Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > American Airlines | AAdvantage
Reload this Page >

HELP DESK: MileSAAver / SAAver award questions, assistance

HELP DESK: MileSAAver / SAAver award questions, assistance

    Hide Wikipost
Old May 2, 21, 1:24 am   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: JDiver
Wiki Link
HELP DESK: MileSAAver / SAAver Award Availability - Help, Assistance & Discussion
Some of you might have found your thread merged into this "consolidated" thread. If your desire is to become thoroughly familiar with the knowledge that has been accumulated about the process for acquiring MileSAAver awards feel free to read this entire thread. If you only want the assistance from those who have the knowledge your request has been merged at the end. Feel free to wait for a forthcoming answer.

If you have reached this thread by using the search process you have the same choices as above. Read the thread and become knowledgeable or post at the end and wait for a forthcoming answer.

thanks
~magic111, Moderator


NOTE: for more detailed fare rules, see AA oneworld & Other Airline Partner Award information, rules (master thd)

Two award search systems TWA884

There are two search systems, legacy and new. The new one shows award availability which does not appear when searching with the old system.

See:

New Award Booking / Search / Calendar on aa.com 2019 link (FT thread)

The Insider Trick to Getting More American Airlines Saver Award Availability

***

If you want to make sure that youre seeing results from both award searching systems, youll want to perform an award search starting on each of these:


NOTE: Married segment issues exist, wherein AA may make a IAH-DFW-XXX award available, but not DFW-XXX; or STL-PHL-LHR, but PHL-LHR may not be available in conjunction with ORD- and others. See

More award availability restricted by married segments / connections

Award hold period: Awards can generally be held for five days; five day extensions require continued availability of your flights and generating a new award booking and five day hold.

NOTE: Holding two simultaneous awards is likely to fall afoul of AAs impossible bookings algorithms, resulting in cancellation of at least one award.

Though AA can start releasing awards 331 days from the desired flight date (even though some other airlines might make award seats available to their members 355 days out), its very likely award seats may be released a few days after that. If seats arent sold and Revenue Management algorithms signify slow sales, more seats might be released going forward.

Within 14 days the hold period changes from 5 days to 1 day. And AA has periodically played the game in the past whereby within certain timeframes, usually 7 or 14 days before, they eliminate all sAAver space. Completely route specific. JJeffrey


="3"%Airlines that can be booked for award travel on aa.com

oneworld alliance airline partners
  • AA - American Airlines
  • AS - Alaska Airlines
  • BA - British Airways (awards incur significant YQ surcharge
  • AY - Finnair
  • IB - Iberia
  • JL - Japan Airlines
  • AT - Royal Air Maroc
  • QF - Qantas
  • QR - Qatar Airways
  • RJ - Royal Jordanian Airlines (joining 31 Mar 2020)
  • S7 - S7 Airlines
  • UL - Sri Lankan Airlines
NOTE: FJ / Fiji Airways is a oneworld Connect member only

other airline partners
  • 9K - Cape Air (but only certain cities)
  • TN - Air Tahiti Nui
  • EY - Etihad
  • HA - Hawaiian Airlines (only certain routes

All others must be requested by telephone; see Note below.

NOTE: To search for partner awards, go to advanced search from the awards search or home page and select all airlines.


Full list of oneworld airline partners (and their affiliates)
  • AA - American Airlines
  • AS - Alaska Airlines
  • AT - Royal Air Maroc (as of 31 Mar 2020)
  • AY - Finnair (Flybe)
  • BA - British Airways (Cityflyer, Comair, OpenSkies, Sun-Air of Scandinavia)
  • CX - Cathay Pacific
  • FJ - Fiji Airways (oneworld Connect partner only)
  • IB - Iberia (Air Nostrum, Iberia Express)
  • JL - Japan Airlines (JAL Express, J-Air, Japan Transocean Air)
  • MH - Malaysia Airlines
  • QF - Qantas Airways (QantasLink, Jetconnect)
  • QR - Qatar Airways
  • RJ - Royal Jordanian Airlines
  • S7 - S7 Airlines (Globus) (excludes Siberia / far eastern Russia awards)
  • UL - SriLankan Airlines
  • When you do call, you might want to search for award space on the flights you want and tell the agent about those flights; sometimes AA agents won't find award seats unless they search by segment.

When using other airline web sites or tools to search for award availability, its best to do so by segment rather than by trip. E. g. BA may show availability SAN-LHR and LHR-AMS, but not SAN-AMS. And in some instances (EY, FJ, etc.) AA US may not see availability that AA Australia or New Zealand might see.

