Throughout 2019 American Airlines had an increasing number of online ‘web specials’ for booking award tickets. For those that do not know, American Airlines new award specials online are special routes that have discounted prices. In the beginning, American Airlines had a listed group of routes that were deemed award specials. Many of these routes included their major hubs like Phoenix and Charlotte flying to a number of cities. The shorter flights appeared around 5,000 points and longer range ones around 7,500. Just note that at first the list of cities included was very limited and all domestic.
One of the first award specials that caught my eye was a one way ticket from Washington-National (DCA) to Phoenix (PHX) for 7,500 points. I found this award during a period where I was struggling to even find 12,500 points for a one way domestic flight, which was their published award chart cost. For just 2,500 points more than a normal one way ticket, I was then able to buy round trip flights.
During the year, they offered additional discounted award routes. Now, to my knowledge, they do not even offer a list of the different routes that have the discounted rates anymore. The locations you can fly at these prices have increased significantly. These tickets are regular economy tickets, not basic economy, similar to how Delta offers their discounted award sales. You will still have any benefits that you may get with regular economy such as picking main economy plus seats at booking for some elites.
When you are looking for an award flight, you can compare the cost between the web special price and the savor cost. Often the web special will show its great value. Just to give you an example of how great the web specials are, here are a few of the best deals I have seen:
Transcontinental flights for as low as 5,000 miles one way. You heard me correctly; fly from DC, Philadelphia, New York and even more east coast cities to LA, San Fran, San Diego and more for only 5,000 points. There are currently a large number of routes all over the US that are showing at this rate. If the flights you need are at this price point, book them because the prices are not going to get any better. The cost of these tickets are only a mere 40% of the published savor award costs. Make sure to use American’s old award search system. If you are flexible with dates you could snag one of these deals. I have seen the same route on American, DCA-LAX go for 25,000 miles one way in economy, which is a ripoff, with the web specials being only 5,000 points. On a random day in February, I happened to find 6k miles one way for a ticket that would have cost $159. Effectively, in this example you would be redeeming your points at 2.6 cents per point, which is a great value, especially for economy tickets.
Additionally, I have found amazing flights from not only the west coast, but from the east coast to Hawaii for as low as 10,000 miles one way with many routes pricing out in the mid-teens. Again, you have to be flexible. Compared to the standard 22,500 points or more, it is a great deal.
Most of the sales have been for domestic economy. However, recently American began to offer awards on premium class tickets and long haul flights as well. Just this week, I discovered flights on American from DC and a range of other destinations to Paris for 34,000 points round trip or 84,000 for biz. Both are great deals with considerable differences from the normal prices.
Hopefully, we will see more, not only economy, but long haul premium cabin web specials as well. These specials are great for saving your hard earned points and I can only wish for more of them. Since I cannot apply for my own credit cards to earn points or be a frequent flier, I have a limited number of miles. The possibility that I can fly to Europe with the few points I have, truly amazes me. Let me know down below about any amazing AA web special deals that you have found.
Leave a Reply