Category Archive for 'AA'

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

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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
———————————————————————
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.

—————————————————————————————————-

Join the 59,400+ 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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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:

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t miss another deal: Join the 49,300+ 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-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!
———————————————————————
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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The Unannounced MAAsacre Continues

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

More nasty surprises since the elimination of stopovers and new AAnytime award chart I covered in the wee hours of the moring:

1. On the USAirways side of the airline they have updated their partner award chart by raising the business class award from the US to North Asia from 90K to 110K round-trip.  This was a real redemption sweet spot, especially since joining Oneworld with that rate working for Cathay Pacific.  Bizarrely though, first class remains a real bargain, unchanged at just 120K.  Even more bizarrely other awards like Caribbean/Mexico/Central America to South Asia remain at 90K in business class.

Their High level award has also been split into 2 levels for travel starting in June. This I could care less about.

2. American has eliminated their aspirational OneWorld Explorer/Round-The-World award.

I was able to take a 16 flight segment first class round-the-world tour back in 2010 off of their awesome, yet underutilized Explorer award chart.

aa syd

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Never got around to finishing those trip notes, though I did cover Khao Lak , Chiang Mai , Melbourne , and Sydney.

And now it’s gone. Completely unannounced.  At least United (which does still offer a round-the-world award) had the courtesy of letting us know several months ahead of their devaluation. This is just wrong. #AAdvantageMAAsacre

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The Other Shoe Drops: American Eliminates Free Stopovers On Awards

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Ever since American started allowing one-way awards they have allowed for a free stopover at the North American international gateway. That meant 2 free stopovers on a round-trip award.

That policy created all kinds of loopholes.  If you were flying from Tel Aviv to JFK it allowed you to add on a free ticket to anywhere in the US50/Canada at any point over the next year.  Then you could fly back from say Kauai or Los Angeles to JFK and onto Tel Aviv anytime in the next year as well for just the price of the US-Tel Aviv award.

I’ve had a lot of fun at DansDeals Seminars over the past few years demonstrating just how far you could take that by combining awards and transforming 2 peak one-way awards that may have cost 52.5K or 55K miles into 1 off-peak award costing just 20K or 25K miles by using stopovers.

Of course people will say that bloggers have killed another deal, while others will be mad that I never explicitly made a post spelling out this stuff in full detail.  In the end I felt that a seminar was a good medium to convey these kinds of tips with illustrated pictures and away from the prying eyes of the airlines.  Though slowly but surely these loopholes are being plugged.

DDF member PlatinumGuy was the first to report last week that stopovers were going to be eliminated.  He called it the first major hit of the American/USAirways merger.  As of today with the launch of the new American AAnytime award chart it seems that they have indeed quietly taken away the ability to take any stopovers on an award.

I’ve confirmed this on AA.com as well as with several phone reps.   Another one bites the dust.

For now USAirways still allows for a free stopover, though they require you to book a round-trip award.  Other airlines, like Air Canada, Delta, and United still allow for a free stopover on a round-trip award as well. Alaska even allows for a free stopover on a one-way award.

You can still have up to 15 stopovers on an OneWorld Explorer/Round-The-World award ticket booked with American miles.

American provided no official notice of this rule change or of the new AAnytime award chart changes. Enjoy the lucrative SAAver award chart still offered by American and USAirways while you can as they’re probably going to change that one day as well without warning.  Though hopefully that won’t happen until the programs are combined, most likely in 2015.

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American Modifying AAnytime Award Chart Rates

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

I’ve never redeemed miles for an AAnytime award, but American did have the best value AAnytime award chart, charging only double miles to book an award without capacity controls.  Personally I don’t care too much about the AAnytime award chart so I’m not too worked up over changes to it.

Here is the old award chart which remains in effect for travel through 05/31.

Effective for travel starting 06/01 this new award chart will go into place. The cheaper MileSAAver award rates remain unchanged but AAnytime award are split into at least 2 levels.

On some routes the AAnytime changes are minor.  For example coach AAnytime within the US48 goes from being 25K each way to being either 20K or 30K each way.  Business AAnytime within the US48 goes from being 50K each way to being either 45K or 55K each way.  However First AAnytime within the US48 is hit hard, going from being 65K each way to being either 85K or 95K each way.  First AAnytime is only for airplanes with 3 cabins like JFK to LAX and SFO, most domestic first class is sold as business.

