago or Dallas.

Valid $82.60 Baltimore-Los Angeles dates:
August 18, 19, 22, 25, 26, 29
September 1, 2, 5, 8, 9, 12, 15, 16, 19, 22, 23, 26, 28, 29, 30
October 3, 5, 6, 7, 10, 13, 14, 17, 20, 21, 24, 26, 27, 28, 31
November 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 14, 17, 18

Valid $82.60 Los Angeles-Baltimore dates:
August 19, 22, 25, 29
September 1, 2, 9, 12, 15, 26, 29, 30
October 3, 6, 7, 10, 13, 14, 20, 21, 24, 27, 28, 31
November 3, 4, 7, 10, 11, 14, 17, 18.

Valid $74.60 Boston-Los Angeles dates:
August 25, 26, 29
September 1, 2, 5, 9, 12, 15, 16, 19, 22, 23, 26, 29, 30
October 3, 6, 7, 14, 17, 20, 21, 24, 27, 28, 31
November 3, 4, 6, 7, 10, 11, 14, 17, 18

Valid $74.60 Los Angeles-Boston dates:
September 5, 12, 15, 16, 19, 22, 23, 26, 29, 30
October 3, 6, 7, 13, 14, 17, 20, 21, 24, 27, 28, 31
November 3, 4, 7, 10, 11, 14, 17, 18

Valid $97.60 Miami-Los Angeles dates:
August: 25, 26.
September: 1, 2, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 29, 30.
October: 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 27, 28.
November: 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18.

Valid $97.60 Los Angeles-Miami dates:
August: 25, 26.
September: 1, 2, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23, 29, 30.
October: 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 27, 28.
November: 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18.

Valid $74.60 Philadelphia-Los Angeles dates:
August: 18, 19, 25, 26.
September: 1, 2, 8, 9, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 28, 29, 30.
October: 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 22.
November: 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18.

Valid $74.60 Los Angeles-Philadelphia dates:
August: 18, 25, 26, 31.
September: 1, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 22, 23, 29, 30.
October: 5, 6, 7, 12, 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, 28.
November: 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18.

Valid $102.60 Fort Lauderdale-Los Angeles dates:
August: 25, 26.
September: 1, 2, 15, 16, 22, 23, 29, 30.
October: 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 27, 28.
November: 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18.

Valid $102.60 Los Angeles-Fort Lauderdale dates:
August: 26.
September: 1, 2, 15, 22, 29.
October: 6, 13, 14, 20, 21, 27, 28.
November: 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18.

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HOT! American: LaGuardia To/From Los Angeles For $74.60 Each Way

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

Related: Baltimore, Boston, Miami, Or Philadelphia To/From Los Angeles From $74.60 Each Way
——————————————————————-
American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.
Earn 3 points per dollar on airfare with the AMEX Premier Rewards Gold Card or the AMEX Business Gold Rewards Card.

Bookable on Priceline. Priceline tickets purchased today are refundable until 11:29pm ET tomorrow.  Please see this post for directions on how to cancel these tickets.

-Limited seats are available on each date. Always search one-way for 1 seat and then work your way up to the number of seats you need in order to book as many seats on sale as you can.

-Valid only on flights that connect in Chicago or Dallas.

-You will earn 5,247 AA miles for this round-trip flight.

Valid $74.60 LGA-Los Angeles dates:
August 26, 29
September 1, 2, 5, 9, 15, 16, 19, 22, 23, 26, 29, 30
October 3, 6, 7, 10, 13, 14, 17, 20, 21, 24, 27, 28
November 2, 3, 4, 7, 10, 11, 14, 17, 18

Valid $74.60 Los Angeles-LGA dates:
September 12, 15, 16, 19, 22, 23, 26, 28, 29, 30
October 3, 5, 6, 7, 10, 13, 14, 17, 19, 20, 21, 24, 26, 27, 28, 31
November 7, 9, 10, 11, 14, 16, 17, 18

—————————————————————————————————-

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You can even have Twitter send you a text message whenever a new deal is posted.

