American Airlines International Saver Award Space Has Totally and Completely Disappeared

Updated with response from American Airlines below.

I’ve had several readers as me about the disappearance of all international saver award availability from American Airlines flights. This happened sometime between Friday evening and Saturday morning.

This appears to be across all routes, at least every single route that I’ve tried. It isn’t my usual complaint about lack of premium cabin inventory through end of schedule. Here I’m talking about even coach.

My response has been that I do not see this as being linked to plans for dynamic award pricing or speculation about impending changes to upgrades because I’m not aware of any internal changes to the AAdvantage program slated for June.

I’ve reached out to American and I’m hoping they’ll tell me that this is a glitch. I 100% do not believe that saver awards have been intentionally eliminated as a category. Notably saver award space still exists for American Airlines domestic flights and for partners.

My advice is to wait to book awards on American because unless we’re talking about the last seats on a plane where you need to spend extra miles for better availability there’s a chance you’ll pay fewer miles by holding off on redemptions.

Even if this turns out to be a glitch though it concerns me without learning an explanation for what happened because tinkering with the formula for releasing space could well be afoot.

Update: American responds, “We’re aware that MileSAAver availability is not displaying correctly. We’re working on addressing and expect to have things back to normal tomorrow morning.”

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Thanks Gary. I got lucky a couple of weeks ago and put a workable (although not ideal) business saver award on hold. By the next day, everything was gone so we took it as insurance. Hopefully things will open up again–appreciate you providing an update (although would prefer AA take some initiative!).

  2. Interesting! Playing this game gets trickier and trickier

    ‪ I just used 165,000 AA miles for Partner rides in 1st Class with two showers . I have 153 miles left lol ‬. Not sure of the value when the whole trip is factored in, but for this 3rd Round the World Trip of 2019 (I’m loving retirement) I started out wanting to take advantage of the 50,000 AA miles for Etihad Apartment from Seoul to Abu Dhabi. However I could not find any 1st seats on Japan or Cathay (using either AA or Alaska), so I bit the bullet when I found Emirates First JFK-DXB-ICN for 180,000 miles. To get home from AUH, I’m flying the EY Apartment to LHR, then BA 1st to Boston

    So I’m getting 4 showers in a row, 3 nice lounges, plus whatever ICN has. Oh, I’m flying to JFK the day before to spend the night at the TWA Hotel

    OTOH. I think Citi has imposed a personal 5/24 rule on me. Got turned down for the new prestige/premier (?) Card. Oh well!

  3. I’ve been hitting Saaver premium seat searches super hard for a week through and Expertflyer and have been unable to find any seats to Europe or Asia on any AA metal and most Iberia routes. I did finally find some PE awards but the site and app wouldn’t let it book properly as it would just fall down to a regular econ award at PE pricing. I did see some Saaver level award seats coming back from Europe a week or so ago but very spotty and from odd airports on any AA metal. Weird for sure. Really bad timing for me as I need to book some seats to UK or France for next Spring and don’t have high hopes for this.

  4. We will be releasing availability for both Business class US-Eur seats tomorrow and may release anther one next week

  5. Domestic coach and first award availability has dried up. All of a sudden it is tough to complete the an international award trip on partner airline with AA flights for the domestic portion when before it was relatively easy if you were willing to downgrade to coach on a business award, but no longer. I think they are reducing availability in anticipation of higher dynamic pricing.

  6. When asked why zero SAAVER award space was showing online, a spokesperson responded that American was researching a transition to negative availability, but waiting for Delta & United to implement it first.

  7. @Evan – that is extremely cynical, they would never do that. But they are investigating clawbacks, where if the redemption goes up they can pull additional miles from your account for trips already taken.

  8. It appears to be very route specific. I was looking STL to DFW and it didn’t matter what date I looked, there were no Milesaver awards available. Same for DFW to CLE. However DFW to PHX had some as did DFW to BOS.

  9. FAKE NEWS! AA’s saver awards have disappeared for over a year. No matter what when and what I look at , I always find standard awards for 35,000 to 50,000 miles one way domestic non stop. If I want one way at 25,000 miles one way domestic, then it has to have endless connections. Same thing with internaitonal awards and partner awards. 80,000 one way coach to europe or asia with endless connections or it will cost 200,000 one way non stop. It is a rip off scam

  10. About 2 weeks ago I booked 2 Saver business class one way BOS to LHR for September. I had 190 K AA miles left and wanted to burn them so I took the BA hit ($600 each) to get it done. Back in Sept 2017 I landed us two Saver round trips on AA metal DFW to NRT. We positioned ourselves on that one because the BOS to NRT connections to DFW were nuts. Last week I looked for something similar and there was NOTHING for Sept/Oct. Did not push beyond that, pivoted to LHR and scored. The wife still has about 200 K AA miles, we will figure out how to burn that soon. Maybe the return from Europe, we are chasing the aurora so will likely want a return from Helsinki or similar.

    This past winter I got us to Singapore in J SQ21/22. I bought PE tix then used American Express miles to upgrade us. Saver one way, anytime back. If you don’t pay for part of the flight, I suspect the party is over. I am happy to have enjoyed the “loyalty” programs deal for most of its history. I used to be able to put my teacher wife in the big seat next to me pretty much on demand – I would buy my seat in J, call the XP line and get her booked next to me, even for school vacation week. Easy, right? Not any more. The basic laws of economics apply; flood the market with your dollars/points/miles and they will get inflated away. I knew it was over when I started a chat with the guy next to me on a flight to LHR and discovered he had blagged his seat from credit card sign up bonuses. Now I had been using Membership Miles for years to bring the inlaws over from Germany, just buying their tix from the Amex travel site. I figured it out pretty quickly but really, with so many blogs and so may hustlers in the game, it is no longer about loyalty, just about the game. I get it, but now that the market has been flooded with excess points, the game is largely up. Y’all might have to start paying for travel.

  11. Married segment logic seems to be off today!! A couple days ago there was no saver availability in mid July from Denver to ORD or DFW unless I added an extra city (Austin or Omaha). Return flights are available also where there were none, and no chance of finding a throwaway connection through Denver.

  12. When I looked 3 weeks ago there were no seats from LAX to PPT (Papette Tahiti) in Business at any award level for almost any date..

  13. All you credit card vultures that look to game the system and get something for nothing deserve to be screwed. No one ever promised you anything so live with what you get. Those of us with true status (8 million miles and lifetime elite on AA and DL) either can get an award or, at least in my case, can easily afford to fly when and where I want (in any class). Guess I’m just part of the evil 1% but feels good to be able to afford what I want and only decision if commercial premium class or flying private. Sorry everyone but life is really good!!!

  14. Thanks for the push on American Gary! Just managed to add three seats from Ord to yvr to connect to my original Yvr -Syd qantas award in December. Just paid the minimal change fee!!! Amazing! In first too! Nothing available until today!

  15. I’ve been checking daily for two months for 2 business saver seats to any airport in Italy from the NYC area and PHL airports for April or May. Nothing, except on BA. As to the person above remarking on people “gaming the system”, we earn the miles by flying a lot on AA. Last year, I was able to book two seats over by checking each morning for one seat and holding whatever I found. After a few weeks, I finally had two,seats on the same flight. What is going on?

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