American Airlines disables useful award tool, promises an updated version soon
If you've wondered where your American Airlines AAdvantage miles could take you, AA had a very useful tool for that. Originally launched in 2013, American's Award Map let travelers enter an origin, destination region, date and the number of miles to use and the tool would map out all of their options.
This tool was especially helpful during recent widespread Economy Web Special domestic deals. Rather than travelers needing to search each potential destination separately, the Award Map tool would let you visualize all of your options:
This tool was so useful that it made TPG's list as one of the 5 tips for finding cheap award flights.
But the tool is no longer available. On Thursday, reader Jens B. alerted TPG that the tool had "taken flight":
An American Airlines spokesperson confirmed to TPG that the airline intentionally removed the tool, but the good news is that it's not gone forever. AA is "updating the award map" and that "it will be available early next year," the spokesperson said.
Hopefully this tool will return in early 2020 and won't become another useful tool that's taken down for "maintenance" and never restored -- as happened with the United gift registry.
For now, that leaves AAdvantage award travelers searching the old-fashioned way for awards with AA's award booking tool. Fortunately, AA has been continually adding new features to its new booking tool. That's an especially good thing as the new tool can sometimes show better award availability than the legacy tool.