Late 2021 travel: Fly American Flagship First for 60,500 miles

Feb 22, 2021

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American Airlines is offering up seats in Flagship First for the cost of a business class award ticket

I’m seeing widespread Web Special availability on flights from the U.S. to London-Heathrow (LHR) and Sao Paulo (GRU) through Miami (MIA) and New York-JFK. These flights now start at just 60,500 American miles one-way.

Most of this award space is in late-2021, and I’ll focus on October through December award space in this article. While Americans are subject to a 10-day quarantine upon arrival in the U.K., Brazil is open for tourists that have a negative COVID test result. Brazil is, however, one of the countries hardest-hit by the coronavirus outbreak.

That said, these restrictions are constantly changing and may be relaxed by year-end as the COVID vaccine continues to roll out around the world. As this continues, we’ll likely see the travel world start to go back to some level of normal.

Let’s discuss the open award space and take a look at available dates. But first, let’s address the elephant in the room: booking future travel during the coronavirus pandemic.

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In This Post

Should you book travel right now?

American Airlines planes
(Photo by Zach Griff/The Points Guy)

Before I discuss the deal, let’s discuss if it’s a good idea to book travel right now. After all, we’re in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic and most countries have continued to suspend international travel. Despite the future looking bright with positive vaccine news, there’s no way to tell for sure when international travel will resume.

As a result, there’s no way to guarantee that the trip you book for the end of the year will actually happen. You could be forced to cancel your ticket if borders don’t reopen or if it’s simply unsafe to travel. So if you decide to book, make any non-refundable reservations (like hotels, rental cars, etc.) closer to your date of travel.

Thankfully, American made award tickets a lot more flexible last November. I’m discussing Web Special tickets in this article, which were previously expensive to cancel and redeposit. Nowadays, you can cancel Web Special tickets free of charge at any time and receive your miles back to your AAdvantage account.

This means there’s very little risk to booking one of these tickets. If plans don’t work out, you can use your miles for another trip. That said, you’ll want to keep your eyes on the news in the weeks leading up to your trip so you can tell if borders are open and make a personal decision on if traveling is safe.

Read more: 6 reasons why now is the time to book travel with points and miles.

American Flagship First award space

American Airlines Flagship First class is available on the airlines’ 777-300ER aircraft. (Photo by JT Genter/The Points Guy)

Now for the fun part: booking American Flagship First award tickets!

As discussed, the awards I’m discussing are Web Special awards. These can only be booked with AAdvantage miles — not partner miles. These awards are priced dynamically too and can change at any moment. If you see something you’d like to book, either book it or put it on hold ASAP to avoid losing award space.

The award space discussed here is from the U.S. to London-Heathrow (LHR) and Sao Paulo (GRU) via Miami (MIA) and New York-JFK. Some London flights may also route through Dallas-Ft. Worth (DFW).

You can connect from other American gateways and — in most cases — pay the following:

  • U.S. to London-Heathrow (LHR): 72,000 miles
  • U.S. to Sao Paulo (GRU) 60,500 miles

One strange thing to note: American is priced these awards with “married segments.” Because of this, you can’t actually book nonstop flights from Miami to one of the above locations at the above price. Instead, American will route you through New York-JFK.

MIA-JFK-LHR American Award Ticket
(Screenshot courtesy of American Airlines)

Here’s a closer look at dates with open award space. The dates below all price at the above rates. I’ve included dates for a handful of major American cities, but you may be able to find award space from others.

