Off-peak awards are great – it gives you a chance to stretch your miles and be able to experience more places for less. Unfortunately, not every airline publishes off-peak awards. The good news is that American Airlines is one that does have these special awards. We will break down each of the zones that American Airlines uses for their off-peak awards, starting with Hawaii.
American Airlines Off-Peak Awards – Hawaii
American Airlines offers several off-peak awards and they actually have a couple of ways that their off-peak awards are better than US Airways. For example, the awards themselves do not only need to be on AA flights (US Airway off-peak awards must only be on US Airway flights) and you can book one-way awards with AA (US Airway awards must be round-trip). Given the amount of flights that these advantages give us at a decreased level, the American Airline off-peak awards should definitely not be missed.
North America, Central America, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela to Hawaii
- Regular award rate in coach – 22,500 miles one-way
- Off-peak award rate in coach – 17,500 miles one way (with some pricing at 15,000 one-way)
- Off-peak dates – January 12 – March 13, August 22 – December 15
South America to Hawaii (some countries)
This is actually pretty wide ranging since it involves South American countries in the travel to Hawaii. So, not only can you fly from anywhere in North America to Hawaii roundtrip for 35,000 miles, but you could also fly from, for example, Peru to Hawaii roundtrip for 35,000 miles!
This is much better than other airlines as United charges 50,000 miles for that roundtrip and Delta charges 55,000 miles for that roundtrip. Using American Airlines and their off-peak awards can save you 15,000 – 20,000 miles for that route!
I understand that it is not a route that everyone is likely to fly, but it is nice to have it as an option, especially if you wanted to have a longer vacation and hit more countries on your trip. You can mix and match the zones as well as one-ways (we will put all of that together below).
To make it even more interesting, some times the AA award for such an itinerary will actually price out at 15,000 miles for a one-way instead of 17,500! Sure, it is only a 2,500 mile difference, but that is one incredible deal to get to go from South America to Hawaii for only 15,000 miles! That same exact itinerary actually costs over $1,100, meaning you can get a value of 7.3 cents per mile flying in coach! That is a pretty stellar redemption, but again, not everyone will be flying from Peru to Hawaii! 🙂
North America to Hawaii
Availability to Hawaii during AA’s off-peak schedule is pretty decent. Yes, you may have to go through a couple of layovers depending on your departure airport, but it is still ok. One of the great things about AA’s off-peak calendar is that it encompasses 4 of the big Hawaii marathons! That means, you can mix vacation with racing and take advantage of this off-peak pricing to swing over to Hawaii for a race while only paying 10,000 more miles than you would for a domestic ticket!
Of course, the reason these are off-peak times is because it is not the best of times to visit Hawaii, but that does not mean that weather will be bad! In fact, it could be the best time to visit for the budget traveler as even hotels will be cheaper and AA’s schedule covers 176 days out of the year with off-peak pricing! Not bad!
To book these tickets, there is nothing special you need to do. The off-peak schedule is already in the award engine so you just search for your ticket and pick your flights to go! AA offers a hold option so you can hold the ticket before actually ticketing it if you are unsure but don’t want to lose the ticket. Other than that, just book it and get ready to go!
One of the great things about AA and their off-peak pricing is the fact that one-ways are half price of a roundtrip. This enables you to assemble several interesting options that we will look at as we break down some of the other off-peak destinations. For an example to show you what is possible, let’s say that you want to go on a big trip so you hit Hawaii first (17,500 miles) and then want to go to Europe for a few days (20,000 miles). Even counting your return (20,000 miles), you are looking at a pretty great trip to many places for less than what other airlines just charge to go to Europe and back!
Off-peak awards are a great use for your AA miles. They are also some of the awards that are most likely merger-proof since they are only available in coach. So, if you do not have enough miles right now, you should have plenty of time to rack them up.