Good Award Space On American Airlines Premium Cross Country And Hawaii Flights

American Airlines miles are great for redeeming on partner airlines at great value, such as Japan Airlines to Asia and Iberia to Europe. However it can be tough to use AAdvantage miles to actually fly American, without paying a big premium in miles, especially if you want to fly up front. And most people want to use American’s miles to fly domestically.

Fortunately right now there’s surprisingly good award space in premium cabins between the West Coast and Hawaii, and on American’s premium flights between New York JFK and Los Angeles. It’s a great time to jump on these redemptions, even if you only think they might be useful, because American no longer charges a fee to cancel your award and redeposit the miles.

The best thing about the Hawaii availability is that you can find good deals on travel for four or more passengers. So it’s great not just for couples but for families as well.

Los Angeles – Maui has good redemption availability for May through July. Here’s LA-Maui in May:

Los Angeles – Lihue has good availability for four or more in April and May. Here, again, is May:

Meanwhile American’s premium cross country Los Angeles – New York JFK flights and vice versa have good availability January through March and during summer, much better for two passengers than for four. Here you’ll see prices varying quite a bit but in the 20s and 30s of miles each way per person many days for business class:

What you’ll find is that both business and first class awards are available at reasonable prices, mostly for the first and last flights of the day.

Notably business class gets you access to the New York JFK Greenwich lounge (whether New York is your destination or you’re connecting onward) and first class gets you access to the ultra-exclusive Chelsea lounge (as well as to the Soho lounge).

New York JFK Chelsea Lounge

And of course both get you access to the new premium check-in at New York JFK terminal 8.

New York JFK Premium Check-in

LAX still has its old Flagship check-in with separate entrance, and Flagship lounge, though Flagship First Dining there never re-opened.

Unfortunately whether premium transcon or Hawaii flights these are mostly web saver awards, rather than MilesAAver awards, which means you’ll need AAdvantage miles to redeem them (rather than using miles in a partner frequent flyer program).

(HT: robb)

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. 50K miles one way for LA to Hawaii is good????? That’s the lowest I see in F on AA in those months.

  2. And those “premium” seats are just the recliners – at least from LAX to LIH.

    On a slightly related note… I bagged 2 J seats from HNL-DFW-STL on a 787- lie flat for “only” 87,500 each. The exact same flight is now going for 145,000 each.

    Not sure how I got so lucky but I’ll take it.

  3. @Gary. From reading your blog, I have determined it may be time to redeem most of my AA miles, while they are still worth something, but I am finding the process a little frustrating due to the lack of information provided at

    I am hoping Gary or someone here can answer a question that the call center cannot. I tried twice and they did not have a clear answer. I am kind of surprised there is not clearer information available.

    What I have learned from reading here is that it is much cheaper to use AA Miles on other OW Carriers and this is true from what I see. The things that are frustrating are the following.

    (I am only looking for J or better class)

    1. Booking BA is possible but is not a better option with the outrageous fuel charges, taxes, fees or whatever they are. The fees are crazy.

    2. Finnair is bookable using miles but kind of out of the way of where I want to go which is the Middle East or Mediterranean area or possibly Australia or NZ if I can find a good deal there.

    3. Other than BA and Finnair no international segments appear bookable at or on the AA app which is what Aa wants customers to use from all the prompts to do so when calling in. shows a lot of bookable Iberia segments within Europe and it shows Qantas segments within Australia using miles but absolutely no international. I have even searched entire months.

    Is this because there are no available seats, which I find hard to believe given the amount of BA that comes up, and because I can see sporadic Finnair availability or are some OW carriers just not bookable for international segments.

    I tried calling in and asking AA reps but I spoke with two and they were not sure. I would think they would be able to easily know what is bookable online and what must be done over the phone.

    Do I just need to call in with some possible dates and destinations until I find something or is there a way to search online?

    I am assuming if I am using AA miles I have to book with AA, but is there a way to find an award itinerary with another OW carrier and transfer the miles to them without losing some miles in the process?

    I did try searching google about booking OW awards using AA miles and nothing came up. Maybe Gary can do a post on this if he has not already?

    I think Gary is a partner in a site that does things like this but I will probably only make a couple bookings. I am no longer planning to stockpile miles with all the devaluations. I agree with Gary and the other readers who have said that the banks who are helping leverage these programs step in and say enough with the devaluations. I have not been saving miles for years to blow them on a one way J trip to Europe or the Middle East.

    Thanks in advance for any help and advice.

  4. Sorry for the bother. I will repost on one mile at a time and maybe someone can provide information there.

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