American AAdvantage announced new options when redeeming miles for flight awards. “One-Way Flex Awards” are now available. Members can use miles on a one-way basis at half the roundtrip mileage requirement.
In addition, and to add flexibility when redeeming your miles, you can combine different types of one-way awards on a single ticket. For example, you can fly out on a MileSAAver award and return with an AAnytime award, or you can claim an award ticket that has flights in both coach and business class or combine peak with off-peak. And you can opt to spend miles for one-way and to purchase the return with cash–you’ll effectively be getting two one-way tickets and will earn miles on the portion that you buy with cash. You can also make award reservations on American and partner airlines in the same award ticket. All of these options add flexibility for members to be able to use their miles when they sit down at the computer to book an award ticket.
American Airlines is not the only airline to offer true one-way for half the cost of roundtrip flexible awards, but it’s the first legacy carrier to do so. Response from members was immediate, mostly positive, and the implications of these new options are being explored on FlyerTalk.
Along with these new options are new capabilities when booking awards online at AA.com, such as being able to book multi-city award trips, allowing travel to more than one city in a single trip. Customers can book up to four one-way awards at one time instead of only being able to book a roundtrip award flight. This sounds good, but keep in mind that if you want to travel to multiple cities, you will have to pay for multiple one-way awards unless you take advantage of a stopover and stopovers are only allowed on awards between North America and Europe, India, Asia and Central/South America at the North American gateway. A free international stopover or a free stopover on a domestic award is no longer allowed–you must redeem separate one-way awards.
You can also book open jaw travel, for example, book an award ticket to London outbound and from Paris inbound. This capability has been available, but not online, so now you can book an open jaw and not have to pay the $20 fee when calling reservations.
And if you must make changes to your award ticket, if applicable, you will be paying for only one change per ticket–not per one-way award.
For those who prefer to access information in Spanish, there is a new Spanish-language tool accessed through the “Espanol” link on the home page and American is considering other languages such as French or German in the future. For full information about the new one-way flex awards, visit www.aa.com/flexawards. To follow the rather lengthy FlyerTalk thread on what this really means, visit http://www.insideflyer.com/link/?1622