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Back at the beginning of December American Airlines announced a number of changes to its award charts that will be kicking in for bookings from 16 January 2019.
The changes that are being introduced introducing center around Canada and Hawaii and, while the news for Hawaii isn’t good the news for Canada is mixed.
AAdvantage Hawaii Award Price Changes
From 16 January 2019 American Airlines is raising the cost of saver premium cabin awards for travel to/from Hawaii…and the changes aren’t pretty.
Here’s the award chart as it stands today…..
…and here’s what the award chart will look like for bookings made from 16 January 2019:
All the saver awards are changing in price but the ones that will probably interest most readers are as follows:
- Miles Saver Business Class awards between the mainland and Hawaii are increasing by 15,000 miles each way to 55,000 miles
- Miles Saver Business Class awards between Canada and Hawaii are increasing by 12,500 miles each way to 55,000 miles
- Miles Saver Business Class awards between Europe and Hawaii are increasing by 10,000 miles each way to 80,000 miles
Anytime awards aren’t changing in price but American is introducing an extra charge for all flights offering lie-flat beds in Business Class.
From 16 January 2019 all Business Class awards to/from Hawaii which offer a lie-flat bed will see a charge of 7,500 miles added to the award cost shown in the chart above.
AAdvantage Canada Award Price Changes
From 16 January 2019 award prices for departures to/from Canada will match prices for departures from the lower 48 US states which, considering how few destinations American serves in Canada, makes sense.
What this means in practice is that….
- Most Main Cabin awards to/from Canada will come down by 2,500 miles
- Most Business/First awards to/from Canada will come down by between 2,500 and 5,000 miles
- Miles Saver Business Class awards between Canada and Hawaii are increasing by 12,500 miles each way to 55,000 miles (as mentioned above)
With Canada awards now being included in the pricing for the lower 48 Alaska will now be a standalone region just like Hawaii.
Clearly the changes to the costs of Hawaii awards are negative ones…and they’re not even small changes that we’re seeing foisted upon us.
A First/Business saver award between the lower 48 and Hawaii on an aircraft that doesn’t offer lie-flat seats is going up by over 37% and, if you’re fortunate enough to find award availability on an aircraft with a lie-flat cabin, the cost of a miles saver First/Business award will soon cost over 56% more.
Those are huge rises in award costs and despite the fact that these awards aren’t exactly easy to find this is still a significant devaluation – how can it be anything else.
At least the news for awards to/from Canada is better and the changes to the award charts remove some of the illogicality that was once buried in there (it was cheaper to fly between New York and Tokyo than between Vancouver and Tokyo despite the latter being shorter by over 2,000 miles).
Overall the message is this:
If you’re looking to use your AAdvantage miles to book travel to/from Hawaii you have today and tomorrow to make your bookings before the costs go up significantly (good luck finding award space).
If you’re looking to use your AAdvantage miles to book travel to/from Canada you should hold off booking any awards until the 16th at which point, if you can find award space, you should find yourself saving miles.