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The Points Guy and View from the Wing have reported success asking American Airlines to open up award space in two circumstances: to complete a party and to complete an award.

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“To complete a party” is when you find two Saver award seats but you need three or something similar.

“To complete an award” is when you live in Houston and you find award space from Dallas to Miami to Lima, but you cannot find award space from Houston to Dallas to start the trip.

That’s all according to JonNYC from the Traveling Better forum who always seems to have the inside info on American Airlines.

If you fall into one of those categories, you should call in and ask the agent to request award space from QMAX.

As I mentioned a few days ago, I found Saver award space in Business Class from Buenos Aires to New York to Phoenix just before Christmas, but Saver award space from Phoenix to Honolulu, where I want to go is only available in economy. I decided to call in and ask an American Airlines agent to request Saver award space in Business Class from Phoenix to Honolulu from QMAX to complete an award.

I wish I’d recorded that call. It was a failure and a bit confusing. First the agent just searched for Business Class award space, and of course there isn’t any. I asked her to request the space from QMAX.

She said there was nothing she could do. I asked if she knew what I was talking about, and she said yes, but she couldn’t do it.

We went back and forth for a bit. At one point, she mentioned I wasn’t “Gold or Platinum” (ie I don’t have elite status with American Airlines), so I asked if she could make the request if I did have status. She said she couldn’t, so I eventually hung up more confused than ever about whether this trick could still work under any circumstances.

For my trip, it doesn’t seem worth the time to call more agents to see if I get a different answer. I’ll just stick to my plan of monitoring award space from Phoenix to Honolulu in Business Class with an automatic alert.

But if you want to try to get an American Airlines agent to release Saver award space for you, I’d suggest reading the comments in this View from the Wing post to see people’s experiences. Most didn’t get space opened up, but some did.

And to head off questions I expect:

  1. No, no other airlines have a similar process by which you can ask them to release award space.
  2. No, you cannot request American Airlines release Saver award space, so you can book it with another type of miles like Avios.

 

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