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 Oct 25, 18, 2:23 pm   -   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


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

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.

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), it’s very likely award seats may be released a few days after that. If seats aren’t sold and Revenue Management algorithms signify slow sales, more seats might be released going forward.


Airlines that can be booked for award travel on aa.com

oneworld alliance airline partners
  • AA - American Airlines
  • BA - British Airways (awards incur significant YQ surcharge)
  • AY - Finnair
  • IB - Iberia
  • QF - Qantas
  • QR - Qatar Airways
  • RJ - Royal Jordanian Airlines
  • UL - Sri Lankan Airlines
other airline partners
  • TN - Air Tahiti Nui
  • AS - Alaska Airlines
  • EY - Etihad
  • HA - Hawaiian Airlines


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
  • BA - British Airways (Cityflyer, Comair, OpenSkies, Sun-Air of Scandinavia)
  • CX - Cathay Pacific (Dragonair)
  • AY -Finnair (Flybe)
  • IB - Iberia (Air Nostrum, Iberia Express)
  • JL - Japan Airlines (JAL Express, J-Air, Japan Transocean Air)
  • LA- LAN Airlines (LAN Argentina, LAN Ecuador, LAN Express, LAN Colombia, LAN Peru only, merging with JJ to LATAM)
  • 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
  • JJ - TAM Airlines (merging with LA to LATAM)

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, it’s 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
  • TN - Air Tahiti Nui
  • AS - Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air
  • EY - Etihad Airways
  • FJ - Fiji Airways
  • GF - Gulf Air
  • HA - Hawaiian Airlines


NOTE: Ticketing charge


Code:
oneworld Partners Award Fare Codes First-Business-Economy
 --------------------------------------------------------
 AA - American Airlines Z U T
 --------------------------------------------------------
 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
 --------------------------------------------------------
 LATAM Group
 JJ - TAM Airlines O I X
 LA – LAN Chile Z U T
 XL - LAN Ecuador
 LP - LAN Peru
 4M - LAN Argentina
 --------------------------------------------------------
 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
 --------------------------------------------------------
 FJ – Fiji Airways U X
 --------------------------------------------------------
 TN – Air Tahiti Nui F for Business U for Economy
 --------------------------------------------------------
 AS – Alaska Airlines A W
 --------------------------------------------------------
 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:

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. Many 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, 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 Galápagos 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.

  • 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.


    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 2016 have been archived to: this archive thread

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

Reply

Old Sep 30, 16, 6:19 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Buf
Programs: AA EXP, Marriott PP, Hilton Diamond, Hertz PC
Posts: 46
I am hoping to find some insight from some of you experts… In short, the wife and I turn 40 next year and I want to surprise her with an int'l trip she won't forget. I would like for us to see Europe (would be first time for both) and I want to use AA mile and at least have a flatbed seat- F or J.

Some parameters:

-Depart next summer after/on 7/15/17 for 7-10 days
-600-700k AA miles to burn
-Out of BUF, but JFK/YYZ/ORD are also easy departure points for us
-Italy/Paris/London would be nice

I just cant seem to find awards without a massive surcharge. i.e., $2200 on BA, + 230k miles. Anyhow, if you were looking to book this, are there any itineraries that stick out? Thank you.

I am hoping to find some insight from some of you experts… In short, the wife and I turn 40 next year and I want to surprise her with an int'l trip she won't forget. I would like for us to see Europe (would be first time for both) and I want to use AA mile and at least have a flatbed seat- F or J.

Last edited by JDiver; Jun 1, 18 at 11:26 pm Reason: Remove original post title
Daisymonster is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 30, 16, 6:22 pm
  #2  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Buf
Programs: AA EXP, Marriott PP, Hilton Diamond, Hertz PC
Posts: 46
Also- I would like to preserve some miles if I can. I know that I can get F on AA 773 for 175k each way, pp, but if there are better options, I would like some help.
Daisymonster is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 30, 16, 6:26 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Programs: AAdvantage Platinum, Hertz #1 Club Gold Five Star, IHG Spire Elite, Marriott Rewards Silver
Posts: 1,321
First off, avoid using BA under any circumstances if you are redeeming mileage. That's how you'll avoid those ridiculous fees.

