What to do with your AAdvantage miles BEFORE the devaluation

Posted on March 27, 2015 by in AAdvantage, Etihad Reviews & Etihad Guest, Qatar Airways

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AAdvantage and US Airways miles will be combined over the weekend and your AAdvantage miles balance will go up.

Now what are the best redemptions for your AA miles from the US?

While the AA award chart looks enticing, American has a number of additional routing rules that make the award chart look cheaper than it is. This is also likely the reason that it is still in place and rates have stayed the same.

Asia – Go east, fellow award flyer

In Cathay Pacific First Class, you can go to Southeast Asia for just 67,500. Northern Asia is a great deal as well, if you can find seats on JAL (currently really easy in business class).

Since Sri Lanka is considered Southeast Asia as well, you can go as far away as Colombo with Cathay in business class – all on one award for just 50,000 miles.

Awards to Asia are amazing value and JAL and Cathay are amazing airlines!

AA awards to the Middle East and the Maldives

Awards to the Middle East are great value and you get to enjoy the great in-flight product of Etihad or Qatar Airlines. Both fly to the Maldives as well.

For some cities in the US, there will be no published fare (which may break the award), so you might have to get to an Etihad/Qatar gateway city on your own first.

AA awards to South America

AA has a lot of flights to South America and also partners with LAN.

Flights in business class are just 50,000 miles from Alaska all the way to the southern end of the continent. Just make sure you are traveling direct from North America to the South America zone (Chile, Argentina). First class on American Airlines is just 62,500 miles as well.

AA awards to Australia

You can’t use the Middle East carriers to Australia and Qantas release almost no business or first class seats.

However, you can use Hawaiian Airlines, but their business class is more like domestic first – not a place to be stuck in for these long flights.

AA awards to Africa

Again American does not allow you to use the Middle East carriers on your way to Africa in one award. You can only use British Airways from London. The fuel surcharges are usually >$500 for such an award (even if you use American to get to Europe).

Other AA awards

AA awards can be great value when you can travel around the Middle East, e.g. from Male to Cairo, and continue to be great value in South America.

AAdvantage will likely give us a couple of weeks to make bookings before a possible (not yet announced!) devaluation. I know I will redeem a good share of my AA miles in the next couple of weeks.

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About the author: Torsten is a serial entrepreneur who started almost a dozen ventures on four continents. Torsten's love for travel has brought him to 130+ countries and travel with most of the world's airlines. You can reach Torsten at [email protected]

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