6

LAN Airlines is releasing seven flat bed Business Class award seats per flight for most flights from Washington-Dulles to Lima for the next 11 months.

Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 2.36.57 PM

LAN launches the new route on May 2, 2016 flying Sundays, Monday, and Thursdays in both directions.

  • Lima to Washington-Dulles departing 9:00 AM arriving 5:50 PM (LA2800)
  • Washington-Dulles to Lima departing 11:30 PM arriving 6:20 AM the next day (LA2801)

There are seven Business Class seats and seven economy award seats you can book with American Airlines miles on nearly every flight from May 2, 2016 through late March 2017. Business Class is only 30,000 miles one way from the United States to Northern South America, including anywhere in Peru.

Peru is one of my favorite countries with a mega-city, Amazon Rainforest, Lake Titicaca, dessert, and beaches plus amazing food and culture. See my Peru Top Ten.

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard® comes with 50,000 bonus American Airlines miles after spending $5,000 in the first three months and Admirals Club lounge membership.

Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 4.44.21 PM

 

Just meeting its spending requirement gets you 55,000 miles, just shy of the 60,000 needed for a roundtrip in Business Class to Peru.

Product

The new route will feature a LAN 767. Here is a video review of the flat bed Business Class.

It is not the world’s nicest product, but realistically you cannot do much better on a flight under eight hours to South America.

Searching for Award Space

LAN award space does not appear on aa.com. You need to search it on ba.com. Here’s how. When you do, you will be ecstatic to see seven Business Class and seven economy seats on most flights…

Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 2.57.08 PMScreen Shot 2016-04-28 at 2.57.15 PMScreen Shot 2016-04-28 at 2.58.03 PM

…in both directions.
Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 2.57.08 PMScreen Shot 2016-04-28 at 3.02.43 PM

Connections

If you don’t live near Washington DC, you can still take advantage of this space. You can tack on domestic economy or First Class MileSAAver award space onto these international flights for zero extra miles. (You cannot add domestic AAnytime space to the itinerary.) Search for the award space on aa.com and note the date, cabin, and flight number.

Unfortunately American and its partner Alaska don’t have many flights into Dulles where the flights to Peru departs.

Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 2.33.46 PM

They have a lot more flights into Washington-National (DCA). You can add these to the award for zero extra miles though you will be on your own to get between the two airports.Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 2.34.44 PM

This space works perfectly for connections within Peru, landing early morning in Lima in time to catch connections and leaving Peru mid-morning, giving time to make connections heading home.

I’d recommend flying an open jaw roundtrip to see more of the region without backtracking. Here are the possible connections in Peru and Ecuador from Lima. Within Peru, get between cities with Avios or cash.

Screen Shot 2015-11-23 at 3.12.35 PM

You can search for award space from Washington all the way to any of these destinations on ba.com. Note the dates, cabins, and flights numbers of all flights you find that you want to book.
Screen Shot 2016-04-28 at 3.02.02 PM

Booking the Award

To book the award, you must call American Airlines at 800-882-8880. The phone fee should be waived, since you couldn’t book online, and make sure that it is.

Each way in economy is 20,000 American Airlines miles. Each way in Business Class is 30,000 American Airlines miles. You can mix-and-match cabins. Taxes are about $75 roundtrip to Peru, and there are no fees or fuel surcharges.

Pay the taxes with your Citi Prestige® Card.

The Citi Prestige® Card offers a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year that offsets your first $250 in spending on airlines with the card. Taxes on an award ticket definitely count.

The card also comes with 50,000 bonus ThankYou Points after spending $3,000 in the first three months, which can be transferred to 13 types of airline miles or used like cash toward the purchase of any ticket.

Getting the Miles

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard® comes with 50,000 bonus American Airlines miles after spending $5,000 in the first three months and Admirals Club lounge membership.

Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 4.44.21 PM

Just meeting its spending requirement gets you 55,000 miles, just shy of the 60,000 needed for a roundtrip in Business Class to Peru.

Bottom Line

Book your 2016 or 2017 trip to Peru with fantastic flat bed LAN Business Class award space, using American Airlines miles right now. LAN is usually rather stingy with award space, so snap this up before it disappears.

Key Link:

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

6

Qatar Airways First Class on its A380 is available nearly every day between Paris and Doha and widely available between Doha and Bangkok. You can fly:

  • Paris <-> Doha for 62,500 American Airlines miles
  • Bangkok <-> Doha for 50,000 American Airlines miles
  • Bangkok <-> Paris for 90,000 American Airlines miles

That’s 6 to 14 hours of luxury, including a flat bed and access to an onboard bar, for reasonable prices (though hardly the pittance that these routes were before the March 22 devaluation.)

Right now the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard® is offering 50,000 bonus American Airlines miles after $5,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open. The card also confers Admirals Club Lounge Membership.

Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 4.44.21 PM

Routes

Qatar flies its A380 on three routes from Doha to London, Paris, and Bangkok. These routes are remarkably similar in length, between 3,091 and 3,285 miles flown.

Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 8.44.48 AM

American Airlines Routing Rules

American Airlines charges 62,500 miles one way for First Class between Europe and the Middle East and only 50,000 miles one way between Asia 2 (where Bangkok is) and the Middle East.

From Europe to Asia 2, American Airlines charges 90,000 miles each way in First Class. Ordinarily, on a single American Airlines award, you cannot transit the Middle East between Europe and Asia 2, but flying Qatar is an exception. If you book Paris to Doha to Bangkok on Qatar, it will price as one American Airlines award that costs 90,000 miles in First Class. I have tested it.

Award Space

You can search for Qatar award space on ba.com. Here’s how. Any space that shows up there is bookable with American Airlines miles by calling American.

London Route

I didn’t find any First Class award space between Doha and London in either direction. I did find a lot of Business Class space that would be 42,500 miles one way or still 90,000 miles all the way to Bangkok if combined with Qatar First from Doha to Bangkok.

Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 8.12.50 AMScreen Shot 2015-12-21 at 8.12.47 AM

By the way, not all flights on these three routes are operated by an A380. To see the operating aircraft, click on the flight number on  ba.com.

Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 8.12.47 AM This will bring up the Flight Details, including the plane.Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 8.12.58 AM

Paris Route

The Paris route is the opposite of the London route. There are two A380 First Class seats nearly every day in both directions. Here is a sampling of award space across many months.

Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 8.12.50 AMScreen Shot 2015-12-21 at 8.25.03 AMScreen Shot 2015-12-21 at 8.25.35 AMScreen Shot 2015-12-21 at 8.25.59 AMScreen Shot 2015-12-21 at 8.27.02 AMScreen Shot 2015-12-21 at 8.27.52 AM

Bangkok Route

The Bangkok route falls in between the London and Paris routes in terms of availability. First Class space isn’t available nearly every day like to Paris, but space is available a few times a week on average.

Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 8.12.50 AMScreen Shot 2015-12-21 at 8.29.10 AM

Paris to Bangkok

The most common Paris to Doha flight with First Class award space is Qatar flight 40, which syncs up well to Qatar flight 836, both of which are operated by the A380. This is the type of itinerary you would need to find to pay 70,000 American Airlines miles to fly 13 hours of Qatar A380 First Class.