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American/USAirways: Newark-Las Vegas For $92.10 Each Way, Newark-S. Diego For $120.10 Each Way

Wednesday, July 15th, 2015

American Express is a DansDeals.com advertiser.
Earn 3 points per dollar on airfare with the AMEX Premier Rewards Gold Card or the AMEX Business Gold Rewards Card.
————————————————————–

Bookable on Priceline. Priceline tickets from the USA are refundable until 11:29pm ET the day after purchase.

For best results search one-way for flight dates listed below:

Newark-Las Vegas $92.10 Valid Dates:
July 15, 21, 22
August 18, 19, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 31
September 1, 2, 6, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 28, 29, 30
October 5, 6, 7, 13, 14, 16, 20, 26, 27, 28
November 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 22, 23
December 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16
January 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 29, 30
February 2, 3, 6, 8, 9, 10, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29
March 1, 2, 8

Las Vegas-Newark $92.10 Valid Dates:
July 15, 21, 22, 29
August 4, 11, 12
September 1, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 22, 23, 29
October 6, 7, 13, 20, 21, 22, 24, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31
November 3, 4, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 17, 18, 19, 26, 27
December 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 24, 25
January 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30
February 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 13, 16, 17, 18, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 29
March 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8

Newark-S. Diego $120.10 Valid Dates:
July 15, 21, 28
August 18, 19, 21, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 31
September 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 28, 29
October 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13, 14, 17, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 31
November 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 23
December 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15
January 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31
February 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29
March 1, 2, 3, 8

S. Diego-Newark $120.10 Valid Dates:
July 15, 21, 22, 28, 29
August 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 25, 26, 27, 28
September 1, 3, 9, 10, 12, 14, 15, 16, 20, 21, 22, 23, 26, 27, 28, 29
October 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 12, 13, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31
November 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, 17, 18
December 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15
January 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31
February 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 13, 20, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27
March 1, 2, 5, 8

HT: pcgeek and CRONY, via DDF and TFD

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Will American’s New Service To Sydney Open Up Any Premium Cabin Award Space?

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

Update, 3pm: American will indeed add daily Los Angeles-Sydney service on their new 77W aircraft featuring lie-flat business and first class effective 12/17/15. Qantas will also be adding S. Francisco-Sydney service effective 12/20/15.  Tickets are not yet on sale for either route.

————————————————————————————————

American is poised to announce at 3pm that they will finally begin flying from Los Angeles to Sydney, duplicating a route currently served by Delta, Qantas, United, and Virgin Australia.  Well, they didn’t announce that they will be flying that route or even that they will fly to Australia, but the Kangaroo in their tweet is a bit of a giveaway and it’s only logical route for them to serve.

Oh how I wish they flew to Australia 10 years ago when I had several American systemwide free tickets thanks to the AVNYC promotion…

 

Park Hyatt Sydney and Sydney Opera House. Picture taken from Sydney Harbour Bridge:

 

Business and first class saver award space between the US and Australia can be difficult to find.

Delta rarely has saver award space on their own planes, though you can use 80K Delta miles for a one-way business class award on Virgin Australia, which has decent availability.

United has decent premium cabin award space within a few weeks of travel on their own planes, and the value is pretty good, 40K coach, 70K business, and 80K first.  United also allows you to route from the US to Australia via Asia and allows for a free stopover and a free open jaw.  That means you can get very creative at opening award space as long as you don’t mind the extra travel time.

If you’re already in a place like Hong Kong (say you used 67.5K American miles to fly in first class on Cathay Pacific) you can actually take advantage of one of the best awards in the entire United system.  It’s just 30K miles to fly business class or 40K miles to fly first class from Hong Kong to Australia via Thailand.  In Bangkok you’ll be shuttled from your plane to a free hour-long massage in the Thai first class lounge.  On a round-trip you can even stopover in Thailand and have an open jaw between Sydney and Melbourne for free.

