While much of the focus of awards to book before the AA devaluation is on the premium awards, there are some economy gems that should be considered as well. Here are two of those that you may want to think about booking before the devaluation.
2 Interesting AA Awards To Book Before The Devaluation
When you mention getting great value from airline miles, most people will assume you are speaking of redeeming for business or first class tickets. But, there are many ways that booking economy can also bring you some incredible value, especially when it comes to stretching your miles. These awards definitely fit under that heading.
Hawaii <-> Europe Off-Peak
Airlines like United charge 22,500 miles for a one way award to/from Hawaii and the mainland US. American Airlines bests that amount and does it in remarkable fashion.
Only 20,000 Miles For One Way Between Hawaii & Europe!
The off-peak price for Hawaii and the mainland sits at only 17,500 miles one way. That by itself is pretty good. But, you can do even better by paying only 2,500 more miles for a one way and fly to/from Hawaii and Europe for only 20,000 miles in coach! That is the same price as it is to fly from the mainland US to Europe and AA gives us Hawaii in that same amount!
Hawaii’s off-peak range is pretty generous – January 12 – March 13, August 22 – December 15. That encompasses a lot of time and even school vacation time if you wanted to make such a journey for the family!
These awards are simple to book online and price out right at the 20,000 miles each way. If you avoid British Airways and London, you can keep the taxes/fees pretty low. On the itinerary below, it is just the normal amount you would pay for flights departing the US with 2 segments – $11.20.
Making It Work
Now, for someone on the mainland, you may wonder how and why you would ever use this. Well, for starters, it would make a nice end cap for a honeymoon or anniversary trip!
It could also be a great award for anyone wanting to maximize their miles and really wanting to get around. To be able to fly from Europe to Hawaii before returning to the mainland (or vice versa) would make a great little adventure. Yes, it is coach, but it is still less flying than if you were to travel from the eastern US to Australia! Plus, some of the connections force you to take an overnight in the US which would help to break it up and even give you more time for an additional city in the trip.
After The Devaluation
After the devaluation, this gem of an award disappears completely. Instead of costing only 20,000 miles one way, it goes up to 40,000 miles one way as there is no off-peak option for it anymore. That is a 100% increase over what you could get now. If you want to really maximize your miles on a fun trip like this, better get booking!
Hawaii <-> South America 1/Central America
Again, this is a route that most mainland US residents would wonder “who is going to fly this?” But, it again points to the value that can be had by putting a couple of trips right on top of each other.
Only 15,000 Miles Between Hawaii & Central/South America 1!
Amazingly enough, while an off-peak Hawaii to the mainland ticket is 17,500 miles one way, Hawaii to South America (transiting through the mainland) is only 15,000 miles one way. That means if you wanted to get off the plane on the mainland and not continue on (providing your connecting airport was your home airport), you could actually save 2,500 miles! I am not suggesting you do that but highlighting the value that can be had by simply continuing your trip to South Region 1(or Central) America from Hawaii.
After The Devaluation
Again, after the devaluation, the off-peak options for Hawaii are gone. Hawaii to Central America goes up to 25,000 miles year round for one way travel and travel to South America Region 1 goes up to 30,000 miles. Definitely an award you will want to book before the devaluation if you want to get it!
Of course, this is only saving a few thousand miles if you have to use miles to get to Hawaii to start all of these trips (because the off-peak calendar from the mainland to Europe and Central/South America is also low). But, if you can use a different mileage program to get to Hawaii (if you live on the West Coast and use British Airways Avios) or pay for a cheap revenue ticket (they pop up from time-to-time), you could really stretch the value of your miles! You must do it before March 22, though!