As I wrote yesterday, I am trying to burn some last minute AA miles before the devaluation. I had some ideas of what I wanted to obtain with them and they include a really great place to run/explore mixed with an excellent award redemption (great value, nice cabin, etc).
A Fantastic Award – That Is Not Bookable
Award Sweet Spots
One of the great regions for award travel under the current AA chart is the Middle East/Indian Subcontinent. It gives some great pricing on premium cabin awards to both Europe (30,000 for business, 40,000 for first) and the South Pacific (45,000 for business, 60,000 for first). That is made even better because some of the best carriers for top business/first products are the carriers that are based in the Middle East.
Destination: Easter Island
One spot that had always been on my list to visit is Easter Island. There have been some amazing sale fares over the years to there from the US but they were never at convenient times for me. So, it remains on my “someday” list.
Where Is It?
The interesting thing about Easter Island is where it is located on the map. It is actually a Chilean territory but American Airlines has seen fit to categorize it under South Pacific instead of South America region 2. It is kind of one of those little islands that is really in the middle of nowhere so that is understandable.
The difference, however, is huge when it comes to using AA miles for travel to Easter Island. It is served (almost – not Tuesdays)daily by LAN from Santiago, Chile on what is a 2,300 mile flight (a 6 hour flight). This route costs a little over $300 for a one way to island. If you use British Airways Avios, it will cost you 12,500 Avios for a coach ticket there but 37,500 AA miles for that same ticket. That is because of the regional classification AA has given Easter Island.
On the other hand, by placing it in the South Pacific, it does give a fantastic opportunity to use AA miles to get there from the Middle East for only 45,000 miles one way in business! That means traveling from Dubai (on Qantas), Abu Dhabi (on Etihad) or Doha (on Qatar) to Australia/New Zealand and then hopping another flight to Pape’ete for the once-a-week LAN flight on Tuesdays to Easter Island.
An Incredible Award Opportunity
That would be an incredible award redemption – around 14,000 miles through 3 cities (and countries) en route to this beautiful little island in the pacific – Easter Island. All that, in business, for only 45,000 miles one way.
Except, it cannot be booked. For one thing, award availability on the PPT-Easter Island route is non-existent (though I have heard it pops up on rare instances). Not only that, but according to AA’s award routing rules, you cannot transit a third region on an award. That means no flying to South America to catch the flight to Easter Island (which also does not show award availability) from the Middle East as you would need to transit two regions just to get to Easter Island – and that is not counting your originating or final region! For another thing, it has to be a published route – which does not exist.
So, it remains an award to just look at and imagine as an incredible redemption – but not one that can be booked. Have you ever booked it? I would be so glad to be told I am wrong and that it is bookable!
Have you found similar awards that line up with a chart but are not bookable?