It only costs 37.5K American miles in coach, 62.K in business, or 72.5K in first class to fly from the US to Australia.  However American has much stricter routing rules, not allowing to you to fly via Asia to Australia without purchasing a 2nd award.  American doesn’t currently fly to Australia, which leaves Qantas as the only good option for which you can redeem American miles on.

It wasn’t always this way.  In 2010 I redeemed for an around-the-world OneWorld award in first class and wrote about our experiences in Phuket, Chiang Mai, Melbourne/Great Ocean Road, and Sydney, though I never did finish writing about Tasmania, Hamilton Island, and Hong Kong. We flew Qantas first class from Hong Kong to Melbourne as part of that 20 segment journey around the world.  That award allowed you to route however you wanted but the option was eliminated as part of the AAdvantage MAAsacre (That was just part 1. Parts 2 and 3 will come later this year or next with the switch to revenue based mileage earning, a devalued award chart, and possibly systemwide upgrades that have a fare class requirement)

Unfortunately Qantas is notoriously stingy with the premium cabin award space. They do sometimes release some space within a week of the flight, but for the most part they only release award space 355 days before the flight when they open their schedule.  American only allows booking 330 days into the future, meaning that people with British Airways Avios or Qantas miles can snap up those award seats before people with American miles can.  However British Airways and Qantas both charge insane amounts of miles and fuel surcharges for premium cabin awards to Australia, making that a poor solution.  One workaround would be to book an award with British Airways 355 days into the future, pay the $55 cancellation penalty, and hope that the award goes back into inventory so that you can rebook it with American miles.  But aside from the $55 gamble, that approach takes a whole lot of BA Avios, 2 one-way first class seats from Los Angeles to Melbourne would require that you are sitting on 400K Avios in addition to 145K American miles.

It seems from American’s tweet that this will be a joint venture with Qantas:

aa1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is it realistic to hope that American will release premium cabin award space on a joint venture with Qantas? At this point we don’t even know if the route will be served by a 77W with first class or by a 772 or 787 with just business class.  Either way there probably won’t be much award space, but hopefully it will be more than Qantas has.  American’s top-tier elites are sure to be delighted with the new route, thanks to their systemwide upgrades working on a more valuable route than ever before.

The best odds for premium cabin award space may be hoping for a glitch when they load the inventory for the flights.

Twice earlier this year we saw glitches open up tons of premium cabin award space on tough routes like Tel Aviv.  I booked 6 awards on that glitch for us to fly with our in-laws to Israel for Purim in business class using American miles.

Can we hope for another glitch like that to occur when this route goes for sale?

If I can hope that the Cavs can pull off an against-all-odds miracle to bring Cleveland its first championship in 51 years, then surely we can hope for wide open award space down under as well 🙂

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10 Things You Need To Know For The Final Month Of The USAirways Dividend Miles Program

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

Update: 03/24: Points 1, 2, and 3 have been updated with the program end dates.

Originally posted on 03/13:

1. The USAirways Dividend Miles Program will be combined with the American AAdvantage program on 03/28.

2. Tomorrow, 03/25, will be the final day to book USAirways awards.

3. You can use Points.com to transfer American Express Membership Rewards points to USAirways via Air Canada Aeroplan.  You will get 84,011 USAirways miles for trading in 100,000 Aeroplan miles. This option will be going away shortly.

USAirways has been removed from Points.com as of 03/24!

4. American requires that Starwood point transfers must have the same name on the Starwood account as on the AA account in order to transfer Starpoints to miles.
USAirways does not require that the names match, you can transfer points to anyone.
Both offer 25,000 miles for every 20,000 Starpoints transferred.

So if you do want to transfer points to a friend go ahead and transfer Starpoints to their USAirways account now.

5. USAirways allows for a free stopover on award tickets. American does not.  Stopovers effectively allow you to travel to 2 places for as long as you want for the price of 1.

6. USAirways has incredibly generous routing rules.  American generally doesn’t allow you to transit a 3rd region when redeeming miles.

In other words if you wanted to fly from Tel Aviv to Hong Kong via Dusseldorf in Cathay Pacific first class you would need to redeem 2 separate AAdvantage awards. USAirways on the other hand would allow that routing on one award. At least for the next few weeks.

