The Insider Trick to Getting More American Airlines Saver Award Availability

May 31, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Searching for American Airlines award availability can be irritating — especially now that AA is releasing award space based on married segments rather than individual flights. But, one would imagine that any award space that’s showing in one browser would appear if you performed the same search in another browser.

However, our friends over at Million Mile Secrets have discovered that this isn’t always the case. The award search results on a mobile browser can be noticeably different than what shows on a desktop browser. And, American Airlines has confirmed to TPG that this isn’t a bug.

The route that MMS’ Joseph Hostetler was searching was Cincinnati (CVG) to Cancun (CUN). While the example date that he used is no longer showing as available, we found the same situation on another date. If you perform a desktop browser search for business class saver awards on this route, three 2-stop itineraries are shown:

However, when I perform the same exact search at the same time on a mobile browser, AA displayed a 1-stop saver option:

But all of those itineraries have at least one leg in economy. Maybe that’s part of the issue: different search results include different mixed cabin results? Well, we checked another date. The desktop website search results show 4 single-stop itineraries, all of which have at least one leg in economy:

But when I perform the exact same search on the mobile website, there’s 7 single-stop itineraries. Plus, 2 of those don’t have the warning that “the class of service you searched may not be available on one or more flights”:

Digging deeper, there are more award options available through the mobile web search results. However, there’s an issue with the mobile web results: there’s no first/business class on the Embraer ERJ-145 that operates the morning flight from Cincinnati (CVG) to Miami (MIA). So, there should be a warning that not all legs are available in the cabin searched.

Curious if we’d stumbled onto a bug, I reached out to an American Airlines spokesperson about this situation. It turns out that this is part of the new American Airlines award searching system that was rolled out concurrent with the launch of premium economy awards.

The desktop browser uses the legacy award searching system. However, the mobile web browser and mobile AA app use the new award searching system. And, the spokesperson confirmed that different results can be returned for the two different systems.

However, you don’t have to whip out your cell phone to get these extra award results. You can find them right on your desktop by browsing to this page to start your search. Sure enough, when I started a desktop browser search on the same route for the same dates, all seven single-stop saver award options appeared:

If you’ve seen a similar layout of results when searching for awards from the AA homepage, you’re not alone. On some routes — especially on routes where AA operates a premium economy cabin — AA uses the new award search system by default. However, for many domestic and short international routes, the legacy award search tool will be used by default.

If you want to make sure that you’re seeing results from both award searching systems, you’ll want to perform an award search starting on each of these:

Featured image of American Airlines 777-200 business class by the author.

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Visa® credit card

This card from Bank of America gets really interesting if you have a BofA checking, savings or investment account. Depending on the value of your combined accounts you can potentially get as much as 3.5x points on travel/dining and 2.625x points on other purchases making it the richest consumer banking bonus out there.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Receive 50,000 bonus points – a $500 value – after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase
  • No limit to the points you can earn and your points don't expire
  • Redeem for cash back as a statement credit, deposit into eligible Bank of America® accounts, credit to eligible Merrill accounts, or gift cards or purchases at the Bank of America Travel Center
  • Get up to $200 in combined airline incidental and airport expedited screening statement credits + valuable travel insurance protections
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Low $95 annual fee
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
17.74% - 24.74% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.