Full list of additional airline partners offering award redemptions
  • 9K - Cape Air
  • CZ - China Southern Airlines
  • EY - Etihad Airways
  • FJ - Fiji Airways (oneworld Connect member)
  • HA - Hawaiian Airlines
  • TN - Air Tahiti Nui

NOTE: Ticketing


Code:
oneworld Partners Award Fare Codes First-Business-Economy
 --------------------------------------------------------
 AA - American Airlines Z U T
 --------------------------------------------------------
 AS - Alaska Airlines A W
 --------------------------------------------------------
 AY  Finnair U X
 --------------------------------------------------------
 BA  British Airways Z U X
 --------------------------------------------------------
 CX  Cathay Pacific Z U T
 KA - DragonAir
 --------------------------------------------------------
 IB  Iberia U X
 --------------------------------------------------------
 JL  Japan Airlines (Intl) Z U T
 JL  Japan Airlines (Dom) Z D S
 --------------------------------------------------------
 AT - Royal Air Maroc 
 --------------------------------------------------------
 MH - Malaysia Airlines P U X
 --------------------------------------------------------
 QF - QANTAS Airways P U X
 --------------------------------------------------------
 QR - Qatar Airways Z U X
 --------------------------------------------------------
 RJ  Royal Jordanian U X
 --------------------------------------------------------
 S7  S7 Airlines U E
 --------------------------------------------------------
 UL - SriLankan Airlines
 --------------------------------------------------------
 
 Other Partners First Business Economy
 --------------------------------------------------------
 CZ China Southern Airways (unknown)
 --------------------------------------------------------
 FJ  Fiji Airways U X
 --------------------------------------------------------
 TN  Air Tahiti Nui F for Business U for Economy
 --------------------------------------------------------
 LY  El Al Israel P X E
 --------------------------------------------------------
 EY - Etihad O I N
 --------------------------------------------------------
 HA  Hawaiian Airlines D T
 --------------------------------------------------------
Effective February 16, 2015, a Reservations Ticketing Service Charge of $30.00 for domestic itineraries and $40.00 for international itineraries will be applied by AA Reservations when ticketing award reservations that can be booked on aa.com. The charge is waived for award reservations that cannot be booked on aa.com including reduced mileage awards, and for Executive Platinums. N.B. Executive Platinums booking award for non-EP will pay the service charges.
NOTE: Rather than release SAAver Awards at 330 days out, AA generally delays 48 hours after the 330 day time period has begun, at or about midnight Central time.

Other rules that may affect your awards="3"%:

Award Rules

American Airlines Awards are valid for travel on flights that are marketed and operated by AA (no codeshares). These awards can be booked online at AA.com.

oneworld and Other Airline awards are valid for travel on AA and any of its partner airlines, and can include travel on multiple partners. Some of these awards must be booked over the phone, and will not incur a Ticketing Service Charge (waived for EXPs in any case) if they cannot be booked online.

Up to four one-way awards can be booked on a single PNR. Codeshares are not bookable as Awards.

MPM or Maximum Permitted Miles: A Fare or award may not exceed the most direct routing by more than 25% (unless the fare routing includes a ticketed point deduction (essentially a miles allowance that extends MPM). See MPM / Maximum Permitted Mileage & Ticketed Point Deductions (merged threads).

Stopovers and Connections:

Stopovers are no longer allowed on AA awards. Stopovers will require multiple awards.

Connections are limited to two connections / three flight segments for domestic awards, and three connections / four flight segments for international awards as of Aug 2017. Link

Domestic Connections must be under 4 hours for domestic flights (except Hawaii), with some exceptions: "LIFO" (Last In - First Out connections are generally allowed.

Hawaii itinerary: Effective on 14 Jul 2014 on an all-AA-metal award itinerary, you now have up to 18 hours to connect when traveling to/from Hawaii. NOTE: Hawaii interisland connections must be separate awards and can not be included as part of a mainland-island award.

International Connections must generally not exceed 23:59 hours. Some leeway has occasionally been granted when connecting flights are not daily. If the itinerary includes an international flight, the rules for international connections apply. Link to these courtesy of JonNYC.

If there is a non-stop flight that departs after the 4h / 23h59m windows and arrives at the destination earlier than a connecting flight within the 4h / 23h59m window, the passenger may be booked on the non-stop flight. It may be difficult getting some agents to book this.

"Most Significant Carrier" rule: To price as a single award, AAdvantage requires the most significant carrier to publish a cash fare (non-constructed) between the origin and destination. Airline MSC (e.g. DFW-SFO-HKG-BKK, CX SFO-HKG is the prevailing or most significant carrier) would have to have a published fare from XXX to YYY that allows travel on all included airlines, and routing that you want. If the MSC only offers constructed fares between your desired origin and destination, AA will price this as two awards.

