American Airlines just discounted domestic Flagship First Class awards
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.
Although it’s not giving up on having an award chart — it even added new options to its award chart this week — American Airlines is continuing to shift toward dynamic award pricing. As we’ve seen, that can be both a good thing and a bad thing.
So far, AA’s dynamic award pricing has been limited to economy through AA’s Economy Web Specials — which we’ve seen range from 10,000 round-trip flights to Australia up to 149,000 one-way flights to Australia.
In business and first class, AA has stuck to defined redemption levels — from the “MileSAAver” saver level up to the off-the-charts AAnytime Level 4. Having these five award pricing levels gives the airline a tremendous range of prices that it can charge on any given route. However, there’s a huge award price jump between MileSAAver and AAnytime Level 1.
To bridge this gap, AA has run a couple of award sales to its AAnytime Level 1 pricing to entice more award bookings without having to release saver availability.
Now, American Airlines just launched one of these sales for domestic Flagship First Class awards between New York Kennedy (JFK) and Los Angeles (LAX) and San Francisco (SFO). AAnytime Level 1 first class awards on these routes are discounted from 85,000 miles each way to 65,000 miles each way.
Routes: Nonstop between JFK and LAX/SFO
Cost: 65,000 AAdvantage miles each way in Flagship First Class
Taxes/Fees: $5.60 each way
Booking by: November 21, 2019
Travel Dates: December 2, 2019 to January 31, 2020
Pay Taxes/Fees With: Chase Sapphire Reserve (3x on airfare) or Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on travel) — for the balance of bonus point earnings and travel protections
There’s no discount code needed. Just search for awards on the discounted routes and the discounted pricing will appear:
Unfortunately, this 65,000-mile price is only going to be available where there would otherwise be AAnytime Level 1 award pricing. There’s still going to be more expensive awards on most dates:
If you’re unfamiliar with these routes, American Airlines has specially-configured “A321T” aircraft operating on this route. In addition to 20 lie-flat business class seats, there are 10 lie-flat first class seats arranged with just one seat on either side of the cabin. Combined with excellent food and service, this is one “first class” experience that lives up to the name.
If you can find saver availability on these routes, you can book first class awards for as little as 25,000 miles each way through partner programs. The problem with these routes is that there’s virtually no saver award availability more than two weeks out.
Out of curiosity, I just checked the nonstop route from New York Kennedy (JFK) to Los Angeles (LAX). While there’s some saver availability over the next few days, I didn’t find a single flight with saver award availability from November 13, 2019 until September 28, 2020. And that’s not uncommon.
So, while I’ve noted that past AAnytime award sales have been a wolf in sheep’s clothing, this sale is actually helpful. With no saver award availability, you’re not able to book these awards through partners, so you’re stuck using AAdvantage miles.
With that being the case, the cheapest price you could effectively find was AAnytime Level 1’s 85,000 miles each way. With this sale, that drops to 65,000 miles each way. That’s still going to be too pricey for most travelers to considering booking, but it’s a sale that I can appreciate.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn a $200 statement credit after your first Delta purchase within the first three months. Offer ends 7/28/21.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles after spending $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months and a $200 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
- Limited Time Offer: Plus, get a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable 15.74%-24.74%. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
- Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees