New American AAvantage Award Calendar is Live

Back in January when American Airlines introduced award redemption for premium economy they did it through a new award search tool. That new tool was not ready for prime time. After half a year that tool still lacked the ability to filter results, and the availability calendar still hadn’t been launched.

It also doesn’t distinguish between saver and anytime award pricing, which to American is probably more of a feature than a bug.

Initially the tool didn’t allow booking ‘economy web special’ awards (non-changeable, better priced trips with better availability than traditional saver awards). So booking an award on the same flight might have cost more and with less availability through the new tool than the old one.

Economy web specials were added to the new tool, but the restrictions on those awards weren’t well-disclosed.

Now they’ve finally added a pricing calendar to the new tool.

If you want to see the best prices that the calendar found, make sure choose to ‘sort’ your results by price. The default of ‘relevance’ will show American Airlines flights first, and for premium economy, business, or first class those will almost always be the most expensive option in points.

Partner awards will only show saver availability, whereas American Airlines almost never offers saver availability on international long haul redemption. In the calendar example above I’m looking at New York JFK – London Heathrow premium economy, and the 40,000 mile price will pretty much always be for British Airways – but you won’t see British Airways in the the first page of results unless you’re sorting by price.

Unlike the old search, you cannot filter the calendar by American Airlines vs American and partner flight results. That’s a big flaw because you often want to avoid showing British Airways results due to the exorbitant carrier-imposed surcharges which can be as high as $1500 roundtrip.

It’s unclear how long American will run two systems in parallel. The option to ‘filter’ results no longer even appears as ‘coming soon’ on the new tool. However it’s nice to know they’re at least improving it since they want to move customers towards using it.

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. “American Airlines almost never offers saver availability on international long haul redemption.”

    I’ve redeemed 5 AA-metal saver J one-ways between the US and EU (or vice versa) this year. MXP, ZRH and LHR.

    Almost never looks pretty good to me. Just have to be somewhat flexible. If you’re locked into one flight and and one date, then yes, it’s going to be difficult. YMMV.

  2. @Bob don’t be a gadfly. Gary’s statement is fundamentally correct. Yes, there may be one seat on some dates, but in general International premium saver awards on AA metal are nonexistent.

  3. Fwiw, I redeemed a Tpe-Hkg-lax-Jfk flight for last weekend in F at 110k which was Ka-Aa-Aa. I booked this about 3 days out from departure.

    So i wouldn’t say saver is never availablr.

  4. We just flew two one way HEL – MAN – PHL – BOS in J at Saver rates. Booked them in August for travel in October. Granted, there was nothing to Tokyo for our fall getaway, nothing to EZE this winter, availability for most of the first tier destinations is pretty ragged, but we did a month in Scandinavia BOS – LHR – OSL in J (yeah BA and yeah a bit pricey on the fee side but WTF, we got there a lot cheaper and nicer than buying a Y ticket) and a decent flight back on Finnair and AA metal all the way home. Burned 110 K each. Nice fall getaway. And we are each down to about 80 K AA miles, so it is all credit cards from here on out.

  5. Just followed instructions above and found AA charging high $ fees for AA flights, somewhat less than BA flights. WTH? When did AA start with outrageous co-pays for award tickets? LAX-LHR in May co-pays of $185 coach, $535 prem econ, $950 bus!

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