American Airlines AAdvantage

American AAdvantage is one of my favorite programs because of their one-way awards, wide range of partners, decent award availability, and sweet off-peak awards. There are some golden opportunities to unlock great award redemption values.

One-ways permitted? Yes!

Partner flight redemption: AAdvantage miles are redeemable on all OneWorld partners (British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Qantas, Japan Airlines, Iberia, Air Berlin, LAN, etc.) as well as some key non-alliance partners like Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines. Unfortunately, fuel surcharges are tacked onto British Airways international award flights, so getting to Europe cheaply can be tougher than it first appears.

Off-peak and special deals: This is the sweet spot of this program! Off-peak awards are redeemable on partner airlines, unlike US Airways’ off-peak awards. Here are a few of my personal favorites between North America and these destinations (one-way award prices):

Europe for 20,000 miles (10/15 to 5/15)

Caribbean for 12,500 miles (9/7 to 11/14)

Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Uruguay for 20,000 miles (3/1 to 5/31 and 8/16 to 11/30)

Central America, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela for 15,000 miles (1/16 to 6/14 and 9/7 to 11/14)

Award chart: Fair and reasonable; nothing ridiculously inflated but there are some bargains to be had relative to the other major US airlines.

Routing rules: One-way awards don’t allow stopovers. No stopovers on domestic award tickets. On international awards, you are allowed one stopover, but only in the “North American gateway city.” This means the city through which you connect from/to North America and the non-North American airport. For example, on a round trip flight departing San Francisco-New York-London-Rome, and returning Rome-Madrid-Miami-San Francisco, you could choose to do your one stopover in either New York or Miami, but no other city.

Expert-level reading:

Lucky’s pro tips on AAdvantage award redemption

MileValue’s lengthy analysis of the value of an AAdvantage mile

MileValue’s awesome guide on OneWorld partner award searches

AAdvantageGeek, a blog dedicated solely to AAdvantage

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