Constructed fares: Another rule disallows awards where the fare must be constructed (also referred to as "YY"): Using a partner, the trip will require two awards if the governing carrier (e,g. airline operating on the major route, such as transpacific carrier) doesn't publish a through fare that includes the award's proposed origin and destination that allows the carriers proposed.

See this thread about examples using TN.

Married Segment Logic - a prospective trip may be available when searching segment by segment, yet not be bookable through from origin to destination. When selling seats for through flights and the desired inventory is not available, you cannot opt to sell the flight point-to-point. If sold point-to-point, the error response MULTIPLE SEGMENTS FOR SAME FLIGHT - SELL AS ONE SEGMENT will be received, indicating this booking is not allowed. Overriding the error check by ending the PNR twice is not acceptable.

See Award with available segments not bookable? (Married Segment issues)
Resources

NOTE: New award charts are posted on AA.com from time to time. See the American Airlines charts here and the oneworld and partner award charts here.
Some airlines or areas have different, extra or special characteristics for securing awards. See

aa.com Basic (front page) vs Advanced Award Search Results (abbreviated results for front page search vs. Advanced award search)

AAdvantage awards to / from Australia, New Zealand link

AAdvantage awards to the Galpagos Islands, Ecuador link

AAdvantage awards on Air Tahiti Nui link

AAdvantage awards using British Airways incurring (avoiding) high fees link

AAdvantage award on Cathay Pacific (and Cathay Dragon) link

AAdvantage awards using Etihad Airways link

AAdvantage awards using Fiji Airways link

AAdvantage awards using Japan Airlines link

AAdvantage awards using Qantas Airways link

AAdvantage awards on S7 (Siberian) Airlines link
Awards assistance tools: Use at your own risk; may not be up to date. These are not recommendations.
  • Check this oneworld interactive map and timetable by Innosked to see potential routes.

  • British Airways Executive Club: You can sign up for British Airways Executive Club, Japan Airlines JAL Mileage Bank or Qantas Frequent Flyer to use their sites to find awards (look for the lowest level awards) you can't see on aa.com. BA in particular is prone to show "phantom" availability.

  • See this article by the Points Guy on BA and Qantas for award searching.

  • See this article to new online tool from Japan Airlines by Australian Frequent Flyer

  • Award booking services - list and reviews (FT thread)

  • Award Nexus: It's easy to do your experiments for some free browsing (click "more signup options" under the green Purchase button to sign up with your FlyerTalk login info). You might want to run each segment rather than origin to destination. Or use this link to use with your FT login: https://awardnexus.com/user/login?url=%2F.


    Originally Posted by sdsearch View Post
    ...Award Nexus is free (up to a point) for FlyerTalk users. Click "more signup options" under the green Purchase button to sign up for free as a FlyerTalk member.


    What I like about Award Nexus is it has a much nicer user interface than BA and lets you choose whether to search through BA and/or QF, and as you can see each of those may give somewhat different results.


    The "cost" to do all these searches once was a total of 12 points, and you get 200 points free when you signup, and then every 90 days you can reload 100 more points for free (once you're below 10 points). So that gives an idea of how many searches could do free...


  • AwardAce: Compare Award Redemptions Across Airlines In Seconds

  • AwardHacker: "a tool we build to tell you how to travel with the least miles"

  • Award Nexus: which can search availability but can't determine cost, with FT member free limited use

  • Economical Excursionist's Tools: compare Frequent Flyer Mile Redemptions

  • ExpertFlyer is a common tool used on FT. There is a $99.99 annual fee, monthly fee and five day trial

  • Great Circle Mapper is useful for calculating distance and MPM (Maximum Permitted Mileage)

  • You can try PEX+ (currently in beta), which will even tell you how many miles you'll need, though it draws data from aa.com and S7 so it can't reveal awards that can not be seen on those sites.

  • Travel Codex Award Maximiser commercial blog


Also see:

aa.com Basic (front page) vs Advanced Award Search Results

Phantom / false AA award availability with AA partners (consolidated)

oneworld and Other Airline (Partner) Awards info, rules 2014 on

Help with British Airways / BA surcharge / YQ (AA award on BA, consolidated) (Awards using BA incur significant "YQ" surcharges.)

UK APD / Air Passenger Duty charged for UK departures[/quote] (Flights originating in the UK other than INV or BFS - or connections 24:00 or over - incur UK Air Passenger Duty excise taxes.)

MileSAAver / SAAver award reduction / scarcity >= Aug 2011 onward (consolidated)

Older posts from 2019 have been archived to this archive thread.