For flights to Europe coach AAnytime goes from being 60K each way to being either 45K or 65K each way. The premium cabins are harder hit. Business AAnytime goes from being 100K each way to being either 110K or 135K each way. First AAnytime goes from being 125K each way to being either 140K or 175K each way.

Of course partner awards aren’t effected as those only have the MileSAAver level anyway, which remains unchanged.

Again, for anyone that normally redeems at the lowest levels, nothing will change here. I don’t think it’s fair to compare this change to Delta’s upcoming 5 tier award system.  Delta rarely has availability in the lower tiers and I don’t trust that they ever will.  American will continue to have peak and off-peak MileSAAver awards as they always have and I fully expect that American will continue to offer the same about of MileSAAver availability that they have in the past.

HT: Yosef and Lucky

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6 Cards=600K And Counting…

Monday, March 31st, 2014

The biggest card bonus out there now is the 100K bonus on the Citi AAdvantage Executive card.

I first learned about it and wrote about it on January 28th.

Since then my wife and I have already gotten 400K bonus miles with 2 cards each and just yesterday we were approved for our 3rd card each. That will bring our total to 600K bonus miles.  It’s more than enough miles for 2 people to take 16 flights in first class on an around-the-world OneWorld ticket. Been there, done that already.

Tidbits worth knowing:

-Yes, you need to figure out how to spend $10K in a short period of time. So this isn’t for everyone. If you’re looking for big bonuses with less spending take a look at this post.

-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.

-You get a $200 statement credit which posts after you spend $200 on anything.

-Lots of people have reported that they had their American mileage account permanently closed with all miles forfeited for gaming this card by buying and cancelling refundable tickets.

-The miles sometimes post on the first statement after completing spending and sometimes don’t post until the 2nd statement after completing the spending. YMMV.

-Generally speaking you can apply for 1 Citi card per week and 2 per rolling 60 day period.

-I got lucky by racking up 3 million lifetime miles with American and getting lifetime Platinum status before 2011 when they stopped counting credit card miles towards lifetime status.  If they still counted it that way I’m pretty sure there would be a whole lot more lifetime Plats around this year 😀

Stay thirsty, my friends 😉

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Earn American AAdvantage Miles On Facebook: Extend Your Mileage Expiration Date

Friday, March 21st, 2014

Earn American AAdvantage Miles On Facebook

Play trivia games and earn AA miles.

I maintain an extra Facebook account with no friends for apps like this where you have to share your complete friend list and more.  You can skip having them post on your wall, but in the games they will offer you more miles to do that.

Frankly it’s probably not worth most people’s time. Each game/trivia earns just 50 to 100 miles.  Though more importantly for some, the miles will extend the expiration date of all of your banked miles for another 18 months. But who knows when they will get around to crediting miles earned from this promotion  Wondering when your other miles expire here’s a chart. And here’s a quick and easy way to extend them.

All together you can earn about 1,000 miles if you are pretty bored and complete everything. You can also earn more miles by flying on specific paid flights.

Here are the answers for the AA trivia that earns a whopping 50 miles:
-330
-DFW, LAX, JFK, MIA, ORD, CLT, PHL, PHX
-American Eagle
-http://www.aa.com/findyourway
-All of the above

HT: jmansour, via DDF

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Discounted American Awards: Las Vegas And Los Angeles

Thursday, February 6th, 2014

Update:
-Here is the link for the Las Vegas promo details.
-Here is the link for the Los Angeles promo details.
The discounts are valid for bookings made by 02/27
.
———————————————-
I can’t seem to find any promotion details yet, but American is having some discounted award specials right now:

-Connecting or nonstop flights to or from the US48 and Las Vegas through 04/04 are pricing out at 10K miles each way instead of 12.5K miles each way.

