American Airlines MileSAAver Awards Vanish From Many Routes, Airline Working on Fix

Jun 17, 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.

Update 7:48pm ET: It appears that that fix has been implemented, as many routes have returned to showing award availability. For example, in the Atlanta (ATL) to New York LaGuardia (LGA) route used as an example below, there’s now 23 of 29 dates that have saver availability — instead of zero dates earlier Monday.

The original story continues below.


American Airlines has confirmed what AAdvantage members have been seeing for the past few days: saver award availability has virtually disappeared from many award routes — even those routes that almost always have availability.

For example, I’m a regular on American Airlines’ route between Atlanta (ATL) and New York-LaGuardia (LGA). Saver award availability is never an issue for me on this route. Instead, I can’t find a single date that has economy MileSAAver availability for months.

In this example, there’s not much of an issue as Economy Web Special rates are typically below the MileSAAver rate of 12,500 miles and the Reduced Mileage Award rate of 8,750. However, this is a perfect example that there’s an issue with MileSAAver: AA is offering dynamic award prices for many dates below the standard rate, but there’s not a single date available at the MileSAAver rate.

The issue is a much bigger deal on other routes. In a FlyerTalk thread about the issue, one of the example routes listed was from Kansas City (MCI) to Chicago-O’Hare (ORD). The member noted that “it doesn’t look like there are any available Economy MileSaaver seats for the rest of the year.” Sure enough, when I checked, the short 403-mile route didn’t have a single day of economy MileSAAver availability either direction for the remainder of the year. And the airline isn’t offering cheaper Economy Web Specials on this route:

The only routes that I’ve been able to find MileSAAver award availability are routes that don’t (yet) have Economy Web Special pricing. For example, Las Vegas (LAS) to Minneapolis/St Paul (MSP):

Speculation is that this is related to AA extended cancellations of the 737 MAX. However, the problem persists well beyond the extended cancellation date of September 3.

The good news is that AA acknowledges this issue and is working on a fix. An American Airlines spokesperson confirmed to TPG on Monday afternoon:

We’re aware that MileSAAver availability is not displaying correctly. We’re working on addressing and expect to have things back to normal [Tuesday] morning.

There’s an important question that this naturally raises: Is this actually a glitch, or is this giving us a glimpse into the future of award pricing at American Airlines? In late May, American Airlines executives confirmed that the airline is considering dynamic award pricing, and that’s what we were seeing here on many of these routes. But for now, it seems that we haven’t reached the death of MileSAAver.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

WELCOME OFFER: 60,000 Points

TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,200

CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners

*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases.
  • 2X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 2x total points on up to $1,000 in grocery store purchases per month from November 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021. Includes eligible pick-up and delivery services.
Regular APR
15.99%-22.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, 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.