Older posts from 2018 have been archived to this archive thread.

Older posts from 2017 have been archived to: this archive thread

Older posts from 2016 have been archived to: this archive thread

Older posts through 2015 have been archived to: this archive thread

From JJeffrey:


NOTE: Now and post Covid-19 may be different in some flight and seat availability.





Print Wikipost

Old Jan 14, 20, 2:46 pm
  #31  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: RDU <|> MMX
Programs: AA EXP 2MM, SK EBS
Posts: 9,217
Originally Posted by dpakman91 View Post
so would you start simply with one-stop itineraries that i can find on AA.com?
If you've found 2 sAAver seats in business on a one-stop itinerary on or around your preferred dates I would absolutely book them now (at the very least put them on hold while you continue to look).

In this day and age of AAdvantage awards, settling for only nonstop flights is going to severely limit your options.
JJeffrey is online now  
Old Jan 19, 20, 4:14 pm
  #32  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Arizona
Programs: IHG Platinum, Hyatt Platinum, SPG Gold, Club Carlson Gold, AA, WN, UA, US, WN, BA.
Posts: 86
Anybody noticing the lack of TATL J availability on BA metal using AA or AS miles?

I've looked for many routes, even at the end of schedule and this is widespread. These are the same routes that are available directly from BA/QF/CX mileage programs and show as available on Expert Flyer as well.
glader is offline  
Old Jan 20, 20, 7:34 am
  #33  
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Virginia, USA
Posts: 4,241
Originally Posted by glader View Post
Anybody noticing the lack of TATL J availability on BA metal using AA or AS miles?

I've looked for many routes, even at the end of schedule and this is widespread. These are the same routes that are available directly from BA/QF/CX mileage programs and show as available on Expert Flyer as well.
I also noticed that. It's gotten to the point where a lot of partner premium awards are no longer widely available (QF comes to mind also).

Last edited by JetAway; Jan 20, 20 at 7:35 am Reason: word choice
JetAway is offline  
Old Jan 20, 20, 7:51 am
  #34  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: NYC
Programs: AA EXP, DL Gold, HH Gold, MMRRT Plat
Posts: 874
Originally Posted by glader View Post
Anybody noticing the lack of TATL J availability on BA metal using AA or AS miles?

I've looked for many routes, even at the end of schedule and this is widespread. These are the same routes that are available directly from BA/QF/CX mileage programs and show as available on Expert Flyer as well.
I have noticed this as well. On searches for award availability more than 4 months out, there is almost none in my recent experiences specifically for JFK-LHR (no surprise as this is one of their most profitable routes) on BA, however, if I do a search inside 4 months, I find a lot more availability.
GlobalMatt is offline  
Old Jan 20, 20, 11:42 am
  #35  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Arizona
Programs: IHG Platinum, Hyatt Platinum, SPG Gold, Club Carlson Gold, AA, WN, UA, US, WN, BA.
Posts: 86
I went ahead and called AAdvantage about a route that was showing 2 biz class saver level seats directly on BA and nothing on aa.com. When calling they see the same 2 seats as available.

This seems like a really peculiar problem with economy seats seemingly showing up fine but biz class is not. It's encouraging they do see the availability via phone but I foresee a fight to waive phone booking fees since they'll surely claim that BA flights can be booked via aa.com
glader is offline  
Old Jan 20, 20, 12:18 pm
  #36  
Moderator: American AAdvantage, TAP, Mexico, Technical Support and Feedback, and The Suggestion Box
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: NorCal - SMF area
Programs: AA LT Plat; HH LT Diamond, Matre-plongeur des Muccis
Posts: 62,953
Originally Posted by glader View Post
I went ahead and called AAdvantage about a route that was showing 2 biz class saver level seats directly on BA and nothing on aa.com. When calling they see the same 2 seats as available.

This seems like a really peculiar problem with economy seats seemingly showing up fine but biz class is not. It's encouraging they do see the availability via phone but I foresee a fight to waive phone booking fees since they'll surely claim that BA flights can be booked via aa.com
In that case, screen shots would be useful.
JDiver is offline  
Old Jan 20, 20, 1:11 pm
  #37  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Arizona
Programs: IHG Platinum, Hyatt Platinum, SPG Gold, Club Carlson Gold, AA, WN, UA, US, WN, BA.
Posts: 86
Originally Posted by JDiver View Post
In that case, screen shots would be useful.
Here are the screenshots for the route and day I tested.


BA availability with 2 seats in biz on 2 DEC from LHR-PHX.