-Nonstop flights to or from the US48 and Los Angeles through 04/04 are pricing out at 10K miles each way instead of 12.5K miles each way.
Cities with nonstop American service to Los Angeles include: Albuquerque, Aspen, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Denver, El Paso, Eugene, Fayetteville, Fresno, Hartford, Houston, Indianapolis, Las Vegas, Miami, Monterey, Nashville, Newark, NYC (JFK), Oklahoma City, Orlando, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Raleigh/Durham, Redmond, Reno, S. Barbara, S. Diego, S. Francisco, S. Jose, S. Louis, Sacramento, Salt Lake City, Santa Fe, Tucson, Vail, Washington (DCA/IAD), West Palm Beach.

Find the full terms of this promotion or more valid cities? Post a comment!

HT: rapsjr, via DDF

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A Sad, Sad Day For ATL, CLE, DCA, And MSP Flyers

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

Within hours of British Airways launching the Avios program in November of 2011 I noted how the 4.5K short-haul flights like from LaGuardia-Cleveland were real bargains.

There are currently 4 daily round-trip flights between Cleveland and LaGuardia but they will soon kill the route thanks to the USAirways merger.

No word on the status of the 1 daily flight between Cleveland and JFK, but that’s typically tough to get on an award and if the flight stays on it will likely become near impossible.  Maybe if we’re lucky we’ll see CLE-JFK gain a daily frequency but it seems unlikely.  There’s just too much competition on the route with 3 daily Delta flights from CLE-LGA, 8 United flights from CLE-LGA, 1 Delta flight from CLE-JFK, and 6 United flights from CLE-EWR. There are 2 daily Airtran/Southwest flights from nearby CAK-LGA. And Frontier also starts CLE-Trenton, NJ twice a week starting next month.

Even worse off are folks from Atlanta and Minneapolis.  They don’t even have service to JFK and their LGA flights are being axed as well.

Routes that will soon be killed as per today’s announcement:
Atlanta-LaGuardia
Cleveland-LaGuardia
Minneapolis-LaGuardia
Augusta, Ga.-Washington DCA
Detroit-Washington DCA
Fayetteville, N.C.-Washington DCA
Fort Myers-Washington DCA will become seasonal only
Fort Walton Beach, Fla.-Washington DCA
Islip, N.Y.-Washington DCA
Jacksonville, N.C.-Washington DCA
Little Rock-Washington DCA
Minneapolis-Washington DCA
Montreal-Washington DCA
Myrtle Beach-Washington DCA
Nassau, Bahamas-Washington DCA
Omaha, Neb.-Washington DCA
Pensacola, Fla-Washington DCA
San Diego-Washington DCA
Savannah-Washington DCA
Tallahassee-Washington DCA
Wilmington, N.C.-Washington DCA

New additions:
Los Angeles-Washington DCA goes from 1 flight to 2.
Charlottesville, Va.-LGA
Dayton, Ohio-LGA
Greensboro, N.C.-LGA
Knoxville, Tenn.-LGA
Little Rock, Ark.-LGA
Louisville, Ky.-LGA
Norfolk, Va.-LGA
Richmond, Va.-LGA
Roanoke, Va.-LGA
Wilmington, N.C.-LGA

HT: kracked dude, via DDF

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American And USAirways Cross-Promotion Flight Bonus

Monday, January 13th, 2014

-Credit an American Airlines flight to USAirways Dividend miles and get a 50% bonus.
-Credit an USAirways flight to American AAdvantage miles and get a 50% bonus.

-Registration required via the links above.
-Valid for flights flown 01/13-03/02.

In other words if you are flying on American from JFK-LAX-JFK and credit the miles to USAirways you’ll get 4,950 base miles and 2,475 bonus miles.  Eventually the mileage programs will be merged into one.

HT: YOSEF, via DDF

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Aeroplan To USAirways Transfers May Not Be Dead And Other Items You Need To Know For The Final Months Of USAirways

Friday, January 10th, 2014

Update (as promised in the post I made below last July): You can once again use Points.com to transfer American Express Membership Rewards points to USAirways via Aeroplan.  You will get 84,011 USAirways miles for trading in 100,000 Aeroplan miles.  Those USAirways miles will soon become American Aadvantage miles at an equal ratio and you can use them currently for American or Star Alliance flights.

You can transfer a maximum of 100,000 miles out of an Aeroplan account per year.

