Far Fewer Saver Award Seats than UA?

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by Explore, May 21, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. Explore
    Original Member

    Explore Silver Member

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    I recently became top tier in AA, but so far I haven't located saver award seats at anything close to the times I want for AA North American travel in a wide variety of markets. Further, EXPs don't seem to have a significantly greater inventory of award seats than the general public. My searches are on aa.com, supplemented by ongoing Expert Flyer alerts.

    Big contrast with UA, where I invariably find good choices in Y and/or J classes - either well in advance or the week prior to travel, or both. Those choices are on UA metal and on partner carriers like AC or US, for one-way travel.

    Also, on UA I can get a free space-available upgrade from Y award to J award just by having a Chase MP Explorer card, which carries a very low annual fee after the first year.

    AA seems to like offering saver award seats on the first flight of the day. That's hardly ever the time I want to travel.

    Has AA tightened award availability recently, or has it always been this way? Am I missing exclusive EXP inventory that's not displayed when I log in to my account?

    Thanks....
     
  2. JetsettingEric
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    JetsettingEric Silver Member

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    To each their own. I've found significantly more availability on AA than UA / Star. It all depends on routes/times. United 1Ks also get better award availability than the general public.

    Avios is great for short trips and AA miles are great for longer trips. They complement each other well.

    But i always like to keep a good stash of miles easily transferrable and redeem on the airline that has the best option. Sometimes its UA, sometimes its AA, sometimes its US and sometimes its BA....
     
  3. tom911
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    tom911 Gold Member

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    There is hidden EXP award availability that the EXP desk has access to. It's been a while since I've called and used that but have no reason to think it's not still available. There are also some other EXP perks I've used, such as opening a third F seat on AA flights to the Olympics when the web site will show a maximum of 2 in first class. Don't be afraid to call and see what the EXP desk can do for you.

    Personally, the bulk of my miles go to international travel. I've been in Cathay F this year and in Qantas and JAL business in past years.


    Domestic awards on the web site have been harder to find this year. I regularly check SFO-DCA and it's a challenge to find seats there out on Friday and back on Sunday
     
    perryplatypus likes this.
  4. JonNYC
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    JonNYC Silver Member

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    definitely have to call in to see/use expanded award inventory-- cannot "see" it using aa.com or Expert Flyer. That said, there 'aint much of it and if AA award availability in given markets at given times strikes one as tough in some markets, it because it is-- and definitely tighter (again, certain markets, certain days/times) than say 1.5 years ago.
     

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