Screen Shot 2015-12-21 at 8.12.50 AMScreen Shot 2015-12-21 at 8.30.08 AM

How to Book

To book award space you find on ba.com, call American Airlines at 800-882-8880 and feed the agent the date, cabin, and flight number. Make sure the $40 phone fee is waived, since Qatar award space can’t be booked on aa.com.

Instead of booking, you can put the space on a five day hold.

Getting Home from Europe or Thailand

Very few MileValue readers live in London, Paris, Doha, or Bangkok, but all readers can take advantage of these awards as part of BIG round-the-world trips. Book the other legs of that trip cheaply by referencing this post about the cheapest awards to every region of the world.

Bottom Line

Qatar A380 First Class award space is widely available, especially on the Paris and Bangkok routes. You can book it for 50,000 or 62,500 American Airlines miles or pay 90,000 miles for two segments.

Right now the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard® is offering 50,000 bonus American Airlines miles after $5,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open. The card also confers Admirals Club Lounge Membership.

Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 4.44.21 PM

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

You can now redeem American Airlines miles to the Indian Subcontinent via Cathay Pacific or American Airlines flights that connect in Hong Kong.

Until today, you could only connect in Europe or the Middle East. Routing via Asia would break your trip into two awards–USA to East Asia + East Asia to Indian Subcontinent. This additional routing option is very welcome, especially for folks who live on the West Coast, for whom routing via Hong Kong is faster than routing via Europe or the Middle East.

The change appears on American Airlines’ award chart.

Screen Shot 2016-04-13 at 2.43.22 PM

The new tilde on the chart is explained in the footnotes.Screen Shot 2016-04-13 at 2.43.35 PM

The wording makes it clear that the routing via Hong Kong is only allowed to the Indian Subcontinent and not to the Middle East. Unfortunately, the AA award chart doesn’t separate those two regions.

Screen Shot 2016-04-13 at 3.11.20 PM

However, The Points Guy has confirmed with an AAgent that the following countries are considered to be the Indian Subcontinent:

  • Bangladesh
  • India
  • Kazakhstan
  • Maldives
  • Nepal
  • Pakistan
  • Sri Lanka
  • Turkmenistan
  • Uzbekistan

Unfortunately since the March 22 devaluation, awards to the Indian Subcontinent in First Class are insanely expensive:

  • 40,000 American Airlines miles one way in economy
  • 70,000 in Business
  • 115,000 in First

Economy and Business are decent values, though Alaska charges only 62,500 miles one way in Cathay Pacific Business to India and 70,000 miles in First.

Bottom Line

To get the Middle East on a single American Airlines award, you need to:

  1. Fly directly there
  2. Connect in Europe

To get to the Indian Subcontinent on a single American Airlines award, you need to:

  1. Fly directly there
  2. Connect in Europe
  3. Connect in the Middle East
  4. New Option: Connect in Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific or American Airlines flights

All other one way trips to the Middle East or Indian Subcontinent–like Los Angeles to Tokyo to Mumbai on Japan Airlines or Los Angeles to Hong Kong to Dubai on Cathay Pacific–will require at least two awards.

For more information on American Airlines’ award routing rules, see “AA Award Rules & How Many Miles Do You Need.”

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

You can book yourself a tour around Europe, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia stopping in four places for only 100,000 miles total with nearly half the trip in a flat bed. By stopping in four places, I am referring to actual destinations, not connections that have to be under 24 hours.

Much like the Mega Trip to the Caribbean and South America I wrote about a few days ago, this deal relies on piecing together some sweet spot awards (and this time also a low cost carrier flight within Europe) into one big trip. Even if you never take a trip like this, knowledge of the sweet spot awards is useful.

For the purposes of this example, this will be the route we examine:

Chicago > Paris > Istanbul > Doha > Bangkok > Chicago

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 1.54.50 PM

You can tweak the route to your liking and keep the same prices as long as each destination falls in the right region for the pricing of the award.

What does that mean exactly?

  • Chicago could be replaced by anywhere that American Airlines flies to.
  • Paris could be replaced by anywhere that is in Europe, but that will affect the cost of the low carrier flight to Istanbul.
  • Istanbul could be replaced by any nearby city with low cost carrier flights from Europe, although this would affect the out of pocket cost as well as the miles price which will probably go up if you choose a different city since the following award is flown with distance-based Avios to the Middle East.
  • Doha can really only be replaced by Amman as the two oneworld hubs in the Middle East.
  • Bangkok could be replaced by a different Asian city that is anywhere from 3,001 to 4,000 miles away from Doha or Amman.
  • Chicago could be replaced by anywhere that Cathay Pacific or Alaska Airlines flies to.

United States to Paris

Before American Airlines devalued their award chart, you could book economy flights to Europe for 20,000 American Airlines miles during the Off Peak season (October 15 – May 15). With American Airlines’ devaluation, the price went to 22,500 miles one way and, more alarmingly, the available dates were dramatically reduced. However you can still use Alaska or Etihad miles to book American Airlines flights in economy to Europe from October 15 to May 15 for 20,000 Alaska or Etihad miles. Here is such a flight on alaskaair.com:

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 3.13.32 PM

You can search for and book award space right on alaskaairlines.com’s home page, just check the “use miles” box in the search tool. You don’t even need an account with Alaska’s Mileage Plan loyalty program.

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 3.27.07 PM

There is space every day of November.

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 3.23.18 PM

You can book this same award flying American Airlines flights for 20,000 Etihad miles. 

Some other options you might want to consider depending on what kind of miles you have and where you live:

Paris to Istanbul

Low cost carriers are an economical way of hopping around Europe, especially when you’re trying to save your miles for higher value long distance redemptions.  I found the following flight from Paris to Istanbul with Pegasus Airlines for under $100:

pegasus flight

As is often the case with these discount airlines, the catch is that you have to watch how much you pack. You get one free carry on that can weigh 17.5 pounds. I am a proponent of one bag travel, but understandably you might want a little more room if you’re going on a trip with as many climates as this one. Luckily it’s only $6 more to bring about 44 pounds of luggage.

Istanbul to Doha

The next two legs are Avios awards. Why? Avios are ideal for short, direct, economy flights, especially between regions on award charts. Why pay 20,000 American Airlines to fly Istanbul to Doha (the same price that London to Delhi would be), when you can pay 10,000 Avios?

