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MileSAAver / SAAver award reduction / scarcity discussion

Old Jan 25, 2014, 3:56 pm
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Last edit by: JDiver

Be sure to check the lengthy http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/ameri...elections.html and oneworld and Other Airline (Partner) Awards info, rules 2014 on threads, as many members have posted questions - and useful answers - there. See the wiki posts for informative summaries.

Also be aware - AA have reduced capacity and apparently chosen to make MileSAAver flights significantly less available during predicted periods of high demand and high demand flights, undoubtedly keeping seats available for those willing to pay higher fares and use the new tiered AAnytime awards.

Older posts as of 1 Jan 2015 and later may be found in thd archived thread ARCHIVE: MileSAAver / SAAver award reduction discussion post 2015 AAdvantage merger

Older posts may dating from Aug 2011 through the AAdvantage program merger January 2015 be found in the archived thread here.

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MileSAAver / SAAver award reduction / scarcity discussion

Old May 2, 2019, 9:23 am
  #1741  
formerly smoaky
 
Join Date: Jan 2018
Posts: 299
Because AA has absolutely gutted their redemptions and the value of AA miles. They are either on BA metal with massive fees, require 3 flights including insane stopovers, or they simply charge a dynamic and always extremely high price for business class fares back from Europe. You can still find some with the old interface (and, I guess the new one?) but they definitely seem fewer and far between. I wouldn't plan on using miles for AA business/first in the future unless you have like millions of miles. I try to use them on AA partners, but we'll see how long those redemption rates last.
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Old May 2, 2019, 9:59 am
  #1742  
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Originally Posted by Reetmafreen

when you drill down into the details, you’ll find that those awards flights are 2, or mostly 3 segment trips with usually one of the legs in economy (and when I’ve been looking, it’s usually the TATL segment that ends up with seat at the back of the bus though the 2 segment option on Oct 30 from AMS actually books into business to PHL, but PHL to LAX books into economy)
We have found this to be the case, or worse. Here's a typical result: The LAX to SFO in business or even first, SFO to MAD/LHR/etc in coach. Or wide open availability on BA with their fuel surcharges. Tick the "no British Airways" box and the results disappear. Or, it takes 20-30 hours to get home because of the stops.
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Old May 2, 2019, 10:04 am
  #1743  
Moderator: American AAdvantage
 
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Dead. Horse. Flogged. Again.

OP, try broadening your scope and methods for finding SAAver awards. While awards on BA incur the dreaded carrier imposed fees, that leaves oneworld partners AY via HEL (which is not hell to connect in) or IB. Not to mention some FTers have found award seats on TN CDG-LAX, for example.
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Old May 2, 2019, 10:47 am
  #1744  
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Originally Posted by JDiver
OP, try broadening your scope and methods for finding SAAver awards. While awards on BA incur the dreaded “carrier imposed fees”, that leaves oneworld partners AY via HEL (which is not hell to connect in) or IB. Not to mention some FTers have found award seats on TN CDG-LAX, for example.
Agree.
In the last couple of weeks, I've booked a JFK-LHR J ticket on AA, two LAX-CDG TN roundtrips and a one way. Also, two EY First Class roundtrips... one to MLE and another to SEZ.
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Old May 2, 2019, 1:59 pm
  #1745  
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Originally Posted by Reetmafreen

when you drill down into the details, youll find that those awards flights are 2, or mostly 3 segment trips with usually one of the legs in economy (and when Ive been looking, its usually the TATL segment that ends up with seat at the back of the bus though the 2 segment option on Oct 30 from AMS actually books into business to PHL, but PHL to LAX books into economy)
This is incorrect.

When searching award space at aa.com, and filtering flights to AA only, aa.com will never display a Business sAAver flight where the domestic flight is business but the longhaul segment is in economy*. This awful phenomenon only occurs when partners are involved. So every single blue box in the screenshots above would be business for the TATL segment.

(*the one exception to this is when a 3 class transcon is included, aa.com will show business sAAver available whereby say LAX-JFK is in J but JFK-LHR is Y, for example)

Trust me, I think award availability on AA stinks and I despise some of the games they play, and sure, some of the routings are less than ideal, but it's far from the "nothing is available ever from anywhere!" nonsense that gets repeated on here over and over.

I just looked at the Oct 30 space above from AMS-LAX, a one stop AMS-PHL-LAX routing all in business.
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Old May 2, 2019, 2:00 pm
  #1746  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
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Originally Posted by JJeffrey
You must not have checked every airport, because if you did you would have found the below sAAver availability on *AA metal* on both AMS-LAX and ZRH-LAX that appeared on literally the first date I checked for the fall . I also found a few random dates with availability from MAD, BCN, FRA, just to name a few.