People have redeemed awards from the US to Asia with a stopover in Tel Aviv in business class for just 110K USAirways miles round-trip.  No chance of that happening with American.

Same goes for awards between North America and Australia. USAirways allows you to fly via Asia to Australia for 110K miles in business class with a free stopover.  On American you can’t fly to Australia via Asia unless you book 2 awards.

USAirways awards are also manually priced, and DDF members have been able to fly to Brazil with a connection in Mexico for just the price of a ticket to Mexico.  Others have flown to South Africa with a connection in Tel Aviv for 40K miles round-trip…

7. The USAirways credit card will be no longer be available to apply for once the program combine.

8. The 5,000 mile per award ticket discount for being a USAirways cardholder will be going away.

9. It’s still unknown if AAdvantage will launch a new award chart with the program merger.

10. USAirways sweet spots like off-peak coach awards to the Caribbean for 25,000 miles round-trip (20K for cardholders) and to Europe or South America for 35,000 miles round-trip (30K for cardholders) will be going away with the end of the program.

Other sweet spots, like 120K miles to fly to Asia on Cathay Pacific first class, will go away as well.

It’s been painful to lose valuable programs like Airtran, America West, Continental, and Northwest over the past decade.  The airlines have been able to push through lots of devaluations and I don’t doubt that a big one is coming for American this year.

But for the most part the age of consolidation in the US is over.  American, Delta, Southwest, and United are the victors and won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

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American Will Honor $442 Business Class Tickets To China; From Aurora Borealis Hunting To Posting Deals…

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

This past Tuesday night I managed to type up a post while on an Aurora Borealis hunt about $442 business class tickets to China on American.

The base fare on the tickets was $0, which American initially tried using as a reason to not honor the fares.  But in the end all purchased tickets will be honored.

American will not be honoring tickets if you only held the reservation, though some people who had their holds cancelled were able to call up and have it reinstated.

Bottom line is, don’t rely on award holds during price mistakes. Book first, ask questions second. And don’t forget to book a seat for your infant!
Another lesson from past mistakes is to fly quickly if possible.

During United’s 4 mile glitch to Hong Kong and the London first class glitch, those that traveled right away (there are trip reports posted on DDF) had their full itineraries honored. In 2012 Mimi and I were en-route to Buenos Aires within 2 hours of booking first class glitch tickets. Though that takes a lot flexibility.

If you landed business class tickets to China and you have or know of anyone that has a systemwide upgrade you can even upgrade the ticket to first class, as American has no minimum fare requirement on their systemwide upgrades.

In case you’re interested about my half of the story and why my post on the deal was rather succinct.

I was still reeling from missing out on a DDF Photography DO to Iceland that took place in late February. DDF photography guru “Something Fishy” leads Photo DOs that are legendary. Last January 4 DDF members flew to Cleveland where we took incredible pictures during the polar vortex before I grilled up some steaks for the DO.

We had an awesome trip to Israel, but I missed out on this bucket list experience:

 

 

 

So on Tuesday when I read that the northern lights would be viewable due to a solar storm and clear conditions I went out to the country looking for them.  And yes, I had a laptop with me just in case there would be a deal.

Ironically my brother alerted me to the deal on DDF and it was posted by none other than Something Fishy who referenced Lucky’s post on the deal. I’ve already heard from several people who got tickets to China thanks to the post, so having the laptop proved worthwhile!

I did get some pictures which of course aren’t in the same realm as Something Fishy’s otherworldly pictures.  Then again mine were taken in Cleveland, not Iceland, and I don’t know a thing about post-processing.

Ever so faint, but it is there:

???????????????????????????????

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

???????????????????????????????

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One starry night:

???????????????????????????????

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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American-USAirways Merger Takes Another Step: Reciprocal Anytime Awards, Waived Phone Fees For Awards Not Bookable Online; Flying Coast To Coast For 8,750 Miles With No Booking Fees

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2015

The American and USAirways mileage programs will combine in the 2nd quarter of this year.  Until then expect to see more news like this as the programs align:

Effective immediately you can redeem USAirways miles for American anytime award flights and you can redeem American miles for USAirways anytime award flights.

