Of course, you all know about the impending American Airlines award chart devaluation on Tuesday, 3/22. There is no denying it is one of the larger and more impactful devaluations we’ve seen in a while – especially if you use your miles to fly first or business class. Here is the new award chart compared to the old one with some of the major changes highlighted below (all figures are for one way).
- First class flights from the US to the Middle East go from 90,000 miles to 115,000 miles
- First class flights from the US to South Asia go from 67,500 miles to 110,000 miles (this one hurts the most)
- First class flights from the US to Australia go from 72,500 miles to 110,000 miles
- Business class flights from the US to South Asia go from 55,000 miles to 70,000 miles
- Business class flights from the US to Australia go from 62,500 miles to 80,000 miles
- Economy off-peak flights from the US to Europe go from 20,000 miles to 22,500 miles but the bigger impact are the dates considered off-peak. Previously it was October 15th to May 15th but is now just November 1 to December 14 and January 10 to March 14.
My big piece of advice is to try and book any awards TODAY and do not wait until the last minute tomorrow. This is especially true if you are looking to book certain partner awards, including popular awards such as first/business class on Cathay & Etihad, as those cannot be booked online. I fully imagine the hold times on the phone will order on outrageous at some point tomorrow (and maybe even at times today). If you can beat that rush of last minute bookings, you might save yourself some valuable time.
Other helpful tips include trying to call the foreign AA offices to book awards, which might not be as busy as the main US number. This will be especially helpful if you are booking Etihad awards as the Australian AA office can see awards the US office cannot. The contact number for the AA Australian call center is +61-2-91011948.