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The article below was originally posted 07/25/13.
For more updated into see these posts:
American-USAirways Merger Finalized
American-USAirways Reciprocity Starts Today

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USAirways as we know it will soon become American and join the OneWorld alliance. It’s a big loss for the Star Alliance.  It’s unknown when exactly this will happen though November 1st has been tossed around as a potential date.  There will likely be a period when you can transfer miles back and forth between the programs before they all become American miles.

Here is what you need to know.

1. Aeroplan Transfers.
You used to be able to transfer Air Canada Aeroplan miles (and by extension American Express points) into USAirways at a 1,000:840 ratio via Points.com.  Currently all transfers to/from USAirways are unavailable.  While some have reported online that this is because of the upcoming merger I confirmed with a points.com chat agent that it is only due to technical difficulties and they are working to restore that functionality.  The agent also said that the transfer ratio will remain unchanged when the USAirways transfer functionality is restored.  Of course the agent can also just be in the dark. I will post an update if and when the transfer ability is restored.

Bottom line: Nobody can tell you for certain what is going on, but hopefully people will still have a last chance to convert their Aeroplan and AMEX miles and points to USAirways with just a 16% haircut. Those USAir miles will soon become more valuable American miles.  Why do I say that they are more valuable? Sure there some advantages to USAirways miles but American miles can be used one-way. You can get a free stopover on a one-way flight which means you can get a free domestic round-trip to places like Florida, California, Alaska, or even Hawaii on top of an international round-trip award ticket (Only one allowed on USAirways though it does has more flexibility). You can change your travel dates for free ($150 on USAirways).  You are able to change your travel dates even after departure even on partner awards (Not allowed with USAirways).  You can redeposit additional award tickets at the same time for just $25 ($150 on USAirways). And you can easily book first and business class travel on award winning OneWorld airlines like Cathay Pacific with no fuel surcharges, something that is blocked on Star Alliance award winning carrier Singapore.  I run through the difference between Cathay business and first on their JFK-Vancouver flight in this trip report.

2. Aegean Star Alliance Gold
The easiest way to earn what can possibly be a lifetime of Star Alliance Gold elite status is going away.  I wrote about Aegean Star Alliance gold status in this post. It only takes 19,000 flown miles to earn the status and so far people who have it are reporting that it doesn’t appear to ever expire though it’s recommended to credit at least 1 Star Alliance flight to the program every 3 years after earning it to keep your entire account active.
Now the Aegean gold program isn’t changing but Aegean doesn’t credit miles or only gives partial credit for cheap airfares on most airlines.
USAirways is the one exception where you can almost always receive full mileage credit with Aegean, even on deeply discounted airfare rates.
Star Gold gets you and all of your companions 3 free 70 pound bags when flying on airlines like United and free lounge access at some 1,000 affiliated lounges worldwide when flying on the Star Alliance. In fact Aegean Star Gold even gives free United domestic lounge access-something that United Star Gold doesn’t even offer to their own elite members.

Bottom Line: The clock is ticking if you want to go on a mileage run to pickup 19,000 miles on USAirways to credit to Aegean for their amazing Star Gold program. While it may cost you $1,000 to book the flights to earn that, just figure out how much you’ll save on baggage and lounge fees for you and your family with the Star Gold status.

3. Starwood point transfers.
Starwood point transfers are a little funny. Some airlines require that the name on the Starwood account and the mileage account match. Others do not.
Now you can transfer Starwood points to other people in your household, but if you don’t have the same address then it can’t be done easily.
American requires that the names match 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.

Bottom line: If you want to transfer Starpoints to eventually become American miles without the hassle of doing intra-Starwood transfers (something that you can get banned for if you abuse repeatedly) then you’ll want to transfer them to USAirways before Starwood kills the ability to transfer points there.

4. Travel to Israel.
American is effectively banned from flying to Israel thanks to leftover TWA pension obligations.  If they fly a plane to Israel it would likely be repossessed by those who feel that American assumed TWA’s liabilities and owe them lots of money with interest.
They are trying to settle those issues but if they don’t we may see the end of the USAirways flight from Philadelphia to Tel Aviv.
If they do work out those issues expect American to shift the flight from Philadelphia to JFK and/or Miami.
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.

