6 American Airlines Awards to Book NOW before the DevaluAAtion


This week I have been writing every day about how you have until March 21, 2016 to earn and burn American Airlines miles on its positively cheap award chart before the airline devalues many of its best award prices. You can get in on the fun if you start today, even if you currently have zero American Airlines miles, but you need to get the American Airlines credit cards this week.

I’m talking about booking awards at prices like:

  • 20,000 miles each way in economy to Brazil or Argentina
  • 55,000 miles each way in Cathay Pacific Business Class to Southeast Asia
  • 32,500 miles each way for flat bed First Class from New York to Los Angeles or San Francisco
  • 62,500 miles each way in Business Class to Australia or New Zealand
  • 62,500 miles each way in First Class to Europe
  • 50,000 miles each way in Business Class to Japan, Korea or Mongolia

Below are specific examples of these awards and the availability forecast in 2016 for each of them.

Los Angeles to Rio de Janeiro

It currently costs 20,000 miles to fly Economy one way from Los Angeles to Rio de Janeiro during the off peak window from March 1 – May 31 and August 16 – November 30. Award space is wide open from March through May, and August through November. You can search for this route at aa.com.

LAX to RIO aug-sep

Because off peak awards are being completely axed from the United States to Southern South America, starting March 22, the cheapest you’d be able to book this award is 30,000 miles one way–a 50% increase.

New York to Los Angeles

It currently costs 32,500 miles to fly one way in First Class from New York to San Francisco, a route which features an international-style flat bed. Award space is open nearly every Friday through Monday, mid August thru mid December. You can search for this route at aa.com.

NYC to SFO aug-sept

That price will rise to 50,000 miles one way for bookings made after March 22–a 53% increase.

San Francisco to Sydney

It currently costs 62,500 miles to fly one way in Business Class from San Francisco to Australia or New Zealand. There appears to be an average of five days a month available. You can search for this route at aa.com.

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 11.46.14 AM

That price will rise to 80,000 miles one way–a 28% increase.

Chicago to London

It currently costs 62,500 miles to fly one way in First Class to Europe. From mid-March all the way through the rest of the year, there is availability nearly every day! You can search for this route at aa.com.
ORD to LHR may

Much of this award space is in British Airways First Class with big fuel surcharges, but there is also plenty of American Airlines First Class award space to Paris and Madrid.

That price will rise to 85,000 miles one way–a 28% increase.

New York to Hong Kong/SE Asia

It currently costs 55,000 miles to fly Cathay Pacific Business Class one way from New York to Hong Kong and everywhere else in Southeast Asia. Cathay Pacific releases tons of Business Class award space 11 months in advance, so this is an award you can lock in for most of 2016. You can search for this route at ba.com.

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 6.05.11 PM


That price will rise to 70,000 miles–a 27% increase.

Chicago to Tokyo

It currently costs 50,000 miles to fly Japan Airlines or American Airlines Business Class from Chicago to Tokyo. Availability is open pretty much every day from the beginning of April until the end of November. You can search for this route at ba.com to see award space from American Airlines and Japan Airlines. To just see American Airlines space, search aa.com.

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 6.17.48 PM


That price is rising to 60,000 each way–a 20% increase.

Bottom Line

If you don’t have any miles and you want to book at current prices, do not dally. The time to take action to beat the devAAluation is now. Even waiting a week will ruin this plan.

Some credit card offers in this post have expired, but they might come back. If they do they will appear –> Click here for the top current credit card sign up bonuses.

The  Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard® and CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World MasterCard® are each offering 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first three months.

Screen Shot 2015-11-02 at 6.44.51 PMScreen Shot 2015-11-09 at 3.59.13 PM


Key Links:

  • Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard®
  • CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World MasterCard®

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  1. Hey FYI there’s a typo…you wrote it’s 55k miles to fly first class from JFK-HKG. Should be business class 🙂

  2. Mongolia may show up on the chart but I don’t see any OW carriers that actually fly there. What am I missing?

    • Funny timing on this comment. There aren’t any that fly there and TODAY, AA updated its award definitions to remove countries where no partners fly.

  3. Any tips on holding far out awards? I recall the strategy of booking now and changing but i only see the flights i want in the class i want avaialble this week… i dont plan to travel till year end..

  4. Trying to book a trip to HK for April 2016. Not seeing any biz class availability. Does that sound right based on the timing? Do you think seats will open up over the next 2mths? Thanks.

  5. traveling europe on AA multi-city chs-dub-edi-chs 5-17/6-7. because biz mile saver not available, booked economy with hope that biz seats would open. With the impending deval changes, I fear if/when biz seats are opened it will be with the higher mileage requirements. Advice?


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