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One of the major frustrations that miles and points collectors have with American Airlines’ AAdvantage mileage program is the seeming lack of award options that are bookable with AA miles. In fact, there are actually a whole lot more award options that you can book with AA miles than you’ll ever see on AA’s website. There’s a long list of American partners that you can’t book on AA’s website, and it’s been over a year since a partner’s awards have been added to AA.com.
There was flash of optimism in mid-August when five new partners — Cathay Pacific, Malaysian, Sri Lankan, Qatar, LATAM — were suddenly available for booking online. These options were quickly removed and an AA spokesperson explained the next day:
“Late yesterday, we incorrectly displayed award bookings for several of our partners on aa.com and they have since been removed. Making more award partners bookable on aa.com is something that our customers continually ask for, so please rest assured that we are working towards this.”
Now, AA is making good on that pledge. Overnight on Monday night, American Airlines announced that it has added two new partners to online AA.com bookings: Malaysia Airlines and Fiji Airways.
Sure enough, I was able to successfully search and find Malaysia Airlines award availability on AA.com:
After reading our review of Malaysia Airlines A330 business class, that option looks pretty sweet, so I went ahead and completed the booking on that flight. It went through without a hitch. (Plus, as an AA Executive Platinum, I can always cancel this award for free later)
I received an email less than an hour and a half later with my confirmed ticket.
What’s next for partner award bookings? In sharing these changes, an AA spokesperson — unprompted — said that the airline is “working on adding more partners” for online award booking. Based on the ability to successfully book awards for one evening in mid-August, we can assume that AA is working on also adding Cathay Pacific, Sri Lankan, Qatar and LATAM — but there’s something holding back their release. Hopefully, those roadblocks are resolved soon.
Featured image of Malaysia A330 business class by Zach Honig / The Points Guy.
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*