Strap in for one of the biggest sales on award flights you’ll ever see.
American Airlines has launched an unadvertised nationwide flash sale on flights using AAdvantage miles, with up to 50% off normal award rates to almost anywhere in the world. And we’re seeing these big savings from almost every airport in the U.S. We discovered this massive award sale and sent it to Thrifty Traveler Premium members earlier this week.
So where can you go, and for how much? Availability at these rates will vary based on your origin, destination and time of year, but there are some serious savings:
- Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean for 15,000 AAdvantage miles round-trip (normally 25,000-30,000), such as Mexico City (MEX), Cancun (CUN), Belize City (BZE), Aruba (AUA), Turks and Caicos (PLS), and more
- Europe for 33,000 AAdvantage miles round-trip (normally 60,000) including Amsterdam (AMS), Milan (MXP), London-Heathrow (LHR), Dublin (DUB), and many more.
- Hawaii for 30,000 AAdvantage miles round-trip (normally 45,000) including Kauai (LIH), Honolulu (HNL), Maui (OGG), or The Big Island (KOA)
- Asia for 40,000 AAdvantage miles round-trip (normally 70,000) like Tokyo (TYO), Shanghai (PVG), Beijing (PEK), or Hong Kong (HKG)
- Australia and New Zealand from 55,000 AAdvantage miles round-trip (normally 80,000) including Sydney (SYD) and Auckland (AKL)
Availability at these rates to several destinations has dried up fast after we first alerted Thrifty Traveler Premium members, so it may require some flexibility to get these prices. But many amazing deals are still available!
The one big restriction on these fares is that they can’t be changed (unless you have top-tier American status) and canceling to get your miles back after the 24-hour window closes will incur a big fee. But these aren’t basic economy fares, so you’ll still get free seat selection – and, on flights to Europe, Asia, or Oceania, a free checked bag.
There are so many deals to be had here, it’s astounding. And the best part is that you can book flights at these rates from airports big and small. So you can use the same amount of miles to fly to Europe, Asia, or elsewhere … whether you live in Los Angeles (LAX) or Louisville (SDF). So be sure to search from your home airport!
Thrifty Tip #1: Use American’s older search engine to find these fares, and be sure to click “Economy Web Specials” on your search results to find these cheaper rates.
Thrifty Tip #2: Book round-trip flights to get the cheapest rates – one-way flights will often cost you a few thousand miles more. Click “Show Full Calendar” to find the lowest rates easily.
Thrifty Tip #3: Wish you had more AA miles? Here’s how to get them for next sale – and why you want them.
- Availability: Travel January through October, varies by origin and destination.
- Destinations: Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, South America, Europe, Asia, Oceania.
- Available Airports: Almost every U.S. airport, big or small, can find drastically reduced rates.
- Award rates: Vary by origin, destination, and time of year.
- Economy Web Special Fares: Can’t be changed unless you have top American status; fares include seat selection.
- To Book: Search from your home airport using American’s old award search engine
Big Savings on Flights
This sale is so big, it’s tough to quantify. But there are some serious savings no matter where you live – or where you want to go.
The key is flexibility, as not every date is available at these lowest prices. So start by searching from your home airport to almost anywhere in the world, click “economy web specials” and see what you can find!
Check out how easy it is to get to Munich (MUC) from Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) in the middle of summer for just 33,000 AAdvantage miles (16,500 each way).
You can also find flights nationwide to Barcelona (BCN), Madrid (MAD), Frankfurt (FRA), and Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG) at these rates!
Need a Caribbean getaway for cheap? You can find flights to even hard-to-reach islands for just 15,000 AAdvantage miles round-trip! These flights in the thick of winter usually cost 30,000 AAdvantage miles.
Fancy a trip to Tokyo? You can get there and back from almost any city in the U.S. this winter or spring for just 40,000 AAdvantage miles – down from the norm of 70,000.
Get down to one of the best foodie cities in the world, Oaxaca, Mexico, for as low as 15,000 miles round-trip.
There are still a few fares to South American cities like Sao Paulo (GRU), Rio de Janeiro (GIG), and Buenos Aires (EZE) for as low as 30,000 miles round-trip. But the best availability disappeared fast.
How to Earn AAdvantage Miles
It might be too late to earn miles to book these flights, but you may want to earn more to book the next big sale.
Few credit cards offer a better, more lucrative welcome offer bonus than the AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard. Just for opening the card, making a single purchase, and paying the $99 annual fee, you can earn 60,000 American Airlines AAdvantage miles (normally 50,000 miles). These are some of the easiest miles you will ever earn.
Click Here to apply for the AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard (this is not an affiliate link)
Additionally, American Airlines is unique in the fact that they have co-branded credit card relationships with both Citi and Barclays. So you can also apply for the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select Card, which is currently offering 50,000 AAdvantage Miles after spending $2,500 within the first three months. The card’s $99 annual fee is waived in the first year.
That’s significant because you can earn the welcome offer bonus on each card, netting you 110,000 American Airlines miles after paying one annual fee (the Barclays AAdvantage Red Aviator Card) and spending $2,500 on the Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select Card in the first three months of card membership.
This sale seems too good – and too big – to be true. Some of the best deals are already gone, but there are plenty of routes and dates with up to 50% off. Start searching and see what you can book!
Want to get first word of the next insane American award sale? Sign up for Thrifty Traveler Premium!
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews, or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.