New Workaround For Old American AAdvantage Award Search

Filed Under: American, Awards

It appears that American Airlines tried to get rid of their (superior) old award search tool once and for all, but there continues to be a workaround.

New vs. old AAdvantage award search tools

As many people may already know, since last year American has had two different AAdvantage award search tools. There’s the old one, which I love:

  • It’s easy to switch between cabins
  • It’s easy to select whether you want a nonstop flight or not
  • It’s fast and highly responsive

However, last year American got rid of this as the primary way of searching awards, as they introduced a new award search tool. The way I see it:

  • This calendar has the benefit of displaying premium economy awards and also “web special” awards
  • Otherwise I’ve found the award calendar to not be nearly as easy to use, unfortunately

American has defaulted to the new award search tool, but up until now the workaround to getting the old search tool has been to go to aa.com, click on “Advanced / Multi-city options,” and then search for awards on the next page. When you did that, the old search tool would display results.

Well, yesterday American shut off that functionality, and now the new award search tool shows. As an American Airlines spokesperson describes this decision:

To create a more consistent experience for customers using aa.com, we’ve updated how flight results display when using the Advanced Search function or Award Map. Customers will now be directed to the new award booking path, which shows all available award options.

As a reminder, the legacy award tool did not display Premium Web Special awards or Premium Economy awards. The new one does.

There’s still one workaround

As noted by View from the Wing, there continues to be one workaround to see the old award search took. As before, go to aa.com and click on “Advanced / Multi-city options.”

While doing a round trip or one way award search will no longer show the old calendar, selecting the multi city feature will still show the old calendar.

Even if you need to just search availability for a one way, just add on an extra leg later, and that will allow you to use the old search tool.

Bottom line

American seems to be trying to kill off the old AAdvantage award search tool. I guess I get that they want to create a consistent experience, but it’s still sad that the old superior tool is being replaced by the new inferior tool.

While American has now shut off the old search tool when doing a standard search, if you do a multi-city award search you’ll still find it, so not all hope is lost… for now.

Comments
  1. I am wondering, once this loophole is closed – will this be the end of award charts for American?

  2. AA – “Thank you Lucky for showing us this error, we are now removing it, to reward you for bringing this to our attention we offer you one free check bag on your next flight (one-way only)”

  3. You bloggers are the reason why half the things are being removed by AA. Now you revealed this new trick which they overlooked and it will be removed soon. you need to keep certain secrets and chill out dude.

  4. @Ben, I appreciate you showing the workaround to the old AA engine but it’s very cumbersome and quite misleading: if you do a multi-city search, the engine asks you for more miles because it adds up miles for every leg, instead of showing a much smaller number of miles for total trip when using the old engine… It kind of defeats the purpose…You might as well use the new engine, as bad and as it is…

  5. Forbes reports that American may pledge the AA program as collateral for a government loan. The same article also questions “it is unclear how AAdvantage could function without the airline.” I do as well. I, a lifetime Gold member, also question how much value the AA program has left after so many years of screwing its members.

  6. Lucky didn’t ‘let the cat out of the bag’. I read 4 travel bloggers every day and every one of them mentioned this workaround. Tips and tricks I find to be the most valuable part of the bloggers education to us readers.

    I use ‘multi city search’ all the time and if just doing a regular roundtrip I have not found it to be more miles. Since AA prices award tix as one ways, 2 one ways still price out like they would have if you used regular award search.

    And I agree that the new award search method is much harder to find what you want at a glance. Have to do lots of clicks to see if they have the level of award you want.

  7. @Talent Hacker Have you read the title and subtitle of this blog? “One Mile at a Time: TIPS, TRICKS and travel.”

    @Lucky Thanks for living up to the original intention of your blog. It’s great.

  8. There are deals to be had. A U.S.-to-Europe trip at the still-available “old” saver rate is 115,000 miles round-trip. But if you click on the page with the newer saver rate, that same trip is 84,000 miles round-trip. That’s a 31,000 miles savings by simply clicking on the newer page. AND less inventory on old search tool, more inventory on new search tool. They are trying their best on getting everyone moving over.

  9. That’s interesting… when I tried to book one way trip from ATL to MAD using multi-city “trick” on the old engine I was asked 80K miles instead of 55.5K…

    I wonder how did you manage to get 84K for the round trip using the :new” engine? From were to where?

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