American Airlines has launched a new award search tool. It runs alongside – rather than, at this point, being a replacement for – their existing award search.
Here’s what American tells me about the new award booking path,
A few differences between the new tool and the other:
- At-a-glance view of the lowest available flight award mileage levels across all cabins, including Premium Economy, by day
- Ability to view any applicable taxes/fees along with the price in miles while searching for a flight award
- Economy Web Specials won’t display in the new award search option – you’ll need to go to the current search option to look for those awards
- Mileage levels are displayed round-trip vs one-way
No additional features to share yet, but certainly will.
Having two different tools is going to be confusing. Searching flights from the main aa.com page takes you to the old search process. If you go to flight search you have an option to switch:
The user experience here is confusing, though only the new tool appears to show premium economy awards — but oddly the new tool doesn’t offer premium economy in the drop down choices when outlining your search.
And the new tool isn’t quite ready for prime time, the calendar feature isn’t available yet and the ability to filter results isn’t either (only to sort by one characteristic or another).
This new tool also does not allow you to book new Economy Web Special awards which are non-changeable, better priced trips with better availability than traditional saver awards that are offered on certain routes. That means booking on award on the same flight may cost more and show less availability for certain routes going through this new tool.
As a result this doesn’t quite seem ready for prime time. And ultimately of course American’s award booking problem isn’t the tool they’re using, it’s the lack of space they’re offering – especially on non-stop flights and in premium cabins.