In other words previously you could only use 45K American miles for a one-way USAirways coach flight to Israel when there was saver award space. Now you can redeem 45K, 65K, or 85K American miles to get that flight any day. In business the American rates are 67.5K, 125K, or 155K each way.

Additionally American is taking on USAirways’ policy of not charging a phone booking fee when an award can’t be booked online.  Phone fees for awards that are bookable online will go up to $30 domestic/$40 international.

This is helpful when booking awards on airlines like Cathay Pacific that can only be booked over the phone.

It’s also very helpful for reduced mileage awards that are a benefit of having a Citi AA card.

The Citi AA card is currently offering 50,000 miles with the fee waived for the first year.

Cardholders can book a one-way coach award for 8,750 miles instead of 12.5K miles and a one-way first class award for 21,250 miles instead of 25K to select rotating destinations.  There are dozens of valid destinations in the US and Canada.

Previously those award were hit with a phone booking fee which took away some of their value, but now they are no longer subject to that fee.

The advantage of these awards over BA Avios is that they allow for free connections.  That opens up hidden city possibilities.  While Los Angeles isn’t a valid destination, Monterey, CA is.

You can book a flight from JFK-Los Angeles-Monterey for 8,750 miles and just get off the plane in Los Angeles.  Of course that won’t work if you have checked luggage, but you can always have one person book a ticket to LA for 12.5K miles and check the bags while the rest of the family books tickets to Monterey for 8,750 miles.

Of course the same thing would work for a flight from NYC-Los Angeles-S. Francisco as that is also an eligible destination.

Newark is a valid return city, so you everyone can book a return flight from Los Angeles-Newark for 8,750 miles.

Note that some AA agents will actually let you fly anywhere in the US/Canada for 17.5K miles round-trip as long as you are departing from one of the valid destination airports. YMMV!

HT: GTR and Myccrabbi, via DDF

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HURRY! Incredible First Class Award Availability On American’s New First Class From Los Angeles-London

Sunday, November 2nd, 2014

Update: American has pulled the availability…Gotta be quick with this stuff!
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American is adding a 2nd daily flight from Los Angeles to London on their brand new 777-300ER (77W) aircraft on 03/28/15.

The 77W is equipped with just 8 seats in first class and almost every date between 03/28/15 and 05/31/15 has 7 first class seats available for saver awards in both directions.  This is an unprecedented amount of first class award space for an American flight to Europe.

The 77W offers fully lie-flat flagship seating with a chair that swivels so that you can have the seat face the window and work at a desk and a bed that measures 6 foot 8.  There is Wi-Fi and AC/USB power at every seat and there’s an open bar with shacks and drinks.  See more here.

American and USAirways both charge 125K miles for a first class saver award between the US and Europe.  Taxes and the UK APD fee will add $324.50.

American allows for one-way awards for 62.5K miles and a one-way from LA to London will have just $5.60 tax.  Compare that to a paid one-way flight for $12,624. That’s a value of 20.2 cents per mile.

USAirways only sells round-trip awards and charges a $50 award processing fee, though with USAirways miles you can get a free stopover in London and continue to fly on to somewhere else in Europe for the same amount of miles.

Or you can fly on to Tel Aviv for 180K miles round-trip, though if you connect to a British Airways flight fuel surcharges for the London-Tel Aviv flight will apply.  USAirways would allow a free stopover in London, while a stopover with American miles would bump up the rate to 192.5K miles.

You can transfer 20K Starwood Starpoints into 25K American or USAirways miles.

Note that you won’t want to use BA Avios for this flight as they add heavy fuel surcharges to American flights that aren’t wholly within the western hemisphere.

Photos of AA’s 77W first class from DDF member AJK:

HT: Drago, via DDF and Lucky.

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When Will The Other Shoe Drop For AAdvantage?

