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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here: Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard, Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard
American Airlines is widely known to offer little to no saver award availability in its premium cabins, especially in business class. Instead, most frequent flyers are forced to purchase AAnytime awards, which are almost double what you’d pay for saver awards. Today, however, it looks like American has opened up lots of business-class saver award seats on most of its international routes across Asia, Europe and South America.
Discounted flights appear to be open from now through May 2018, although dates do differ across different destinations. You’ll want to plug in your ideal departure city and destination on American’s website and then make sure you click “show full calendar” to see what days have business saver awards available.
Just make sure you’re checking what plane you’ll be flying before booking a ticket, since American’s business-class products can vary greatly. Reference our post Every American Airlines Premium Seat Ranked From Best to Worst to choose the best possible product.
If you want to accrue more American miles, you can earn 30,000 bonus miles if you sign up for the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard and spend $1,000 in the first three months of account opening, or earn 75,000 bonus miles after signing up for the Citi / AAdvantage Executive WorldElite Mastercard and spending $7,500 in the same amount of time.
The screenshots below show the routes/month with the most availability, though other dates and routes are still available. Here are a few examples:
AA operates the Boeing 777-300ER between Los Angeles (LAX) and Hong Kong (HKG), which offers a 1-2-1 reverse herringbone configuration in business class. On the Japan routes, AA operates either the Boeing 777-200 or the 787-8. A saver award ticket will set you back 70k AAdvantage miles instead of 120k for the AAnytime award. On certain dates, we see availability for up to six people on some of the Asian routes.
Los Angeles (LAX) to Hong Kong (HKG) for 2 People in September 2017
Los Angeles (LAX) to Tokyo (NRT/HND) for 2 People in January 2018
Chicago (ORD) to Tokyo (NRT/HND) for 2 People in November 2017
Premium cabin availability between the US and Europe has generally been decent year-round thanks to American’s partner British Airways. However, these awards come with exorbitantly high fuel surcharges, sometimes up to $1,000 round-trip. The following flights are on AA metal, so no fuel surcharges are levied. However, AA awards are still subject to UK’s Air Passenger Duty, which may still set you back a couple of hundreds when departing from a UK airport such as London Heathrow (LHR).
Chicago (ORD) to Paris (CDG) for 2 People in November 2017
Los Angeles (LAX) to London (LHR) for 2 People in February 2018
New York (JFK) to London (LHR) for 2 People in September/October 2017
Philadelphia (PHL) to Frankfurt (FRA) for 2 People in October 2017
Flights to South America are primarily operated by AA’s wide-body Boeing 777 fleet, with the New York (JFK) to Sao Paolo (GRU) flight operated by the Boeing 777-300ER. A saver award ticket will set you back by 57.5k AAdvantage miles instead of 110k for the AAnytime award.
Miami (MIA) to Santiago (SCL) for 2 People in August/September 2017
Miami (MIA) to Rio De Janeiro (GIG) for 2 People in May 2018
New York (JFK) to Sao Paulo (GRU) for 2 People in March 2018
Did you manage to book one of these saver awards? Comment below to let us know.
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Based on TPG’s most recent valuations, the 50,000 miles are worth $700. In addition, you can earn 10,000 Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) toward elite status after spending $40,000 in a calendar year. As of July 23, 2017 this is the only card that offers Admirals Club lounge access so if you are an AA flyer this card might make sense for you. Aside from lounge access the primary cardholder will receive a Global Entry application fee credit every 5 years, first checked bag free for up to 8 travel companions on domestic itineraries and a 25% discount on eligible in-flight purchases on American Airlines flights.
- Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening*
- Admirals Club® membership for you and access for guests traveling with you*
- Complimentary Admirals Club® lounge access for authorized users
- Earn 10,000 AAdvantage® Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) after you spend $40,000 in purchases within the year*
- No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases*
- Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases and 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases*
- First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to 8 companions traveling with you on the same reservation*