You can book a one way ticket between Istanbul and Doha in Economy for 10,000 British Airways Avios and $86 in taxes and fees.

avios price

You can search search and book this award right on ba.com– here’s how use the search tool. There is space in Economy every day I checked between these two cities.

avios award space

Doha to Bangkok

It costs 20,000 British Airways Avios and $62 in taxes and fees to fly from Doha to Bangkok, Thailand.

doha to bangkok price

You can search and book this award right on ba.com– here’s how use the search tool. There is space in Economy every day I checked between these two cities.

doha to bangkok avios space

Bangkok to United States

You can fly Cathay Pacific’s Business Class featuring a fully lie flat bed for only 50,000 Alaska Airlines miles…

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 7.35.25 PM

…and about $55 in taxes and fees. The following screenshot is from ITA matrix, which breaks down the costs of a normal revenue ticket. Alaska Airlines does not collet fuel surcharges on Cathay Pacific awards, so we know that the amount of out of pocket expenses will be approximately the sum of the taxes and other fees:

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 7.41.40 PM

You cannot search for Cathay Pacific award space on Alaska’s website. Use British Airways’ search tool instead– here’s how to search ba.com. The easiest time to find award space in premium cabins on Cathay Pacific flights is immediately prior (a couple weeks or less before travel) or about 11 months out from travel. For example, the availability shown below is for about 11 months from now, and five out of the seven days displayed have three to eight Business Class seats available each day.

bkk to us

bkk to us

Cathay Pacific flights can be booked by calling Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan at 1-800-654-5669.

What Do Those Awards Add up to?

     United States to Paris = 20,000 Alaska Airlines Miles and $19

     Paris to Istanbul = $80

     Istanbul to Doha = 10,000 British Airways Avios and $86

     Doha to Bangkok = 20,000 British Airways Avios and $62

 +  Bangkok to United States = 50,000 Alaska Airlines Miles and $55


    100,000 Miles and $302  

Or, if you wanted to fly the leg between the United States and Paris in Business Class it would cost an additional 30,000 Alaska miles for a total of 130,000 miles and $302.

How to Get the Miles Needed for this Trip

Alaska Airlines Miles

The Alaska Airlines credit cards from Bank of America are churnableEach one has a 25,000 mile sign-up bonus for simply signing up– no minimum spending requirement. For the Business Card you have to charge one purchase to earn the bonus.

While I can not directly link to the current Alaska Airlines credit card, you may find it by clicking below if you decide to apply. (I receive a commission, and your support keeps this blog going.)

The Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card by American Express, personal and business versions, both are offering 25,000 Starpoints each for spending $3,000 and $5,000 respectively within three months of the accounts opening. SPG Starpoints transfer 1:1 to Alaska miles with a 5,000 mile bonus for every 20,000 points transferred. SPG Starpoints also transfer 1:1 to British Airways Avios.

Etihad Miles

The Citi Prestige® Card comes with 50,000 bonus ThankYou Points after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open. Etihad is a 1:1 transfer partner of Citi ThankYou Points.

Application Link: Citi Prestige® Card

British Airways Avios

Cards that earn Ultimate Rewards are ideal, since they transfer 1:1 instantly to British Airways Avios miles.

The Sapphire Preferred is one of the best personal credit cards on the market. It offers:

  • 50,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards after spending $4,000 in the first three months
  • 5,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards for adding an authorized user
  • 2 Ultimate Rewards per dollar on travel and dining purchases
  • 1 Ultimate Reward per dollar on all other purchases
  • no annual fee the first year and $95 thereafter

While I can not directly link to the current Sapphire Preferred offer, you may find it by clicking below if you decide to apply. (I receive a commission, and your support keeps this blog going.)

The Ink Plus is easily the best business card on the market. It offers:

  • 60,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards after spending $5,000 in the first three months
  • 5 Ultimate Rewards per dollar at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet and cable TV services
  • 2 Ultimate Rewards per dollar at gas stations and hotel accommodations
  • 1 Ultimate Reward per dollar on all other purchases
  • $95 annual fee

While I can not directly link to the current Ink Plus offer, you may find it by clicking below if you decide to apply. (I receive a commission, and your support keeps this blog going.)

Bottom Line

You can see four destinations in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia for 100,000 miles and $302 with about half the trip in a flat bed. The deal relies on using Etihad or Alaska miles to fly American Airlines off peak economy to Europe; using a low cost carrier in Europe; using Avios for direct, region-connecting flights; and using Alaska miles to fly Cathay Pacific home.

The exact destinations in this post are mostly guidelines and can be subbed out for your preferred spots, as long as you understand how these sweet spot awards work.

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

4

BA.com is not showing Royal Jordanian award space. You have to call British Airways and give the agent specifically worded instructions to book Royal Jordanian flights with Avios.

British Airways is a member of oneworld Alliance, along with the rest of these airlines:

Screen-Shot-2014-05-02-at-2.55.30-PM

  • Air Berlin
  • American Airlines
  • British Airways
  • Cathay Pacific
  • Finnair
  • Iberia
  • JAL
  • LAN
  • TAM
  • Malaysia Airlines
  • Qantas
  • Qatar Airways
  • Royal Jordanian
  • S7
  • SriLankan

They also have the following non-allied partners:

  • Aer Lingus
  • Alaska Airlines
  • Meridian

British Airways’ frequent flyer program is called British Airways Executive Club, and you can redeem distance-based Avios for awards on British Airways flights or (in theory) on any of the other aforementioned airlines.

When researching awards between the Middle East and Asia for an upcoming post, one of the legs I was investigating was an Avios award between Amman, Jordan and Bangkok, Thailand. I wanted to know how many Avios it would cost, how much the out of pocket expenses would be, and what the availability forecast looked like–thinking it could be a potential Avios sweetspot.  But I couldn’t find the award I wanted on britishairways.com, which lead me to discover a a specific method necessary for booking Royal Jordanian flights with Avios.

British Airways’ Search Results: Amman to Bangkok

The only results displaying on brithsairways.com were for Qatar or British Airways flights with out of the way routings, which makes the price of a distance-based Avios award skyrocket. Every day I looked at had similar results to this:

Screen Shot 2016-04-08 at 11.18.45 AM

None were ideal. I needed a direct route out of Amman, which would only be found on Royal Jordanian Airlines (the flag carrier airline of Jordan headquartered in Amman).

So I decided to double check with American Airlines’ search tool, as I know that while aa.com doesn’t show all oneworld Alliance award space, it does show Royal Jordanian’s.

American Airlines’ Search Results: Amman to Bangkok

I found plenty of award space on aa.com for on Royal Jordanian flights between Amman and Bangkok in Business:

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 9.50.59 PM

And a smattering of it for the same time period in Economy:

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 9.50.49 PM

Screen Shot 2016-04-08 at 11.27.14 AM

This was a bit perplexing as British Airways’ search tool is known for, generally, showing every airline’s award space that belongs to oneworld Alliance, yet it did not show any of this space that I found on aa.com. I went back to britishairways.com to cross-reference these results with specific dates, yet still nothing matched up.

What Does That Mean?

A couple of quick searches returned some insight from Flyertalk, an online forum frequented by the kind of people that read this blog along with all types of travelers. It seems that I was not the only person unable to see Royal Jordanian award space on ba.com, and the answer wasn’t that aa.com was showing phantom award space. I called American Airlines AAdvantage to personally confirm this, and after feeding the agent some different dates that I saw with space on Royal Jordanian, she confirmed it was bookable with American Airlines miles.

I then called British Airways Executive Club to see if any of their agents could find this alleged award space. Using a tip from this Flyertalker, I directed the agent to look up the paid ticket with the same flight numbers as those with award space I was seeing on aa.com. This worked right off the bat. The agent was able to see the fare code for award space when he searched that way. I asked the agent to check a few different flights in different cabins on different days just to fully confirm that this method works, and it turned up available award seats every time.

Steps for Booking Royal Jordanian with Avios

1. If you know you specifically want to redeem your Avios on Royal Jordanian flights, then search for the award space you are looking for on aa.com.

2. Take note of dates, flight numbers, and cabin.

3. Call British Airways Executive Club at 1-800-452-1201.

4. Feed the agent the dates, flight numbers and cabin(s) of your desired award.

5. When they come back to you with no availability, which they probably will, ask them nicely if they would look up the paid ticket for the same flight numbers, and to see if they find the fare code for award space there. There is a good chance, from the data points I’ve experienced and from what I’ve seen on Flyertalk, that this will do the trick, and the agent will then be able to see and book Royal Jordanian award space for you.

6. Proceed with booking. Depending on the agent, they will tell you there is an additional $25 fee for booking your award over the phone. If that happens, patiently shed light on the situation that it is not possible for you to book this space online because it does not show up in britishairways.com’s search results. Also depending on the agent, they should waive the phone booking fee.

Bottom Line

AA.com is properly displaying Royal Jordanian award space. If you want to book it with Avios, you cannot find the space on ba.com. You need to call British Airways, and have the agent look up the flight that interests you. He should see the award space you found in the proper fare bucket.

Let us know in the comments if any of you have successfully booked an award with Avios on a Royal Jordanian flight, I am interested to see if we have any other data points. Hopefully British Airways will fix the error soon.

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

7

American Airlines offers discounted MileSAAver awards within the United States and Canada to select cardholders, including people with the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard®, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard® and the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World MasterCard®.

With all of those cards, you can book one way awards within the USA and Canada for as little as 6,500 miles for flights less than 500 miles flown or 8,750 miles one way for longer flights.

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 2.15.19 PM

Every two months, American Airlines publishes a list of new destinations in the United States and Canada eligible for discounted awards. The current list covers awards that must be booked by May 31, 2015 for travel by July 31, 2015.

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 2.23.04 PM

Award travel must originate somewhere in the continental United States or Canada and must go to a city on the very long destination list. Awards can be booked one way for 8,750 miles in economy or 21,250 miles in First Class. Roundtrip awards are double those prices.

You have to call American Airlines at 800-882-8880 to book the discounted awards. Luckily American Airlines just eliminated the phone booking fee for awards that can’t be booked online!

Screen Shot 2015-02-09 at 12.56.51 PM

Here is the full list of discounted destinations for April through July. Not all destinations are discounted each month. For instance, Calgary is only discounted in April and May while Burbank is discounted all four months.

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 2.41.14 PM Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 2.41.26 PM

How Good Are These Awards?

Let’s say you have the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard®.

You decide to go from New York to Burbank (the most convenient airport to Hollywood) with your miles.

You pick out your American Airlines-operated flights with MileSAAver space.

At this point, you do NOT complete the purchase. Purchasing online will cost 25,000 miles. You have to call in to get your discount: 800-882-8880.

You book the roundtrip for 17,500 miles and $11.20. You use about 1/3 of the 50,000 mile bonus you got from the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard®.

United and Delta charge at least 25,000 miles roundtrip for domestic awards.

Short Haul Example

During the March 22 American Airlines Devaluation, there were some silver linings. One is that domestic awards under 500 miles cost only 7,500 AA miles one way. If you fly such an award to a discounted city, you get 1,000 miles off per direction, bringing the price to 6,500 American Airlines miles. If you have the Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® MasterCard®, you get a 10% rebate on redemptions, bringing the net price to 5,850 AA miles one way. The same flights would be 7,500 Avios or 12,500 United or Delta miles.

Bottom Line

Discounted domestic and Canada MileSAAver awards open to American Airlines credit card holders are a fantastic deal.

If you need to book a domestic award, see make sure to check what destinations are discounted. If your destination is on the very long list, you can save big miles.

Key Links

 

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

You can book yourself a tour around the Caribbean and South America stopping in three places for only 64,500 miles total with half the trip in a flat bed. By stopping in three places, I am referring to actual destinations, not connections that have to be under 24 hours.

This incredible deal relies on piecing together four sweet spots awards into one big trip. Even if you never take a trip like this, you should know about these sweet spot awards.

For the purposes of this example, this will be the route we examine:

Philadelphia > Aruba > Bogota, Colombia > Rio de Janeiro, Brazil > Philadelphia

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However the price is the same no matter where your home airport is, and no matter where you choose your destination in Southern South America to be.

You can tweak the route to your liking and keep the same prices as long as each destination falls in the right region for the pricing of the award.

What does that mean exactly?

  • Aruba could be replaced by anywhere that is in the region defined by American Airlines as Mexico, the Caribbean or Central America for no extra miles
  • Bogota could be replaced by any nearby city with direct LAN flights from the Caribbean or Mexico, though the miles price will probably go up if you choose a different city since this part of the award is flown with distance-based Avios
  • Rio de Janeiro could be replaced by any destination in South America for no extra miles

United States to Aruba

American Airlines post-devaluation award chart has flights to Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean during the off peak season priced at just 12,500 miles one way in economy.  

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The off peak season for these regions is defined as:

  • April 27 – May 20
  • September 7 – November 14

Taxes: $16

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Where to search for award space: aa.comHere’s how to search aa.com, award space is great to Aruba during off peak season

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How to Book: on aa.com

Aruba to Bogota

It costs 4,500 British Airways Avios to fly from from Aruba to Bogota, Colombia on LAN in economy.

Taxes: $49 (my ba.com is in euros for this reason)

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Where to search for award space: ba.comHere’s how to search ba.com. This route has the worst award space in the post, so if you copied this routing, you’d build the trip around award space on this leg. You can pick a place with better award space to Bogota (or wherever you decide to go), but the Avios price will probably be higher. Aruba to Bogota is only 605 miles flown, so it is the cheapest price of 4,500 Avios. Flights 651-1,150 miles flown are 7,500 Avios and something like Cancun to Bogota is 10,000 Avios.

How to Book: on ba.com.

Bogota to Rio de Janeiro

For 12,500 Singapore or American Airlines miles you can fly from Bogota, Colombia to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Avianca/TACA (if using Singapore miles) or LAN (if using American Airlines miles). You could book the same flights in Business Class for 20,000 Singapore miles, or 25,000 American Airlines miles. 

Taxes/Fees: $62 (ignore the miles price in the screenshot, we pay the price on Singapore’s chart, not United’s chart when using Singapore miles)

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Where to search for award space: If using Singapore miles, united.com. Here’s how to search united.com. If using American Airlines’ miles, ba.comHere’s how to search ba.com. Award space is very good on Avianca’s direct Bogota to Rio flight, especially in Business Class.

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How to Book: If using Singapore miles, on singaporeair.com. If using American Airlines miles, call American Airlines’ AAdvantage customer service at 1-800-882-8880.

Rio de Janeiro > United States

It costs 35,000 Asiana miles to fly Business Class on Copa Airlines, Avianca, United, or Air Canada from Southern South America to the United States. I booked Los Angeles to Santiago, Chile in Copa Business Class for 35,000 Asiana miles this year.

Taxes/Fees: $57 (ignore mileage prices below, Asiana has lower prices than United for the same flights)

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Where to search for award space: united.com. Here’s how to search united.com. There is great award space between Rio and Philadelphia.

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How to Book: call the Asiana Club at +1-800-227-4262.

What Do Those Awards Add up to?

    United States to Aruba = 12,500 American Airlines miles

    Aruba to Bogota, Colombia = 4,500 British Airways Avios

    Bogota, Colombia to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil = 12,500 Singapore or American Airlines miles

 + Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to United States = 35,000 Asiana miles in Business Class


    64,500 miles and under $184 in taxes

Or, if you wanted to fly the leg between Colombia and Brazil in Business Class, it would cost 72,000 using Singapore or 77,000 American Airlines miles.

Consider it from this angle as well. Heading southbound, you spent only 12,500 + 4,500 + 12,500 = 29,500 miles/Avios, and you visit three places. Normally a one way award to Southern South America would cost 30,000 American Airlines/Delta/United miles, and no stopovers would be allowed.

Why are There No Fuel Surcharges Mentioned in This Post?

Because fuel surcharges are not levied on any airline, on any ticket, w the Americas that I am aware of. Great news for our mega-trip!

How to Get the Miles and Points Needed for this Trip

American Airlines Miles

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard® comes with 50,000 bonus American Airlines miles after spending $5,000 in the first three months.

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Application Link: Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard®

Singapore Krisflyer Miles (transfer partner of Citi ThankYou Points)

The Citi Prestige® Card with 50,000 bonus ThankYou Points after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open.

Application Link: Citi Prestige® Card

Asiana Miles (transfer partner of Starwood Preferred Guest Starpoints)

The Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card by American Express, personal and business versions, both are offering 25,000 Starpoints each for spending $3,000 and $5,000 respectively within three months of the accounts opening.

British Airways Avios 

British Airways Visa Signature card by Chase is offering 50,000 Avios for spending $2,000 within three months of the account opening.

While I can not directly link to the current offer from British Airways Visa Signature card by Chase, you may find it by clicking below if you decide to apply. (I receive a commission, and your support keeps this blog going.)

Bottom Line

If you have some (emphasis on some, not many are needed!) American Airlines, Singapore, and Asiana miles as well as a few British Airways Avios, you can piece together an amazing multi-award trip that spans all over the Caribbean and South America with three different destinations. It would be a great way to use up smaller amounts miles hanging around in your frequent flyer accounts, leftover after larger redemptions.

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

0

Last month I wrote about sweet spots on the new devalued American Airlines award chart. Today I am going to expand on a few with the state of award space, and how and where to search for them.

For any of the awards below that originate in United States, if you don’t live in the city from which I’ve searched you can add a segment from your hometown to that city for no additional cost as long as you find an American Airlines or Alaska Airlines flight with Saver award space.

Dallas to Bogota, Colombia: 30,000 Miles One Way in Business Class

Award? 30,000 Miles in Business Class one way from the United States to Northern South America (Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia),

Flying what airline? American Airlines

Where do I search for award space? aa.com.  Here’s how to search aa.com. In general, aa.com is pretty good at finding all possible connections for the airlines it is searching. However, your searching can always be improved by segment-by-segment searching.

You can also book right on aa.com.

Award space is wide open flying Business Class from Dallas to Bogota from now through mid-January.  Below is the availability for all of May.

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There is also nearly mirror image award space returning back to Dallas from Bogota. Below is the availability for all of May.

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Chicago to Paris: 57,500 One Way in Business Class

Award? 57,500 miles one way in Business Class from the United States to Europe.

Flying what airline? American Airlines.

Where do I search for award space? aa.com.  Here’s how to search aa.com. For this specific route, it is better to begin your search on the advanced page. Bubble in “American Airlines and American Eagle” at the bottom for carrier preference so British Airways results won’t be displayed (flying British Airways with American Airlines miles incurs prohibitively expensive fuel surcharges).

You can also book right on aa.com.

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There’s tons of space now through mid-May, a handful of days in July and August, and great availability again starting October that lasts through mid-February. Below is the availability for the end of December through the end of January. Spend the holidays in Paris!

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The complementary return flight also has space now through mid-May, and then picks back up again for November through mid-February. Below is the availability for the end of December through the end of January.

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San Francisco to Tokyo: 60,000 Miles in Business Class and 80,000 in First Class

Award? 60,000/80,000 miles in Business/First Class from the United States to Asia Region 1 (Japan and Korea)

Flying what airline? Japan Air Lines (JAL).

Where do I search for award space? ba.comHere’s how to search ba.com. Make sure you do segment-by-segment searching as British Airways’ search engine is not particularly gifted with finding connections. The route in the example is from San Francisco to Tokyo Haneda (HND), not Tokyo Narita (NRT).

To book, call American Airlines’ AAdvantage customer service at 1-800-882-8880.

60,000 miles in Business Class and 80,000 miles in First Class are the best values for Business and First Class from the United States in terms of duration and partner product (Japan Airlines) on the new American Airlines award chart. You can have Tokyo as your destination or connect to a number of cities in Tokyo or Seoul, South Korea (ignore the Russian city, that is a different award region).

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JAL has got good last minute space in Business and First Class starting a few days from now (this post was written April 1) through April.  Below is April’s availability in Business Class.

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For the return, there are Business and First Class options through April.

Lima, Peru to Bogota, Colombia: 10,000 Miles in Economy

Award? 10,000 miles in economy one way from Northern South America (Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia) to Northern South America.

Flying what airline? LAN

Where do I search for award space? ba.comHere’s how to search ba.com.

To book, call American Airlines’ AAdvantage customer service at 1-800-882-8880.

Considering international flights between Peru, Ecuador, and Colombia can be pricey, if you have American miles and are planning a trip around South America you should consider using them. The price is now competitive with other major airlines (although if you have any British Airways Avios I would consider those first).

Availability on the direct route between Lima and Bogota is wide open in Economy from April through mid-February of next year, so your options are open. Below is award space for June, which is the dry season for Peru but still before peak tourist season (so you’ll find better deals on accommodation).

Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 10.41.08 PM

Taxes and Fuel Surcharges

American Airlines only collects fuel surcharges on awards when flying British Airways or Iberia, so none of these examples have fuel surcharges. All will incur the standard taxes that every ticket has for country entry and exit fees among a few other minor charges.

How to Get American Airlines Miles

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard® comes with 50,000 bonus American Airlines miles after spending $5,000 in the first three months.