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

American announced earlier today that pretty much nothing will change for the new combined AAdvantage elite program in Q2 of 2015.   Elites will now be upgraded on sub-500 mile flights where nobody cares about being upgraded anyway. USAirways elites will have to get used to a new upgrade system and will lose their old frequent flyer numbers. And miles from USAirways will be automatically moved to American on a yet to be determined date in Q2. But that’s about it, no major surprises there.

As it stands American is the only of the remaining 3 network carriers to not have a spend requirement to earn elite status. And while United went through a painful devaluation earlier this year and Delta continues to make sure their miles are the worst in the industry, American hasn’t had a devaluation to their sAAver award chart in years.

I still expect to see an AAdvantage devaluation for 2015.  But for now, we’ll continue to hold our breath.

Reminder: Don’t forget that just 3 days remain to use AA miles to book tickets on El Al and that the churnable US Airways® Premier World MasterCard® will only be available for a limited time longer before it’s discontinued for good.

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American-El Al Partnership Ending 10/31/14

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

Update: Just 1 week left to use your AA miles to fly on El Al. Have you booked a trip since this announcement? Hit the comments!

Originally posted on 09/24:

On November 19th I made several predictions about the American-USAirways merger. Several have already come true.

-As referenced in #3 and #4, the American OneWorld round-the-world award chart was killed and USAirways started collecting fuel surcharges on British Airways and has already killed some off-peak awards.

-And I wrote in #9,

“Beware that El Al may decide to sever its relationship with American if they become a competitor and you may no longer be able to use American miles on El Al. Though if El Al would do that they would lose codeshare access to other US cities that they get from American though they can always set one up with an airline like JetBlue.”

And unfortunately that’s come to fruition as well.

“Effective November 1, 2014, flights taken on El Al will not accrue AAdvantage miles due to the discontinuation of American’s frequent flyer relationship with EL AL.

All award travel on EL AL must be booked and ticketed by October 31, 2014. Travel is valid one year after ticket date, and must be completed by October 31, 2015. No changes to the EL AL segments are allowed during that period.”

El Al used to be partners with Delta and that relationship ended when Delta started flights from Atlanta to Tel Aviv. Eventually those flights shifted to JFK.

American’s subsidiary USAirways of course flies to Tel Aviv via Philadelphia. The best way to book that flight is with less than 40K Starpoints round-trip via a transfer to LAN.

As American works out their issues with the former TWA employees who were stiffed in Israel they will surely launch more flights to Israel from JFK and Miami.

Had the United-Continental merger not gone through then I think El Al would be announcing a partnership with United today. Alas it did and United flies to Israel as well thanks to absorbing Continental’s flights. Which means there are no major North American carriers remaining to partner up with. Air Canada, Delta, and United all are competitors and all have a better business class product than El Al.

I still think a JetBlue partnership may occur, but that will likely be a codeshare-only relationship and not a frequent flyer relationship.

If you have AA miles and want to book a trip to Israel do it now before award inventory is completely wiped out by other AA mileage hoarders. Don’t wait for 10/31 to book a trip.

There is still time to transfer Starpoints to American to book flights on El Al, that transfer typically takes a few days.

You’ll need 45K miles in coach and 67.5K miles in business each way to fly nonstop from North America to Israel on El Al. El Al has flights from JFK, Los Angeles, Newark, and Toronto to Tel Aviv.

If you stop in Europe that price can drop to 40K if you fly between 10/15-05/15. There’s a lot more info on hacking that award that in footnote *** at the end of this post.

A flight from Europe to Tel Aviv on El Al is 20K miles in coach and 30K in business.

Asia is a real bargain. Tel Aviv to Asia is just 22.5K miles in coach and business is just 30K. El Al flies nonstop to cities like Bangkok and Hong Kong. Their business class isn’t anything to write home about, but 30K is still a great bargain. In fact I just helped my parents book a trip from the US-Europe-Asia-Israel-US using AA miles with a flight on El Al in business class from the far east to Israel.

