One of the best tools in travel years ago was Travelocity Dream Maps. You’d plug in the city you were starting from, and how much you were willing to spend, and it would give you a map of all the places you could go for that amount or less. The tool was decommissioned about a decade ago, but American Airlines has an award map that is similar for miles.
Travel is drying up out of fear and uncertainty over coronavirus. I’m seeing international long haul flights going out with business class cabins that have empty seats, Golds clearing upgrades, and coach cabins where you can claim a row of seats for yourself (and so can most everyone else).
And I’m seeing a lot of domestic coach award space for just 5000 miles each way. For instance I plugged in Los Angeles and April 1 and performed a search of where I could go for 5000 miles.
American’s map came up with 83 cities where I could fly from LAX for 5000 miles (and it also shows cities where you can fly for just a little more).
From Austin I found 86 cities available at 5000 miles each (and more for 6000 miles). San Francisco it was 90 cities.
The remarkable thing is that it’s not just close-in (next month) where I’m seeing this sort of pricing. I’m seeing plenty of 5000 mile itineraries in July and into September too. Revenue management must not believe travel bookings will recover quickly.
To be sure, coach space is much more likely to be on sale than premium cabin space. And domestic seems better overall than international though of course some routes you’ll find business saver space on American (it only took coronavirus to make that happen). Here’s Los Angeles – Tokyo:
You’ll even find space on American in business class New York JFK – London Heahrow.
Although you’re not going to find business class award space, even with upgrades clearing and nonrevenue travelers doing well on some routes. Here’s what I’m seeing for business class one way to Sydney coming up. 480,000 miles? Insane.
Nonetheless American does have some great deals, and many more people are willing to take discretionary trips domestically right now than they are internationally, let alone to ‘hot spots’ like North Asia and parts of Europe.