The Most Ignored American AAdvantage Status Benefit: Extra Award Availability

When you have status with an airline that can help redeeming awards at a low price. Some airlines make additional seats available to their own members (as opposed to members of partner airline programs).

Some make more seats available to their own elite frequent flyers. And United Airlines probably does the best job of making additional award space available to elite members (even Silver) along with cobrand credit card customers. That extra inventory is real.

What a lot of American AAdvantage members don’t realize is that Executive Platinum (and Concierge Key) members also have extra award availability.

AAdvantage Executive Platinum® members and 1 companion have exclusive access to additional MileSAAver award seating on American Airlines flights. While this is not a guarantee of available seating, it does provide more flexibility when you are traveling on a MileSAAver award. Please call the AAdvantage Executive Platinum® service desk to access this benefit.

  • It’s for coach only
  • And it’s not available when searching on American’s website, even when you’re logged in

Those AAdvantage members who know about the benefit often complain that it doesn’t exist anymore because when they call in agents may tell them they don’t know anything about it. But agents will see the space when they look if it’s available and won’t know that is what they are seeing.

Other agents will respond that they used to be able to request awards but that was a different feature entirely and not something limited to Executive Platinum members.

An American Airlines spokesperson re-affirms,

Yes, we do still offer extra MileSAAver award availability on certain flights for Executive Platinum members, which allows them to book additional award seats for their party.

This can be helpful when trying to add a domestic flight to an international departure gateway city as part of a partner airline redemption. Perhaps you live in Dallas and you found availability for Qatar Airways QSuites from Houston to Doha and on to the Maldives, but there’s no saver award space from Dallas to Houston showing up on the American Airlines website. An Executive PLatinum might actually have saver awards available if they call.

For personal travel it may make sense for an Executive Platinum member to redeem domestic coach awards, with as expensive as domestic flights can be right now. And since Executive Platinums are eligible for complimentary upgrades on award travel, domestic coach awards can make sense. Of course a Web Saver award might be fewer – or many more – miles than a traditional saver award.

Since you have to call to see the space, it isn’t shown online, and it’s only for coach awards it’s not something I’ve ever much bothered with. But it exists, it’s easy to forget, and it can be useful.

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 InsideFlyer.com, 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. Is there any information on the pricing? My experience is that award travel (generally) follows this path: High availability (Low cost of miles, 7500 – 15,000), Medium availability (15,000 – 25,000), Low availability (25,000 – 50,000 and above, USUALLY in the 50,000+ range though).

    So, if I’m at the point where I’m having to get special award seats only available because of a status “trick”, I’m guessing they’re going to be in the bucket of awards that is in that 50,000+ miles range. Am I thinking about it correctly? Just trying to assess if this is even worthy of pursuing…

  2. Let me recap. Must be Ex Plat, only for coach, can’t see or book online (in 2022), CSR’s don’t know much if anything about it. Only allows for elite member +1 so can’t use for entire family, So very useful. #typicalAA

  3. Saver awards are booked in T-class, and same-day confirms were in E, but was often visible days in advance.

    What letter code does this inventory use?

  4. @ Gene

    I started skimming at “It’s for coach only”

    If it’s a short flight w/only coach that’s Ok. But only available “on certain flights”?

    Next….

  5. Qantas is the world’s worst when it comes to this practice’
    Base QFF members (Bronze) are cut off from much domestic and international inventory, being offered the scraps of hard-to-sell flights to constructing flyer-unfriendly connections (often ‘mixed cabin’) for both.
    Even sought after premium partner award flights are offered to the 2 top tiers of the ‘elite’ long before the less loyal get to pick over the scraps.
    This is not heresay or mere perception; friends in the top tiers have confirmed all the above when asked to test the theory.
    Qantas has become an airline for its elite and big spenders, with the hoi polloi at the bottom of the food chain just being seat fillers at the back of the plane.

  6. Yeah, “for coach only.” Whatever. When one of them actually blocks premium seats for top tier members, well, that is the airline I choose. Otherwise I could care less.

  7. For United, the inventory is actually real and I don’t have to call-in like it’s 2009. I’ll take United’s “IN” inventory (business class saver for 1Ks) all day over having to call and beg AA for a positioning flight to LAX, DFW, JFK, ORD, etc. Spent many years as an EP and there is simply no juice there to be worth the squeeze.

  8. @gene I stopped reading your purchased statuses long time ago . Attitude is low class!

  9. Nice article, Jeff.

    Thanks!

    But perhaps missing one piece of useful information. What does an EXP or CK need to tell the agent to do? You mention the agent might see availability, but not recognize it as such. What should they be looking for?

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