Bottom line: Lots of unknowns on this one but if you want to fly on El Al with your AA miles then you should book travel now. If you want to use your United miles to fly to Israel on USAirways book that now as well.

5. Surcharge-free travel.
-DansDeals broke the news back in January that ANA had stopped collecting a fuel surcharge for travel on United and USAirways. That post has lots of info on their program.
They have an awesome award chart (38K miles to Europe, 60K to Israel, etc) and allow 4 free stopovers and it stings to lose the USAirways option though at least there’s still United.
-Same story with Singapore as I wrote about here. If you have those miles you’ll be losing a valuable surcharge-free partner though United remains an option and of course those miles are awesome for redeeming on Singapore business, first, and suites class.
Lufthansa charges a fuel surcharge on most airlines except for USAirways, so you may want to redeem those miles for travel on USAirways before they leave the Star Alliance. I wrote about their program in this post about Barclay bank cards. There’s no fuel surcharge on domestic United tickets but once you cross the ocean Lufthansa charges a fuel surcharge to travel on United.
-Note that United miles aren’t affected nearly as much as these program as they never collect a fuel surcharge for award travel. In fact once USAirways is gone they are one of the only carriers that can still say that.

Bottom line: Star Alliance miles on many foreign carriers will be worth less thanks to losing a valuable surcharge-free partner.

Have any other tips? Hit the comments!

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American-USAirways Merger Finalized

Monday, December 9th, 2013

Update 12/09/13: The merger has been finalized.
Estimated key dates (subject to change):
01/07/14: Earn and redeem miles between both airlines. Lounge and elite status reciprocity.
03/30/14: USAirways’ final day as part of the Star Alliance (Last day to redeem United miles for travel on USAirways and vice versa for travel through February 2015).  United lounge reciprocity will also end on this day.
03/31/14: USAirways’ first day as part of the OneWorld Alliance. (First day to redeem BA Avios for travel on USAirways. Lots of additional 4.5K award routes in the Northeast corridor.)
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Originally posted on 11/12/13:

The DoJ has settled and will not oppose American from merging with USAirways. The merger is expected to close in December though the USAirways brand will still remain separate well into 2014.

What does that mean for you?

1. Less competition means higher airfares for consumers. Sure Southwest and JetBlue may pickup a few slots/gates being vacated by the new American but those are hardly cheap carriers anymore. They offer more frills than the network carriers.

2. The Star Alliance loses a key partner as the American brand and AAdvantage program will survive in the OneWorld alliance.  USAirways has a strong east coast presence and great domestic first class availability.  They are also a great option for flights to Israel.  USAirways will exit the Star Alliance on a yet to be determined date in the first few months of 2014.

3. The USAirways program with its generous award chart and all of its generous routing rules will be swallowed by American’s program.
-American has very strict routing rules, they don’t allow you to fly to Asia via Europe or to Australia via Asia or Europe. USAirways allows you to fly pretty much anywhere via anywhere so that it’s possible to fly to Asia via Tel Aviv for just 60K in coach or 90K in business with no fuel surcharges.
-USAirways doesn’t require an award ticket to be on a published paid fare routing while American does.
-USAirways doesn’t have a maximum amount of miles you can travel while American does.
-USAirways allows a free stopover anywhere while American only allows it at the North American gateway city.
-USAirways agents also aren’t very good at geography-at least 2 DD readers have booked tickets to Johannesburg via Tel Aviv and were charged only the amount needed to fly to the Hawaii.
-We’ll also lose 35K round-trip off coach peak awards to Europe and South America, 25K off peak awards to the Caribbean, and 60K off-peak business awards to South America.
-USAirways doesn’t charge fuel surcharges while American levies heavy fuel surcharges for travel on British Airways.

-On the positive side American does allow one-way awards and even gives a free stopover at the North American gateway.

4.  American currently has 2 award charts, a region-based award chart good for all partners and a distance based OneWorld chart.  Both offer very good values and are ripe for a devaluation.  Expect one as soon as a combined program is announced.

5. There will likely be a period of time where you can transfer miles back and forth between USAirways and American while they both still have their current generous award charts.  Take advantage of this while you can.

