American’s Summer Business Class Award Sale To Europe

Filed Under: American, Awards

Occasionally we see airlines offer award sales, where they discount the number of miles required for a redemption. However, in my experience these types of sales almost always apply to saver level award availability, which are the highly capacity controlled award tickets at the lowest cost.

That’s why American’s new (official put unpublished) promotion is an interesting one.

American is discounting AAnytime awards to Europe

American is discounting business select business class AAnytime Awards for travel to Europe in summer. This promotion is valid:

  • For travel to Europe between August 1 and August 28, 2019
  • For travel from Europe between August 1 and September 18, 2019

For example, here’s American’s normal award chart for travel in first & business class:

As you can see, ordinarily business class AAnytime awards between the US and Europe start at 110,000 miles, compared to the saver cost of 57,500 miles.

However, during the promotion period AAnytime business class awards start at 85,000 miles one-way, which is a discount of 25,000 miles over the usual lowest AAnytime award price.

Below are some examples, looking at the Los Angeles to London route.

Not all awards that previously cost 110,000 miles will now cost 85,000 miles, though some will.

Is this even a good deal?

On some level I find this promotion to be almost insulting. The airline makes virtually no saver level business class award seats available, but now they’re discounting the more expensive awards. How about just making some more saver seats available to begin with?

At the same time, being realistic, it’s not like American would have made any significant amount of saver space available anyway.

So when you consider that, 85,000 miles isn’t an unreasonable price to pay for a business class award for peak summer travel. Heck, that’s not much more than what Delta would charge for a “saver” level ticket.

It’s one thing if American consistently made saver seats available, but they don’t. So I suspect most of these seats would have cost 110,000 miles rather than 57,500 miles otherwise.

American’s 787-9 business class

Bottom line

It’s not often we see airlines discount non-saver awards, so this is a pretty good offer. While I wouldn’t say that 85,000 miles one-way in business class is a steal, it does put awards into a more reasonable range if your travel dates are fixed and there’s availability.

Anyone plan to take advantage of American’s AAnytime business class award sale?

Comments
  1. This is a good deal, and more airlines should do it. The saver awards are open to partners. This rewards people who actually collect AA miles.

  2. 1) This is just dynamic pricing. European cities are often empty in August, especially when it comes to travelers who would pay cash for business class fares. So they are discounting the AAnytime cost for August and early September

    2) Still, it is a much better option for most than booking on BA with a connection and paying $500 surcharges

    Whether you call it saver or not, having more availability and flexibility in the 75,000 to 100,000 point range is not bad (many freely redeem on Air France at 72,500 with surcharges of several hundred dollars, for example)

  3. Considering a huge amount of saver space is actually operated by BA, at 57,500 miles + $500-600 (usually) in taxes/fees, I’d argue that 85,000 miles + $5.60 is a reasonable alternative. Actually, based on my own mileage valuations, I’d argue you’re actually better off using more miles and less cash with a few exceptions for airports that have lower surcharges.

    Obviously saver space on AA metal is a best case scenario in terms of value, but not everyone can find a unicorn in the wild.

  4. wooed rather book AF ( better product) pay the “vig” and get the flight I want when I want it. You can ride in a Chevy or pay little more and fly in comfort. Unless of course AA is your comfort carrier

  5. Now I’m debating if I want to spend another 55K miles on my RT Europe ticket that already has business class to Europe. The problem is that I may be spending more in return since I booked my ticket before the 10% mile rebates were no more.

  6. You can find business class seats for 57,000 miles doing summer peak time you need to check frequently.

    I found 2 seats from DFW to London the week of July 4th.

  7. Yes, ghosteider 5408–AA is MY comfort level… I have flown in business class on many American an European airlines (including AF), and I found relatively little difference in the quality and the level of comfort between any of them (can’t vouch for any Arab airlines–never flew on them)..

    So I agree with Ben and all other comments here that 85K for AA anytime business class award ticket in the summer season is not a bad deal at all… Compare in with the sucker Delta whose LOWEST miles award for one-way ticket to Europe requires anything between 86K and 105K! (of course, if you’re willing to shell out $700-$1000 in surcharges on the obnoxious BA, it’s obviously your choice but clearly, not that for that many people, judging by an almost unlimited availability of those award tickets on either AA of BA websites)…

  8. Thanks Lucky, just rebooked an existing reservation at the lower rates, worked out to .0035 dollars per mile for the redeposited miles after the $175 fee.