Secondly, my suggestion is first, determine exactly what you want to do (i.e. which airport you want to fly into and out of)...then work from there to find the best mileage deals, realizing that mileage availability is constantly changing (for better or worse).
GNRMatt is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 30, 16, 6:36 pm
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Buf
Programs: AA EXP, Marriott PP, Hilton Diamond, Hertz PC
Posts: 46
Thank you Matt. The best option I am seeing is JFK-FCO in J, 772 for 230k and $70 in taxes. I don't think Ive seen much better options. Im sure its fine for us but I guess what would be helpful, is this a good value? J on a 772 for that price? I fly 200+ segments a yr but its domestic regionals and all so I have no basis for long haul.
Daisymonster is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 30, 16, 6:48 pm
  #5  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: LAX, LGB, SNA
Programs: AA EXP OWE, DL DM ST+, AS MVPG, UA, BA, WN CP, Hyatt E, Ritz Plat, HH GM
Posts: 3,172
Originally Posted by Daisymonster View Post
Thank you Matt. The best option I am seeing is JFK-FCO in J, 772 for 230k and $70 in taxes. I don't think Ive seen much better options. Im sure its fine for us but I guess what would be helpful, is this a good value? J on a 772 for that price? I fly 200+ segments a yr but its domestic regionals and all so I have no basis for long haul.
The J on 772 is a very decent product, lie flat. Some people don't like it, though, there's a slight shakyness to the seat, but I've never had any problems with it. Service is, well AA service.
Are you EXP? Cause then you can have those booked for now and if saver come up for the flight, then you can rebook into saver awards.
Also, F v J on AA 77W is not worth the price difference since the seats aren't very different and the old 777 should be completely out of rotation for TATL flights by your trip.
The 77W J is easily the best J seat in AA fleet.
hiima is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 30, 16, 6:57 pm
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Buf
Programs: AA EXP, Marriott PP, Hilton Diamond, Hertz PC
Posts: 46
Thank you hiima. Yes, EXP, however, not sure I will retain EXP for next year, so that may hinder things. Either way, i am totally fine w 230k mi and almost zero fees so I am glad to hear its a good product. I get the whole, AA int'l svc blows…, but how is service on a flight like this? will i have to bug FAs for drinks/snacks or are they on point? is the svc infrequent/impersonal? sorry for the naive ?s.
Daisymonster is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 30, 16, 7:11 pm
  #7  
Moderator: American AAdvantage, Mexico, Technical Support and Feedback, The Suggestion Box and Talkboard Topics
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: NorCal - SMF area
Programs: AA EXP; HH Life <>; SPG Gold; Maître-plongeur des Muccis
Posts: 59,341
Originally Posted by Daisymonster View Post
I am hoping to find some insight from some of you experts… In short, the wife and I turn 40 next year and I want to surprise her with an int'l trip she won't forget. I would like for us to see Europe (would be first time for both) and I want to use AA mile and at least have a flatbed seat- F or J.

<snip>
To begin with, please use a clear and meaningful title. To do otherwise will exult in many choosing to not look at this thread, and others tomreport it to Moderators for cleanup.

FlyerTalk Rules:

Thread Titles

Please create thread titles that are specific and descriptive and that contain an accurate (not misleading or sensational) characterization of the topic. If you wish to change your thread's title, please contact a moderator. Moderators may also edit thread titles to clarify content.
/Moderator

Now: please read these threads for assistance, guidance and links to useful resources - particularly the Wikiposts at the top of the threads in question. Many members have already generously shared their knowledge and experiences there.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/ameri...ssistance.html

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/ameri...es-2015-a.html

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/ameri...s-ife-etc.html

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/ameri...solidated.html


Service can range from slightly less than mediocre to very good. There is no predictability or pattern generally. There is an international menu thread, as well.

Last edited by JDiver; Sep 30, 16 at 7:22 pm
JDiver is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 30, 16, 7:17 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: LAX, LGB, SNA
Programs: AA EXP OWE, DL DM ST+, AS MVPG, UA, BA, WN CP, Hyatt E, Ritz Plat, HH GM
Posts: 3,172
That's the thing. Depending in the crew you get, the FA can be absolutely on point, my CDG-ORD had an FA truly worthy of a appreciation slip and there's my LAX-LHR crew who did the absolute minimum, barely even acknowledged me.
hiima is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 30, 16, 7:37 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Programs: AA EXP
Posts: 1
One of the things I've done in the past is to go into one city and out of another one. Then you don't have to backtrack. For example, into LHR and out of FCO. Have fun!

Last edited by BOStoLIH; Sep 30, 16 at 7:48 pm
BOStoLIH is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Sep 30, 16, 10:18 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: SAT
Programs: AA EXP 1.6MM, PC Spire, Hertz 5*
Posts: 873
Originally Posted by BOStoLIH View Post
One of the things I've done in the past is to go into one city and out of another one. Then you don't have to backtrack. For example, into LHR and out of FCO. Have fun!
This is a great idea! If you plan to visit several countries, a first class rail pass helps as well.
nutwpinut is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Oct 1, 16, 3:43 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: LHR
Programs: AA EXP, DL DM, SPG Plat
Posts: 786
Are you OK with cheap intra-Europe coach flights? If so, you could look to some of the routes that have had more plentiful award availability recently (PHL/ORD/JFK/MIA-LHR, PHL/ORD/JFK-MAN/DUB come to mind) and build outward once you have the all-important overwater segment. For example, there are 2+ seats on PHL-LHR and MIA-LHR on July 17, on AA metal so you won't have to pay any of BA's scamcharges.

There's also Iberia space on JFK-MAD on 7/15 and ORD-MAD on 7/17. You'll have to call about Iberia though since this doesn't show up on aa.com.

Another potential option: what about Jet Airways' YYZ-AMS flight? You won't find this on AA.com, but availability is pretty decent, especially this far in advance. It's been awhile since I booked an award ticket on Jet Airways, but IIRC there's no YQ?

Last edited by taxicabnumber; Oct 1, 16 at 3:51 am
taxicabnumber is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Oct 1, 16, 6:14 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Stuck on this planet - mainly in STR and LAX
Posts: 4,356
Also look at Air Berlin (if they still exist by then), Iberia and Finnair. They have a good product in business class. You need to sign up for an account on British Airways and can search there for availability even if you have no miles/avios with them.
Inside Europe look for trains instead of flights. Often cheaper, more convenient and as fast as flying door to door.
Unterwegs is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Oct 1, 16, 7:50 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 166
Another thing to consider is traveling to an airport that isn't usually used by tourists, if it's close enough to where you want to visit. For example, my wife and I recently visited north-central Italy and central Switzerland, and used Zurich (ZRH) as our airport because getting flights in J was easy.
kpfleming is offline  
Reply With Quote
Old Oct 1, 16, 8:19 am
  #14  
Moderator, Delta SkyMiles & FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Programs: DL 1 million, AA 1 mil, UA Silver, HH lapsed Diamond, SPG Plat
Posts: 26,966
Originally Posted by Unterwegs View Post
Also look at Air Berlin (if they still exist by then), Iberia and Finnair. They have a good product in business class. You need to sign up for an account on British Airways and can search there for availability even if you have no miles/avios with them.
AirBerlin and Finnair are searched by aa.com for awards and paid bookings. Iberia is not searched for awards by aa.com.
3Cforme is online now  
Reply With Quote
Old Oct 1, 16, 3:01 pm
  #15  
JBD
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 435
Originally Posted by Daisymonster View Post
...the wife and I turn 40 next year and I want to surprise her with an int'l trip she won't forget. I would like for us to see Europe (would be first time for both) and I want to use AA mile and at least have a flatbed seat- F or J.

Some parameters:

-Depart next summer after/on 7/15/17 for 7-10 days...
Originally Posted by Daisymonster View Post
...The best option I am seeing is JFK-FCO in J, 772 for 230k and $70 in taxes...
Putting to the side the question of best value for miles/best flights, and addressing your destination:

If your desire is for a fantastic European trip which has to be in July, I would not recommend Rome be on your itinerary. While it is by far my favorite city in the world, I steadfastly avoid visiting there in July and August. (The heat is a major factor since you'll no doubt be outside a large part of the day, and more annoying is the fact that you'll be cheek to jowl with tourists - more so than other times of the year).

If you have to take this European trip in mid July, I would choose cities whose climate won't be unbearable, and that aren't chock-a-block with visiting families. There are many incredible European cities that your typical American tourist never thinks to travel to and can make for that unforgettable trip - I'd choose those cities for your July trip and save Rome for when you can visit in the fall or spring.
JBD is offline  
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
  • Ask a Question
    Get answers from community experts
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: