On March 22, 2016, American Airlines is totally revamping their award chart. For the most part, it will now require more points to book an award redemption. Fortunately though, you still have a few more days to book even for travel post the devaluation date. Additionally, if you lock in a flight now, you will still be able to change the date and time of your flight without having to pay the additional miles (assuming the route is available at the same award level). You will not, however, be able to change the city pairs you are flying to and from.
Top 5 Changes
While there are many changes to the award chart, in economy, business, and first class cabins, I want to highlight my top 5 awards that you should be looking at now. You can check the entire current and future award chart here.
- Business Class between US and Europe – Instead of costing 50,000 miles one way it will cost you 57,500 miles one way
- Business Class between the US and Asia – There are two different buckets for Asia (Asia 1 and Asia 2). For flights to countries in Asia 1, a one way flight will increase from 50,000 miles to 60,000 miles. For flights to countries in Asia 2, a one way flight will increase from 55,000 miles to 70,000 miles – that is a 15,000 mile increase!
- Economy Class for off-peak dates between US and Europe – While they are still keeping off-peak awards for travel between the US and Europe, the cost has increased and the available dates have decreased. Now, off-peak dates will only run January 10 – March 14 and November 1 – December 14. Additionally, instead of being 20,000 points one way, it is 22,500 points. Not a huge increase in the number of points, but definitely many less off-peak dates – currently you can book off peak dates starting in mid-October and going all the way through mid-May and it includes the December holiday/New Years timeframe!
- Economy Class for off-peak dates between the US and Japan/Korea – Currently during the off-peak timeframe, these awards only require 25,000 miles one-way. They are now increasing to 32,500 miles one way! Other off-peak awards are changing too, so make sure to check them out, such as flights to Hawaii and South America
- First Class from the US to Hong Kong – Currently priced at 67,500 miles and are increasing to 110,000 miles one-way! First class travel is getting hit the hardest, so if you typically like to fly at the front of the plane, make sure to lock in those awards NOW for almost all destinations!
Of course there are a few positive changes, but I’ll hit on those next week after the changes take place. For now, focus on changes that will increase drastically post March 22, 2016.
Need Help with an Award Ticket?
If you cannot find the availability you are looking for, I recommend the award booking service Juicy Miles. They will be able to look into flights for you prior to the devaluation. They have many experts on the team that know the in’s and out’s of redeeming miles and many tools they subscribe to to find you the perfect flight. You can check out my previous post describing this service here.
What flights are you booking now?!