6. DansDeals broke the news back in January that ANA had stopped collecting a fuel surcharge for travel on United and USAirways. That post has lots of info on their program.
They have an awesome award chart (38K miles to Europe, 60K to Israel, etc) and allow 4 free stopovers and it really stings to lose the USAirways option though at least there’s still United.
Same story with Singapore as I wrote about here. If you have those miles you’ll be losing a valuable surcharge-free partner though United remains an option and of course those miles are awesome for redeeming on Singapore business, first, and suites class.
Lufthansa charges a fuel surcharge on most airlines except for USAirways, so you may want to redeem those miles for travel on USAirways before they leave the Star Alliance. I wrote about their program in this post about Barclay bank cards. There’s no fuel surcharge on United tickets within the western Hemisphere but once you cross the ocean Lufthansa charges a fuel surcharge to travel on United.  Still they have some bargains left for transcon and Hawaii flights, especially in business class.
-Note that United miles aren’t affected nearly as much as these program as they never collect a fuel surcharge for award travel. In fact once USAirways is gone they are one of the only carriers that can still say that.

7. The easiest way to earn what can possibly be a lifetime of Star Alliance Gold elite status is going away.  I wrote about Aegean Star Alliance gold status in this post. Now the Aegean gold program isn’t changing but Aegean doesn’t credit miles or only gives partial credit for cheap airfares on most airlines. USAirways is the one exception where you can almost always receive full mileage credit with Aegean, even on deeply discounted airfare rates.
Star Gold gets you and all of your companions 1, 2, or 3 extra free bags and free lounge access at some 1,000 affiliated lounges worldwide when flying on the Star Alliance. In fact Aegean Star Gold even gives free United domestic lounge access-something that United Star Gold doesn’t even offer to their own elite members.

8. You can transfer Starpoints to anyone’s USAirways account, the names don’t have to match. American requires that the names match.
Though you can still transfer Starpoints to another Starpoint account with the same address on file.
Both offer 25,000 miles for every 20,000 Starpoints transferred.

9. American is effectively banned from flying to Israel thanks to leftover TWA pension obligations. If they fly a plane to Israel it would likely be repossessed by those who feel that American assumed TWA’s liabilities and owe them lots of money with interest.
They are trying to settle those issues but if they don’t we may see the end of the USAirways flight from Philadelphia to Tel Aviv.
If they do work out those issues expect American to shift the flight from Philadelphia to JFK and/or Miami.
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.

10. Operating hubs or major operations in Charlotte, JFK, LGA, Miami, Philadelphia, and Washington DC simply can’t be sustained. There will be cutbacks in capacity and hub downgrades which will lead to higher airfares and fewer award seats.
Phoenix also seems redundant between Dallas and Los Angeles.

11. Bright side: There will be many more flights that you can use your BA Avios for thanks to the USAirways network joining American. So good news for fans of those BA short-haul awards.

Those are my thoughts. What are yours?

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American: Fly Round-Trip To Hawaii For 30,000 Miles

Wednesday, August 28th, 2013

American: Fly Round-Trip To Hawaii For 30,000 Miles

-Book by 09/13
-Travel between 09/11/13-12/17/13
-This is only valid for travel on American, so this won’t work on Hawaiian’s nonstop flight from JFK to Honolulu.
-You can also book one-way travel for 15K so say you want to fly on El Al from Tel Aviv to NYC for 45K American miles you can just book Tel Aviv to JFK, stopover in NYC for as long as you want, and then book NYC-Hawaii for the same 45K miles. Then you just need 15K miles to get home (unless you go home for free by tagging it onto a future trip to Tel Aviv for example with a stopover in NYC).
-American serves Oahu via Honolulu (HNL), Kauai via Lihue (LIH), Maui via Kahului (OGG), and the Big Island via Kona (KOA).

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West coast people should bear in mind that it will be cheaper to use their BA Avios as it’s only 25,000 Avios from the west coast to Hawaii on American (bookable on BA.com) or on Alaska (searchable on aa.com but bookable only by calling BA).
Plus you can transfer points from AMEX MR (1:1), Chase UR (1:1), and Starwood (20:25) to BA but only Starwood transfers to American (20:25 ratio).