These incluse BA flights, I was looking for AA metal. This same search with AA only shows only 2 days available, neither during my return period of October 10-14.
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Old May 2, 2019, 2:13 pm
  #1747  
 
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I need to return preferably on 10/13 but am flexible to return 10/10-10/14. There are 2 of us, we are willing to fly different routes to return home. I have checked the following European cities, LON, AMS, ZRH, FRA, FCO, CDG, HEL, MXP, BLQ, and MUC. If I am booking a business or first award ticket I MUST also be in first or business for any connectors to LAX. ( I am not using business/first miles and spending 4 plus hours in domestic economy) . I am actually returning from Florence area of Italy and am willing to buy a connector flight to my award ticket departure airport.
The award charts posted here trying to help me still include BA flights. I appreciate the help. It rediculous that I look at the available seats on AA metal on these dates and first empty and business have only a couple of seats filled.
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Old May 2, 2019, 2:25 pm
  #1748  
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Originally Posted by legallyblond
I need to return preferably on 10/13 but am flexible to return 10/10-10/14. There are 2 of us, we are willing to fly different routes to return home. I have checked the following European cities, LON, AMS, ZRH, FRA, FCO, CDG, HEL, MXP, BLQ, and MUC. If I am booking a business or first award ticket I MUST also be in first or business for any connectors to LAX. ( I am not using business/first miles and spending 4 plus hours in domestic economy) . I am actually returning from Florence area of Italy and am willing to buy a connector flight to my award ticket departure airport.
The award charts posted here trying to help me still include BA flights. I appreciate the help. It rediculous that I look at the available seats on AA metal on these dates and first empty and business have only a couple of seats filled.
Call AA, and ask about J award availability on TN's CDG-LAX nonstop.
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Old May 2, 2019, 2:37 pm
  #1749  
 
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Originally Posted by guv1976
Call AA, and ask about J award availability on TN's CDG-LAX nonstop.
IS it often available over the phone when not availble on the website??
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Old May 2, 2019, 2:41 pm
  #1750  
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Originally Posted by legallyblond
These incluse BA flights, I was looking for AA metal. This same search with AA only shows only 2 days available, neither during my return period of October 10-14.
Eh, no, feel free to re-read my post below, I was searching AA only, bolding mine.

Originally Posted by JJeffrey
You must not have checked every airport, because if you did you would have found the below sAAver availability on *AA metal* on both AMS-LAX and ZRH-LAX that appeared on literally the first date I checked for the fall ...
But your post above has provided much needed details about what you're actually looking for, that is rather than any sAAver seat in business over the entire Fall, you really need 2 seats with a 4-5 day window of flexibility, and also are unwilling to be in Y for any part. This will of course be much tougher, but not impossible.

Last edited by JJeffrey; May 2, 2019 at 2:48 pm
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Old May 2, 2019, 2:42 pm
  #1751  
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Originally Posted by legallyblond
IS it often available over the phone when not availble on the website??
Sorry. I did not realize that TN had recently been added to the list of AAdvantage partners bookable online.
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Old May 2, 2019, 2:44 pm
  #1752  
 
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Originally Posted by legallyblond
IS it often available over the phone when not availble on the website??
Never in my experience and Ive tried several times.
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Old May 2, 2019, 3:41 pm
  #1753  
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Originally Posted by legallyblond
I need to return preferably on 10/13 but am flexible to return 10/10-10/14. There are 2 of us, we are willing to fly different routes to return home. I have checked the following European cities, LON, AMS, ZRH, FRA, FCO, CDG, HEL, MXP, BLQ, and MUC. If I am booking a business or first award ticket I MUST also be in first or business for any connectors to LAX. ( I am not using business/first miles and spending 4 plus hours in domestic economy) . I am actually returning from Florence area of Italy and am willing to buy a connector flight to my award ticket departure airport.
The award charts posted here trying to help me still include BA flights. I appreciate the help. It rediculous that I look at the available seats on AA metal on these dates and first empty and business have only a couple of seats filled.
Also keep in mind that the BA ripoff surcharges are much less when departing Europe, and will vary based on country of departure. Departing out of Scandinavia generally is cheaper than some other countries.

For example, on 10/10, 10/11, & 10/15, I see CPH-LHR-IAH-LAX for 2 pax, all segments in business, that comes to 57.5k + $260 each. That's not that bad.

By comparison, even just a LHR-LAX award in business on AA metal will run you almost $300 each in pure taxes alone due mostly to the UK APD.
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Old May 2, 2019, 5:07 pm
  #1754  
 
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Originally Posted by guv1976
Sorry. I did not realize that TN had recently been added to the list of AAdvantage partners bookable online.
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Old May 2, 2019, 9:57 pm
  #1755  
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
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Originally Posted by JJeffrey
This is incorrect.

When searching award space at aa.com, and filtering flights to AA only, aa.com will never display a Business sAAver flight where the domestic flight is business but the longhaul segment is in economy*. This awful phenomenon only occurs when partners are involved. So every single blue box in the screenshots above would be business for the TATL segment.

(*the one exception to this is when a 3 class transcon is included, aa.com will show business sAAver available whereby say LAX-JFK is in J but JFK-LHR is Y, for example)

Trust me, I think award availability on AA stinks and I despise some of the games they play, and sure, some of the routings are less than ideal, but it's far from the "nothing is available ever from anywhere!" nonsense that gets repeated on here over and over.

I just looked at the Oct 30 space above from AMS-LAX, a one stop AMS-PHL-LAX routing all in business.
U must have opened up on the PHL-LAX leg today as last night when I looked, it booked into T.

As another point of reference, I was looking for AA Saver for LAX to MBJ in business next Feb. I would say that there was saver availability about 60% of the month. For the exact day I wanted, there was but one option. LAX-IAH in economy, overnight stay when I would have preferred a red eye, IAH-MIA in economy next morning, MIA-MBJ in U. You would have to be insane, desperate, on on your way to a must attend funeral to select that routing.

For $#,+$ and grins, I switched MBJ to LHR for my dates. Nothing in biz saver on the way out, but March 9 showed biz saver on the return. LHR-JFK-LAX. JFK-LAX booked into U, but LHR-JFK booked into T, all on AA metal

Last edited by Reetmafreen; May 2, 2019 at 10:09 pm
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