  9. A step in the right direction but not stellar. I found two business saver level tickets from LAX to Athens in August with AA on their A330. Second year I’ve magically found award space on an itinerary that matched my plans. Last year I got LAX to Bilbao for 57,50 in May. Definitely need to search for second tier cities with AA and avoid BA. I stopped flying American several years ago but decided to take advantage of their points discount.

    The return flight was much more complicated until you posted about Virgin Atlantic. Ended up using the Amex promotion which was a Life / Point Saver. Wish I’d know about them last year. I would have saved 50K points instead of giving them away to Delta on their awful 767.

    57,500 each LAX to Athens in J
    39K each back AMS to LAX in J

    My boyfriend has never flown in business before so I’m excited to share this with him.

  10. As usual, everyone in small cities is ignored by bloggers. This is a very solid deal for people who can never get saver space, to anywhere, out of their own airport. Under this promotion, Aanytime awards from everywhere in the lower 48 get this rate, and on the best available routing.

  11. Let’s not forget, if they indeed released more saaver seats instead of this, you’d still be stuck flying through two random midwest cities on the way to Europe from Miami. At least here you get reasonable routings/layovers.

    And I bet this is another “test” of the inevitable switch to dynamic pricing. If this promo sells well, get ready for 85k to be the new “standard” award price with cheaper tickets being a needle in the haystack.

  12. I am an AAdvantage Gold member. I also collect United miles. I have started to question the value of airline miles. Not only that they are constantly being devalued, award seats are next to impossible to find. Now my focus in Chase Ultimate Reward points.

  13. Once again AA J is quoted as 110/135. No mention of the recent DisAAdvantage stealth devaluation. Look up LAX-LHR for September and October, and you’ll see that half of the time AA is now charging 180K for J and 215 for FC. And yes, that’s one way.

    I’m guessing that by next year Anytime Level 1and Level 2 will be as rare as Saver Awards are now. Which will make a pair of J R/T TATL awards cost an obscene 720,000 miles. Thus utterly beyond the reach of anyone but government diplomats and the most hardened road warriors on expensive accounts. 🙁

    Remember when DisAAdvantage told us J and FC awards were now going to be priced at Level 3? Me neither. And mention of this obscene devaluation on the major travel blogs? Crickets….

  14. It’s another pricing game and one more episode in the airline mile devaluation saga that has been going on for years. So it may be disappointing but if you have the miles and meets a need I’d say go for it. Reasoning is that there is basically zero chance you will do better if you wait. This is how you make decisions when there is hyperinflation – exchange your currency for goods immediately. Ask any Zimbabwean or Weimar German.

  15. Maybe I am that rare unicorn but I had no trouble whatsoever finding Saver J to DME for my dates in August – in fact I had a choice of connecting in BCN, FCO or TXL.

  16. AAnytime award discounts is the New Saver! They sell you on something that barely exists and people are happy to shell out more for a “discounted” tier that has availability. Marketing Geniuses! 170K return @ 1.7 cpm is like spending $2890 plus fees for your TATL in J. Almost anything beyond there is a blocked middle seat in economy.

    I would just pay for the flights to Europe (even in Y) for the relatively short distance, especially from the East Coast, and save the AA miles for the sweet spots like North America to South Africa on QR in QSuites. The newer AA planes have a decent (not special) hard product but the soft product is where they suffer the most which cheapens the overall experience.

  17. Book the AA offer now, then later cancel if you have UA miles – change to LH J or F when those seats open within 2 weeks of travel. Still too high for Europe – that is 170,000 miles RT. I can handle coach to Europe if in MCE or better yet UA E+ has many more seats on the plane than the reduced number of MCE seats on the reconfigured aircraft.

    This is AA’s start to the variable pricing awards that DL has and UA is now starting. At lease for now the UA partner awards do not have the higher prices.

  18. It IS insulting. The fact that I am somehow still an Executive Platinum with them is astonishing mostly to me.

  19. I’m fortunate in that 6 months ago I booked my trip to London from sfo on business for 57.5k. Aside from the old tired looking plane and an entire flight crew who seemed very unhappy, 57k almost feels like it was already not worth it. But lucky for me I did the booking when I did because there was nothing in the last 2 months for less than 110k.

  20. So you go from calling this offer “almost insulting” in one paragraph to “a good offer” in another paragraph. Seriously, make up your mind

  21. This is just an easy way to avoid releasing award availability to partners.

    It’s nice for AA’s customers but they’re doing it at a time with relatively low premium demand.

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