American Airlines

AA Now Has In-App Award Booking

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I just downloaded the new American Airlines app and to my surprise, they have added in-app award booking!

Why the exclamation mark? Because AA has been behind the times for YEARS now as the only US airline that did not offer it. It’s been no problem on United‘s app or Delta‘s app. JetBlue and Southwest have also had it in their app for what seems like forever.

Some time back, I’d raised this on Twitter and it was apparent that it wasn’t a priority to American. My takeaway was that they were, at the time, only interested in revenue drivers in the app. To be clear, the mobile site did work for award bookings, so it wasn’t at all impossible to book on the go. It just isn’t as clean as in-app.

In any event, the time has come and you can now book awards natively, in-app, for American Airlines and partner flights (at least the partners that you can book on AA.com).

The first go of it isn’t quite the User Experience I’d have hoped for. The load time on a revised search is longer than it should be and the ability to sort saver availability at a glance across multiple days is definitely not there (intentionally?)

You can sort results by price (which means miles here), for non-stops only, or by departure/arrival time.

But you can see that they give you the prices not as sAAver or standard prices, but rather simply “the price.”

You *can* opt for a search that shows only Business/First award seats, but, again, there is no ability to have it show sAAver seats only (the only kind I’d ever book).  You can use the sort tool to get near what you want there, but nothing at a glance.

Summary:

It’s a great first step by American Airlines here. In-app award booking is like WiFi in-flight. It’s become necessary.

In the current / first iteration of this, I’m not really sure I prefer it to the mobile website, to be honest. But some of you might. In any event, I’m sure they will listen to customer feedback and enhance this with time.

To me, the fact that it is there now at all is a huge plus.

Will you use the AA native app for award bookings now? Or would you stick to the mobile site as it is?  Let me know  on Twitter, or in the private MilesTalk Facebook group.

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