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Ugh. American Airlines’ new tool for searching award space is super annoying. The results are in no way displayed in a way that makes it efficient for us to see what’s available.

It gives you no easy option to filter number of stops or cabin. On the week view, it says a filter function is coming soon… but it’s said that for a while now. (Edit 7/18: There are some filter options on the mobile version. I for one rarely search for award space on my phone though, I find doing so to be annoying in itself.)

Luckily there’s an easy way to get the old tool to show up. On AA’s homepage, instead of filling out your city pair and travel dates there, click the Advanced / Multi-city search link.

Fill out all your search info on that page (make sure to click Redeem miles at the very top of the page) , and your results will display on the old calendar!

Phew. You once again have the option to filter for only non-stop flights, and easily toggle between Saver Level economy, Business, etc.

And notice that the results displayed from the new award search tool do not distinguish Saver Level award prices like the old calendar does. I agree with Lucky that these changes hint at what’s very likely on the horizon for AAdvantage: a switch to dynamic award pricing. It’s how this industry works. Delta does it first, and the other legacies follow suit. United MileagePlus switches to a dynamic, revenue-based award pricing system in November. The days of AAdvantage’s award charts are numbered.

Bottom Line

If you don’t have any experience or knowledge redeeming foreign loyalty program miles, it’s time to start learning. After the new site is up and running–get excited! Coming soon :)–my next big goal for MileValue is to update/rewrite guides for redeeming miles with all the major foreign frequent flyer programs and write new ones for the programs we haven’t yet covered.

I’m not saying that these switches to revenue-based award pricing are going to destroy the value of the legacy carrier’s loyalty programs. It could very well do good things for the state of domestic award space, and possibly domestic award prices, as explained in United Drops Award Chart November 15… and I have read that the majority of people redeem miles domestically rather than internationally. But for the rest of the us, not having set award prices between regions, especially on premium cabin international awards, could mean rapid inflation. Do you ever redeem Delta miles on premium cabins internationally? You can’t period for First Class. And Business Class prices are totally unaffordable. I don’t want to see that happen with United and American Airlines miles.

Bets on when AAdvantage announces the big shift?

Hat tip to One Mile at a Time for this little trick that helps me avoid extreme annoyance when searching for oneworld award space.

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