What AAdvantage Awards To Prioritize For Booking Today - Running with Miles
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What AAdvantage Awards To Prioritize For Booking Today

American Airlines tickets
Written by Charlie

AAdvantage awards are about to become much more expensive in business and first class for most regions. Here are some tables to help you see which reservations you should prioritize for booking today.

Advertiser Disclosure

Today is the day – the last day to book your AAdvantage awards before the rates on many awards go up tomorrow! With a lot of changes coming and only so many miles in your accounts, this post is here to help you prioritize what awards you may want to lock in today.

AAdvantage Awards To Prioritize For Booking Today

American Airlines tickets

By Stefano Panzeri via Shutterstock

If you are like me, you are trying to snag any awards that you think you may use before the amounts go up tomorrow on so many of the premium redemptions. For Executive Platinum members, that is easy since we can cancel and redeposit for free. For everyone else, doing that redeposit of your miles will cost you $150 for the first ticket and $25 for the second ticket and so forth.

So, here are a couple of tables to show you the changes that will occur tomorrow and to help you prioritize which awards should be booked today. The changes on some awards will be smaller than others and could wait until you are able to accrue the difference while others are substantially higher after the change and should be booked today.

To see economy awards to book today, check this post.

The first will be business awards to show you what will change. All of these awards are from the Continental US.

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Analysis

I say maybe for South America 2 and Europe because in the scheme of things, it is “only” 15,000 miles more roundtrip. I think it is an amount that is on the fence as to whether or not you use your miles at this point to book such a trip speculatively or in place of using other miles. It will depend on the amount of miles you currently have and how many people will be traveling.

For the Asia 1 & 2 and South Pacific regions, those are definitely ones to book as they will be going up quite a bit, even for a one way. Those are awards that I would go ahead and get booked today to make the most of the savings you have right now.

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Analysis

This one needs a bit more explaining. While there are some amounts that show as much of a change as business categories where I said “Yes” to booking now and prioritizing, I said “No” for first class. That is because, when offered, first class is certainly not necessary on flights to Mexico, Caribbean, Central America, and even Hawaii. Of course, first class is really never a “necessity” but a nicety but for short flights like this, it is not in most people’s interest to put out the extra miles just to have the first class flight (depending on how AA markets the flight).

For Canada/Alaska, I put a “Yes” on that because JFK-Vancouver is a route that you can fly in first class on Cathay Pacific’s flight. That is easily the best transcontinental premium option and it is worth booking now and prioritizing on your awards.

I put a “Maybe” on South America 2 and a “Yes” on Europe for the same amounts because some people really would like to secure first class aboard British Airways (even with the high surcharges) and that would likely be superior to what you may experience in certain AA flights in first class.

What Awards To Prioritize The Most?

By far, the ones you are going to want to prioritize with the miles you have now are going to be for first class to the Middle East/Indian Subcontinent, Asia 1&2, and the South Pacific. Asia 2 is going to especially painful levels and it makes sense to make those flights your priority today before it changes.

Don’t Forget Regional Shifts

Pay attention as well to where the country is located, according to AA, that you are booking to. Tomorrow some of these countries may be shifting to different regions and give you even better options for getting there, even if it costs more in miles. Identify those by referring to this post so that you have the information you need.

Summary

Devaluations are never fun. At least we had plenty of time to get the awards we want (or at least search for them) and earn the miles we need for it. If you are stuck in these last hours trying to prioritize which awards to book, hopefully the charts above help you with that.

Editorial Note - Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

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About the author

Charlie

Charlie has been an avid traveler and runner for many years. He has run in marathons around the world for less than it would cost to travel to the next town - all as a result of collecting and using miles and points. Over the years, he has flown hundreds of thousands of miles and collected millions of miles and points.
Now he uses this experience and knowledge to help others through Running with Miles.

7 Comments

  • For anybody looking to get to Australia, I have 2 flights on hold that I am going to cancel. I’m not sure what the logistics are, but I’m happy to do a joint call with someone to AA to cancel my bookings and you can grab the seats once they become available again. The flights are:
    Nov 30: LAX to MEL in First Class (Qantas)
    Dec 24: LAX-Auckland (AA), AKL-SYD (Qantas) in business class

    Just shoot me an email if you want to try to grab these available seats once I cancel.

    derricksd at gmail

  • Already booked CX F/J combo and QR F/J combo. That said, I’m eyeing an Australia trip sometime and since I don’t know when and I don’t want to risk a redeposit fee, I figure flying to Australia from Japan at 40K J (a reduction of 5K miles) or in F at 60K miles is still a good deal for a appx. 10 hour flight. To get to Japan from the West Coast is fairly reasonable in Y. So I’ll suffer the indignities of a Y TP flight and enjoy the remainder in comfort on JAL, or Qantas. i don’t know off hand if you can route through Asia 2 to get to Australia – I don’t think so. So CX is out as would be Malaysia.

    • Very nice! That’s right, unfortunately, you cannot route to Australia through Asia as it violates the third region rule and there is no exception for it (hate those rules!).

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