Improvements to American’s Advantage Program

One common complaint I have (and I hear from clients) about frequent flier programs, and American Advantage in particular, is that awards for redeemed tickets are for round trip travel. That means that if you wanted to fly one way, you’d still need to spend the miles needed for a round trip ticket. Also, if one of the flights you wanted was not available with the cheaper awards, you’d have to use more miles to use the Anytime award for the whole ticket.

American has now changed that. I received an e-mail today from them introducing One Way Flex Awards. One Way Flex Awards cost exactly half of the round trip award, and give the flexibility that was lacking in the previous scheme. A domestic one-way ticket can now be had for 12,500 miles, instead of 25,000 (with half of those going to waste).

Another advantage is that classes of service can now be combined. For example, travel to Europe on an overnight flight in Business Class, so you can rest better when you arrive in the morning, and return on an Economy award, on a day flight. You can now do that for 70,000 miles instead of spending 100,000 on a round trip Business Class ticket.

Also, you can combine the more restrictive Mile Saver awards with Anytime awards if needed to avoid having to pay for a ticket.

It’s not often that an airline will introduce positive changes that don’t have a catch in the small print. So far, I haven’t been able to find one in this case. If so, kudos to American Airlines.

What do you think of these changes? Feel free to comment below.


Enrique Brener
KC Travel
N. Miami Beach, FL
FL Seller of Travel Reg. TI-35171


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