Advertising Disclosure: Links and credit card offers on this page may earn us a small commission. They never influence what we cover but they do keep the lights on. Learn More
After posting my article earlier about Delta and United’s stealth devaluations, I got a reply on my Twitter about some shenanigans American Airlines is playing with their “Saver” (sAAver) award availability.
— Fake Points Travel Blogger (@TravelFake) October 28, 2020
In this article
American Airlines AAdvantage Blocking Partners From Award Space Within 7 Days of Travel?
This is a bit different than the devaluations I wrote about earlier. Since American Airlines used revenue based awards on American-operated flights, it’s become pretty hard to use the AA website to even locate saver award space. And since the “Web Special” deals are generally better than saver, you wouldn’t notice.
Unless, of course, you are trying to book an American Airlines flight using miles from a Oneworld partner like British Airways (or other partner like Etihad) – or soon, Alaska Airlines. That’s why this isn’t an AAdvantage devaluation. It’s a stealth devaluation for the frequent flyer programs of AAdvantage partner airlines.
In that case, you will seemingly be out of luck.
Since, again, you can’t check this on the AA website very easily, I fired up Expert Flyer.
Examples: No sAAver Availability Within 7 Days of Travel
Using a variety of AA-metal routes, looking for U class (Business) or T class (economy) sAAver availability in the next 7 days (using Oct 31 +/- 3 days as my criteria), I could not locate one single seat on the following routes:
Here’s the sea of zeros I see on each and every one of these flights.
In a great many cases, I see availability begin at Day 8.
This is very different from the Delta and United stealth devaluations of their programs to their own members. This American Airlines AAdvantage move affects partner program members like those that earn British Airways Avios – or that wish to transfer from transferable bank points to book these awards since you can’t earn AAdvantage miles via any transferable currency except for Marriott Bonvoy – and of course via AAdvantage credit cards. That said, there is an effect on AA’s own: This also effectively blocks using Citi Cardmember Reduced Mileage Awards as well as BusinessExtrAA awards within 7 days of travel.
It also makes it impossible for someone without an AAdvantage account to access award space at all within 7 days of travel.
What do you think about AAdvantage blocking sAAver space to partners? Or can you find an example where this isn’t the case?
And if this post helped you, please consider sharing it!
You can find credit cards that best match your spending habits and bonus categories at Your Best Credit Cards.
New to all of this? My “introduction to miles and points” book, MilesTalk: Live Your Wildest Travel Dreams Using Miles and Points is available on Amazon and at major booksellers.