The Incredible American Airlines Award That Came & Went

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American Airlines has recently started publishing some discounted Economy Class awards which it’s calling “web specials”. This is almost certainly as a result of Delta’s ever more frequent flash sales but, up until now, American’s web specials have only been offered on select domestic routes. Yesterday that changed….briefly.

Yesterday, and for a short period of time, American Airlines was offering web specials on at least four of its routes to Europe and, on one route in particular, there was a truly spectacular offer which I still can’t believe I didn’t book.

American’s European web specials were on offer for travel between January 2019 and the end of the booking period on a multitude of dates and they came with a couple of restrictions.

a screenshot of a web page

  • No changes are allowed once a booking has been made
  • Cancellations cost $150 for the first passenger and a further $25 each for any other passengers on the same reservation.
  • Elite status doesn’t seem to exempt flyers from these restrictions.

American Airline European Web Specials

American’s European web specials may come back so these are the route to look out for:

  • Miami – Madrid
  • St Louis – Paris CDG
  • Raleigh/Durham – London Heathrow
  • Los Angeles Barcelona

Also, here’s American’s regular award chart against which all web special fares should be judged:

a screenshot of a screen

Note: American’s off-peak dates for European travel are January 10 – March 14 & November 1 – December 14.

Miami – Madrid

The best fare I found between Miami and Madrid was for 11,500 miles one-way or 23,000 miles roundtrip which is almost half the cost of a roundtrip saver award in off-peak season.

a screenshot of a computer a screenshot of a computer

St Louis – Paris CDG

The web specials between St Lois and Paris CDG weren’t as generous as those on offer between Miami and Madrid but, at 16,500 miles one-way or 33,000 miles roundtrip (during peak season) they were still very good value.

a screenshot of a computer screen a screenshot of a computer screen

Raleigh/Durham – London Heathrow 

Of the four European routes on which American Airlines was offering web special fares this was the hardest one on which to find the better deals…but they were there.

There were one-way fares on offer in either direction from 19,500 miles and, with careful planning, it was possible to book roundtrip fares from 39,000 miles.

a screenshot of a computer screen a screenshot of a computer

Los Angeles – Barcelona

Oh boy. I can’t believe I let this fare slip through my fingers.

I was researching these web specials at around 11:30 Pacific Time when I came across this amazing one-way fare from Loa Angeles to Barcelona:

a screenshot of a computer screen

8,000 miles to fly to Europe is an incredible deal and it wasn’t limited to just one or two dates (you’ll have to believe me as I don’t have any more screenshots to prove it)..but that wasn’t the best deal of them all.

This was:

a screenshot of a credit card

12,000 miles for a roundtrip fare between Los Angeles and Barcelona is a deal I have never seen before (and I may never see again) and I even got as far as the costing page before I stopped – I needed more time to work out my plans before I pulled the trigger on this one.

a screenshot of a flight schedule

The fare got pulled at around midnight on the west coast (as did all the European web specials) and so far they haven’t reappeared.

Bottom Line

I’m not sure if this was a glitch in American’s systems or if someone loading the wrong fares or if it was all intentional but, whatever it was, it was the cheapest Economy Class award I’ve ever seen on offer between LA and Europe….and by some distance.

I’m going to be kicking myself for not booking this award for the next few days as, at 6,000 miles roundtrip, I’m more than happy to “suffer” at the back of the aircraft (I could have booked exit rows which would have made the flights a lot more bearable).

Still, the Euro web specials were loaded once so they may well be loaded again – next time I won’t hesitate if another amazing deal gets loaded.

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