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Back in August, American Airlines AAdvantage members noticed that five award partners were suddenly available for booking online (Cathay Pacific, Malaysian, SriLankan, Qatar and LATAM). When AA discovered this, the functionality was quickly removed and an AA spokesperson noted that the website “incorrectly displayed award bookings.”
But that statement ended with a pledge:
Making more award partners bookable onis something that our customers continually ask for, so please rest assured that we are working towards this.
Well, American Airlines has certainly delivered on this. First, in mid-September, it added the ability to book Malaysia Airlines and Fiji Airways on AA.com. In mid-October, AA rolled out award bookings through the AA app. And then in late October, AAdvantage added the functionality to book three more partners online: Qatar Airways, Air Tahiti Nui and SriLankan Airlines.
Now, late Thursday night, AA has added the ability to book two more AAdvantage partner awards through: Cape Air and S7 Airlines. With these additions, there are now 14 partners that can be booked through — and seven of those 14 have been added within the last three months:
- Air Tahiti Nui — added Oct. 24
- Alaska Airways
- British Airways
- Cape Air — added Dec. 6
- Fiji Airways — added Sept. 18
- Hawaiian Airlines
- Iberia — added Jun. 12, 2017
- Malaysia Airlines — added Sept. 18
- Qantas Airways
- Qatar Airways — added Oct. 24
- Royal Jordanian Airlines
- S7 Airlines — added Dec. 6
- SriLankan Airlines — added Oct. 24
The addition of Cape Air isn’t terribly exciting. Sadly this addition doesn’t allow for awards on the 9-seat piston-engine Cape Air flight between New York Kennedy (JFK) and Nantucket (ACK). AAdvantage and Cape Air only have a partnership that allows members to redeem miles for flights between St. Louis, MO (STL) and:
- Fort Leonard Wood, MO (TBN)
- Kirksville, MO (IRK)
- Marion, IL (MWA)
- Owensboro, KY (OWB)
The good news is that award availability is wide open:
However, these award flights are a rather terrible use of miles. These flights cost between just $19 and $99 one-way — even for last minute travel.
The S7 Airlines addition is a rather fascinating addition, as the Russian carrier doesn’t have much route overlap with American Airlines or its Oneworld partners. To boot, there’s some interesting value to be had for awards that don’t touch the US. For example, you can fly in business class on S7’s five-hour flight from Moscow (DME) to Barcelona (BCN) for 22,500 AAdvantage miles:
While these awards are showing up on AA.com, I’m unable to find any awards for S7 Airlines or Cape Air through the AA app at this time. Hopefully this functionality will roll out soon.
With this round of additions, we’re only missing Cathay Pacific and LATAM from the original batch of briefly-bookable partners. Some advanced mileage travelers are happy that these awards still aren’t available on the website, as it makes it harder to find and book these awards. However, considering award bookings were successfully made with each of these airlines in mid-August, it’s likely that AA will flip the switch on these online redemptions soon.
Featured image by Mikhail Tereshchenko via Getty Images
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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