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. The first one we looked at was Hawaii. This time, we will look at North Asia.
American Airlines Off-Peak Awards – North Asia
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 to North Asia
While this list only includes two countries – Japan and Korea – they are the two countries that make up the majority of the airlines’ North Asia region. Even though it is two countries, they are very strong countries for traveling to Asia with. One of the reasons is that each country has a very large city that plays host to the millions of tourists that visit them each year (Seoul, South Korea and Tokyo, Japan). Another reason is that each country acts as a hub for multiple airlines – Korean Air and Asiana for South Korea and ANA and Japan Airlines for Japan. Not only do these airlines service anywhere that you want to go around Asia but they also offer the unique position of being different with different alliances if you want to use other miles to bounce around Asia. The best part? These are available for a roundtrip pricing of 50,000 miles per person!
- Regular award rate in coach – 32,500 miles one-way
- Off-peak award rate in coach – 25,000 miles one way
- Off-peak dates – October 1 – April 30
The off-peak dates are very generous in that it encompasses almost 60% of the year at the lower pricing of 15,000 miles for a roundtrip award to Japan and Korea. That is a great savings and it does not box you in to a particular month or two to take advantage of it.
Another good part about this option is what is defined as North America. It includes all 50 US states, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and the Bermuda and Bahamas. While most people will begin from one of the 48 continental states, this could still serve to help anyone who wants to make a real trip out of this. For example, you could get a cheap ticket to the Caribbean and then use that (a few days later) for your departure point and still only pay 25,000 miles for that one-way.
Availability is great! Searching for main cities to both Tokyo and Seoul for 6 passengers, the calendars showed a lot of availability as close as October and November. That makes a great deal for families that want to vacation in Asia on the cheap – for 4 people to get roundtrip to Asia, it would only require 200,000 miles.
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. Another great part about these off-peak awards to North Asia is that the taxes and fees are fairly low compared to the taxes/fees for travel to Europe (right around $50 or so per person).
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.