American Airlines Devaluation Coming Next Week –
As you are probably aware, American Airlines announced a devaluation a couple months ago where awards on partners as well as travel in premium cabins is becoming more expensive. In other words, it will soon take more miles in order to redeem for travel on One World and other Airline Partners of American as well as on premium travel in general.
On March 22, 2016, which is coming up next week, these changes will occur.
Travel Bloggers have been posting suggestions on what to do if you have American miles at this time.
Until March 22, 2016, you can use American Airlines miles to book a one way trip on Cathay Pacific to Hong Kong or somewhere else in Asia for 67,500 miles. That is a fantastic deal as Cathay Pacific First Class is one of the world’s best premium products. In addition, the lounge experience in Hong Kong is top notch.
That same reservation will soon cost 110,000 miles each way. It is a huge increase or devaluation.
While Cathay Pacific First Class inventory is difficult to find, it is out there. There is typically one first class seat available for most of their flights to the US to Los Angeles, New York and Chicago.
People have been booking up the tickets speculatively though so currently the availability is slim.
It is best to search using the British Airways webpage for flights from the various gateways in the US.
The advice from most bloggers is to find a date right now with open inventory on the itinerary that works for you.
As it gets closer to the date, you can request American to change the reservation. As long as you keep the same routing in the itinerary, they should not assess the higher mileage after the date
Some rules to keep in mind:
- American offers awards to be booked up to 331 days out.
- An award ticket is valid a year from the date of issue.
You are able to make the following changes without repricing an itinerary under the following circumstances:
- The origin and destination do not change – If your ticket is from Los Angeles to Hong Kong you cant change it from New York to Hong Kong or Los Angeles to Shanghai
- The class of service does not change – You can’t change from a first class ticket to a business class ticket or economy one
- The type of award does not change
The third one is a little tricky.
Examples of types of awards would be an American award would be travel on all American Airlines. A One World award would be for travel on American and any of the One World Alliance Airlines. An award on American on a non-One World Alliance Carrier is also another type of award.
So what does that mean?
If you are booked from New York to Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific, you could change the reservation from New York to Tokyo on American and Tokyo to Hong Kong on JAL (One World Ticket).
If you are booked on American Airlines from Dallas Fort Worth to Hong Kong on American, you cannot change to Dallas to Los Angeles to Hong Kong on Cathay Pacific (American award).
If you are booked on Los Angeles to Fiji on Air Tahiti, you cannot change to Los Angeles to Hong Kong to Figi on Cathay Pacific (Non-One World Alliance Carrier).
So what this means is that you can book a ticket speculatively as long at those three factors do not change.
Hopefully you can lock in a great trip prior to the devaluation.
A few routes to consider:
- New York to Abu Dhabi on Etihad in First Apartment on the A380 for 90,000 miles each way
- Abu Dhabi to Sydney on Etihad First Apartment on the A380 for 60,000 miles each way
- US to Southeast Asia on Cathay Pacific First for 67,500 miles each way
All three of those routes are increasing significantly next week.
Good luck finding a great itinerary before the devaluation.