Tips for AA redemptions -for US member (soon to be AA)

 
Old Aug 17, 13, 7:32 am
  #1  
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Tips for AA redemptions -for US member (soon to be AA)

Hi All

I am a long standing *A member - have had miles with SQ for many years and more recently with US due to their generous "buy miles" program.

Since US will soon be part of the AA program, I wanted to see if there were some tips users may provide members like me who have never used OW carriers for redemption bookings. So if you don't mind, I have a few questions.

1. I see AA sells miles too. Can you buy miles without having a certain % of the miles already to put towards an award? e.g. some carriers let you top up but only if you have "X" amount of the miles already.

2. I use ANA mileage account to check *A availability and find it to be very accurate. Does AA have such a system or is there a partner program I should be using to check availability?

3. Any tips/tricks?
e.g. I am based in SYD. And it is very easy to get award availability on TG flights to Europe, even at very late notice. Particularly in F and J class.

and it is very difficult to get UA/NZ/AC flights to the USA from SYD.
Any hints/tips or airlines that may have bigger inventory for award travel than others within the OW scheme?

Thanks so much in advance.
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Old Aug 17, 13, 7:34 am
  #2  
 
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US will not be part of the AA program anytime soon (if ever).
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Old Aug 17, 13, 7:49 am
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I'll do my best to answer your questions, but given the events this week I seriously question the idea that "US will soon be part of the AA program"

Originally Posted by Ansett767 View Post
1. I see AA sells miles too. Can you buy miles without having a certain % of the miles already to put towards an award? e.g. some carriers let you top up but only if you have "X" amount of the miles already.
There is an annual limit on how many miles you purchase for one account, but you don't need a minimum amount in your account.

Originally Posted by Ansett767 View Post
2. I use ANA mileage account to check *A availability and find it to be very accurate. Does AA have such a system or is there a partner program I should be using to check availability?
No, AA doesn't currently have the availability to show OW availability but the Qantas FF program does.

Originally Posted by Ansett767 View Post
3. Any tips/tricks?
e.g. I am based in SYD. And it is very easy to get award availability on TG flights to Europe, even at very late notice. Particularly in F and J class.
and it is very difficult to get UA/NZ/AC flights to the USA from SYD.
Any hints/tips or airlines that may have bigger inventory for award travel than others within the OW scheme?
You'll be primarily dealing w/ Qantas & other OW carriers, not AA, and will have limited options. Most of us try to avoid BA b/c their award tickets have significant fuel surcharges, fees, etc..
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Old Aug 17, 13, 8:02 am
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Originally Posted by bdemaria View Post
I'll do my best to answer your questions, but given the events this week I seriously question the idea that "US will soon be part of the AA program"
Pardon my ignorance, but what has happened in the last week? I don't follow very closely what's been happening - don't hop online very much and we don't get much news here in Oz regarding this in our printed press.
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Old Aug 17, 13, 8:04 am
  #5  
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For more exhaustive treatment, I recommend checking our FAQ "sticky" thread. It has a lot of answers, as well as links to threads, Wiki entries and appropriate AA and other page links.

I think you have plenty of time to familiarize yourself with AAdvantage policies - but if the reverse takeover / merger occurs given the apparent seriousness of the DoJ effort, the ultimate program will be somewhat of a hybrid (though it does seem AA managers were to be in charge overall).
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Old Aug 17, 13, 8:05 am
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Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry: BlackBerry8530/5.0.0.601 Profile/MIDP-2.1 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/417)

The U.S. Department of Justice has filed suit to block the AA/US merger on antitrust grounds.
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Old Aug 17, 13, 3:54 pm
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http://www.theguardian.com/business/...airways-merger

http://www.usatoday.com/story/todayi...t-amr/2648561/

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/...97F10020130816
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Old Aug 17, 13, 4:54 pm
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1 has been answered.

2. there is no one search engine that is good for finding everything (that is bookable with AA miles anyway).

Generally if you're looking for QF/BA seats you can look at aa.com. If you're looking for CX seats you'll want to use the JAL availability search (KVS helps alot). You can also use the BA.com site to search. Generally what you see on JAL/ BA.com can be booked with aa miles, but sometimes you will run into a situation where JAL/BA show 2 seats and AA sees only 1, or none.

3. AA is really picky with routings. It is also very difficult to get flights from AU to USA in premium cabins. But it's not impossible. If you look at 330 days out you should be able to snag 2 seats in J if your days are flexible. If you're only looking for 1 seat it should be a bit easier (AA has a very easy calendar search). You can also find lots of seats via HNL on HA but that is a long trip in recliner seats.

CX is pretty good about releasing seats - and rivals SQ for the best J/F experience out there, but AA will charge you for two awards... AU-Asia2 and Asia 2 -US if you want to book that way.

Unless maybe you can find a heavily discounted ticket to somewhere in SE Asia and then just use one award from there.
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Old Aug 17, 13, 6:27 pm
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Originally Posted by AZbba View Post

2. there is no one search engine that is good for finding everything (that is bookable with AA miles anyway...

CX is pretty good about releasing seats - and rivals SQ for the best J/F experience out there, but AA will charge you for two awards... AU-Asia2 and Asia 2 -US if you want to book that way.

Unless maybe you can find a heavily discounted ticket to somewhere in SE Asia and then just use one award from there.
Well, the search engine awardnexus.com is pretty good. Free limited use for FT members, then more expansive use (including emails alerting if award tickets open up) for as little as $50.

Fully agree re CX comments.
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