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The card also comes with Admirals Club lounge membership, which explains its $450 annual fee. Admirals Club membership means you can access over 90 lounges worldwide for free no matter what airline you’re flying, and you can bring in two guests for free.

The card offers 10,000 American Airlines status miles if you spend $40,000 on it in a calendar year. Also get a free checked bag for you and up to eight companions when you fly American Airlines, priority boarding, 2x miles on American Airlines purchases, and no foreign transaction fees.

Application Link: Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard®

Bottom Line

The outlook on availability is promising for a handful of American Airlines awards that are either new sweetspots or remained a good deal in comparison to the the pre-devaluation chart. Finding and booking award seats between the United States and Northern South America, Europe, or Japan or within Peru, Colombia, or Ecuador should not be an issue for anyone with American Airlines miles from now through the beginning of next year.

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

1

American Airlines is offering up to 115,000 bonus miles on the purchase of miles through April 8, 2016. You can now buy 265,000 American Airlines miles including bonus for $4,787 or 1.81 cents each.

The bonus miles are tiered, based on how many miles you purchase. The best deal is to buy 150,000.

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American Airlines miles cost 2.95 cents each plus a 7.5% excise tax, and every purchase has a $30 processing fee. The cheapest per-mile price comes from purchasing 150,000 American Airlines miles + 115,000 bonus miles for $4,787.

Screen Shot 2016-03-30 at 3.39.07 PMScreen Shot 2016-03-30 at 3.39.12 PM

That works out to getting 265,000 miles for 1.81 cents each. The most recent pre-devaluation sale was for 2.02 cents each, but last year we saw a sale that offered American Airlines miles for 1.81 cents each.

Math

The cheapest miles cost 1.81 cents each during this promotion, and that requires shelling out $4,700+. I value American Airlines miles around 1.5 cents each, so there is no way I would buy these miles speculatively for 1.81 cents. The only way it could possibly make sense to buy miles at these prices is if you had an immediate high value use for them.

Possible high value uses are off peak international awards like 22,500 miles one way to Europe and partner Business Class awards like Japan Airlines Business Class to Japan or Korea for 60,000 miles.

To figure out if you have a high value use, use this simple expression:

(A – B) / (C + D)

  • A: Value of the award. Important: this is the lesser of the cash price and your subjective value.
  • B: Taxes on the award
  • C: Miles used on the award
  • D: Miles you would earn if you purchased the award ticket with cash

This will spit out the dollar value you are getting for your miles. If that number is greater than 0.0181, put your dream award on a free five day hold with American Airlines, then buy miles during this promotion, and book the held award. Otherwise, don’t buy.

Buy AAdvantage Miles with These Credit Cards

AAdvantage miles purchases are processed directly by American Airlines. That’s great news!

It means you can buy them with your Citi Prestige® Card, and its $250 Air Travel Credit will refund you the first $250 of the purchase price of the miles (plus you’ll earn 4x ThankYou Points on the first $250 of the miles purchase.)

It means you can purchase American Airlines miles with your Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®, then use your Arrival miles for an offsetting statement credit.

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Bottom Line

You can buy 265,000 American Airlines for $4,787 or 1.81 cents each. That’s too high to buy speculatively. Hopefully cheaper sales come along.

The American Airlines miles sales are processed by American Airlines itself, so you can get category bonuses on cards that bonus airline or travel purchases like my latest card, the Citi Prestige® Card which offers 3x on purchases from airlines, or you can use your Arrival Plus to get American Airlines miles for zero cash.

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

0

The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard® currently has a 50,000 mile sign-up bonus after spending $5,000 in three months.

Screen Shot 2016-02-12 at 4.44.21 PM

One of the perks of the devaluation that hit American Airlines’ award charts March 22, 2016 is the new price of awards from the United States to the Caribbean, Central America, and Mexico. It now only costs 12,500 miles one way in Economy during the off peak season for those regions. That means if you sign up for the AAdvantage Executive card and meet the minimum spending requirement, you would have enough miles for two people to travel roundtrip in Economy to anywhere in any of those regions from the United States during either one of the following time periods:

  • April 27 – May 20
  • September 7 – November 14

Region Definitions

American Airlines defines the Caribbean as the following countries:

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 6.05.46 PM

Central America is defined as:

Screen Shot 2016-03-23 at 6.08.20 PM

Mexico is defined as– you guessed it–the country of Mexico.

Where to Go and Why

There’s a reason these awards are cheaper for the periods of time defined as off peak. Off peak seasons vary depending on what part of the world you travel to because they are the traditionally slower seasons for tourism and often have less desirable weather, hence why the airlines are trying to attract your business with discounted prices. But that shouldn’t stop you from considering travel during those periods, it just means you need to research your destination more thoroughly beforehand. The off peak awards are some of the best values on American Airline’s chart now. so take aadvantage of them! The awards are easy to book as availability is usually wide open during these less traveled months.

Belize: Mid-October Through Mid-November

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Mid-October to mid-November sees the end of the rainy season and the beginning of the dry season in Belize. The showers you may encounter shouldn’t last more than a couple hours, and in exchange you get highly discounted hotels and tours, and way less tourists to deal with. The average temperature that time of year is around 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Go cave tubing, scuba diving, explore Mayan ruins, and perhaps spot a jaguar or two.

Award availability is wide open from all of American Airlines’ hubs scattered around the United States. Below is the availability from Dallas to Belize City.

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Costa Rica: Mid-October Through Mid-November

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Costa Rica gets a bad rap this time of year for being rainy. But the beauty of a country with so many microclimates is that generalizations don’t necessarily apply. Mid-October to mid-November is also the end of rainy season and beginning of dry season in Guanacaste, which tends to be one of the drier regions, even in rainy season. Once again, you’ll get great rates on hotels and excursions and see a lot fewer people. The average temperature that time of year is around 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Explore volcanoes and waterfalls, go horseback riding, surfing or bird watching.

There are plenty of award seats available from all of American Airlines’ hubs. Below is the availability from Washington, DC to San Jose, Costa Rica.

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Puerto Rico: Mid-September Through Mid-October

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You can probably guess what I’m going to say by now… mid-September thru mid-October is also the rainy season in Puerto Rico, so prices on hotels and everything else are low! Head to the picturesque and undeveloped Vieques and Culebra islands off the coast of Puerto Rico and you’ll find better weather. You don’t even need a passport to travel here as it’s a US territory. The average temperature that time of year is 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Enjoy the tranquility of near empty beaches by day, snorkel the coral reefs and journey over to the bioluminescent bay on Vieques by night.

Wide open availability from all the hubs. Below is the availability from the New York area to San Juan, Puerto Rico.

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More About the Citi AAdvantage Executive Mastercard

Aside from the great awards you can book with the 50,000 mile sign up bonus, there are other reasons why this card should be considered. While the annual fee is a hefty $450, there are valuable benefits that help offset the cost.