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Play Disney Planes Game And Earn A 10% Off American Airlines Coupon

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

Play Disney Planes And Earn A 10% Off American Airlines Coupon

I earned a 10% off coupon after hitting 3 of the cloud surprise icons. I stopped playing and registered after I hit the 3rd cloud and was told that I’d earned a 10% coupon.

10% off terms:
-Book by 08/31.
-Fly between 08/15-11/15
-Not valid for travel 08/30-09/02
-Travel must originate in the US but can be to anywhere worldwide.
-Reward requires instant purchase and may not be applied to previous reservations or reservations placed on hold.
-Only one Reward may be used per reservation, for up to two people in the reservation.

HT: jmansour, via DDF

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2,500 Mileage Rebate On An Award Booked On AA.com

Thursday, June 27th, 2013

Award Map Promo Registration Linky

Register for the sweepstakes above and you’ll get a 2,500 mile rebate for one award booking on aa.com

From the fine print:
-Member must register for Award Map promo before redemption occurs.
-Members will receive 2,500 miles off flight award redemption for AA and partner flights.
-Miles must be redeemed during Jun 26-Jul 24, 2013 for travel between Sep 4-Nov 20, 2013.
-Award itinerary must be booked online on aa.com.
-Each AAdvantage member account is only eligible for one rebate during this promo.
-Please allow for 6-8 weeks for miles to be posted to your account, after travel occurs.
-Miles will be credited to the AAdvantage member account from which the redemption occurs.

A one-way award flight from Maui to Kauai on AA.com is 5,000 miles. With this rebate it would only set you back 2,500 miles. If you have an AA credit card you would also get a 10% rebate on the full rate so you would get a separate 500 mile rebate dropping the price paid to just 2,000 miles.

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Then again Hawaiian charges for luggage and I’d be happy to book you a flight using my DansDeals corporate account which entitles you to 2 free bags on Hawaiian.

A one-way domestic 12.5K award would be 8,750 miles after the 2,500 mile rebate and the 1,250 AA card rebate.

This can’t be combined with the AA credit card reduced mileage awards as those have to be booked over the phone.

HT: jmansour, via Gary

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New Format For Citi AAdvantage Reduced Mileage Awards

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

Citi AAdvantage Reduced Mileage Awards (June-September)

From now on the cities will actually rotate every month instead of every quarter, click on the link above to view the monthly discounted cities through September.
The really good news is that you can now receive the discount on one-way travel.

A one-way discounted coach award with Platinum level credit card is 8,750 miles and a round-trip discounted award is 17,500 miles.
Of course as the Platinum level credit card also gives a 10% rebate on award redemptions (up to 10,000 miles can be rebated per year) that will make the effective one-way price 7,875 miles and the effective round-trip price 15,750 miles.

To book these awards just call AA’s AAdvantage desk at 800-882-8880 and reference the following award code:
7,500 miles off Coach: TD8X7A
7,500 miles off Business/First: UD21X2A

While BA Avios can be a better deal for short-haul nonstop flights, bear in mind that you pay for each flight segment when redeeming Avios, whereas with AA miles you pay a flat rate for the entire journey.

It’s worth noting that because you can now book one-way travel you can also take better advantage of hidden city award ticketing.
Say you are Miami based and want to fly to Los Angeles.
You can book a one-way from Miami to Monterey, CA for 7,875 miles and get off the plane in Los Angeles:

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For the return you can book a one-way from Los Angeles to Washington DC and get off the plane in Miami:

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Unlike when you arrive from an international flight where everyone must claim their luggage at the gateway US city, this won’t work if you have checked luggage.  However if you can travel light or are willing to ship your suitcases (it’s cheaper than you think) then it can save you a nice chunk of miles, especially if you are traveling with several people.

There is a $25 phone fee and some people have had success getting them to waive the fee as it can’t be booked online.  You may want to hold the award you want online and call them up to book it and then you can argue that you created the reservation online and shouldn’t be subject the the phone fee. YMMV.

While the discount is intended for the destination city, some people have reported success getting the discount applied for originating from one of the cities on the list and flying to any city in the US49 and Canada. YMMV definitely applies here as well.

