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Spectacular Domestic American Airlines AAward AAvailability

July 08, 2018
4 min read
AA American Airlines 787-9 789 Main Cabin cabin view
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Since I live on the road, I fly a lot. Because of this, I search award availability daily — and usually many times per day. And today, I'm seeing some jaw-dropping AAward AAvailability on domestic routes. Every award option that I've searched now through March has become available.

In addition to the widespread award availability, the other very surprising aspect about the options themselves is that they, well, don't suck. As part of a change that AAdvantage made in December 2017, we have been seeing more award availability, but the available awards require an extra stop or an extra-long layover. For example, this is what I'm used to finding:

But, that's not the case with the awards that I'm seeing today. For routes that I've been searching, the award options have been the best-available connections.

For example, I'm likely flying from Atlanta (ATL) to San Jose (SJC) on September 12. Since this is a route that requires one stop, I assumed many award options would be two-stops or require a long layover. That's not the case. Right now, I'm seeing a stunning 23 one-stop saver award options and 12 of these options have connections of less than two hours.

Holidays Included

American Airlines has deservedly gotten a lot of flak for way, way overcharging for awards around the holidays. While we are still seeing 75,000 one-way economy awards on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, I'm finding the dates around and between holidays are eerily wide open with saver award availability:

Reduced Mileage Awards

If you have an eligible credit card, don't forget to book as Reduced Mileage Awards if your origin or destination is on the current version of the program. And, remember that Executive Platinum elites get free upgrades even on award flights. Combining these two aspects, I regularly fly in first class on 8,750-mile one-way awards.

Use Iberia Avios

This award availability is amazing news for those of us that just got a stash of Iberia Avios from the 90,000 bonus Avios promotion. A great use of Iberia Avios is for American Airlines domestic awards. Unlike British Airways Avios, Iberia Avios doesn't price awards per segment but based on the total flight length. However, you will need to commit to a round-trip award to book with Iberia Avios.

Round-trip domestic awards start at 12,000 Avios for itineraries totaling less than 1,000 miles. This is 15,000 miles less than American Airlines charges for the same itinerary.

Round-trip flights that total between 1,000 and 2,000 flight miles cost just 17,000 Avios vs. 25,000 AAdvantage miles:

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Transcontinental nonstop flights — and other flights between 4,000 and 5,000 total miles — cost just 28,000 Avios round-trip:

There's no telling how long this AAmazing AAward AAvailability will be around. So, hurry up and book your award flights now!

Featured image by Economy on American Airlines 787-9. Photo by JT Genter / TPG.