  • Admirals Club® membership for you with guest privileges: Full access to 90+ affiliated clubs and free guest access for two people each time you go.
  • Complimentary Admirals Club® Lounge access for authorized users: You can authorize someone who is 18 years or older for access to Admirals Club® Lounges, and you don’t even have to be with them.
  • 10,000 Elite Qualifying Miles from American Airlines after $40,000 spent on purchases every year (January through December billing statement)
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
  • Earn 2 AAdvantage® miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases and 1 AAdvantage® mile for every $1 spent on other purchases
  • First checked bag is free on domestic American Airlines itineraries for you and up to eight companions traveling with you on the same reservation
  • Receive a statement credit, up to $100 every 5 years, as reimbursement for your application fee for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®

Even after the devaluation that struck American Airlines awards yesterday, I value one mile at 1.5 cents. That makes the sign up bonus worth roughly $750. An Admirals Club membership costs $500 if you don’t have any status, no to mention you get a partial membership for someone else. There are EQM’s for you status chasers, and you don’t get penalized for using the card when traveling abroad. Global Entry is worth $100. Need I say more?

This card is optimal for someone who flies American Airlines often, as they will reap the most benefits.

Application Link: Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard®

Bottom Line

American Airlines off peak awards are some of the best deals on the new award charts. Awards to Central America, the Caribbean, and Mexico actually got cheaper. Now you can fly yourself and a lucky companion to a destination in one of those regions for the amount of miles earned from signing up for the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ MasterCard® and meeting it’s minimum spending requirement.

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

Which airlines has the best miles and frequent flyer program? United, American, and Delta are the big three legacy carriers that most directly compete with each other in the United States. For that reason, I publish charts that compare their award prices.

I have updated my charts to show the prices that United, Delta, and American Airlines will charge for awards flown October 1, 2016 and November 1, 2016 or later. For travel through September 30, 2016, Delta’s different award prices can be found here.

Economy

All charts compare the cheapest possible award you can book with the airlines, called Saver, MileSAAver, or Level 1. All charts show the price in thousands of miles.

The economy chart has an extra column because American Airlines has off peak dates for economy awards that are cheaper than their normal MileSAAver awards. The asterisk next to the Europe off peak award is because, it is the only off peak award bookable on American Airlines partners. All other off peak awards must fly American Airlines planes only.

The slashes in the American column show the price for flying on American (cheaper) and partners (more expensive.)

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American’s devAAluation has put its economy award prices roughly in line with Delta’s and United’s.

Delta’s October Devaluation for Business Class came with some economy reductions. Delta now has some of the cheapest economy awards.

The biggest steals I see are American Airlines off peak awards to Central America and Hong Kong.

Business Class

The slashes in the United and American columns show the prices for flying that airline (cheaper) and partners (more expensive) except the slashes in the American cells for flights within the United States and Canada show the price for flying First Class on a two cabin plane (cheaper) and Business Class on a three cabin plane (more expensive.) The slashes in the Delta column show the price for flying First Class (cheaper) and flat bed Business Class (more expensive.)

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Again American’s changes put it right in line with its competitors briefly until Delta’s changes made American Airlines awards look cheap by comparison again. American miles are still cheaper to Northern South America, Japan, and Korea.

First

Delta doesn’t have a column because Delta miles cannot be used to book three-cabin First Class. To book SkyTeam First Class, transfer Ultimate Rewards or Starpoints to Korean miles. Slashes show the price of flying that airline (cheaper) and the price of flying a partner (more expensive.)
Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 2.16.13 PM

It is almost always cheaper to use American Airlines miles to fly one of its awesome partners’ First Classes than it is to use United miles to fly one of its partners’ First Classes, but both charts are terrible. The only possible value I see is paying 80,000 American Airlines miles to fly JAL’s very awesome First Class to Japan or Korea.

Bottom Line

Of course we all thought that American Airlines would devalue its charts roughly in line with United’s and Delta’s, but I didn’t realize how closely American had copied its competitors until putting this post together and seeing that the airlines have nearly the same prices on all awards originating in the continental United States.

Delta’s changes for travel October 1 or later are welcome for economy travel but terrible for Business Class travel.

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

3

At midnight Central Time, the American Airlines devaluation struck.

However, you can still book American Airlines flight at the old prices if you use Alaska or Etihad miles. I don’t know how long this will last, maybe a few days or months, until they notice and ape American’s higher prices.

Let’s back up a little bit.

It just so happens that Alaska Airlines and Etihad Airways, partners of American Airlines, charge the same number of miles for American Airlines flights as American Airlines did until yesterday. Both airlines even allow the booking of off peak awards on the same off peak dates as American allowed until yesterday.

I say “it just so happens” because there is nothing expected or ordinary about this. British Airways, another American Airlines partner never charged the same number of miles for American Airlines flights as American Airlines did, nor did it have discounts for American Airlines off peak awards. As a general rule: different miles, different rules, different chart. But for whatever reason, Alaska and Etihad decided to copy American’s chart when using Alaska or Etihad miles to redeem American flights.

And those copied charts are still in effect today.

Using Alaska Miles

For instance, if you go to alaskaair.com and search for an award to Buenos Aires in May…

Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 1.58.06 PM

…you see a lot of flights for 20,000 miles.Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 1.59.20 PM Those are the price you would have paid yesterday for American Airlines off peak awards.Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 1.59.38 PMThat is particularly amazing because American Airlines did away with off peak awards to Southern South America today. The same award costs 30,000 American Airlines miles today.

Alaska has different charts for every airline to every region. You can find the charts for using Alaska miles to Europe here. American Airlines awards still show yesterday’s generous off peak dates and price instead of today’s less generous dates and 22,500 mile price.
Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 2.00.08 PM

Using Etihad Miles

Similarly, Etihad’s chart for flying American Airlines flights is the same as it was yesterday when it matched American Airlines’ old chart.

Here is a full post on using Etihad miles to book American Airlines flights.

What This Doesn’t Mean

These are Alaska and Etihad charts for flying American Airlines airplanes.

You can NOT use these charts to fly other American Airlines partners. For instance, don’t expect to call Etihad and say, “Hi, I found great award space to Sydney in First Class on aa.com that flies Qantas, and I want to pay 72,500 Etihad miles to book it.” Qantas is a partner of American Airlines, not Etihad. (And if it were a partner of Etihad, it would have its own award chart. The chart in this post is for flying airplanes that say American Airlines on the side.)

Getting Alaska Airlines and Etihad Miles

Thank You Points transfer 1:1 to Etihad miles.

The Citi Prestige® Card and Citi ThankYou® Premier Card come with 50,000 and 40,000 bonus ThankYou Points respectively after $3,000 in purchases made with your card in the first 3 months the account is open. You can get both and meet both minimum spending requirements for 96,000 ThankYou Points, more than enough for three roundtrips to Europe during the current promotion.

SPG Starpoints transfer 1:1 to Alaska miles with a 5,000 mile bonus for every 20,000 points transferred. Right now the SPG cards have their biggest bonuses ever. The Alaska Airlines credit cards from Bank of America are churnable.

How Long Will This Last?