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Getting AA Benefits On A Flight Booked Using BA Avios

Sunday, March 17th, 2013

Related posts:
Flying Round-Trip To Israel On Air Berlin For 40K Starwood Or 47K American Express Membership Rewards Plus $81 Tax: A Tutorial
-Getting To Israel On The Cheap With BA Avios And Air Berlin
-Save $400 On Fuel Surcharges To Israel By Booking Avios Rewards Via Iberia Instead Of British Airways!
-Booking With Avios? Check Those Surrounding Airports!
-Using BA Miles To Fly In Business Class For An 80 Minute Flight Can Make Sense.
-Flying With An Infant With Miles In Business Or First Class? Start Collecting Air Canada Miles Or British Airways Avios
-Short-Haul Flights: BA Avios Versus LAN Lanpass.
-BA Miles Are Now Avios…For Better Or For Worse.
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Numerous people have asked me how they can get their AA benefits when booking their tickets with BA Avios.

If you have AA elite status and have your AA mileage number connected with your BA reservation you will be able to choose seats with extra legroom and be able to go standby on other flights for free. If you have an AA credit card you will be able to check free luggage that way (though occasionally you get free luggage anyway when booking with BA Avios).

Earlier this month I faced the ever-so-tough option of dropping $1,150 on a ticket from Cleveland to NYC (due to not staying for the required 3 night minimum stay to get a low fare) or spending 9,000 Avios for a the same flights. At a value of nearly 13 cents per Avios that’s just about the easiest “redeem or purchase” scenario you will ever have for a coach flight.

It’s also why I love real miles over proprietary points like those from Capital One. The same flight would have required 115,000 Capital One points!

BA Avios really fills the gap left by my American and United miles. I hate burning those miles on short domestic trips as they’re so valuable for international business and first class trips. Thus the combination of different types of airline miles is what really allows you to derive maximum value.

It also doesn’t hurt that you can transfer points from American Express Membership Rewards, Starwood Starpoints, and Chase Ultimate Rewards points into BA Avios. Plus BA doesn’t charge any last minute expedite/close-in fees, doesn’t collect massive fuel surcharges for flights on AA within the Western Hemisphere or on Aer Lingus, Alaska, Air Berlin, LAN worldwide, and only charges $2.50-$10 (just the 9/11 fees) to cancel a domestic award.

It’s important to remember that BA.com doesn’t search for all partners (you need to call to check for awards on Alaska, Aer Lingus and others) and that it often only searches for nonstop flights, so you may need to book 2 separate tickets to find connecting flights. For example even if NYC to Chicago or Miami comes up with zilch you can always try booking NYC to Cleveland and Cleveland to Chicago or Miami.  You’ll pay more Avios than you would for the nonstop but as BA charges for each flight segment it won’t make a difference in the Avios required if you book a connecting flight as one ticket or as 2 separate tickets plus AA will be able to check your luggage straight through to your final destination. Plus you can “stopover” for as long as you want by booking connecting flights separately. Of course BA.com also won’t search for nearby airports so you may want to search for Philadelphia to Miami before throwing in the towel.

Anyway back on topic. While there are quite a few ways to add your AA number to your reservation, here’s what I do without having to pickup the phone.

-When booking a BA Avios award I leave my BA Executive Club number in my reservation.

-After booking I go to https://www.finnair.com, go to the “My Bookings” section, enter my last name and BA record locator, and press continue.

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-On the next page I scroll down to “additional details,” select American from the drop down menu, enter my American AAdvantage number, and confirm the change.

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-Now I still need to get my American record locator to select elite seats on AA.com so next I go to https://www.checkmytrip.com and under “new trip” I once again enter my last name and BA record locator.

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-There a few places on the next page to find your American record locator, but the easiest way to find it is to click on “PDF” which will download a summary of your trip with a record locator that you will be able to use on AA.com.  The red box that I’ve made on the PDF is where you will find the AA record locator.

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-Finally just go to AA.com, click on “My Trips,” enter your name and AA record locator, and you will be able to select preferred seats if applicable, and you will be able to confirm that your AA mileage number is in your reservation so that you will receive free checked luggage if applicable.  You may need to logout of AA.com to be able to manually enter the record locator.

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-What was your favorite use of BA Avios? Hit the comments and share!

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