American Airlines Will Give You Bonus Points For Traveling On Award Tickets In October

American Airlines will give out 250 bonus miles for every award segment flown in October, up to 2000 miles for eight segments. Registration required by October 7 in the promotions tab of your account. Only tickets issued after registering qualify for the bonus.

Notably the bonus is available for flying the segment rather than booking the flight, so if you book award travel for someone else using your miles they can earn this bonus.

Nice Bonus But Low Value

This is nowhere near as generous as Southwest offering a 20% discount on award travel, but if you manage to find a 5000 mile web special award and it’s a connecting itinerary then you’d earn 500 miles – effectively a 10% rebate. Of course on a regular saver award domestic one way non-stop at 12,500 miles this is just a 2% rebate. And it’s capped at earning just 2000 miles.

Encouraging members to spend their miles for incremental travel, filling up empty seats, is a nice idea but the generosity isn’t here in a way that would likely move the needle. And capping the offer at 2000 miles means you won’t get all that much out of it. Still, as my late grandfather used to say, this is ‘better than a hole in the head’!

Earn Miles When Redeeming Avios Or Alaska Miles For American Flights?

American tells me that only award tickets they issue qualify for the bonus. In practice I’m curious whether the restriction is on award classes, or whether a ‘001’ ticket number is actually required, precluding awarding miles to those who book awards using partner miles. You’re not actually supposed to be able to insert an AAdvantage frequent flyer number when flying American on awards issued by its partners, but it can certainly be done.

Dipping Their Toes In Rewarding Leisure Travelers?

Hotels offer elite stay credit for staying on points. I think it makes some sense to offer elite miles for redemption travel too. That’s something Virgin Atlantic just announced.

American isn’t there and this is only a promotion, but rewarding award travel is a nice effort no matter how limited. And it’s certainly consistent with their idea of making AAdvantage rewarding for leisure travelers since that’s who’s traveling today.

Terms and conditions:

• Register by 11:59 p.m. CT on October 7, 2020, and before creating a flight reservation, redeeming miles and traveling in order for your award flights to count toward this promotion
• Your AAdvantage® number must be included in your flight reservation for your travel to count
• Promotion miles can only be credited to the account of the ticketed passenger
• If booking tickets for another traveler, they must also register for this promotion during the registration window and before creating a reservation to be eligible for this promotion
• Offer applies to eligible award flights with a reservation created and booked between the day you register and October 31, 2020
• You must register for the promotion prior to putting a flight on hold for that reservation to count
• Eligible flights must be flown between October 1, 2020, and October 31, 2020
• Award flights must be marketed by American Airlines and operated by American Airlines or American Eagle
• Non-flight awards, including upgrade awards, aren’t eligible for this promotion
• Award flights ticketed before registration aren’t eligible for the promotion
• You’ll earn 250 promotion award miles for each eligible flight once it posts to your account
• You can earn up to 2,000 promotion award miles for this promotion
• Miles are subject to the standard AAdvantage® program terms and conditions
• American may, at any time and without notice, change, stop or end this promotion in part or in full

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. Hey Gary – this is nice but sort of useless given American refuses to make any near-term travel available at saver rates. I looked at dozens of routes last week for travel over the upcoming few days, including some with very low demand (the cities they are pulling out of), and could not find a single saver award available – or anything below 16,000 miles each way.

  2. This is shockingly stingy. It’s like they don’t read their own sales data.

    Walk-up fares of $149 for LAX-SFO and they want 16,000 miles.

  3. It will take a lot more than that to get me on an AA flight. SWA seems to be the best choice for domestic travel out of AUS. I always thought I “scored” when I had an empty seat next to me on WN, NOW it’s Guaranteed!

  4. All my 2020 flights are on SWA with no change fees and a guaranteed empty middle. It’s gonna take alot more than this offer to get me on AA metal.

  5. Just purely a marketing gimmick. Let say you score a domestic mile saver award for 25K with a connection both ways. Then you discount in miles is 4%. For non-stop it is 2% off. Such a great promotion!
    Sure, one can “score” RDU-CLT-DCA for 5K one way (instead of 7.5K for non-stop). Then your 250×2=500 bonus miles are equivalent to 10% discount.

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