American AAdvantage miles can be insanely valuable, whether you’re using them to fly AA or great partner airlines like Japan Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Qatar Airways, and more. And AA has had one of the best search engines to easily find those awards online.
Then American introduced an inferior new search tool last year as it slowly transitions to dynamic award pricing. Award prices are all over the map, and zeroing in on low-price sAAver awards – especially on those premium partner airlines – can be a challenge.
That new search tool was the default when searching from AA’s home page. But American kept the older, better search engine alive. Until now.
Now, every search for award flights defaults to the new search tool. Luckily, this tool has improved in the last few months: American added a calendar view to look at 30 days of award availability, which makes it easier to zero in on the best rates. They’ve added filters to hone in on nonstop flights, too. And it displays premium economy flights – something the old search tool never got around to adding.
For months, it was possible to pull up American’s old search platform by performing a multi-city search. But as of October 2020, that functionality has disappeared, too.
And American’s motivation is clear. This new tool seamlessly includes American’s web special fare pricing, the airline’s spin on dynamic pricing. That often means some outstanding deals on flights – but also sky-high business and first class award rates.
With this tool, there are no low-priced sAAver or higher-priced AAnytime Awards anymore. The price is the price. And that makes it much harder to get a good deal with your AAdvantage miles.
RIP to one of the best award search engines around. While there’s still a loophole to access it, don’t expect that to last long.