American Launching Premium Economy Award Redemption Tomorrow

Two weeks ago I reported that American would launch award redemption for premium economy this month. Awards go live tomorrow (Thursday, January 24).

American has retrofitted much of their widebody fleet of Boeing 777s, 787-9s, A330-200s and now some 787-8s to offer a premium economy cabin (787-8s expected to be fully reconfigured mid-this year). However they have not had an option to redeem premium economy seats for miles.

I expect that American will update its award charts to reflect the new option tomorrow, and that premium economy awards will be placed between current coach and business pricing without changes to those other redemption prices at this time. Over time it wouldn’t surprise me though to see premium economy make it easier to increase the price of business class awards.

We will not see any change to upgrades at this time, or upgrade awards for premium economy

Apparently this new redemption option will be for American miles on American flights only — they will not enable redemption of premium economy seats on partners, and American’s partners won’t have access to premium economy awards either. SAD!

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. Why is that sad. Premium economy is ALWAYS a complete waste of miles. It’s easy to find low fares.

  2. I just hope they leave the award chart alone for a while. Given how they have made awards tough to book with married segment logic and coach long haul segments with F domestic segments they should be very careful with how they treat the AAdvantage program.

    Installing Project Oasis and the 737 MAX seating is going to cost them customers as the seats on these planes are absolutely horrible. American should be ashamed for trying to tell us that people give positive reviews on the seats. This is the typical Baghdad Bob PR to tell us something that sucks doesn’t suck.

  3. It’s too bad partners won’t have access to the inventory; Alaska has cheap redemptions on American, and it’s a really comfortable way to go LAX-LHR

  4. Yeah, I saw some Premium awards on United, too, from SFO-ICN. They want 135K one way on that one; nothing for “savers.”

  5. Any guesses what availability will be like, especially on the LHR routes? For business class, of course, it’s very very sparse, as AA prefers you book on BA metal and pay the high BA surcharges. But if the premium economy redemptions are only on AA flights, they can’t get the surcharges there…

  6. Why not hold back for American customers. Qantas does it on any award seats on their or codeshare flights with American. It is virtually impossible to get an AAdvantage award seat to Australia.

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