Etihad and Alaska clearly made conscious decisions to copy American Airlines’ chart (for whatever reason, this is actually unusual.) Now that the AA chart has changed, I assume the other charts will change. We will see how long that takes.

If you want to book American Airlines flights, for the moment, you should use Alaska and Etihad miles.

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

11

Starting tomorrow, March 22 (I don’t have any information on the exact minute), American Airlines’ award prices, off peak dates, and definitions of regions change.

Today you can book travel through February 15, 2017 to take advantage of the current award chart, which is much cheaper to most regions in Business and First Class. Or book tomorrow to take advantage of a few price decreases and more favorable regional definitions to a few places.

Here are the posts you need to read right now if you have American Airlines miles:

Bye-bye amazing award charts! :(

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

7

With the big American Airlines devaluation kicking in on Monday (March 22,) I am highlighting all the good award space I see, like this award space to Argentina, Brazil, and Chile in 2016.

Today that is Business Class award space to London in December.

Why This Matters

Ideally you’d book award space to Europe now to save some miles.

Current award prices:

  • 20,000 AA miles one way in economy from October 15 to May 15
  • 30,000 AA in economy from May 16 to October 14
  • 50,000 in Business
  • 62,500 in First

Award prices for bookings made March 22 or later:

  • 22,500 AA miles one way from January 10 to March 14, November 1 to December 14
  • 30,000 AA miles one way in economy the rest of the year
  • 57,500 in Business
  • 80,000 in First

Award Space

The award space is in Business Class for two people from Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Chicago to London on nonstop American Airlines flights.

Screen Shot 2016-03-17 at 6.51.08 PMScreen Shot 2016-03-17 at 6.53.19 PMScreen Shot 2016-03-17 at 6.52.33 PM

This is flat bed award space, and the Los Angeles route features American Airlines’ flagship 777-300ER plane.

You do NOT want to return from London on an award; the taxes are just too high. So instead, look to return home from continental Europe, from a low tax city, possibly with United miles.

For instance, there is great award space for two people in economy and Business Class this winter from Brussels back to the United States, say Los Angeles.
Screen Shot 2016-03-17 at 6.53.36 PMThat would be 30,000 miles each way in economy and 70,000 in Business Class.

Screen Shot 2016-03-17 at 6.54.09 PMBottom Line

If you’re looking to burn American Airlines miles before the devaluation, there is plentiful award space to London in Business Class for December 2016, an award that goes up in price 15% on Tuesday.

Or you can book economy awards for 20,000 miles each way at off peak prices before off peak awards’ dates are severely restricted on Tuesday.

Further Reading

Hat Tip View from the Wing

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

Starpoints can transfer to 30 different types of airline miles by logging into your account and going to this page.

Screen Shot 2016-03-17 at 2.08.39 PM

For every 20,000 Starpoints transferred, Starwood adds 5,000 bonus points. That means for 1:1 transfer partners, 20k SPG points in your account equals 25,000 miles.

Screen Shot 2016-03-17 at 2.08.20 PM

The best transfer partner for your Starpoints depends on your trip goal. There are scenarios under which at least a dozen of the partners would be your best option. However, I think there are four that are generally the best option for a large number of awards.

  1. Asiana Miles
  2. Aeroplan Miles during a frequent transfer bonus
  3. Alaska Miles
  4. American Airlines miles today

1. Asiana Miles

In my Top 11 Most Valuable Miles post, I have Asiana miles worth 2 cents each.

High Value Awards: USA to Southern South America in Business Class for 35k Miles and no fuel surcharges, USA to Europe in Lufthansa First for 50k Miles Plus Fuel Surcharges

To some regions, Asiana’s award chart is so under-priced that some awards are a good deal even after fuel surcharges. Plus, I love flying to South America, and no Star Alliance flights to South America have fuel surcharges, meaning I get the insanely good award chart without having to pay much cash out of pocket.

There is an Asiana credit card, but it only earns a 10,000 mile sign up bonus, 3x on Asiana purchases, and 2x on gas and groceries, so the only way to get Asiana miles in bulk is through Starpoints transfers.

2. Aeroplan Miles During a Transfer Bonus

I value Aeroplan miles only at 1.4 cents each because its chart is fair, but not cheap, and it collects fuel surcharges on many partners, but not nearly all.

High Value Awards: USA to Western Europe in Business Class or Southern South America for 55k miles and no fuel surcharges, USA to Asia in Business Class for 75k or 77.5k miles and no fuel surcharges

As you can see, those are not nearly as cheap as the listed Asiana awards, but Aeroplan has frequent transfer bonuses during which it offers extra miles for transferring in SPG points. There is one running through April 18, 2016.

Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 1.19.21 PM

During the current transfer bonus, 160,000 Starpoints = 255,000 Aeroplan miles, which is enough to offset the not-quite-cheap chart as long as you only fly partners with no fuel surcharges on Aeroplan awards:

  • United
  • Singapore
  • South African
  • Egyptair
  • Air China
  • Ethiopian
  • Avianca
  • TACA
  • Copa
  • Swiss
  • Turkish
  • Brussels
  • Scandinavian

Aeroplan is also a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards.

3. Alaska Airlines Miles

I value Alaska miles at 1.75 cents each for the cheap award charts and variety of partners from oneworld, SkyTeam, and un-allied airlines.

High Value AwardsEmirates First Class on an A380 costs 100,000 miles one way for two flights from USA to Africa, Asia, or Europe; USA to Fiji to New Zealand or Australia for only 55,000 miles one way in Business Class with a free stopover in FijiUSA to Southern South America in AeroMexico Business Class for 45,000 miles (temporarily unbookable); Cathay Pacific First Class to Asia plus Business Class to South Africa for 70,000 miles total with free stopover

Beyond SPG transfers, there are churnable Alaska Airlines credit cards to pick up the miles.

 

4. American Airlines Miles Today

If you transfer to American Airlines miles today, and they post by Monday, you’ll have miles I value at 1.8 cents each. if they arrive Tuesday, you missed the devAAluation, and they’ll be worth 1.5 cents each to me. Transfers take 2-3 days to get to AA usually.

High Value Awards: Cathay Pacific First Class to SE Asia for 67,500 miles one way; Etihad First Class to Middle East/Indian Subcontinent for 90,000 miles one way; off peak to Europe or Southern South America in economy for 20,000 miles one way; many, many more

Beyond SPG transfers, there are several American Airlines credit cards that earn miles.

Do you have a different favorite transfer partner for SPG points? Share it in the comments.

Don’t forget the SPG personal and business credit cards are currently offering their biggest sign up bonuses ever–35,000 points each.

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuers, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuers.

If you liked this post, sign up to receive one free daily email every morning with all of the day’s posts! You can also follow MileValue on Twitter and Facebook.

Earn 50,000 bonus points (worth $800 in American Airlines flights) after spending $3,000 in the first three months on the Citi Prestige® Card. Plus get a $250 Air Travel Credit each calendar year, free airport lounge access worldwide, and your fourth night free on hotel stays. Why I got the card.

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