And El Al was a good way of getting from Israel to Australia for just 30K in coach and 45K in business as you can route from the Middle East to Australia via Bangkok and Hong Kong. Or you can use a 60K first class award to connect to a Qantas First class flight in Asia. Or you can use 30K AA miles to fly business to Bangkok and 30K United miles to fly Thai Business or 40K United miles to fly Thai First down under.  Thai First even comes with a free hour long massage in their Bangkok lounge.

Here is the rest of the AA award chart. You can always combine flights on El Al with other AA OneWorld and non-alliance partners on the same award.

Note that American agents often can only see 2 El Al awards at a time, so have them grab those 2 seats and then have the agent check for 2 more or just call back.

Some agents don’t know how to properly search for El Al award seats due to their confusing class codes (business on El Al is the same class as coach on other airlines, leave it to the Israelis to come up with the one 😀 ), so you may need to use some HUCA.

AA.com doesn’t show El Al awards, so you’ll need a Matmid account to research availability online.

Of course earlier this year HAS Advantage points stopped transferring to El Al as well.

Stay tuned for a post on the best remaining ways to use miles to fly on El Al in a post-AA and post-HAS era.

HT: chucksterace, via DDF

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20,000 Starpoints Transfers Into 30,000 USAirways Miles This Month; Where Should You Transfer?

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

-USAirways Offer Linky
-SPG-US Transfer Linky

Yesterday I wrote about the promotion for transferring Starpoints into American miles.  Turns out there’s also a promotion for turning Starpoints into USAirways miles through July 31st with the same rules I wrote about yesterday for the American promo.

Sure, in 2015 the American and USAirways programs will be combined. But in the meantime there are several differences:

1. You can transfer Starpoints into anyone’s USAirways account, the names don’t have to match (though this can change at any time). Transfers into American require matching names.

2. USAirways requires round-trip award travel while American sells one-way award travel.

3. USAirways allows for a free stopover while American doesn’t (with the exception of when 2 awards price out lower than 1 award like US-Europe-Israel off-peak)

4. American allows free date changes on award tickets. USAirways charges $150 for that.  American charges $150 to cancel a ticket but just $25 to cancel additional awards at the same time. USAirways charges a flat $150 per ticket. American charges a phone fee for tickets that can’t be booked online while USAirways waives the phone fee, however USAirways charges a $25-$50 award processing fee which applies even for tickets made online.

5. American has very strict routing rules. You can’t fly to Australia via Asia for example. USAirways has much more lenient routing rules.  American also requires a “paid published routing” on awards, USAirways does not.  American’s system prices awards correctly. USAirways has booked several 40K awards to Israel and South Africa for DD readers like this one among several other “bugs” I’ve heard of.

6. American can book travel on El Al, USAirways can’t.

7. USAirways charges 50,000 miles for domestic first awards on 3 class planes, such as JFK-Los Angeles, JFK-S. Francisco, and Miami-Los Angeles on American as well as JFK-Vancouver on Cathay Pacific.  That rate goes up to 65,000 if you book after July 31st which is the same rate American charges.

8. USAirways charges just 120,000 miles to fly first class to Asia on Cathay Pacific, the biggest bargain in the entire mileage game. People have even been able to book the 110K business class ticket to Asia with a stopover in Israel along the way.

9. If you have a Barclays US Airways Premier World MasterCard you can get a 5,000 mile discount on USAirways awards (besides for free checked bags and pre-boarding). That means round-trip domestic awards are just 20,000 miles, off-peak coach awards to the Caribbean for cardholders are just 20,000 miles round-trip, and off-peak awards to Europe or South America are just 30,000 miles round-trip if you fly on USAirways. Off peak First Class/Envoy awards to the Carribean are just 45,000 miles and to South America are just 55,000 miles round-trip if you fly on USAirways.

10. Round-trip coach to Israel is 80K, business to Israel is 120K, and first class to Israel is 180K. With the card USAirways flights to Israel are 75K in coach and 115K in business.  On American round-trip coach nonstop to Israel is 90K coach, 135K business, 180K first.