Boston (BOS) to/from London-Heathrow (LHR)

  • Outbound:
    • October: 1-29 and 31
    • November: 1-18, 20-26 and 30
    • December: 1-9, 11-15, 20 and 25-31
  • Inbound:
    • October: 1-31
    • November: 1-18, 20-26 and 30
    • December: 1-16 and 20-31

Boston (BOS) to/from Sao Paulo (GRU)

  • Outbound:
    • October:  1-2, 4-6, 13-15, 19-22 and 25-28
    • November: 1-5, 7-12, 14-17, 25, 27 and 29
    • December: 5-6, 24 and 30-31
  • Inbound:
    • October: 2-6, 11-14, 17-20, 23-27 and 30.
    • November: 1-3, 4-6, 8-10, 13, 15-17, 19-20, 23-24 and 30.
    • December: 1-2 and 7-8

Chicago-O’Hare (ORD) to/from London-Heathrow (LHR)

  • Outbound:
    • October:  1-28 and 31
    • November: 1-17, 19-27 and 29-30
    • December: 1-15, 21-22, 24 and 26-31
  • Inbound:
    • October: 1-31
    • November: 1-18, 20-26 and 30
    • December: 1-15 and 20-31

Chicago-O’Hare (ORD) to/from Sao Paulo (GRU)

  • Outbound:
    • October: 1, 5-7, 9, 13-15, 19-22 and 25-28
    • November: 1-5, 8-10, 12, 15-17, 24 and 29
    • December: 6, 24, 28 and 31
  • Inbound:
    • October: 2-6, 10-14, 17-20, 23-27 and 30
    • November: 1-3, 5-6, 8-10, 15-17, 19-20, 23-24 and 30
    • December: 1-2 and 7-8

Miami (MIA) to/from London-Heathrow (LHR)

  • Outbound:
    • October: 1-29
    • November: 1-3, 5-9, 11-17, 19-26 and 29-30
    • December: 1-15, 20, 22 and 25-31
  • Inbound:
    • October: 1-31
    • November: 1-17, 20-26 and 30
    • December: 1-15 and 20-31

Miami (MIA) to/from Sao Paulo (GRU)

  • Outbound:
    • October: 1-2, 4-9, 12-15, 18-22 and 24-28
    • November: 2-3, 9-10, 16-17
    • December: 4, 28-29
  • Inbound:
    • October: 3-6, 10-13, 17-20 and 24-27
    • November: 8 and 15 (68,000 miles)
    • December: 6 (67,500 miles)

New York (JFK/LGA/EWR) to/from London-Heathrow (LHR)

  • Outbound:
    • October: 1-6, 9-27 and 31
    • November: 1-18, 20-22, 25-26 and 30
    • December: 1-2, 5-8, 12-16, 20-21 and 24-31
  • Inbound:
    • October: 1-15, 17-22, 25-29 and 31
    • November: 1-18, 20-26 and 30
    • December: 1-15, 20-21, 24-25 and 27-31

New York (JFK/LGA/EWR) to/from Sao Paulo (GRU)

  • Outbound:
    • October: 1, 3-9, 12-15, 18-22 and 25-28
    • November: 1-5, 7-16 and 23-25
    • December: 5-6, 24-26, 28 and 31
  • Inbound:
    • October: 2-6, 10-14, 17-20, 23-27 and 30
    • November: 1-3, 5-6, 8-10, 15-17, 19-20, 23-24 and 30
    • December: 1-2 and 7-8

Related: Is American Airlines Flagship First worth it?

How to earn American miles

Need to stock up on American miles? You have quite a few options despite AAdvantage not being a transfer partner of any transferable points program.

The easiest way to earn American miles is using a cobranded credit card. These earn American miles on all purchases and generally include a solid welcome bonus.

You can also transfer Marriott Bonvoy points to AAdvantage. Transfers process at a 3:1 ratio, with a 5,000-mile bonus for every 60,000 points transferred.

Related: Maximizing redemptions with American Airlines AAdvantage

Bottom line

This deal is a great way to try American’s Flagship First product for relatively few points. Remember, you can cancel your American award tickets for a full refund if need be, so there’s little risk involved in booking. Just be sure to keep up with the news before you depart to ensure restrictions haven’t changed.

Feature photo by JT Genter/The Points Guy

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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.

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