Deal alert: Nonstop transcon award flights from 5,000 AA miles one-way
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While American Airlines’ recent expansion of dynamic award pricing has been a case of good news/bad news, the prices offered as of late on its Economy Web Specials continue to impress. A number of nonstop and one-stop routes between the East and West Coasts — such as Los Angeles (LAX) to New York-JFK and Los Angeles to Miami (MIA) — are currently available from just 5,000 American Airlines miles plus $5.60 in each direction. Even better, these low rates are widely available from November 2019 all the way through October 2020, including around the winter holidays, spring break and over the summer.
Based on current TPG valuations, 5,000 American Airlines miles are worth just $70, which is a terrific deal considering that many of these flights typically cost upwards $150 one-way when paying outright.
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If you’re planning on taking advantage of this deal, we recommend booking right away, as there’s no telling how long the low rates will be available. Just over a week ago, American Airlines had awards to Australia and New Zealand available for just 10,000 miles round-trip and that deal was snatched up in just a few hours. As with other American Airlines awards, you can put Economy Web Specials on hold for five days.
It doesn’t matter if you’re using the new award booking tool or the classic one, you can filter your search to only show nonstop awards by using the calendar view.
Also, as a quick refresher, Economy Web Specials don’t have all the usual American Airlines Basic Economy limitations, so that’s a bonus as well. You can read more about Economy Web Specials at the end of this story.
Airline: American Airlines
Routes: Numerous U.S. cities (including LAX/LAS/SAN/SEA/SFO/PHX to/from BOS/BWI/CLT/DCA/IAD/PHL/LGA/JFK/MIA)
Cost: 5,000 miles + $5.60 taxes/fees one-way
Travel dates: November 2019 to October 2020
Book via: Directly with American Airlines
Pay taxes/fees with: The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on airfare booked directly with the airline), Citi Prestige® Card (5x on airfare), Citi Premier℠ Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve (3x on airfare), American Express® Gold Card (3x on airfare when booked directly with the airline) or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on travel)
Here are a few examples of what you can book:
New York (JFK) to Los Angeles (LAX) for 5,000 miles one-way nonstop in January 2020:
San Francisco (SFO) to New York (JFK) for 5,000 miles one-way nonstop in January 2020:
Los Angeles (LAX) to Boston (BOS) for 5,000 miles one-way nonstop in December:
Los Angeles (LAX) to Miami (MIA) for 5,000 miles one-way in April 2020:
San Diego (SAN) to New York (JFK) from 5,000 miles one-way nonstop in January 2020:
Los Angeles (LAX) to Philadelphia (PHL) from 5,000 miles one-way nonstop in February 2020:
Los Angeles (LAX) to Washington, D.C. Area (WAS) from 5,000 miles one-way in December:
Book directly with American Airlines
To book these awards, head to American Airlines’ website and pay the taxes and fees with a card that’s good for airfare purchases, such as The Platinum Card® from American Express (5x on flights booked directly with airlines or American Express Travel), Chase Sapphire Reserve, American Express® Gold Card, Citi Premier Card, Citi Prestige Card (5x on airfare) or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on all travel purchases). Check out our guide for more on maximizing airfare purchases.
How AA Economy Web Specials work
In late 2018, American Airlines rolled out a new mileage discount program called Economy Web Specials which offers AAdvantage members a chance to book economy flights for as little as 5,000 miles each way. Although American started with just six obscure routes, it expanded to 11 routes in early November and up to 39 routes in mid-December — including flights to Hawaii, Mexico, the Caribbean, South America, Europe (some of which are still available). You never know what you’ll find on the Web Special tab — for instance, flights to Australia and New Zealand were recently available for 10,000 miles round-trip.
I’d recommend reading through all of the details in this guide about how Economy Web Specials works. However, as a quick briefer:
- These awards don’t have all of the American Airlines Basic Economy limitations.
- Executive Platinum elites get upgrades as they can on other domestic economy awards
- The American website says “Economy Web Specials cannot be changed once ticketed.” This isn’t defined but may mean that travelers can’t use Same Day Flight Changes to switch to another award flight on the same day.
- You can cancel and reinstate your miles according to the same terms as any other AAdvantage award. A redeposit fee of $150 for the first passenger and $25 per additional passenger applies for everyone but AAdvantage Executive Platinum elites.
- The “Economy Web Special” program is in addition to — but doesn’t replace — the Reduced Mileage Award program.
And if these awards leave your AAdvantage account depleted, here are some ways to replenish your miles:
- CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Mastercard®: 65,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 4 months of account opening. Plus, 2x miles on a wide variety of expenses.
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®: 50,000 miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first three months. Plus Admirals Club access for up to 33 travelers at a time.
- American Airlines AAdvantage MileUp℠ Card: 10,000 miles and a $50 statement credit for spending $500 on purchases in three months — with no annual fee
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard®: 50,000 miles after spending $2,500 on purchases in the first three months. The information for the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite™ Mastercard® has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Featured photo by Kevin Song/The Points Guy.