HT: Freddie, via DDF

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20,000 Starpoints Transfers Into 30,000 American AAdvantage Miles This Month

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

-AA Offer Linky
SPG-AA Transfer Linky

From now through July 31st you’ll earn 30,000 AA miles for every 20,000 Starpoints transferred. Normally you would earn 25,000 miles for a 20,000 Starpoint transfer.

You can transfer up to 60K Starpoints per day to maximize the bonus (which would earn 90K AA miles per day).

No, this isn’t like 2010 when 20K Starpoints became 33,750 AA miles and those miles counted towards lifetime AA elite status. And AA still allowed free stopovers and had a killer OneWorld round-the-world award chart.  No, those days are long gone and are never coming back.  But take what you can get.

Note that AA is notorious in zealously shutting people’s account down if there’s even a suspicion that miles in it were sold or bartered.  They also shut down people’s account without warning or appeal for manufacturing signup bonus threshold spend on their credit cards by dabbling in refundable tickets like some unscrupulous brokers are known to do to unsuspecting prey.

American’s award chart is by far the most generous out there, and it will be hit with a major devaluation in early 2015 when their program is merged with USAirways.

In the meantime there are some great values to be had, like 55K in business or 67.5K in first on Cathay Pacific one-way to/from Hong Kong.
-You can fly nonstop on El Al to Israel for 45K coach or 67.5K business.
-Between 10/15-05/15 you can fly to Israel with a free stopover in Europe for 40K in coach.
-Between 10/15-05/15 you can fly to Europe for just 20K in coach each way.
-Between 03/01-05/31 and 08/16-11/30 you can fly to South America for just 20K in coach.
-Between 01/12-03/08 and 08/22-12/15 you can fly to Hawaii for just 17.5K in coach.
-Between 10/01-04/30 you can fly to Japan or Korea for just 25K in coach.
-A flight between Tel Aviv and the Maldives is just 17.5K coach, 25K business, 35K first.
-A flight between Tel Aviv and Thailand or Hong Kong is just 22.5K coach, 30K business, 40K first.
-A flight between Tel Aviv and Australia is just 30K coach, 45K business, 60K first.

There are only major fuel surcharges for flying on British Airways, but there are plenty of other partners to choose from to avoid them.

HT: AJK, via DDF

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AAdvantage MAAsacre News Continues To Trickle Out

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Part 1: American Modifying AAnytime Award Chart Rates
Part 2: The Other Shoe Drops: American Eliminates Free Stopovers On Awards
Part 3: The Unannounced MAAsacre Continues
———————————————————-
The new American is at best clueless, though I’d just call it deceitful.  What a shame the government didn’t make good on their threat to block USelessAirways’ CEO Doug Parker from taking over American.

Clueless because they don’t know how to just give all the bad news in one shot.  They’ve updated different parts of their website without any announcement, leaving us to try to figure out the damage.  Just rip off the band-aid in one-shot please!

Deceitful because it’s wrong to make changes without giving prior warning.  That’s not loyalty, that’s punishment.

Deceitful because they emailed everyone this press release which makes the masses think that good things are happening.  They make everything sound great when the only mildly good news here is that the USAirways credit card will finally play catch-up and give free luggage.

The latest bad news:
-AA award ticketing fees for international tickets booked over the phone will climb from $25 to $35 per ticket. These fees are mandatory for tickets that can’t be booked online like flights on El Al and Cathay Pacific.
-AAdvantage Gold and USAirways Silver members will only get 1 free checked bag when flying AA, the same as any AA credit card holder.
-Alaska MVP members will go from having 2 free bags when flying AA to apparently not getting any free bags.
-Full fare passengers will go from having 2 free bags when flying AA to not getting any free bags.
-AAnytime award passengers (who just got hit by massive increases) will go from having 2 free bags when flying AA to not getting any free bags.
-AAdvantage Platinums flying on USAirways will go from having 3 free bags to having 2 free bags.
-USAirways Golds and Platinums flying on USAirways will go from having 3 free bags to having 2 free bags.

Unannounced changes are wrong: #AAdvantageMAAsacre

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