American AAdvantage Hawaiian Airlines Award Rule Change

Filed Under: American, Awards

American AAdvantage has many airline partners, both in oneworld and not in oneworld. One of the nice things is that as long as the other award rules are met, you can generally mix and match airlines on a single award as much as your heart desires.


There are of course some restrictions, and per JonNYC at TravelingBetter, it looks like American has added a restriction for AAdvantage awards on Hawaiian Airlines:

Itineraries to/from Central, South America or Transatlantic that include Hawaiian Airlines (HA)will not price as one award and are only valid if multiple award(s) are claimed.

This is a new rule as far as I know, and means that you can no longer fly Hawaiian Airlines as part of a mixed carrier award between Hawaii and either Central America, South America, or Europe.

Let me explain what this means in practice. Say you want to fly from London to Honolulu, and you choose to connect in Los Angeles.

Previously you could fly London to Los Angeles on American or British Airways and then Los Angeles to Honolulu on Hawaiian Airlines on a single one-way award.

Unfortunately now that will cost you extra, and you’ll be charged separately for the London to Los Angeles and Los Angeles to Honolulu segments.

Take a look at the below flights, for example. American shows award space from London to Los Angeles on British Airways and then Los Angeles to Honolulu on American:


However, when you search separately there’s actually an earlier connection from Los Angeles to Honolulu on Hawaiian Airlines:


That flight won’t automatically display, and if you “force” those two segments together using the multi-city tool, it prices them cumulatively, at 42,500 AAdvantage miles one-way, rather than 20,000 miles.

Bottom line

It’s just another restriction to be aware of, though certainly not the end of the world. This would have been a much bigger deal back in the day when American allowed a free stopovers at the North American gateway city. At the time you could fly London to Los Angeles, stop for as long as you wanted (well, within the year-long ticket validity), and then continue to Hawaii at no extra cost. Since they discontinued that benefit, I don’t think this is quite as much of a loss. It’s still definitely bad news for those that frequently travel longhaul to/from Hawaii.

I’m curious what prompted this change in policy…

  1. well this is pretty annoying… considering how many frequencies HA has and their availability is decent… how long did Douggie have to think about this one?
    is Suzanne going to be shocked when we say we don’t like it?

  2. This isn’t actually a new rule, as far as I know. I believe it has been in place for quite some time. Jon just posted the actual rule definition, but I’ve never been able to price HA as part of a transatlantic award at least as far back as I can recall.

    Would be nice if this rule weren’t in place, but pretty sure it’s not a change.

  3. I think it is a recent change. I booked HNL-LAX-LIM-CUZ RT on HA and LA just last month without any issues. For those that are Hawaii based I think this is a big hit, in addition HA’s a330 J is better than AA’s 757 Eisenhower seats.

  4. @ Lantean — I don’t know why it happened, but frankly I don’t think it was that “high level.” Or if we’re going to say it is, I guess we should also give “Douggie” credit for loosening routing rules on Qatar, eh? šŸ˜‰

  5. @ Gary — I booked a ticket with HA/BA as recently as last month, so I do think it’s at least somewhat new.

  6. The decision to use the word ‘Transatlantic’ rather than ‘Europe’ seems deliberate to me. If so, this would then also include tickets to/from Africa or Middle East/India too.

  7. AAdvantage flyer: Dear Suzanne, last spring, when you removed oneworld Explorer awards and stopovers with no advance notice, you said you were surprised that members were upset and that these awards were “rarely used.”

    I’m so glad that you listened to members and are giving us advance notice of program changes. I really appreciate you being true to your word from a few months ago; this bodes well for the future of the program.

    Suzanne: There are only two other network carriers, and they are in many ways worse than AAdvantage. This is a “technical” program change that does not impact many passengers. I’m shocked anyone noticed or is impacted by it. Stay tuned for more integration updates!

    (if she were to actually bother to respond; she never responded to my letter from earlier this spring)

  8. I just booked one award like that 2 hours ago, priced normally. Just call and book don’t just trust the website

  9. So I’m guessing if you flew from the East or another direction as long as you don’t fly Transatlantic or South America it’s OK?
    I think we will see more of this nickle and dime stuff instead of a drastic devalue or change in this program until at least 2016. Just my guess.

  10. It must be a change as I was able to book one of these in February. Flew Lisbon to LHR (overnight stop) onto Seattle and thru to Honolulu all in First for standard redemption rates. At that time I was able to book it online.

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