Here is the AA availability searching for 1 seat LHR-PHX on 2 Dec. No biz class seats available.
glader is offline  
Old Jan 20, 20, 3:21 pm
  #38  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: SFO or OAK
Programs: AA 1MM GLD, Hertz #1 Gold, bunch of other programs w/no status
Posts: 1,335
Originally Posted by glader View Post
Anybody noticing the lack of TATL J availability on BA metal using AA or AS miles?

I've looked for many routes, even at the end of schedule and this is widespread. These are the same routes that are available directly from BA/QF/CX mileage programs and show as available on Expert Flyer as well.
Yep, noticed this too. I've been doing daily searches for TATL J awards for this summer. Occasionally I do see some TATL BA J availability (LHR-BOS was one) for the dates I've been looking at, but it seems there was much more showing a few weeks ago and then it suddenly vanished (at least off of AA.com).
mangoMan is offline  
Old Jan 20, 20, 3:36 pm
  #39  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 7,485
For what it's worth, I remember someone claiming that J awards can disappear while BA has a sale, which is happening now. I have no idea if that's really what you're seeing though.
rrgg is offline  
Old Jan 20, 20, 4:10 pm
  #40  
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Arizona
Programs: IHG Platinum, Hyatt Platinum, SPG Gold, Club Carlson Gold, AA, WN, UA, US, WN, BA.
Posts: 86
Originally Posted by rrgg View Post
For what it's worth, I remember someone claiming that J awards can disappear while BA has a sale, which is happening now. I have no idea if that's really what you're seeing though.
What sale are you referencing? I only see a generic sale on the BA website for BA vacations with air, hotel, car etc.
glader is offline  
Old Jan 20, 20, 4:20 pm
  #41  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 7,485
Sorry. I received an email about a sale this week but didn't pay attention to the details. Maybe this has nothing to do with it then.
rrgg is offline  
Old Jan 20, 20, 6:05 pm
  #42  
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 2
Hi hopefully someone will be kind enough to help/reply. Would love to go to Paris (CDG) and see flights from EWR as low as 34K RT, but most connect through LHR

First, is 34K a decent amount of miles or could I do even better? Taxes are $190 or so. I have 240K Amex MR points so I could transfer to a number of partners if need be.

Anytime between now to November is good, but I know Paris May - September is pricey.

TIA
GoEagles997 is offline  
Old Jan 20, 20, 6:25 pm
  #43  
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 269
Originally Posted by GoEagles997 View Post
Hi hopefully someone will be kind enough to help/reply. Would love to go to Paris (CDG) and see flights from EWR as low as 34K RT, but most connect through LHR

First, is 34K a decent amount of miles or could I do even better? Taxes are $190 or so. I have 240K Amex MR points so I could transfer to a number of partners if need be.

Anytime between now to November is good, but I know Paris May - September is pricey.

TIA
Check flights to Orly airport instead. We flew BA direct from EWR a coupe years ago and it was super easy to get in and out.
DVDBob is offline  
Old Jan 20, 20, 7:21 pm
  #44  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: RDU <|> MMX
Programs: AA EXP 2MM, SK EBS
Posts: 9,217
Originally Posted by GoEagles997 View Post
Hi hopefully someone will be kind enough to help/reply. Would love to go to Paris (CDG) and see flights from EWR as low as 34K RT, but most connect through LHR

First, is 34K a decent amount of miles or could I do even better? Taxes are $190 or so. I have 240K Amex MR points so I could transfer to a number of partners if need be.

Anytime between now to November is good, but I know Paris May - September is pricey.

TIA
34k is a great deal for a roundtrip to Europe. Like anything else, there's a chance you could wake up tomorrow and find an even better option for 30k RT, but there's the same chance everything could be 50-60k.

If you're only open to flying out of EWR, then most award options will route your through LHR on BA as AA doesn't offer any TATL service from EWR. If you can fly out of JFK, then AA offers a JFK-CDG nonstop which is easy to find economy award space on, especially in the shoulder and/or off seasons. Sticking to only AA metal will reduce your taxes/fees to $85
JJeffrey is online now  
Old Jan 20, 20, 7:26 pm
  #45  
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 2
Originally Posted by JJeffrey View Post
34k is a great deal for a roundtrip to Europe. Like anything else, there's a chance you could wake up tomorrow and find an even better option for 30k RT, but there's the same chance everything could be 50-60k.

If you're only open to flying out of EWR, then most award options will route your through LHR on BA as AA doesn't offer any TATL service from EWR. If you can fly out of JFK, then AA offers a JFK-CDG nonstop which is easy to find economy award space on, especially in the shoulder and/or off seasons. Sticking to only AA metal will reduce your taxes/fees to $85
I appreciate this and will look at options out of JFK!
GoEagles997 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread