AA Award Routing "Free Leg"

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by AJTrenkle, Dec 27, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. AJTrenkle

    AJTrenkle Active Member

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    I have read on a few blogs that AA allows a leg of travel to an international gateway on an award redemption. Used creatively, it has been said this can get you a free trip, as long as you travel in the same 330 day period, these connections can be more like separate trips.

    If I am not mistaken, though, one would still need to purchase one-way tickets on both the first and last trip?

    For example, let's say I book LA to Chicago to Paris, then Paris to Chicago to Seattle.... the LA and Seattle trips being the "free legs". I need to figure out a way to pay to get to those destinations, correct?
    Sorry if this is obvious but I didn't see it spelled out anywhere very specifically.
     
  2. iolaire
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    iolaire Gold Member

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    Correct, where "pay" means buy or use points.
     
  3. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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  4. zphelj

    zphelj Gold Member

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    I find this rule works really well for me however I live in a gateway city (DFW) which makes it much less complex. Heck, I'm currently on a stopover in DFW on a MAD-LHR-DFW-OGG itinerary :) Milesaver 1st award, 62,500. The DFW-OGG leg is in J but that's OK, it's a freebie. My main goal on this one was to try out BA 1st Euro (bleh) and long haul (nice!).
     
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  5. DestinationDavid
    Original Member

    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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  6. DestinationDavid
    Original Member

    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    As mentioned above, yes you'd need to find a way to get back and forth from your destination. Most people simply redeem their next award from their last final destination and go from there. I live in ORD, so let's use that as an example.....

    So let's say I book an award ORD-CDG. On the return leg, I book CDG-ORD with a 6 month free stop over at ORD before continuing on with ORD-HNL. Now that I'm in HNL, I have to get back to ORD somehow. To do that, I would simply book my next award flight from HNL. So fly back when I was done in HNL to ORD with another free stop over for 6 months before continuing on to DUS (or wherever). Then when I return from DUS I do my 6 month stop over at ORD and continue on to LAX (or wherever). Wash, rinse, repeat.

    As zphelj says, this is easiest when you live in an AA gateway city. Of course, you can simply buy tickets to get home as you stated. But for those who like to maximize their free stop over usage on AA awards, it's essentially a never ending cycle that you go through.
     
  7. anabolism
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    anabolism Gold Member

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    Sure, if you live in a gateway city, it's perfect! Free trips. If you live somewhere a hop away from a hub, then it becomes much more complex and requires the extra positioning/return flights.

    Minor quibble, but surely DFW-OGG was in F, not J (although on a 767 in the exact same seat as international J, minus the entertainment tablet and enhanced food)? Likewise, what is "BA 1st Euro?" As far as I know, BA only has first on international long-haul. Intra-Europe they have J ("Club Europe") and Y ("Euro Traveler") which have almost identical seats (mostly on a A319/A320/A321) but in J there is no middle seat, and the seats are slightly wider on the starboard side. On the BA long-haul, were you in J ("Club World") or F ("First")?
     
  8. zphelj

    zphelj Gold Member

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    I booked a "First" award but since some flights are two class, others more, I elected to use the same terminology throughout. I was in the best class on both flights, in particular 1A on the 744 LHR-DFW. I had a very positive experience on BA.
     
  9. foxberg

    foxberg Gold Member

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    Just to be clear, you'd have to book ORD-CDG-ORD( 6 month stopover)-HNL at the time of redeeming your award, correct? And right after that you can redeem another award to book, say, HNL-ORD( 6 month stopover)-LAX-ORD? That would be awesome, if planned ahead I'd be able to use two awards for three RT flights.
     
  10. DestinationDavid
    Original Member

    DestinationDavid Milepoint Guide

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    Date changes on AA are free as long as you keep the same routing. So you can book the award as CDG-ORD (3 month stop) - HNL and then change the ORD-HNL leg to a later date once space opens up. You just have to take the flight within 1 year of ticketing.
     
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  11. foxberg

    foxberg Gold Member

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    Thanks.
     
  12. NYC_Gal
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    NYC_Gal Silver Member

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    I have a similar question regarding the "within 1 year of ticketing" rule, so I'll just tag along this thread. Say, I want to book HKG-JFK (stop over) - xxx. I need to book the long haul almost at 330 days out to secure that leg. That only gives me about 30 days to complete my free leg (JFK-xxx). Can I "re-ticket" the award 6 months later to delay the 2nd leg? Or do I have to cancel the award and re-book? Changing the award date doesn't mean it'll change the ticketing date, right?
     
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  13. estnet
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    estnet Gold Member

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    you can only rebook and get a later date if the award booking class is available at the rebooking date
     
  14. NYC_Gal
    Original Member

    NYC_Gal Silver Member

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    Say the award is still available, does it trigger a re-deposit / re-book fee?
     

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