Nearly every day between October 27, 2013 and March 31, 2014, there are seven first class seats available from Miami to Buenos Aires and Buenos Aires to Miami on American Airlines flights.

This is unusual based on my watching the route the last few months, so you should act now if you want to fly first class to South America with your American Airlines miles during the Southern Hemisphere’s summer!

I flew the route in first class four months ago and found the bed very comfortable for sleeping. My full trip report is here: Trip Report: American Airlines Flagship First from Miami to Buenos Aires.

How can you take advantage of the deal, and are there any other routes with great availability for Southern Hemisphere Summer 2014?

Last year, American Airlines was releasing tons of award space in first class on all of its flights from Miami to South America. I had lots of options when I booked my award from Los Angeles to Buenos Aires via Miami.

American was also liberally opening up saver award space in business class on its South American routes.

But in the last twelve months, I’ve seen a steady and dramatic decline in the amount of award space available from Miami to South America with American Airlines miles in all cabins. And first class space has pretty much dried up.

Fast forward to today when reader Chris tipped me off that American has released more space than ever on one specific route in one cabin during one long window:

  • Miami to Buenos Aires to Miami
  • Flagship First
  • October 27, 2013 to March 31, 2014

Here’s what the award space for 62,500 miles each way plus $77 in taxes roundtrip looks like:

Purple-shaded days have award space in first class from Miami to Buenos Aires at the saver level. The space starts in late October five days a week. By Christmas, there is space every day, and that persists until March 31 when it abruptly stops. The return award space is almost identical.

Each day, the flight with award space is the day time flight, which is undoubtedly less popular in first class.

Outbound: AA 999 MIA 10:45 AM – EZE 9:40 PM
Return: AA 934 EZE 10:00 AM – MIA 6:15 PM

During that span, almost every day that has one award seat has seven award seats in first class at the saver level! Here’s a sample booking of a roundtrip first class award for six.

Because American Airlines has released saver award space, its partners have access to the same space. If you have Avios from the Chase British Airways card or you have transferred American Express Membership Rewards to Avios at the current 35% bonus, you can book these flights for 75,000 Avios each way plus government taxes (and no fuel surcharges.)

Amazingly to me, this award space is available at the best time to visit Argentina–during its summer when Patagonia is the most accessible and the beaches are packed. You can even easily book this space to correspond to a New Year’s trip or to your kids’ spring break.

I am astounded by the quantity of first class award space released and the dates.

Connecting to Miami and Buenos Aires

If you don’t live in Miami, you can get there on American Airlines domestic flights in first class. Finding award space to Miami should be fairly easy since it’s an American Airlines hub and American releases a good amount of award space domestically.

If you’d prefer to fly somewhere else in Argentina or South America, you can connect in Buenos Aires on oneworld-partner LAN flights to your destination.

If you book the trip as an AA award, these extra flights will cost no extra miles and just taxes. If you book the trip as a British Airways Avios award, all segments will count toward the total miles cost of the award.

Other Routes

I was so excited by the award space that I was hoping it signaled a bonanza of space to South America on American Airlines. Unfortunately, it doesn’t. I checked Dallas and New York to Buenos Aires and found very poor award space in all cabins in late 2013 and early 2014.

I also checked Miami to other South American destinations like Sao Paulo and Montevideo. I didn’t find much award space in any cabin on those routes either.

The first class award space between Miami and Buenos Aires looks like an aberration that I’m tempted to call a mistake. I would certainly book sooner rather than later. And I would place the award space on a five-day courtesy hold online immediately if I though I might want it but needed time to decide.

Getting the Miles

Unfortunately the ability to get two Citi American Airlines cards and their bonuses at the same time died a few months ago, and the 50k miles Citi American Airlines card offers died a few days ago.

This FlyerTalk thread lists the best available Citi AA offers–currently topping out at 40k–and the best way to apply for them.

The other option to earn American Airlines miles is to transfer Starwood Preferred Guest Starpoints in. SPG points transfer in at a 1:1 rate with a 5,000 mile bonus for every 20k points transferred. (20k Starpoints = 25k AA miles.)

You can get both the personal and business Starwood cards on the same day.

Both cards offer 25,000 bonus Starpoints after spending $5k in the first six months. The cards earn one Starpoint on purchases, and one Starpoint is worth more than one of any other type of point because of its transfer partners and transfer rate of 20k points: 25k miles.

Personal Card: Starwood Preferred Guest American Express

The business card has the same sign up bonus plus automatic enrollment in the American Express OPEN Program, which means automatic discounts up to 10% at certain hotels, car rental places, business logistics stores, and more.

Business Card: Starwood Preferred Guest American Express Business Card

Recap

Big thanks to reader Chris for the massive tip that there are seven first class seats available basically daily to Buenos Aires on American Airlines this coming South American summer. The space is:

  • Miami to Buenos Aires to Miami
  • Flagship First
  • October 27, 2013 to March 31, 2014
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